County clears last block to Jacks Valley waterline |

County clears last block to Jacks Valley waterline

A hydrant along Jacks Valley Road awaits water before the red out-of-service tag can be removed.
Kurt Hildebrand

A water pipeline along Jacks Valley Road will not just potentially save homes in a wildland fire, but will save homeowners money on their insurance bills.

East Fork Fire District Chief Tod Carlini estimated completion of the line will save residents between $310-$620 per home annually.

He told Douglas County commissioners the minimum collective annual savings for the 2,601 homes could be as much as $806,310.

“While it is true that having fire hydrants strategically placed as they are along Jacks Valley Road does enhance our ability to have a reliable water source for the extreme wildland fire threat that exists in this area, of equal importance is the impact that increases in fire flow and system redundancy will have with the district’s Insurance Services Office grading.”

Connecting the east and west valley water systems operated by the county was first approved in the development agreement with the Clear Creek project.

“The water system improvement directly benefits the county by providing an additionally needed water supply to the West Valley Water System, and physically consolidates the East Valley-North County and West Valley Water systems.”

Clear Creek has connected to the water tank across from Jacks Valley Elementary School, but is still required to do the actual work installing the pipeline along Jacks Valley Road.

Ritchie said that the project never asked for the $1 million loan approved in the development agreement, and that it was now probably moot.

Work stopped on the pipeline in late 2016 after the Washoe Tribe protested that the county didn’t have sufficient right of way along Jacks Valley Road to install the pipeline.

At the time, residents expressed concerns that the waterline delay might delay reconstruction of Jacks Valley Road, which was completed last year.

“Much of this could have been worked out in advance I believe,” Washoe Tribal Chairman Neil Mortimer said. “It is important that we recognize there has been a lot of hard work put in by everybody.”

Mortimer said that controlling growth is important to the Washoe.

“Archaeological history has documented our people have lived here for 10,000 years,” he said. “Our families have lived in this basin for a long time. One of the many things that make this place great is the simple fact that the growth is controlled, something the tribe is always in favor of. Money doesn’t solve all the world’s problems.”

County commissioners approved a $49,500 settlement agreement and $49,999 to pay for the right of way for about a mile of pipeline.

Resident Ted Thronson, who lives within a half mile of the easement thanked the county, the fire district and the tribe for completing the agreement.