Gardnerville closes Hellwinkel deal with general fund rollover |

Gardnerville closes Hellwinkel deal with general fund rollover

by Scott Neuffer

A healthy general fund from the previous fiscal year has helped the Town of Gardnerville make some important expenditures heading into the new year, namely the long-awaited purchase of the Hellwinkel Ranch.

On Tuesday, board members approved a resolution augmenting the town’s 2011-12 general fund budget by rolling over $518,957 from the unreserved ending fund balance of 2010-11.

Approximately $422,457 of that amount has been allocated for the purchase of nearly 8 acres of the historic Hellwinkel Ranch between Chichester Estates and Gardnerville Elementary School.

According to Town Manager Tom Dallaire, sale of the property closed on Dec. 27.

“We will be ordering a sign to install on the property advertising the funding source and future project,” Dallaire said. “Thanks to Jim Park and previous board town board members for all their work and effort getting it started. It’s good to see it finally come to a close, but now the hard work of designing begins.”

The acreage will be preserved in perpetuity as open space and used to expand the Martin Slough Linear Parkway and Flood Channel.

Construction of the trench itself, expected to begin this fall, will remove roughly 30 properties from the insurance-mandated flood way, Dallaire said. The project also will help connect a trail system from Lampe Park to Jake’s Wetland in Minden.

While the Town of Gardnerville covered the entire purchase price to close the deal, taxpayers will be reimbursed $200,000 in State Question No. 1 money.

Approximately $70,500 of Tuesday’s augmentation has been budgeted for other capital projects in the new year, such as deepening of the Martin Slough ponds and a sidewalk project between Raley’s and Toler Lane.

Ten thousand dollars has been allocated for legal expenses, mainly due to the town attorney’s work on land acquisition and easements, and another $16,000 has been allocated for a screw drive air compressor.

“Staff is currently borrowing from other entities or renting from Ahern, when the equipment is available, to perform road maintenance,” Dallaire said. “This would assist staff in the performance of their duties by not having to borrow or rent the equipment to do their job.”

Town board members augmented the 2011-12 health and sanitation budget as well by rolling over $182, 248 from the previous year.

“This fund is healthy, and maintenance staff is saving money by dumping the trash at the Ormsby landfill,” Dallaire said.

Although Carson City recently increased landfill dump fees to $58 per ton, it’s still cheaper than the Douglas Transfer Station, he said.

Approximately $161,648 of the augmentation was allocated to remain in capital reserves. Fifteen thousand dollars has been budgeted for a 6-inch wood chipper, and $5,600 for a shop air compressor.

Going forward, Dallaire expects the town to be on solid footing for the 2012-13 budget cycle.

“Revenue-wise, it looks a little lower than this year,” he said. “But the last couple of years, we’ve been pretty frugal.”

n In other news, town workers have cleared junipers and overgrown shrubs from the landscaping easement along Toler Lane.

Dallaire said the town will be planting drought-resistant grasses and shrubs to reduce watering costs. In the great circle of life, both wood chippings and soil from the Toler Lane renovation will be transferred to the Heritage Park community garden, which volunteers will begin planting this spring.