Flood fix on pricey side
April 26, 2018
A proposal to fund stormwater improvements may eliminate the need for a utility.
County commissioners set aside $1.1 million in the tentative budget during a discussion of the capital improvement plan.
A stormwater utility has been presented as a means to prevent some of the damage done in the north Carson Valley flash flooding in 2014 and 2015.
More than 200 residents attended the unveiling of the draft Johnson Lane Area Drainage Master Plan on April 10.
While that plan deals with flash floods in the north valley, Commissioner Barry Penzel said the money set aside should be used where it's needed across the county.
The plan lists improvements of $7 million to $9.662 million, not including a $4.9 million dam on Johnson Lane Wash.
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The most expensive single improvement on the plan is a series of basins to collect sediment and stormwater rolling off Hot Springs Mountain and down Buckbrush Wash. Stemming a 100-year flood would cost $7.3 million, while the 25-year-flood would cost $5.5 million.
One of the more populous areas outside of the towns, the Johnson Lane area wasn't planned to look the way it did. It started out as homesteads that were parceled down to the current configuration in the older portions.
Then when the state ordered that no more septic tanks could go in, the county approved planned developments, like Skyline Ranch, that now occupy its edges.
Those projects included drainage structures to handle the 25-year storm, but those improvements weren't extended into the older segments of the neighborhood.
Investing in those improvements looks to be the only way to make up for the last decades.