Lighting way on districts | RecordCourier.com

Lighting way on districts

From all the talk about Douglas County's special taxing districts, you might think getting rid of one is harder than pulling a tick.

Last week, county commissioners Barry Penzel and Steve Thaler testified in favor of increased legislative authority to review and if necessary eliminate improvement districts.

However, looking back, the county has eliminated two districts in two years, not with a howl, but barely a whisper.

Last month, Douglas County commissioners approved disbanding one of the county's oldest improvement districts.

Back in 1966, developers envisioned a second Gardnerville Ranchos located at Centerville and Foothill in Sheridan Acres.

They petitioned for an improvement district that was approved, and then languished for decades. The district elected one board and never levied a single tax in its 50 years.

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In 2015, county commissioners heard from residents who said they would be happy to see it gone and in March the county obliged.

Unlike Sheridan, the other district performed heroically during its lifetime, literally. The East Fork Paramedic District established the first professional ambulance service in Carson Valley, but with time it merged with the fire district and by 2014, safely sunset with its function preserved.

Like psychiatrists changing light bulbs, it's not hard to change a district if those it serves want the change.