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Business Council seeks $5,000 grant

Lorna McDaniel

Among topics to be discussed at the Thursday county commission meeting is the request from the Business Council of Douglas County for $5,000 for the development of a public/private partnership in the hiring of a economic development liaison.

Sandy Cable, executive director of the council, said the proposed liaison would assist the Northern Nevada Development Authority, enhance local contacts and work for efficient and improved processing through community development via assistance to businesses considering relocation.

She said other participants in the partnership would be the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce and private business park owners.

The commission approved a $9,000 raise to the NNDA at the Feb. 6 meeting with the understanding that the NNDA would donate $5,000 of that money to the business council for the position.

Mary Davis of the council made a presentation during NNDA’s agendized request saying that the council would need an additional $5,000 from the county to make the position possible.

Allen Walker, vice president of the Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District, said he questions whether the allocation to the NNDA was handled properly.

“There was no agenda item suggesting a donation to the Business Council and no implication of such action in the backup material available to the public,” he said. “However, it was passed with wording that probably make it legal.”

He suggested commissioners reevaluate their decision to increase the NNDA’s subsidy for the purpose of a Business Council grant.

“I am appalled that an organization of entrepreneurs and conservative business people would allow government messing in their business,” he said. “We already have too many quasi-government organizations using tax-payer funding for business purposes.”

Dan Holler said in a memo to the commissioners, “At this time, staff is recommending that the board defer any action on this request until the program has been more clearly defined and that county funding is necessary to make the program successful.”

Commissioners will also hear discussion and possibly take action on the name change of Douglas County Airport to the Minden/Tahoe Airport recommended by the Douglas County Airport Advisory Board.

Jim Braswell, airport facilities operator, said the board recommended the name change for several reasons.

Some aviation publication list airports by their official names and others by the closest city, he said.

“This creates a great deal of confusion among transient pilots,” he said. “By including Minden in the airport name, this issue can be eliminated.”

The board also wanted to take advantage of name recognition and the airport’s proximity to “one of world’s the most renown landmarks,” Lake Tahoe, he said.

“As we found out during our trade show presentation in San Jose most potential users of the (Douglas) airport were unfamiliar with Douglas County, and to an extent Minden,” he said. “On the other hand, almost everyone knows where Lake Tahoe is. This could be a crucial factor in initial contact with potential business relocations.”

The cost of the name change would be $750 for replacing two airport signs.

Other names considered by the board were, Minden/Douglas County Airport and Minden Airport.

The commission meeting will be held at the County Administrative Building, 1616 Eight St., Minden.