Douglas County Board of Commissioners approve final budget |

Douglas County Board of Commissioners approve final budget

Despite calls for the chairman’s resignation over an altercation at their last meeting, county commissioners came together on Monday to approve a final $142.9 million budget.

Of that, $44.8 million is in the general fund, which required $461,223 to balance, leaving an ending fund balance of $11 million at the end of the fiscal year on June 20, 2020.

Chief Financial Officer Terri Willoughby said that when they back out the funding for capital and one-time expenditures, the county actually added $11,052 to the budget.

The budget included funding for 6.5 new positions, increasing the number of authorized positions in the county to 593.77.

Also included in the budget are the county’s enterprise funds, including its water and sewer systems.

Last week, county commissioners voted to go forward with a rate structure for the county’s water system.

While including an aggregate rate increase of 6 percent, analysts said most of that will come from the biggest water users.

Initially lower water users will see a rate decrease.

Douglas County serves about 4,000 residents across the county, including northern Carson Valley, Genoa, Sheridan Acres, and at Lake Tahoe.

It is not the county’s largest water purveyor. Most residents get their water from either an independent district, the Gardnerville Water Co., Minden or a private well.

The prospect of subsidizing the county’s water fund from the general fund was one of the arguments in favor of the rate structure moving forward, which passed 4-1 with Commission Chairman Barry Penzel against. Penzel is the only county commissioner whose home is served by the county water system.

It was a lawsuit by Cave Rock water users who said they were required to subsidize Uppaway that prompted the consolidation of accounting for the county water system, and the new rate structure.