Don’t mess with what works |

Don’t mess with what works

We completely understand the Minden Gardnerville Sanitation District’s reluctance to have anything to do with Douglas County’s North Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant.

For one thing, rates for the Minden plant are about a quarter what they are for the county. Even with a tax rate of 12.24 cents per $1,000 assessed evaluation, that’s still a pretty good deal.

Founded in 1973 to serve urban Carson Valley, the district has about 10 times the number of customers the county’s plant does. Its system is compact and because all flows are downhill, it doesn’t maintain a single pump station. The county’s system is literally run all over creation to serve its 1,800 customers. It has 13 pump stations to maintain and a lot of pressurized sewer line, which requires constant attention.

The county plant is at 85 percent capacity, which means the county needs to have a plan to expand that capacity. The proposal being made by public works is to more than double its capacity.

Most of that work would have been done with the 2007 expansion had the bottom not dropped out of the housing market. It was estimated to cost $7-8 million then, and we’re sure that price hasn’t gone down in the last seven years.

One of the reasons Douglas County allowed districts to be created in the first place was to avoid having to serve residents in its disparate communities.

The Minden Gardnerville Sanitation District is one that is fulfilling its function very well.