Muller price tag north of $12.4 million |

Muller price tag north of $12.4 million

The intersection of Muller Lane Parkway and Toler Lane in Gardnerville.
Kurt Hildebrand

Building 2.4 miles of Muller Lane Parkway to two lanes will cost an estimated $12.4-$14.2 million, according to county figures.

The county has been required to build Muller Parkway since a 2004 agreement with the Parks on the right of way.

Park Cattle Co., agreed to dedicate 105 feet of right of way in exchange for changing the land use to rural residential and the county reimbursing the Parks for relocating a slough.

Under that first agreement the county was to build the Parkway by 2012, but in 2007, the county and Park agreed to an amendment to expand the right of way dedication, but that land was never dedicated.

A notice of default was sent to the county Jan. 28 for not building the parkway in a timely fashion.

Deputy District Attorney Mary Anne Martin said that it wasn’t clear whether the second agreement gave the county more time to build the Parkway.

Under the Aug. 6 agreement, the county will also have to build one lane of Muller Parkway across the former Ashland Park subdivision located north of Toler Lane.

County Manager Patrick Cates told commissioners that the county budgeted $500,000 for the parkway with $350,000 coming from the county construction fund and another $150,000 from the general fund.

The county is seeking a federal grant to build the parkway. Those estimates are based on state criteria, according to Transportation Engineer Jon Erb.

According to the county, the model used in the 2017 transportation plan included both Census data and previous Park submittals which were for more than 2,500 homes by 2040. County officials argue that means the development agreement won’t exceed the capacity of Muller Parkway or render the road obsolete.

Community Development Director Tom Dallaire said Tuesday that ponds could remove Minden and Gardnerville from the flood plain.

A key part of the Muller Lane Parkway construction will be building a flood retention pond, which will be funded out of those costs.

Where that pond will be exactly is still to be determined, but Dallaire said ponds are needed to reduce the flow from both Pine Nut and Buckeye creeks, which place much of Gardnerville and Minden in the flood zone.

Unlike a gravel mining operation proposed by the former Douglas County Improvement District No. 1, Dallaire said material dug out from the pond would be used for fill to build the parkway. A commercial mining operation was proposed on sewer district property in the East Valley to defray the cost of building a sewer retention pond ended up in a huge fight.

Dallaire said those ponds were proposed for a 30-year project and that the pond proposed for Muller Lane Parkway would provide fill for that project.

“Having the opportunity to operate large equipment that will not be on public roads is a big win for the county residents, county roads and the parkway project,” he said. “We know trucking in fill material from out of the valley is going to be very costly for the construction of Muller Parkway. “

Determining what and where ponds are needed is still in the works, Dallaire said.

“We know we need them to remove the homes from the flood plain and to make the plan work and keep the drainage path in a 100 foot wide area.”

Installation of culverts underneath Highway 88 would help remove 61 homes from the special flood hazards area and reduce flood impacts to another 41 homes.

Relocation of the channel under Highway 88 south of Cottonwood Slough would actually require a significant portion of land belonging to the Parks west of Highway 88.

Muller Parkway will benefit the county by providing a major transportation route around Minden and Gardnerville and emergency access for first responders, officials said.