Tape of red runs along pathway

An effort to create a path from Gardnerville to Minden along Martin Slough could be delayed after an attempt to determine the floodplain along a critical piece popped the top on a bureaucratic can of worms.

The piece is part of the fourth phase of the Martin Slough linear park and connects Gilman Avenue to the back of Gardnerville Elementary School across land owned by the Hellwinkel family.

The Hellwinkels agreed to donate the land to the parkway if its development helped bring parts of their property out of the floodplain.

In determining where the floodplain was exactly, engineers ran into a snag.

Engineer Kent Neddenriep mapped the floodplain into Gardnerville that leads from Pine Nut Creek into town. Neddenriep said Pine Nut Creek floods as a result of heavy rains in the mountains east of Carson Valley. His mapping showed a substantial decrease in the amount of water that reaches the Hellwinkel property from the Pine Nuts over what's shown in the Federal Emergency Management Administration maps that currently affect the property.

However, the property is also subject to flooding from Cottonwood Slough, which runs through Lampe Park. Because Cottonwood Slough runs from the Carson River's East Fork and connects with Martin Slough, part of the property is affected by river flooding, often in the winter.

"The floods won't happen at the same time," he said.

Neddenriep said his maps show substantially less flood danger than the FEMA maps. However, his map of the Cottonwood Slough stops at the boundary of Gardnerville and before the federal government will accept the map, it must be completed all the way through Minden to where it empties back into the river.

That, Neddenriep said, will cost someone more than $100,000.

The town has $307,250 grant from the Nevada Clean Water, Parks and Wildlife Bond, also known as Question 1.

The town board voted to authorize Town Manager Jim Park to work with the county and the Hellwinkels to find a solution and to extend a memorandum of understanding between the three parties.


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