County Manager Q&A: Nov. 14
November 14, 2012
Douglas County Manager Steve Mokrohisky participates in a monthly question and answer forum online on The Record-Courier’s daily Running Commentary. Anyone with questions is welcome to participate in the next scheduled forum on Dec. 12 at 10:30 a.m. For a full transcript of the last forum, go online at recordcourier.com and search “County Manager Q&A: Nov. 14” Here are excerpts of the last forum: Q: We’re curious about the proposed outdoor amphitheater at CVI. Is this something that will have to go before the county commission? Specifically, will the public be able to comment on it? And will the County be able to evaluate the potential noise and traffic impacts?A: The outdoor events area proposed by CVI is an allowed accessory use to the existing resort facility. Therefore, an administrative review by staff is required, but it is not required to be heard by the Board. As a courtesy, the Town of Minden heard the request at its meeting last week and unanimously supported the proposed use. Several Town board members raised concerns with noise. The review by the County will consider limited hours for events. In terms of traffic, the events will occur during non-peak traffic hours, which includes events after 6pm and on weekends. Anyone with comments or questions on the project can contact Dirk Goering in Community Development at 782-6212.Q: Are there any plans on the county level to connect the recently-completed southern portion of Muller Parkway to the portion being built by Walmart? And what is the timeline for completion of the Muller Parkway?A: The County does not have plans to construct that section of Muller Parkway at this time. When the commercial and residential property develops in the future, the private property owner will be responsible for connecting that section of Muller.Q: What response have you had so far from the new priority-based budget program?A: Approximately 80 people have participated in the online budget challenge. When you go to our website: douglascountynv.gov and select “Budget Challenge” on the left, you can participate in the exercise to invest a fictitious $500 in various priorities. The exercise is available to all County residents and you only need to provide a name, address and email, which is secure. We won’t see the individual’s names, but we will be able to see generally where responses are coming from. We also have workshops scheduled Nov. 28 from 3:30-6:30 p.m. at the Tahoe Transportation Center, and Nov. 29 from 3:30-6:30 p.m. at the Douglas County Library. Similar to the R-C Running Commentary, this online exercise is intended to create greater public engagement on important County issues. We realize that busy families can’t always make it to public meetings, so we want to make it as easy as possible for people to give us input on issues, in this case on the budget. We have gained some national attention for this initiative since it was launched, being recognized in various social media and national forums as a model tool for civic engagement. I encourage people to participate and provide us feedback on the exercise. We will likely use this tool for future discussions on important issues.Q: Is the County involved in any further effort in changing the Walmart median?A: On the Walmart median, the Board denied the request to remove the median, due to cost and safety concerns. We are planning an item for the Dec. 6 meeting to request a speed limit study from NDOT after Walmart opens. People can make U-turns at Grant and 395 currently. We are pushing Walmart to complete improvements to Carrick Lane (between Service and Grant) as soon as possible to allow full turning movements to all the businesses. Once Carrick is complete, Grant Avenue will be opened to allow greater access to businesses. We should have a firm date from Walmart on completing Carrick within the next few days.Q: We’ve heard two rumors we hoped you might be able to address. 1) Is there a gas station going in at the new Walmart. If so, do you know what company? And have any other companies contacted the county about building there yet? And 2) We’re hearing about a new farm equipment store coming to the Minden Gateway or in that area. Can you confirm anything about that?A: We have had preliminary discussions with several businesses, one of which is a gas station, for development near the Walmart. The gas station has submitted plans for review to the County. The gas station is proposed to be 3,200 square feet on approximately 1 acre parcel at the intersection of 395 and Grant. We are not aware of the specific company that is looking to locate at that site. The County has also received plans for a new tractor supply store at the Minden Gateway, south of the Maverick gas station that is currently under construction.Q: Do you have any updates on the FEMA re-mapping?A: We have been attempting to work with FEMA officials over the past several months to move forward on a reasonable path to resolve the flawed flood maps that FEMA put in place in 2010. We expected a formal response from the FEMA Associate Administrator, David Miller, by last week, but due to hurricane Sandy, the response has been delayed. We expect a final determination within the next two weeks and we will communicate FEMA’s decision as soon as we recieve it. We just had a call this morning with FEMA officials and we are not pleased with what is being proposed at this point. The preliminary discussions indicate that FEMA is willing to work with the County on remapping the areas in question, but FEMAs proposed process to date could take nearly two years for just one area. A two-year timeline is about two years too long and completely unacceptable to our community, unless our residents are provided immediate relief from ongoing and unncessary flood insurance. We will not rest until FEMA attempts to be responsive to the needs of our community. We also believe that the data is on our side, which is confirmed by the independent scientific resolution panel recommendation. I should also note that Senators Reid and Heller, as well as Congressman Amodei have all been very supportive in our efforts to get movement and resolution to this issue.