Sales tax considered for Senior Center funding | RecordCourier.com

Sales tax considered for Senior Center funding

by Susie Vasquez

Commissioners will consider putting a quarter-cent sales tax on the November ballot to provide funding, construction and maintenance of the senior center during Thursday’s regular meeting of the Douglas County commissioners.

If approved by voters, the measure would generate an estimated $2.2 million annually, said Scott Morgan, Douglas County’s community services director.

“The last time we considered this tax, we figured about 45 percent is paid by people not living in Douglas County,” Morgan said.

The enabling legislation for this type of use was adopted during the 2005 Legislature. State law authorizes use of the tax revenues for libraries, parks, recreational programs and facilities, services and facilities for seniors and for preservation and protection of agriculture.

The newly-approved law does not structure this ballot question as advisory. If placed on the ballot, the voters will decide this issue, said District Attorney Scott Doyle in a letter to county officials.

The measure could have a maximum life of 30 years, Morgan said.

A proposal that would have levied a 1.5 percent utility tax to fund a new senior center was denied in early February for lack of a motion, following a public outcry.

“I’m all in favor of Meals on Wheels and the Senior Center, but in my mind it’s only serving a small percentage of senior population,” said Douglas County resident John Morgan. “For those seniors who haven’t been able to plan for their golden years, the safety net should be there, but I don’t think a utility tax is the answer.”

Designed to accommodate Douglas County’s burgeoning senior population, the proposed 24,800-square-foot center could be located on 25 acres known as the Bently Depot Yard, northeast of Highway 395 in Minden.

The proposed facility would include a large commercial kitchen to provide meals on wheels and an expanded lunch program, in addition to a large dining room and senior daycare facility, deemed crucial by the Senior Advisory Committee.

In other business:

• Commissioners could set the interim connection fee for Sheridan Acres and Jobs Peak water systems at $10,500 for a single-family home. The money will be used to improve the systems, which will eventually be connected. This interim rate would be in effect from Feb. 1 through April 28.

• Commissioners could approve a $669,410 contract to V&C Construction for construction of the Sheridan well house project.

• A new plan to manage the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests for the next 10 to 15 years will be presented by Tom Baker, spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service.

The new plan integrates two separate plans and should be implemented by June of 2007 in response to changing science, policies, public expectations and conditions on the ground.

Susie Vasquez can be reached at svasquez@recordcourier.com or 782-5121, ext. 211.

What: Douglas County Board of Commissioners meeting

When: 1:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Douglas County Administration Building, 175 Highway 50, Stateline