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Commissioners to appoint applicants to advisory board

by Christy Chalmers

Appointments to 14 of Douglas County’s advisory boards are scheduled Thursday, including creation of a group that will investigate a nickel-per-gallon gas tax increase.

The appointments are an annual task for the Douglas County Commission, but the gas tax group is expected to disband by May, when the first deadline for submitting a ballot question falls. County commissioners decided in December to form the group and ask the members to study the feasibility of a gas tax ballot question.

Despite expected interest, only four residents have applied to serve on the panel.

“We may have to call a couple of folks and see if we can get a few more,” said County Commission Chairman Jacques Etchegoyhen. “It’s just not a high-profile issue, so it’s understandable we wouldn’t receive a ton of applicants.”

The county commission agreed in 1999 to consider asking voters to approve an extra 5-cent levy to pay for road improvements and maintenance. A similar tax was repealed in 1994.

Instead of endorsing the tax, commissioners decided to form the advisory committee and heed its findings.

“Depending on what this group advises, I would not personally say it’s a certainty it would be on the ballot,” Etchegoyhen noted. “We want to get as broad a perspective as we can. I don’t think there’s a preconceived idea from the commission about where it should go.”

Those seeking membership on the advisory committee are Jerry Bing of Gardnerville, an accountant and former county commissioner; Fredrick “Fritz” Rubins of Wellington, who is retired; Virgil Wiswell III, also from Wellington and retired; and Dave Bolick, executive director of the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Etchegoyhen said he doesn’t know how big the advisory committee will be. In addition to the appointments, the commission has scheduled time to discuss the new group’s responsibilities.

Other groups and committees to be considered include the Genoa Historic District commission; the law library board; the water conveyance advisory committee; the ratemaking committee; the parks and recreation commission; the library board of trustees; the China Spring youth advisory council; airport advisory committee; senior services advisory council; the citizens advisory committee for the central Minden plan; the board of appeals and the board of equalization.

The county commission meets at 1 p.m. Thursday at the old courthouse, 1616 Eighth St., Minden.