County manager reports Douglas in fragile economic condition

Douglas County is in a "fragile" state, the result of economic woes that will mean fewer services, according to a report by County Manager Dan Holler.

Room, gas and gaming revenues are flat and drops in sales tax and building-related revenues have put Douglas County in a tight economic spot, Holler said in a report that will be presented to the Douglas County Board of Commissioners Thursday.

"This next year the county will grow at a very slow pace," he said in the report. "Due to limits on revenues there will also be reductions in services and programs."

The reductions are necessary to balance the budget. The county has reduced its employee base and more cuts will be needed to balance the upcoming 2008-09 budget, ultimately resulting in a further drop in service levels, Holler said.

"We will need to look for opportunities for proper investments to improve our economic base," Holler said. "Opportunities will need to be considered and those that enhance the short- and long-term fiscal stability of the county need to be pursued."

Douglas County does not impose a number of taxes, including a 5-cent gas tax, quarter-cent sales tax for roads or quarter-cent sales tax for infrastructure, Holler said.

"Without an expanded revenue base, more pressure is placed on the county to manage costs and still provide current or enhanced levels of service," Holler said.

In other business:

n Commissioners could approve a business license tax, which could generate an estimated $600,000 to $800,000 for Douglas County's general fund.

n Commissioners could approve the appointment of Assistant County Manager Michael Brown to interim county manager, replacing Dan Holler who will be leaving to take a position in Grass Valley, Calif., in late March.

Brown, who makes $104,900 a year, will get a 15 percent raise and will serve until a county manager is appointed.

n Commissioners could approve a $20,000 contract with Sandra Wendel & Associates for a north county landscape master plan, providing for future street improvements along the west side of Highway 395 from Mica Drive to the Douglas County line.

n Barnard, Dunkelberg & Co. will provide a status report on Minden-Tahoe Airport's master plan. The Airport Advisory Committee will be responsible for presenting a draft of the final master plan in the future.

n Susie Vasquez can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 211.

What: Douglas County Board of Commissioners meeting

When: 1 p.m. Thursday

Where: Douglas County Administration Building, 1616 Eighth St., Minden


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