Indian Hills cityhood stats may be ready soon

MINDEN - Indian Hills General Improvement District officials expect to have a preliminary feasibility study for cityhood by its April meeting.

Indian Hills General Manager Jim Bentley said he hopes to have basic figures compiled by next month.

Douglas County commissioners directed county staff to continue moving forward with plans for a $1.6 million fire station in north county, with the understanding that construction will be delayed until the feasibility of Indian Hills' cityhood is determined.

"April is not that far away," Commissioner Jacques Etchegoyhen said. "We ought to sit back and wait and see.

"I think when real analyses are complete, when the residents of Indian Hills realize that there is going to be several hundred dollars more a year, I think there is going to be hell to pay.

"When they realize what the bill is going to be, this is going to be a real short discussion, so let's get it on."

Indian Hills Chairman Ron Kruse emphasized that the cityhood effort should be seen as nothing more than a study.

"If it (cityhood) is not possible, I'll be the first one to say no," Kruse said. "I want what is best for the community."

The East Fork Fire and Paramedic Districts made the decision to hold off on construction because of the feasibility study.

Under state law, the fire protection district would cease to exist within the boundaries of a newly incorporated city, and its physical assets would be transferred to a new city.

The fire and emergency medical services station would be within Indian Hills boundaries.

"Site surveys have been completed ... we are proceeding with the necessary plans for the project," District Chief Tod Carlini said. "The actions we are recommending do not jeopardize public safety in the area.

"While our current facilities are able to meet the existing needs, the services will continue to grow as well."

Approximately 12 percent of the funding for the station was generated by residents of the Indian Hills district, while the remainder was generated by residents throughout the rest of the county.

Officials with East Fork have expressed concern that going ahead with construction of the station, then having to turn it over, is not in the best interest of the rest of the county.

Commissioner Tim Smith suggested taking a loan for the project so that if it were to be turned over to a new city, the debt would transfer as well.

The board directed Carlini to continue with the planning for the project, including looking for alternate sites outside of the Indian Hills district and other options for financing, as per Commissioner Smith's request.


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