Looking for answers on Sewer District No. 1
Douglas County Manager Larry Werner participates in a monthly question and answer forum online on The Record-Courier’s daily Running Commentary. Anyone with questions is welcome to participate in the next scheduled forum on Sept. 7 at 10:30 a.m. Here are excerpts of the last forum:
Q. It has now been nearly three months since District Attorney Mark Jackson made his presentation at the County Commission meeting at Lake Tahoe on the unethical and illegal behavior of the Douglas County Sewer Improvement District. The County Commissioners voted to delay taking action on dissolving the District until further information was gathered. I would like to know what the status is and what further steps the county is currently taking to address this issue?
A. Action was delayed pending on obtaining an opinion from the Secretary of State on the appropriate election process for the District Directors. Subsequently, the Secretary of State has requested a Board of County Commission’s resolution requesting such opinion. A proposed resolution is being brought to the Aug. 18 Board of County Commissioner’s meeting for their consideration.
Q. John asked that you thank the Parks and Recreation staff for getting the new bathrooms and playground equipment installed. Do you have any new information on the progress of the Johnson Lane Park improvements to share? I.e. When does the bidding close?
A. The bidding closed last Friday — two bids. The low bid was Four Point Engineering – it will be on the Board of Commissioners agenda for Aug. 18 for award. The bid came in $40,000 under budget and engineers estimate, construction of the tennis courts should start in September and estimated to be completed early September. The dog park is not in this phase of construction – dependent upon future funding.
Q. Bill asks if the repaving of Buckeye was moved ahead of schedule to accommodate the gravel pit plans?
A. There are no gravel pit plans. The proposed gravel pit has yet to come to the Board of Commissioners. Buckeye paving was actually delayed from last year due to a potential project by The Ranch of Gardnerville which did not come forward.
Q. Will the repaving make Buckeye Road more suitable for heavier traffic?
A. It’s a standard county road – there are no load restrictions.
Q. Last week county commissioners approved an agreement with Minden that discussed new rates for purchasing wholesale water from the town. Do you know if Carson City and Indian Hills have approved their agreements yet?
A. They have not — the agreements, at least for Carson City, are on their Aug. 18 Board of Supervisors meeting. Not sure about the date for Indian Hills but should be on their agenda in September.
Q. Do you know if and when the county will be seeking to adjust water rates to its customers as a result of the agreement with Minden?
A. The rates, as well as other issues, will be evaluated when we make our annual rate report to the Board of County Commissioners in January.
Q. There hasn’t been any flooding so far this summer. Do you think there will be sufficient time to address the county’s flash flooding issues before the monsoons return?
A. We’ve been maintaining the drainage system as best we can, with the available funding. A proposal for funding a integrated stormwater management plan will be presented to the Board of County Commissioners on August 18th.
Q. Is a proposal for 4,000 homes on Park property north of Gardnerville and Minden part of the streamlined master plan process? Will residents get an opportunity to review and comment on those?
A. The application for the project is still being discussed and is not a part of the streamlined process. Yes, their proposal maybe considered by the Planning Commission on Oct. 11, which includes public comment.
Q. Congratulations on having your contract extended. Do you think one of your main projects next year will be to facilitate the hiring of a new county manager?
A. Yes, that was one of the reasons for the extension – allowing time for the new Board to lead the process.
Q. What do you see as the main challenges ahead for Douglas County?
A. Having service levels match expectations with the concerns over funding.