County Manager Q&A: What roads are maintained by the county
Douglas County Manager Larry Werner participates in a monthly question and answer forum online on The Record-Courier’s daily Running Commentary. Here are excerpts of the last forum:
Q. Charles wants to know what the total receipts from the new nickel gas tax are and what roads the county maintains.
A. I don’t have the exact dollars received since implementation in February 2016 but we estimate that it should generate $900,000 per year. The County maintains all roads in the County, except for the roads within the Towns and the GID’s and those maintained by the State. The funds received from the 5 cent gas tax are for maintaining arterials and major collectors such as Waterloo, Centerville Lane, Johnson Lane, Dresslerville Lane and Jacks Valley Road.
Q. John would like to know how long it will be before work would begin on the projects included in the county’s road bond issue, and could Johnson Lane be first?
A. I do not have the schedule at this point as we will not start design until the bonds are sold but to do the 5 road projects it will take about 3 years. Unfortunately, Johnson Lane will probably be in the later years.
Q. Barbara asks why the county requires owners to put in culverts under their driveways that are too small to let branches and tumbleweeds pass through and therefore are guaranteed to flood the properties? Why not have it slope down and then slope up so that the water passes on?
A. Today the county requires a minimum size that’s intended to meet certain storm flows. In the past there were minimal requirements and, in certain cases, even those standards were not met. Dip sections can be a problem for people accessing their property because vehicles can become high centered and I should point out that branches and brush get hung up around the ends of the dip sections as well.
Q. She also asks why Johnson Lane homeowners can’t put up berms to divert floodwaters.
A. Nevada law requires that historic flow patterns must be maintained. Putting up berms that divert flows may actually create problems for those properties downstream which would lead to liability issues for the installer of the berm. The process for dealing with the flow is to conduct areawide drainage plans so that any improvements or diversions are based on solid engineering analysis.
Q. The county applied for funding to defray some of the costs of responding to the 2014 and 2015 flooding. Did that ever come through?
A. Interesting, as we speak, we are completing the information needed by the State to make a determination. We have met with State staff and the prognosis looks good.
Q. Curtis from Lake Tahoe said there are two questions to raise our county taxes. Do you have a two-sentence pitch for either or both?
A. The only two that I can think of are the fuel tax indexing which is required to be on by the state and the 1/4 cent sales tax for schools.
Q. With Christine Vuletich leaving, what’s the plan for that position? Should we expect the hiring for that position to be done with an eye to the next county manager.
A. I’ve made an interim appointment – Vicki Moore who has been a very capable staff member of the Finance Department, while we decide on the appropriate course to address the CFO position.
Q. Will the withdrawal of the Park proposal for this year open up more time to work on the master plan update?
A. The two are really unrelated. The master plan update is on schedule. The County and Towns are looking forward to working with the Park family in the future.
Q. Mark in Ruhenstroth asks about the status of the BLM Lands Bill and the emergency access roadway designated on the DC Master Plan as the extension of Mustang Road. This is a very important second access for the residents of Ruhenstroth for emergencies such as fire, flood, traffic accidents on US 395, etc. The status of the Lands Bill is important and also the next phase of construction of the roadway in the County long range plan.
A. The lands bill is still working its way through Congress. We do have support from our delegation but its hard to state anything specific. We had a conversation with BLM last week on the secondary access issue and they seemed very response to developing a solution. BLM asked that we look to see if there any other similar situations such as Rhuenstroth area and then get back to them. We are hoping to meet within the next couple of week.
Q. Will early voting evict commissioners from their chambers next month?
A. Yes, the next meeting will be at the Carson Valley Inn – the CVIC hall was booked.