Genoans debate annexing adjacent parcels

Ask one longtime Genoan, and he'll say anyone living between Kingsbury Grade and Alpine View who claims Nevada's oldest town as their home should have to pay for the privilege.

Bill Brooks has long advocated expanding the town's boundaries in order to increase its property tax revenues.

"Everybody around us claims to be a Genoan," he said. "There are 2,000 people living around us. If you don't want to do this, then drop the issue and we'll all wait for insolvency."

Ask those who live just outside the town boundaries and they say they do plenty for the town, and they aren't interested in paying higher taxes.

Every single homeowner along Centennial Drive on the north side of town signed a petition opposing annexation.

"We appreciated the lifestyle the area has to offer: However there is no advantage to any of the property owners in this annexation while it definitely adds to the possibility of increased taxation," the homeowners said. "We will take every action available to us to defeat such a proposal."

The town collects $26,500 in property tax from its residents. The vast majority of its funding comes from the annual Candy Dance fundraiser, with additional funding coming from other events and rental of town buildings, such as the hall and the church.

Town Manager Sheryl Gonzales said a proposal to annex 112 parcels contiguous to the town boundaries would raise $53,951 in additional property tax revenue. It would cost the town about $48,174 to serve the parcels, which would maintain the roads and provide snow removal, engineer Tim Russell told town board members on Tuesday.

Expanding Genoa's boundaries is one of the items on the list of goals in the town's plan.

Gonzales said the town is seeking additional revenue to make up for the decrease in Candy Dance, which was reported down about $5,000 this year. The event suffered a similar decrease last year, which amounts to a 3-4 percent decrease per year.

"Our operating expenses continue to grow," Town Board member Greg Pace said. "We are the smallest of the three towns and the only one that relies on a single event for its revenue."

Russell said the county roads that surround Genoa are in bad shape and would be expensive to fix.

"The roads are in really poor condition," he said. "The dirt roads are rutted and the paved roads are alligatored. I would suggest the town insist the county bring them up to condition before accepting them for maintenance."

Town Board member Karen Holmes pointed out that people living around the town are against annexation.

"The people on Centennial said they are going to fight annexation tooth and nail," she said.

Holmes opposed the possibility of a study to determine what the benefits are to annexation that would cost twice what the first-year gain would be.

In order to annex surrounding areas, the town board would have to approve a resolution asking the county commission to include the additional parcels.

Brooks countered that residents along Centennial looked to Genoa during the 1997 flood when Federal Emergency Management Agency officials provided funds to repair the road.

Board member Jenn King said that getting annexation approval would be a hard sell.

"This would be great if I didn't have to also live with these people," King said.

Dave Whitgob agreed, especially if all that was in it for the town was about $6,000.

"What does that get us besides a lot of heartache," he said.

Whitgob said he would be willing to discuss the annexation as the first step in a larger expansion of the town's boundaries.

The town board directed Gonzales to continue to work on the proposal, saying they wanted to be prepared when they sent the issue to county commissioners.

Comments

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

Sign in to comment