County approves final tentative budget |

County approves final tentative budget

While there is money available to hire additional deputies, county commissioners voted to fund one deputy until they’ve discussed a redevelopment area at Lake Tahoe.

With county commissioner Larry Walsh absent, the commission was divided down the middle on the issue of Redevelopment Area No. 2, which was approved to fund a portion of a convention and events center.

Commissioners Dave Nelson and John Engels oppose using redevelopment money to fund the center.

Commissioner Wes Rice favors the center and has had support from commissioners Walsh and Chairman Barry Penzel in the past.

Chief Financial Officer Terry Willoughby said that revenue projections from the state were higher than anticipated, which would provide enough money for three deputies.

However, she raised the possibility that Douglas County will have to conduct its own murder trial of accused Ranchos shooter Wilber Martinez-Guzman. The 20-year-old El Salvadoran’s attorneys are seeking to severe the proceedings and require Washoe and Douglas to conduct separate trials. Prosecutors have notified defense attorneys that they intend to seek the death penalty.

Commissioners did agree to spend some of the $3.6 million from Douglas Redevelopment Agency No. 1, which was repealed last year.

Commissioners agreed to use redevelopment money to renovate the town hall and kitchen and build a retaining wall to protect the town church.

Those projects leave roughly $2.3 million to build an extension of Vista Grande to Topsy Way. That project will have to wait until the county obtains right of way across U.S. Forest Service. The road would be a mile long.

Commissioners approved a $128.18 million tentative budget in April, including a $50.84 million general fund.