No white knight to take county’s sewer burden | RecordCourier.com

No white knight to take county’s sewer burden

IF YOU GO

What: Douglas County Commission workshop

Where: Rubicon Room, Kahle Community Center, 236 Kingsbury Grade

When: 11:30 a.m. Thursday

Turning Douglas County’s sewer business over to the Minden Gardnerville Sanitation District won’t be on a list of alternatives to the expansion of the North Valley Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Douglas County commissioners are scheduled to discuss the plant expansion at a workshop in Stateline on Thursday.

As part of Douglas County’s preparation for Thursday’s meeting, officials made a presentation last week to the district.

“Big picture, what if Douglas County wasn’t in the sewer business anymore?” Public Works Director Carl Ruschmeyer asked on Tuesday.

District trustees were clear they wouldn’t do anything that would affect their service or the rates paid by their customers.

“People on this board have worked long and hard, and I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize the rates we have,” District Board Chairman Ray Wilson said.

At least two other members of the board agreed with him, though trustee Mike King said that if there was no danger to the district’s rate or taxpayers he’d keep an open mind.

The sanitation district is a separate governmental entity with its own taxing authority and elected board. It serves residents in Minden, Gardnerville and the Gardnerville Ranchos.

The board expressed a little more inclination toward the same deal they have with the Ranchos improvement district, which has a contract for sewage treatment.

“I would be more in favor of that,” Wilson said.

Ruschmeyer said the North Valley plant is at 85 percent capacity and is required by the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection to show a plan for its expansion.

The county is looking at potentially doubling the capacity of the plant from 300,000 gallons per day to 620,000 gallons per day. The Minden plant treats 1.7 million gallons of sewage a day.

He said that before he presents the issue to county commissioners he wanted to find out what the sanitation district board’s feelings were about the possibility of establishing a regional sewer plant.

Douglas County has about 1,800 sewer customers compared to the thousands of people served by the sanitation district.

Board member Bob Allgeier said the district serves 45 percent of the people in Douglas County.

County commissioners are scheduled to hold a workshop on the sewer plant and the connectivity plan 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Kahle Community Center.