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Grant could help abate Indian Hills sewer problems

Christy Chalmers, Record-Courier staff writer

Nitrates that are threatening groundwater in the Indian Hills area could be abated thanks to a state grant that will help extend sewer service to a Ridgeview neighborhood.

The state gave Douglas County a $108,629 grant to pay for the first of four potential sewer line expansions that could eventually serve 72 homes along Vista Grande Boulevard, Tourmaline Drive, Carnelian Way, Calcite Circle, Mica Drive and Agate Court.

If the work is done, the septic tanks the homes now use would probably be decommissioned, eliminating a source of a high groundwater nitrate level that was identified by a 1995 U.S. Geological Survey report.

Pete Wysocki, a planner in the Douglas County Community Development Department, said the grant will fund an initial expansion that will serve 14 homes along Vista Grande Boulevard and Agate Court.

“Our goal is to get the design done this fall and winter. We are hoping by the end of next summer the work will be completed,” he said.

The county applied for the grant twice before it was awarded. The money is disbursed by the Nevada Commission on Economic Development, which divided more than $1.6 million among 12 public facility or community service-oriented projects around the state this year.

While the county may be able to get future grants to complete the sewer line, the money won’t cover connection costs. Wysocki said the county is looking at options for helping homeowners with the connection costs.

“We originally had connection fees in there (the grant application) but we were told we had to take them out,” he said. “We are looking at ways to assist the homeowners.”

Wysocki said the Ridgeview system currently has 81 customers. If the 72 homes are all added, that number will jump to 153.