Bill could help Clear Creek Road |

Bill could help Clear Creek Road

by Geoff Dornan

A bill before the Nevada Legislature could provide a means for Douglas County and Carson City to fix Clear Creek Road.

The road crosses the Carson City-Douglas County line several times, has been unmaintained and steadily deteriorating since the Nevada Department of Transportation effectively abandoned it decades ago.

Carson City Assemblyman Al Kramer said Carson City and Douglas County have agreed to maintain the road — if someone will first bring it up to standard. That would require a complete repaving of the two-lane road that NDOT officials estimate will cost $1.5 million.

Kramer said he is hoping some money from NDOT, Carson City and Douglas County, along with money from the residents who live there collected with permission under Assembly Bill 246, would raise enough cash to get the job done.

He said if the bill moves forward, he may be barred from actually voting for it because he is one of the property owners on Clear Creek Road.

Kramer said another possible solution is to sell the old Job Corps camp property to developers, but Carson City has refused to rezone that 200 acres of land until the road is repaired. Gov. Brian Sandoval has promised the proceeds from any sale to pay for rehabilitation of historic properties at Stewart Indian School complex.

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Kramer said he has raised the idea with Indian Commission Director Sherry Rupert, arguing the property is worth much more if rezoned to allow, for example, five acre parcels for "very nice houses to be built up there."

He said the land is worth maybe $700,000 as is but that a Realtor has told him with the road repaired, each five acre parcel could bring $250,000.

Minus fees and other costs, he said that could generate $4 million. He said part of that would easily pay for the road work and provide Stewart with more than double what they would get by selling it without the rezoning.

"They would get a lot more money if the road was fixed," Kramer said.

He said the Indian Commission has made no commitment to the concept but that he hopes to talk with Rupert in detail.

"It makes sense to me," said Assemblyman Jim Wheeler, R-Gardnerville, who represents the Douglas County side of that roadway.

He said the road definitely needs to be rebuilt but that he hasn't yet read the legislation to see exactly how it would work.

Jeff Fontaine, head of the Nevada Association of Counties, said allowing tax and assessment districts to cross county lines could have other applications.

"We support the bill," said Fontaine. "It's a good tool for counties."

He said it could be used for water issues, road maintenance and other subjects.

Asked whether the bill also could be extended to cross state lines, Kramer said there are places where that would potentially help resolve issues, including Stateline at South Lake Tahoe.

He said he believes that is already being done in West Wendover on Nevada's eastern border. Kramer pointed out that those two communities, one in Nevada and the other in Utah, share a high school.

Superintendent of Education Steve Canavero said there are a half-dozen or more examples of multi-county and multi-state agreements for operating and funding Nevada's public schools including at Lake Tahoe and in Douglas, Clark and Washoe counties.

All those agreements for sharing school operations and funding, he said, must be examined and approved by his office.