Douglas has seen 63.7 percent increase in residents 65 and older

County commissioners are hosting a strategic plan session on Thursday at the CVIC Hall in Minden.

County commissioners are hosting a strategic plan session on Thursday at the CVIC Hall in Minden.

One of the key concerns in the Douglas County Strategic Plan six years ago was the increasing median age of its residents.

In 2015, 20.2 percent of the population was 65 or older, which amounted to 9,638 people. According to the 2022 Census, that percentage has climbed to 31.8 percent, amounting to 15,782 individuals, an increase of 63.7 percent.

“The fact that Douglas County has an older population and that its median is anticipated to rise does indicate that demand for healthcare services, senior services and public transportation could increase,” according to the strategic plan. “The median age also points to a workforce challenge for Douglas County’s employers: more retired residents out of the workforce will make it difficult for growing and new businesses to fill open positions.”

With fewer residents of working age in the county that means employees have to commute from outside, which increases the level of traffic on the highways.

County commissioners approved an $85,000 budget to update its strategic plan on Aug. 17.

Most of the budget will be used to pay Consultant M3 Planning $71,000 to facilitate the planning process.

County Manager Jenifer Davidson said she could facilitate the process but wanted to participate herself.

“I’m excited about this,” Commissioner Sharla Hales said. “It’s easy to defend the use of this money. I really want the community to be a part of this.”

The county is inviting the public to a session 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday at the CVIC Hall in Minden to discuss setting the county’s direction.

“The public is invited to connect with county directors, elected officials, and the county commission to begin to prioritize strategic-plan objectives,” officials said. “Discussion may include a review of the current state of the county vision, mission, priorities, organizational values, and strategic initiatives from the current strategic plan, as well as challenges and opportunities facing the organization during the next five years.”

Sessions are also scheduled 4-7:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center in Gardnerville and Oct. 9 at the Tahoe Regional Planning Association. Both sessions will feature a free meal.

County commissioners approved a strategic plan to guide the direction of Douglas County in 2008.

The most recent update was approved in 2017.

One of the impacts of Douglas County’s aging population is that the student population in the schools has decreased dramatically.

The district has gone from an enrollment of 7,003 students in 2000 to 5,297 in May.

Work to update the county’s master plan should start sometime next year, but much of the data collected for the strategic plan could contribute to that effort.


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