County Manager Q&A: Dec. 12
December 12, 2012
County Manager Steve Mokrohisky was on The R-C’s running commentary at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 12.
Q: When is Grant Drive stop light going in?A: Construction on Grant Avenue is mostly complete and the remaining sidewalk work will be done within the next week. The signal light at Highway 395 and Grant is installed. The County expects the signal to be activated shortly after December 18, which is when the contractor expects to complete all the work.Q: I have noticed surveyors at the empty properties at Vista Grande and Mica. Do they have any permits to start developing yet?A: The County previously issued a Site Improvement Permit (SIP) several years ago that has now expired. We have heard from the owner’s representative that they intend to file for a Development Agreement with the County to extend the timeline on the project. We expect to bring forward an item for the Board to consider within the next few months on this issue.Q: How is county keeping up with sanding on icy roads?A; We have road crews out this morning sanding County maintained roads. The County has a snow removal policy that identifies and prioritizes County roads for plowing and sanding. We are focusing on the Jacks Valley and Foothill area, as well as Topaz and Ruhenstroth. Priority is generally given to arterial and collector roads, due to higher traffic volumes. Local roads are typically plowed and sanded as time and conditions warrant. We have not experienced any major issues today.Q: What is the status of the Community Center? Has the design-build team been selected?A: Final submittals are due from the three design build teams on Dec. 21. The submittals will be evaluated with a recommendation that will go to the Board of County Commissioners tentatively scheduled for February 7th. The preliminary reviews of the proposed submittals are encouraging. Additionally, the fill pad project and site work will be completed this month, ahead of schedule and under budget. Plans to bid the Waterloo Lane widening for this project are at 90 percent and will be advertised in January for bid. We are currently on target to meet our goal to open the senior portion of the building Spring of 2015.Q: The recent rainstorms didn’t result in as much damage as originally anticipated, but did it reveal any previously-unknown problem areas or maintenance and operation issues that the County will address?A: The recent storms did not reveal any previously-unknown issues, but it did highlight known issues with historic flow patterns and localized nuisance flooding in areas such as Johnson Lane, Ruhenstroth and Fish Springs.Q: TRPA is meeting on the Lake Tahoe Use Plan today. How does that affect the county overall, Valley residents?A: I’ll be headed up to the TRPA meeting to participate in public comment after we are done here. Douglas County has been actively involved in the Tahoe Regional Plan Update for the past two years. Commissioner McDermid serves on the TRPA Governing Board. I served on the Nevada/California Bi-State RPU Consultation Group to work out differences on the proposed RPU. The plan is not perfect, but few government regulations are. This RPU is a huge step in the right direction, as it seeks to protect the natural environment, encourages environmental redevelopment of the built environment, promotes economic vitality, is predictable and understandable. Local governments, including Douglas County, will be able to assume more responsibilty for permitting small projects, while allowing the TRPA to focus on its regional role.Q: Assuming there is an interlocal agreement between Carson and Douglas Counties and entities within, how does that agreement work for law enforcement, fire and EMS services? Are monies exchanged?A: The answer to this question depends on the type of services being provided and the nature of the interlocal agreement. For certain technology, health and utility services, we have interlocal agreements with Carson and other regional entities where there is an exchange of money for the service. Typically, the money exchanged is less than would be required for each individual entity to provide the service. We also provide emergency services, such as 911 dispatch, to other entities without an interlocal , but where there is an exchange of resources for the service. I hope this answers your question. I’d be happy to engage in more detailed discussions if desired.Q: When will Waterloo Lane be fixed? The potholes are growing by day.A: Waterloo Lane continues to be a big challenge, largely due to the cost to reconstruct the road, which we anticipate to be several million dollars. We do not have a funding structure to pay for that type of project, but we will be engaging in more discussions with the Board and public in the coming months on how to deal with our ailing road system. We have approximately $17 million in road maintenance backlogs and we need to identify approximately $3.5-$4 million per year to maintain our roads at the level they are at today over the long term.Q: Is the Tahoe-Douglas District at Stateline going to take over the lake water systems?A: The County has received proposals from both the Kingsburry GID and the Tahoe Douglas District to maintain and operate the County’s Lake Tahoe water systems, which includes Cave Rock, Skyland, Uppaway and Zephyr. We are currently evaluating the proposals and we anticipate that the Board will make a decision during the upcoming budget process in 2013.Q: What are the big projects/issues on the horizon in 2013? A: Here are our goals for 2013: Identify funding for road maintenance, stabilize the County’s Lake Tahoe water rates, utilize priority based budgeting to focus on value for taxpayer investments, develop a long range vision for the Carson Valley, begin construction of the Community and Senior Center, complete North County Waterline project, complete phase 2 of the stateline to stateline bikeway project, create a south shore Lake Tahoe area plan, update the Transportation Element of the Master Plan, continue to improve transparency and communication with residents and businesses, work to resolve the FEMA flood map issues, introduce and pass a comprehensive Lands Bill in Congress, continue to stabilize our finances and support the economic vitality of the County. In short, we have a busy year ahead of us, but I am confident that we will continue to make progress.Any public officials interested in participating in a similar online forum can contact The Record-Courier at email@example.com or 782-5121, ext. 212.