Improvement district bill goes to governor |

Improvement district bill goes to governor

Staff Reports
A sign welcomes people to the Gardnerville Ranchos, which was founded in 1965. Governed by a general improvement district board, the Ranchos is Douglas County's largest community.
Kurt Hildebrand |

318 Districts

Cave Rock Estates General Improvement District 1975

Elk Point Sanitation District 1969

Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District 1965

Indian Hills General Improvement District 1973

Kingsbury General Improvement District 1964

Lakeridge General Improvement District 1964

Logan Creek Estates General Improvement District 1965

Minden Gardnerville Sanitation District 1973

Mosquito Abatement District 1969

Oliver Park General Improvement District 1969

Round Hill General Improvement District 1964

Skyland General Improvement District 1964

Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District 1980

Tahoe Douglas Sanitation District 1969

Topaz Ranch Estates General Improvement District 1971

Zephyr Cove General Improvement District 1964

Zephyr Heights General Improvement District 1960

Zephyr Knolls General Improvement District 1964

Source: Douglas County Clerk-Treasurer’s Office

Other Districts

East Fork Fire Protection District 1981 NRS 474

East Fork Swimming Pool District 1986 voter approved

Source: Douglas County Clerk-Treasurer’s Office

A bill that will allow county commissioners to establish a committee to review improvement districts was sent to Gov. Brian Sandoval on Friday.

Senate Bill 462 was approved by the Nevada Assembly on Tuesday.

Proposed by Minden Sen. James Settelmeyer, the new law takes effect on July 1.

Settelmeyer likened the committees to those the state uses to determine whether agencies are still performing their intended functions.

Douglas County is home to 17 different districts formed under Nevada Revised Statutes 318, according to the Douglas County Clerk Treasurer’s Office. Some, like the Gardnerville Ranchos, Indian Hills and Kingsbury general improvement districts are essentially municipal governments running the county’s largest communities.

Others, like the Tahoe Douglas fire protection or Minden Gardnerville Sanitation districts service specific purposes.

All the districts were formed by Douglas County commissioners to supply services the county was unable or unwilling to provide.

During a hearing on the bill, Settelmeyer said districts would come to the committee with their budgets and minutes to justify their existence.

“Districts would come to the committee, present minutes and budgets in order to determine if they should continue as is, potentially merge or go away,” he said.

County commissioners have the power to dissolve districts under current law.

The committee would consist of the senator and assemblyman representing the community plus three others, including potentially an improvement district trustee.

At an earlier hearing, Settlemeyer pointed out that county commissioners have the power to dissolve districts under current law.

“Changes could come from the county, which can dissolve a GID or go to Legislature,” he said.

Should commissioners form the committee, it would be charged with reviewing up to six districts a year.

Under the new law, commissioners would appoint three members of the committee, two of whom must be the senator and assemblyman representing the county. The senator and assemblyman each get to pick a member of the committee. Settelmeyer said those members could be trustees of different 318 districts.

The law puts the burden of proof on the district to justify itself. Districts appearing before the committee would be required to present its name, the name of its trustees and staff, its web address, structure, budget and three years worth of income and expenses. The committee is required to issue a report to the Legislative Commission at the end of each year.