Douglas may ask voters for community center funds

MINDEN - A ballot question seeking to raise $23.5 million for a Carson Valley community center will go before Douglas County commissioners on Thursday.

Commissioners will consider language for a question geared toward funding a $23.5 million community center in Carson Valley and a $3.5 million library/senior center at the Kahle Community Park Complex.

The Valley community center would include a 33,000-square-foot senior center, a 65,000-square-foot community recreation center and a 54,000-square-foot, 800-seat cultural performing arts center.

"We're going to need people involved in this process," said Scott Morgan, director of Douglas County Community Services/Parks & Recreation. "It's a really important list of improvements that we are outlining, and it is a lot of money.

Proposed is a ballot question that would levy a utility operator fee. Essentially, if approved through a vote of the general population, the commissioners would levy a 3 percent increase on gas, electric and telecommunications utilities.

Imposing the fee in 1 percent increments in January 2005, January 2007 and January 2009 would allow for three $10 million bonds. The bonds would allow for a phased construction of the entire project, property purchase, infrastructure and maintenance.

After the bonds are paid, up to 2 percent of the fee would be retained for operations and maintenance of the facilities.

Other options for funding the project would be increases in room taxes or sales tax, both of which would require a change in state law to implement or a property tax, which Morgan said received much opposition from the public.

County officials are in negotiations with Don Bently and the Park Cattle Co. for a parcel in the Minden area.

If funding were approved, the first priority would be the construction of the senior center.

The proposed facility, estimated to cost $6.5 million, would provide services such as group dining, Meals on Wheels, Homemaker Service and provide a hub of public transportation.

Also included are a dayroom/library with a computer learning center, a beauty/barbershop, activity rooms, a gift shop, a game room, an outdoor lounge and a 6,000-square-foot senior day care.

"The whole concept behind the senior day care facility is for someone to care for loved ones in their time of need without having to ship them off to a nursing home," Morgan said.

Douglas County's current senior center is 26,000-square-feet smaller than the proposed one. Morgan said it is often very crowded.

The second priority will be the community recreation center. The facility would include an athletic and fitness component with a double gymnasium, racquetball courts, gymnastics and boxing facilities, a rock-climbing wall, a fitness weight area, an indoor playground, a four-lane jogging track and locker rooms. The proposal would cost an estimated $8.5 million.

Commissioners will consider the ballot question at its Thursday meeting beginning at 1 p.m. in the courtroom of the Douglas County Administration Building, 1616 8th St., Minden.

Joey Crandall can be reached at or at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment