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Gardnerville board votes to suppport school safety program

by Sharon Carter

In a move which contrasted dramatically to a wait-and-see position taken by the Town of Minden with regard to its elementary school, the Gardnerville Town Board voted unanimously last week to adopt a long-range plan to develop safe pedestrian and bicycle routes to and from Gardnerville Elementary School.

In his motion to adopt the School Trip Safety Program, board member Loren Orr of Gardnerville included a qualification that the plan was to be implemented on a funds-available basis.

The total estimated cost of improvements to make walkable routes along Gardnerville streets is $3.3 million.

“We can do a little bit at a time and in time we can connect all the pieces up,” Orr said at Thursday’s meeting.

The plan, which was developed with the support of the towns and the Douglas County School District by local engineer Robert Fellows using a $7,000 grant from the Office of Traffic Safety (a part of the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety), creates an on-going process to identify, evaluate and improve pedestrian and bicycle routes to the school.

“Most of these things won’t happen for a long, long time,” Fellows said. “This is just the first step in going for grants and safety money – we have to have a program to identify what we need and want before we even qualify for federal dollars.”

At Minden’s meeting Tuesday, board Chairman Ray Wilson said he was concerned about Minden’s estimated $4.4 million price tag, although much of the money would come from federal grants.

“The money has to come from somewhere before the grants come in,” Wilson said.

Minden board member Robert Hadfield said Friday one of his concerns was that adoption of the plan could lead to expectations of forthcoming action.

“We are concerned about pedestrian safety, but we’d also like to see the school board and school district review the plan’s concepts and then get together and discuss things,” Hadfield said.

In other business, the Gardnerville Town Board:

n Directed town staff to work with the Carson Valley Active 20-30 Club to put a donated building onto the old jail property in downtown Gardnerville.

n Partially accepted the Jewel Commercial Park improvements on the condition that the street is swept and debris is removed. The road’s pavement was not accepted as test results are in dispute.

n Adopted the Ezell Street extension required by the Nenzel Mansion zone change requirement.

n Directed board Chairman Tom Cook to apply for a seat on the county’s Regional Transportation Board.

n Appointed Loren Orr to represent the town in the Nevada League of Cities.

n Directed town staff to develop a policy to hold customers responsible for lost or damaged trash cans.

n Directed town staff to proceed with planting 16 trees at Gardner Park.

n Approved the purchase of a $1,489 Troybilt sickle bar mower in order to facilitate maintenance of drainage basins.

n Set aside $34,000 to purchase a one-ton, four-wheel-drive dump truck to carry a street sander, be equipped with a snowplow and to facilitate general town maintenance.

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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