Commissioners Corner: County will have many opportunities in the coming year |

Commissioners Corner: County will have many opportunities in the coming year

by Don Miner

In another month, the New Millennium officially begins. Starting January 1, 2001, we will be presented with new and exciting opportunities: alliances, partnerships and community citizen groups, each participating in the future visioning for all of Douglas County. The County’s Master Plan will be reviewed and updated as needed, along with more focus on our many community plans and urban service area boundaries.

Open space management planning will be more finely tuned to achieve a new and clearer methodology in providing equity to the owners of large open space property to keep their lands green and undeveloped, a priority of the majority of Douglas County residents. Strategies will come forward to help ensure that the open space you see and enjoy today is also seen and enjoyed by our grandchildren’s grandchildren.

Needed and soon to be realized are new and higher paying jobs. They become a reality as areas around the airport are targeted for smart technology centers for high-tech companies engaged in research, engineering, software and computer based systems development.

We will continue to see larger, expanded and more diversified retail/wholesale shopping in the north county. New and expensive sewer, water and roadway infrastructures are being implemented. Improvements to growth management are placed on new residential development geared to mitigate the negative impacts generated from the rampant growth of the’80’s and ’90s.

Land use planning by our residents of the Pine Nuts, BLM, Forest Service, BIA and tribal lands will see cooperative citizen partnerships help determine which limited amounts of surplus federal lands are converted to private ownership. The key will be how these lands are to be used and where new growth would be allowed.

Property tax rates and the number of county employees will decline on a per capita basis, while service levels improve to all residents. High priority service expansions from public and private purveyors will be developed for our growing senior population, affording them more things to do, more opportunities for recreation, day care, meals and transit for shopping and doctor visits.

Serious plans to off-load the Highway 395 gridlock through Minden and Gardnerville with alternative county roadways will be adopted following extensive work by these towns, citizen groups and the business community. A dynamic reallocation of existing taxes toward road improvements and right-of-way land acquisition will initiate this long and expensive process.

Tourism flourishes as recently adopted regional cooperative marketing strategies are implemented. Positive financial results stimulate local businesses to invest in their products, services, personnel and redevelopment.

The resulting tourism-generated taxes from room, sales and gasoline sales fund half of local government expenses, especially those of our parks, recreation, library and senior services, keeping our overall tax rates among the lowest in Nevada.

New investments in marketing by local businesses will stimulate the traveling public to stay another night and enjoy another day in the Carson Valley, further capturing more tourism generated revenue. Expanded Internet marketing and ability to directly book rooms and activities will drive a new eco-tourism and outdoor recreation, for which Douglas County will become world renowned.

Valley-to-Lake Tahoe employee and tourist transit will become a reality while progress on the high speed gondola/Funitel, expected to cost $50 million, inches along toward a “must see and do” attraction.

Your county commissioners and staff will listen intently to your needs, dreams and visions for the best long-term benefits for our residents. The time is now to get involved in our future with your ideas. We welcome you to this process.