Genoa planning hits a few bumps
January 5, 2012
Genoa Town Board members learned that every path has its bumps, and the revitalization of Nevada’s oldest town hit a few on Tuesday night.
The town’s application for a $1.2 million TIGER Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation was denied by the federal government.
The town hoped that money would supplement redevelopment money they received in April 2010 from the county.
Genoans heard some good news on Tuesday.
The project to rebuild downtown, take down some of the power poles and eliminate the island at the town’s main intersection is estimated to come in under budget at $1.306 million.
Landscape architect Sandra Wendel showed town board members where the designs were at the halfway mark.
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She said there are a lot of people the project much satisfy, including both state and county engineers.
“You have to consider that unless the property is private, it is on NDOT or county right of way,” she said. “It looks like a little area, but this is a very complicated project with a lot of overlapping considerations.”
Wendel said the area was designed to keep pedestrians and motorists separate, and to slow the cars down as they pass through town.
“A major goal of the plan is to create walkways that are safe and user friendly,” she said. “It really is coordinated, it’s not just putting a pretty face on the town.”
Wendel said there are very few collective parking areas available in town. One proposal is to lease a lot north of Trimmer Outpost for town parking. She said they are also looking for a location on the north side of town.
“Parking is a big concern for the town,” she said
Entrance signs for the town is an issue for the Historic District, which feels they should be located at the town boundaries. Wendel is encouraging locations where the signs would have a setting.
The cost of undergrounding power lines and reconnecting businesses once that’s done are still to be negotiated with NV Energy. Wendel estimated $50,000 a pole, but said the power company may provide some relief if they do more poles.
She said if things go well, then the design will be at 90 percent in May with the possibility of construction beginning in June or July.
She said that the town must expect to be limited to the $2.2 million in redevelopment money it received from the county in spring.
“We have to plan on this being a one-shot deal. The new walkways have to meet code, and nothing in Genoa is code,” she said.
Historic District President Marian Vassar asked that Wendel contact the State Historic Preservation Office to run the plans by them. She said her concern was that the town could lose its historic listing status if it altered downtown too much.
Town Historian Billie Jean Rightmire agreed with Vassar.
Rightmire also informed the town that she’s decided not to grant an easement to NV Energy to move a pole and guide wire onto her property.
Resident Bill Brooks said a plan showing a walkway on the west side of Foothill Road extending to Candy Dance Lane was news to him.
“That path goes right by my property and I’m directly impacted, and I’m not aware of what’s going on?” he said.
Brooks pointed out that improving parking was a major issue when commissioners approved the money for Genoa in April, but the design appears to be removing parking from the town.
With paths on both sides of Foothill Road extending to Walley’s Hot Springs on the east side and to roughly the post office on the west side, a substantial amount of parking along the road will be eliminated.
Brooks said he met with County Manager Steve Mokrohisky and asked if there was additional redevelopment money available.
“He said any more money would go to the redevelopment area in the north.”
“The drawings remind me of a Hollywood movie set,” he said. “What I see here are pavers, planters, plazas and kiosks.”