Redevelopment repeal in the cards |

Redevelopment repeal in the cards

Douglas County’s Redevelopment Area No. 1 won’t see its 21st birthday, county commissioners indicated on Monday.

Commissioners directed staff to begin the process of repealing the ordinance forming the area for next fiscal year.

That process includes meeting as the redevelopment agency and mailing letters to affected property owners.

The redevelopment area was established in 1997 and modified in 2006. At the beginning of the year, the newly formed East Fork Fire District board voted to seek its repeal.

County commissioner Nancy McDermid said one of the spurs to establishing the district was to diversify Douglas County’s economy.

She cited the 1997 effort at Lake Tahoe to establish its own county at the Legislature that year.

“They came very close to getting their own county,” she said. “The redevelopment area was established to attract the commercial enterprise there.”

The redevelopment agency generates roughly $2 million a year based on increased property values within its borders.

The first big project for the redevelopment agency was the shopping center where Target and Home Depot now stand.

There was little in the area but sagebrush south of Jacks Valley Road, so the increased value of the property due to the commercial construction contributed to the redevelopment agency’s income.

Storage units, a gym and a printing business occupied the site of what is now Carson City and Carson Valley plazas, which are home to Best Buy and Walmart among other stores.

And effort to bring sewer to Genoa, led to the addition of the northwestern portion of Carson Valley to the area.

Commission Chairman Barry Penzel said he was owner of the Genoa Country Store at that time, and he felt there was little chance that project could have been accomplished without redevelopment money.

Genoa would later reap the reward of being in redevelopment when in 2011 when the county approved spending $2.2 million in redevelopment money in the town. The prospect that the Nevada Legislature might try to use the money to balance the state budget prompted the county’s largest non-disaster expenditure in Nevada’s oldest town.

On Monday, Genoa Town Manager Phil Ritger opened the meeting with a list of proposals for the town, including the possibility of purchasing the former La Ferme restaurant.

The property line for the restaurant runs right up to the back of the town hall, which Ritger said prevents people from using the rear exit without trespassing on private property.

The purchase of the property was estimated at $400,000. Other work would be to repair the windows and foundation of the Town, rebuilding the retaining wall protecting the town church from flooding and installing a microwave connection between the town and the county computer network. Those projects would cost $165,000 if La Ferme was also acquired.

Deputy District Attorney Zach Wadlé advised commissioners that the $3.053 million expected to be in the redevelopment area account by June 30 would have to be spent in the area.

Projects proposed for that money include the $2.5 million extension of Vista Grande from Jacks Valley Road to Topsy Way or the construction of a water line to connect the east and west valley water systems.

Commissioner Larry Walsh said he felt those projects should be constructed by developers who would benefit.