Douglas, Carson approve Minden water pact
June 15, 2017
Minden and Indian Hills are the last two entities left to approve a wholesale water agreement with the town after Carson City supervisors and Douglas County commissioners approved their portions on Thursday.
Minden Town Board members are scheduled to meet June 19 to discuss the agreement that has been in the works for a year. Indian Hills General Improvement District trustees get the final say-so at their June 21 meeting.
"It was a phenomenal job the way you structured this," Commissioner Steve Thaler said. "Not only does Douglas County benefit, but Carson City benefits, too."
Thaler said he was on the Minden town board when the $2.3 million in improvements were first installed by the town.
"That $2.3 million has been in contention for years," he said. "The town spent that money on infrastructure, water tanks and everything. If you look at agreements, it was always listed in there."
In lieu of that money, the agreement provides for Carson City to purchase 187.5 acre feet of water from Minden at $8,000 an acre foot for a total of $1.5 million. Douglas County will purchase 100 acre feet at the same price with $800,000 over the time period. Both purchases will be made over 20 years without interest.
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The agreement also reaffirms 1,295 acre feet of water a year the town of Minden holds in trust for Douglas County.
Public Works Director Carl Ruschmeyer estimated those water rights are worth $11.7 million.
Commissioner Nancy McDermid said she especially appreciated the annual meetings between the groups.
Ruschmeyer said that the 6-cent reduction in water rates won't be passed directly on to ratepayers.
"The past two years we haven't met the revenues that were projected because water revenues were down," he said. "Moving forward in future rate years will provide some rate relief."