County commissioners back at it
Our county commissioners are on another roll, doing what they do best: dithering, dathering, slithering and slathering, cheered on by Chairman Johnson.
Meeting June 30, they jibber-jabbered for over an hour about how to pay for maintaining local roads, which county Public Works allowed to seriously deteriorate because commissioners haven’t allocated funds. Why? To balance the budget, don’t you know? Yes, in Douglas County you can “balance the budget by not spending money on necessities.” And brag about it.
To his immense credit, former county manager Mokrohisky convened a committee of a cross-section of the community to study the issue and recommend funding. These stalwart, upstanding, ordinary citizens studied and deliberated and made a sound recommendation. They noted that county residents pay lower property taxes than residents of the towns and GIDs (General Improvement District as in the Ranchos, Indian Hills, Topaz, etc.), which use the extra money to maintain their local roads in good condition. They concluded why not form a new GID composed only of scattered county residents served by local roads with the sole purpose of collecting an additional property tax dedicated to local road maintenance? To county staff, it’s just a tax and accounting gimmick to direct an increment of property tax into the local Road Maintenance Fund. Before local roads become local quagmires. A tax on only those receiving specified benefits. How fair and equitable. How quaint. It could bring the county tax rate (almost) up to the levels paid by towns and GID residents. No added cost, no added personnel, all proceeds going directly to local road maintenance.
All collector or regional roads not maintained by the state are already maintained with money already in the property taxes equally of all county, towns and GID residents.
Well, the commissioners chitter-chattered and, faced with a fair and equitable solution, decided to continue the subject until later. Again. Presumably until one of them comes up with a solution favoring some special interest. Which is what they do best. Fair and equitable? Not in Douglas County.
East Valley water customers know all about unfair and inequitable. Back in May, they were a numerous and noisy lot raising a ruckus in a commission hearing on their water rates. Merely because their already high water rates will be increased about 20 percent over five years. Sewer too. Why should that excite them?
Their protest was about three years late, their outbursts might have prevented the inequitable and unnecessary consolidation of several county water funds into one, causing East Valley residents to be raided to subsidize the higher-water-cost homes of West Valley and the county fairgrounds area. Why higher cost? Spacious and remote developments need more pipe per resident. Their passionate objections to carrying other residents’ higher costs were rewarded with a special workshop to find acceptable solutions to their concerns.
This week the same folks will undoubtedly overwhelm the July commission hearing to vent their spleen on new revised water and sewer rates. Should be another rip-roaring meeting.
Jack Van Dien
Thanks for patience during work
On behalf of Bently Enterprises I would like to thank the Town of Minden and the merchants on Esmeralda for their gracious support and understanding. For three months, Fourth Street was closed to traffic for the construction of a Ground Source Heat Pump, a key part of the renovation of the Farmers Bank building. Unfortunately there were some delays during the project, but both the merchants and Minden Town Board were exceptionally understanding.
The Ground Source Heat Pump is a heating/cooling system that acts as a heat exchange, taking heat from the ground in the winter, and returning it in the summer. The work required drilling 16 bores— all of them six inches in diameter and 300 feet deep. Each bore has a 1 inch pipe that loops to the bottom of the hole and back up again. Each pipe is encased in concrete and connected to the building.
The renovation is scheduled for completion in October, at which time our Minden employees will be relocated to the Farmers Bank building. The work being done has uncovered historic artifacts that will be displayed in the lobby. We will also have an interactive history of the Valley and the building. The original lamp that hung outside the building will be returned from its temporary home at the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center to be preserved in our new building for years to come.
I’d like to let the whole town know that we appreciate their patience, and I invite you to come visit the renovated Bank building when it opens.
Thanks to a great board
Family Support Council of Douglas County, serving the community for more than 30 years, is pleased to acknowledge the volunteer service of our board of directors as they closed the agency’s fiscal year June 30.
Their commitment to the mission of ending family violence in our communities, their hard work on the fundraising front, and their oversight of the agency’s policies and fiscal sustainability had been diligent and unwavering.
The staff is pleased to share their appreciation with the community for President Jeanne Koerner, Vice President Alicia Main, Secretary Nancy Epstein, Treasurer Tami Force and members David Aymami, Art Eunson, Sharla Hales, Carrie Nicolaisen, Ted Thran, Holly Spiers.
Cory Jo Allen