Odds tip against Minden garage | RecordCourier.com

Odds tip against Minden garage

by Kurt Hildebrand

The potential cost to build the Minden garage may exceed the amount raised through bonds by enough to bring the project to a halt.

County officials are examining their options after learning that the $6 million in bonds may not cover the cost of the garage. The latest ballpark estimate is that the garage will cost $8.5 million to build. The remainder of the money would have to come from construction reserves if the county were to go forward.

According to Assistant County Manager Michael Brown, the project may have to be reduced or, the county could rethink the garage entirely.

“The costs of concrete and asphalt are going up and those are the things a garage is primarily made of,” he said. “Construction costs in general are not as favorable as they were.”

The county won’t know the exact cost of the garage until plans are competed and sent out to bid.

Brown said another concern is the cost of operating the garage. With the county budget stretched thin, a garage could become a burden on the county’s general fund.

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The two bonds, which would have paid for the garage, must be used for parking related issues, but the money could be used anywhere in the county.

Brown said talks are under way with Minden and Gardnerville that might end up providing additional surface parking for the towns without the expense of building a garage.

“There are discussions about not going forward with the garage and perhaps looking at surface parking,” he said. “The bonds can be used for parking anywhere in the county.”

The garage’s fate will be in the hands of Douglas County commissioners during their budget process this spring.

The bonds approved for the garage are paid with a 5-cent ad valorem tax. Brown said it is possible the county would pay off one of the bonds and use the rest of the money for other parking projects.