Property taxes, struggling small businesses, ranches, growth and water studied

Issues such as high property taxes, competing counties, struggling small businesses and ranches, growth and water will be the focus of Douglas County and regional officials during a panel discussion from 5:30-9 p.m. Wednesday at the Carson Valley Inn.

"Douglas County Forecast '05" will feature speakers including Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt, Assemblyman Lynn Hettrick, Douglas County manager Dan Holler, County Commission Chairman Kelly Kite, Carson City Mayor Marv Teixeira, Northern Nevada Development Authority Executive Director Ron Weisinger, Gardnerville town manager Jim Park and Minden town manager Bob Hadfield.

Lawmakers, real estate representatives, business owners, builders and ranchers are among the panel members.

n At 6:30 p.m., a panel will tackle the subject of Douglas County's 2005-06 assessed valuation of $2.3 billion, and whether there is any tax relief in sight for business and commercial property owners.

n At 7 p.m., Carson City and Douglas County's battles for everything from retailers to water will be discussed. Officials say Lyon County will soon face a similar situation. Panel members will try to decide if communication and cooperation between the counties are being fostered.

n At 7:30 p.m., town managers from Gardnerville, Minden and Indian Hills; Skip Sayre of the Carson Valley Tourism & Visitors Authority; Byron Waite of the Douglas County Business Council and Peter Beekhof Jr. of the Douglas County Building Industry Association will consider what is being done to help Carson Valley businesspeople in the shadow of big-box stores.

n At 8 p.m., the topic is: Do water supplies limit growth or does growth limit water supplies? Rob Anderson of RO Anderson Engineering, Carson River Subconservancy District general manager Ed James, Jim Slade of the Sustainable Growth Committee and Steve Lewis from the University of Nevada, Reno Cooperative Extension will comment.

n At 8:30 p.m., the future of the ranching industry is the issue. What can be done to make ranching more profitable and are conservation easements the answer? Renee Mack of Mack Land & Cattle Ranch, James Settelmeyer of Settelmeyer Ranch and Joe Guild of the Cattlemen's Association will attempt to answer this question.

Sponsors include the Douglas County Building Industry Association, Pro Group Management Inc., Syncon Homes Inc., Century 21/Clark Properties, West Ridge Homes Inc., Bing Construction Co. of Nevada, Coldwell Banker ITILDO Inc., UNR Cooperative Extension, Southwest Gas Corp. and Meek's Lumber.


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