Fixing funding for China Spring Youth Camp receives lone Douglas bill draft

The entrance to China Spring Youth Camp located south of Gardnerville in the Pinenut Mountains.

The entrance to China Spring Youth Camp located south of Gardnerville in the Pinenut Mountains.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.

Douglas County will commit its only bill draft in the 2023 Legislature to fix funding for China Spring Youth Camp.

The camp serves 16 of Nevada’s 17 counties each of which contribute to the camp’s operation. Clark County operates its own boot camp at Spring Mountain.

A working group under the Nevada Association of Counties prepared the bill draft for Douglas.

Under the new plan, counties would pay half based on the number of students they have at the camp and half based on their historical use over time.

The assessment is based on student population of each county, under state law.

Last year, the governor proposed cutting the state’s contribution by 71 percent under his executive budget. Legislators approved smaller reductions of 23.5 percent in 2022 and 47 percent this year.

As part of the negotiations, the counties agreed to engage in a working group to review the formula.

County Manager Patrick Cates said the other counties agreed to the new formula, which would ensure every county contributed to its support.

Washoe County is by far the largest user of the camp with 14,798 bed days in the 2018-19 fiscal year. Under the new formula, Washoe would be charged $1.098 million to support the camp, which would be a decrease.

Douglas is the camp’s second highest user, accounting for 12.3 percent to Nye County’s 11.01 percent.

In Douglas County’s case, the new assessment would go up $82,629 to $186,450. Nye County would see a $111,971 increase in its assessment to $128,757.

“I think there was some concern expressed by those counties that are not using the camp,” Cates told commissioners last week. “But the consensus of the group was that those counties were OK with this formula. It would save those counties not using it vey much some money.”

Five rural counties, Eureka, Esmeralda, Mineral, Lincoln and Storey, did not use the camp at all in 2018-19.

The Legislature opens Feb. 6, 2023, in Carson City.


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