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Ranchos sewer rates increase

Michael Schneider

The Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District Board of Trustees voted, at a special meeting Wednesday, to raise the sewer rates of many Ranchos residents $1 per month to $18.

Michael Rowe, GRGID attorney, said the proposal only concerned those residents who moved into the Ranchos after May 18, 1990 because customers who lived in the Ranchos prior to that date had already contributed much to the costs of providing the Ranchos infrastructure.

“Give them a break for what they already paid,” said Rowe.

Rowe said the rate increase of 94 cents was implemented by the Minden-Gardnerville Sanitation District and GRGID was simply passing on the costs of the increase to Ranchos residents.

“How do we justify the extra 6 cents?” asked board vice president Al Wagner.

District manager Bob Spellberg said they could chalk the increase up to inflation, saying the extra 6-cent hike is less than 1 cent per year since the last increase in 1990.

Ranchos resident Deane Swanton, who attended the meeting, said a company such as MGSD should get more efficient as time passes.

“These guys get less efficient,” said Swanton.

Rowe didn’t dispute what Swanton said, but tried to put the situation in perspective.

“They’re the only game in town,” said Rowe.

“They’ve got us by the ear,” said president Bruce Nystrom. “When they say jump, we jump.”

Swanton also asked where the assessed valuation of existing property enters into the picture.

Nystrom said that because the Ranchos is not in the MGSD’s area, the utility gets a tax break.

“They collect additional charges in lieu of taxes,” said Nystrom.

The board voted unanimously to increase the rate. Trustee Vic Hyden was absent