Looking back on 2015
For a year without an election in Douglas County, the political pot started boiling early during 2015.
Major political battles were fought over solar power generation, connectivity, a proposed gravel pit and the first large development to be proposed since the Great Recession.
Connectivity, which proposed raising gas, sales and utility taxes to pay for items that appear on the county’s transportation plan was the only one of the four to conclude during the year, when county commissioners raised the gas tax by a nickel.
While county commissioners shot down both proposals for solar generating facilities, one of those is challenging that denial in district court.
You can still find a few signs in the Valley opposing Douglas County Sewer District No. 1’s plan to mine gravel on land in the Pine Nuts. Planning commissioners denied the proposal after an estimated 400 people turned up at a meeting.
Both denial of that plan and one for a housing project on the northern portion of the Corley Ranch are expected to be appealed.
The year saw its share of tragedies, including the September shooting death of a Gardnerville Ranchos woman by her own son in the street in front of her house. Two months earlier, a Gardnerville Ranchos man was shot by members of the Douglas County Special Weapons and Tactics team after they arrived at his home to serve an arrest warrant.
The death of Johnson Lane residents Mark and Jeanne Hounsell in a single-vehicle wreck east of Fallon prompted an outpouring of giving for the four Hounsell children who were injured in the wreck.
Finding a roofer in 2015 was a challenge after a 90 mph wind storm stripped shingles and knocked down fences across Douglas County.
Another $2 million in flooding damage during the summer of 2015, took some of the wind out of Douglas County’s victory in getting some 800 homes removed from the flood plain.
“May you live in interesting times,” is an ancient curse. We think we could stand for 2016 to be a little less interesting.
But since it’s an election year, we doubt that’s going to happen.