Design of the county’s portion of Muller Lane Parkway is underway.
On Thursday, county commissioners deadlocked on whether to take back $1.1 million designated to pay for the work.
Commission Chairman John Engels presented a resolution to reverse action taken in December over his objections that moved the $1.1 million from the general fund to the regional transportation commission.
The money was then approved to hire contractor CA-Group to conduct $1.3 million worth of work. The Regional Transportation Commission consists of two county commissioners and a Gardnerville resident.
On Thursday, commissioners appointed Gardnerville Town Board member Ken Miller to the Commission.
Engels and Commissioner Mark Gardner voted in favor of taking the money back, while commissioners Wes Rice and Danny Tarkanian opposed the issue. Commissioner Walt Nowosad was absent.
Engels specific issue was that the $1.1 million was moved from CARES Act money the county received in August to the general fund.
County Manager Patrick Cates said the money was reimbursement for part of the $3.5 million the county spent during the early months of the coronavirus outbreak.
The expenditures were audited and confirmed, and county officials say they will bring additional reimbursements forward this year.
Rice said the county has an obligation to build its portion of the parkway and that failure to do so could see the county spending money on attorney fees instead of construction.
Under an agreement approved with Park Ranch Holdings, the county has until 2025 to build two lanes of the parkway across Park land.
Muller Lane Parkway in some form has been on the books since the 1980s. At one point the county had an agreement with the Parks to build the road, but failed to execute it in a timely fashion.
After rejecting a plan from the property owners to reduce the requirement to build the parkway at four lanes to two lanes, the Parks said the agreement was no longer valid.
In June 2019, as part of the master plan update process, county officials brought forward a plan to transfer receiving area from the Sleeping Elephant Ranch to Park land north of Minden.
That master plan amendment and a development agreement limiting the property to 2,500 units was approved by the prior Board of Commisisoners. A general plan for the property was approved in December.
The new owner of the Virginia Ranch property is required to build four lanes of the Parkway between Grant Avenue and Stodieck Estates. The rest of the Parkway should be built by the developer of Monterra in Minden.
Minden Town Manager JD Frisby told commissioners that completing Muller Parkway is key for the town’s future.
“It is a huge aspect for what the town has for its future and its vision,” he said. “Minden has a lot to gain from this and encourage this board to move forward.”