Many roads to go down
There are just about as many different situations as there are miles of local county roads to maintain.
Residents in the towns and road districts generally have their streets maintained. There may be some complaints, there always are, but we know that Minden, Gardnerville, the Gardnerville Ranchos, Indian Hills and Topaz Ranch Estates do road work of some sort on a regular basis.
The residents of those places pay a higher property tax to achieve that. In the cases of the towns, Indian Hills and TRE, those property taxes are at the $3.66 per $100 cap and can’t go any higher.
There are neighborhoods outside of the districts where residents pay homeowner association fees to care for their roads.
Travel along Jacks Valley Road and Foothill and you’ll see places where residents just take care of their own roads, and are perfectly happy not having the county or anyone else involved.
The sore spots that we see are in old Johnson Lane, Ruhenstroth, Fish Springs and Topaz Lake. We’re certain there are plenty of others, but those are the ones we hear about.
It’s hard to argue with the importance of fixing regional roads.
We heard two complaints about Fish Springs Road, which is as regional as you can get. Johnson Lane, Stephanie Way, Tillman Lane and Centerville are other examples of regional roads that are on the plan for repairs.
On Tuesday we learned that 56 percent of the county’s $43 million general fund goes to support public safety in the form of the sheriff’s office and the courts.
Assuming commissioners agree that public safety is a priority, a 10 percent cut in the rest of the fund would raise about half the amount we’re told is required to bring the roads back up to snuff.
With the exception of Topaz Lake, most people complaining about the roads cite regional routes. We suspect that if roads like Tillman Lane were brought up to the level Jacks Valley Road was last summer, there would be a lot fewer complaints. Maybe then, there would be enough money to work on those local routes without raising taxes or decimating the county budget.