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Ranchos will survey residents about greenbelts

by Merrie Leininger, staff writer

Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District trustees heard a report Wednesday night that the Bluerock Park is nearly completed and plans for determining what the GID will do with remaining greenbelts.

The first phase of the process, reported Carol Dotson of Lumos and Associates, is to ask Ranchos residents to fill out a survey that lists their priorities for recreation.

In a draft of the survey that the board approved Wednesday, residents will be asked questions such as “How often do you visit the existing park facilities in the Ranchos and surrounding areas?” and “How many hours per week do you spend enjoying open space or recreation activities?”

Residents also will be asked to indicate which recreation facilities, such as soccer fields, horseback riding areas or playgrounds, are important to them.

Dotson said she wants to get as much information as possible to allow the board to make good decisions about developing the greenbelts.

The board decided to mail surveys to each mailbox in the district, meaning people who have post office boxes will have to pick up a survey at the district office on Mitch Drive. District Manager Bob Spellberg estimated it would cost the district $1,400 to print and mail the surveys.

The residents will be asked to return the surveys to the district office and drop them off inside or in the bill payment drop box in the parking lot.

Spellberg said he will probably wait until Bluerock Park is completed at the end of March or beginning of April so Ranchos residents have a clear view of what can be done with the greenbelts. He said he expects the residents will get about 45 days to complete the form and return it.

– Parks. Bluerock Park is the first of what the board hopes will be an inter-connected park system within the GID. The open spaces in the park now are often dumping grounds and filled with weeds. The board’s long-term plans have been to sell some of the open spaces to pay for turning others into parks. A $70,000 walking and bike path will connect them.

Bluerock Park, which is slightly more than an acre, was designed as low-impact recreation. The $220,000 park will have benches, picnic tables, a half-court basketball court and a few other amenities. Landscaping will be natural with some pine and deciduous trees, different kinds of shrubs and split-rail fences at the entrances.

Spellberg said construction on the basketball court cannot be started until the weather warms up. He said he expects the playground equipment to arrive Feb. 1.

The board hopes the survey will tell it what other recreation opportunities the Ranchos residents want, so the board can develop a varied parks system.

– Sworn in. Newly elected board members Roger Paul, Dewey Jay and Dennis Le Drew were sworn into office, and while Bev Page was not at the meeting, she was sworn in over speakerphone.

Members then elected Paul the new chairman, Page vice chair and Jay treasurer.