Many moving parts in sewer battle
June 24, 2016
We know that a lot of folks were hoping Douglas County commissioners would act last week in the case of the Douglas County Sewer Improvement District No. 1.
Much of that anger was driven by the district's attempt to develop a gravel mining operation in the East Valley to help defray the costs of digging a new sewer pond.
We believe the apparent unwillingness of the district to take no for an answer was the spark that led to the current fireworks.
It appears that the district arranged to have an ethics complaint filed against a county employee in an effort to influence a vote of the county commission. That's a very serious allegation.
We like to think a properly elected board would know better.
But whether the district failed to follow Nevada's election law will be determined by the state.
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The question before county commissioners is not whether the district is conducting business illegally, but whether the county can serve the district's customers.
A majority of commissioners said last week they weren't satisfied the county was the best organization to run the district, with only Doug Johnson seeking to approve a first reading of the ordinance.
And therein lies the issue. A governmental entity has to operate that sewer district, which processes all the sewage for the Douglas portion of Lake Tahoe. That's not a decision that should be made lightly.
There are several utilities operating at Tahoe now that might be a better fit than the county. We should have a plan for the keys before taking them away from the district.