County Manager Q&A: May 8 |

County Manager Q&A: May 8

Staff Reports

Douglas County Manager Steve Mokrohisky participates in a monthly question and answer forum online on The Record-Courier’s daily Running Commentary. Anyone with questions is welcome to participate in the next scheduled forum on June 12 at 10:30 a.m. For a full transcript of the last forum, go online at and search “County Manager Q&A: May 8” Here are excerpts of the last forum:

Q: Mitch Park in the Gardnerville Ranchos is really coming along. But I was wondering if there is a plan to put in real restrooms. Is this something the county is involved with?

A: Mitch Park is owned and operated by the Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District (GRGID). GRGID is currently pursuing an update to its Mitch Park Master Plan to determine any additional amenities that are needed or desired by the community for the park. For additional information, please contact Bob Spellberg, District Manager, at 265-2048.

Q: What is the status of the Eagle Gas Station property?

A: At its February meeting at the Lake, the Board of Commissioners approved initiating the tax sale of the property. After 90 days if the bank doesn’t pay the taxes, the Town of Gardnerville will proceed with the acquisition of the property. The Town wishes to establish a gateway entrance to the historic downtown area.

Q: Could you explain the Valley Vision workshops that were held in April? How does it fit in with the county’s master plan and with the towns’ plans for prosperity?

A: The Valley Vision is a public process to develop a long-range vision for the future of the Minden-Gardnerville downtown area, as well as other key aspects of the Carson Valley. The visioning process will not result in a planning or regulatory document, but it will provide a framework for future planning efforts within the county and towns. Businesses and residents are increasingly concerned about the heavy truck traffic and lack of pedestrian connections that help to create a vibrant downtown. This is a similar effort that we recently pursued in the South Shore of Lake Tahoe, which resulted in the South Shore Vision through a collaborative, public/private partnership and envisions redevelopment of the built environment to create a greater sense of place and destination for residents, visitors and businesses to thrive.

Q: I am very troubled by the poll on The R-C page which indicates that a majority of respondents are not even aware that there is a Johnson Lane Park. We know the improvements are tied up with the FEMA maps, I believe Johnson Lane residents are getting short changed in comparison to other neighborhoods. Can we get Parks and Recreation to come out and give us an update and some assurances that our neighborhood is not forgotten?

A: Yes. We are tentatively planning a Park and Recreation Commission neighborhood workshop in the Johnson Lane area in September. We will discuss the status of the Johnson Lane improvements, as well as seek public input at the meeting. Please feel free to contact Scott Morgan at 782-9828 if you wish to discuss the issue prior to the public meeting.

Q: Can you give us an update on how work is progressing at the senior/community center?

A: We are 95 percent complete with the construction documents. In 30 days we will submit for a building permit. We will be going out to bid for the Waterloo Lane widening in June and plan to award that contract in July. We are planning to begin construction of the building on July 10. This schedule is based on our desire to accommodate parking for Carson Valley Days. The project is on schedule and on budget.

Q: With the talk of the county not having enough funds available to maintain roads, why is the county maintaining the road to Sierra Spirit Ranch/City of Hope? (Pinenut 2)?

A: Pinenut 2 is a county maintained road. The county periodically applies grindings to dirt roads that have been shown to cause excess dust and create air quality impacts. The grindings used by the county are typically provided at no cost for the materials from NDOT as a result of NDOT road reconstruction projects.

Q: After a relatively dry winter season, can you tell us about how the fire district and other first responders are preparing for the wildfire season? What can residents be doing both to prepare their own properties and to help protect the public lands in the County?

A: Early predictions indicate that hot, dry conditions combined with low fuel moisture content could lead to fire activity that is just as challenging as the last couple of years. East Fork Fire Chief Tod Carlini and Tahoe Douglas Fire Chief Ben Sharit are very concerned about the extreme fire conditions due to the dry winter. While the recent rain storms were a welcome distraction to the weather pattern, they only serve to aid in the growth of vegetation which in time will increase the potential fuel load.

East Fork Fire and Paramedic Districts, and Tahoe Douglas Fire District are actively preparing for the wildland fire season. Annual operating plans have been updated and approved, trainings and large scale regional table top exercises are being conducted in May, equipment and supplies are being inventoried, along with many other preparation plans. We are establishing shelter agreements throughout the county. The Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT) has conducted emergency management deployment exercises. Disaster declarations for wildland fire are being reviewed and prepared. Effective July 1, we will be participating in the State of Nevada’s Wildland Fire Suppression Plan, which provides additional resources to the district and will ensure that fire suppression cost liabilities are borne by the state.

Also, May 19 will be the close of open burning. We are checking to see if we have some grant funds available to conduct one last Compost Your Combustibles Program.

Q: Can you give us an update on how the Genoa Cowboy Festival went over the weekend?

A: The Genoa Cowboy Festival had a great year. The event was one of the best attended to date with preliminary numbers appearing to well exceed 5,000 attendees. Many of the shows were sold out. Attendees stated that the performances were outstanding and people had a great time. Vendors did very well and many of them had to leave early because they sold out of their goods. Local businesses were booming. Volunteers rose to the occasion and provided great service. The Town is already sending out messages to performers and attendees to save the date for next year. After four years, we now have a formula that appears to work very well, with entertainment that reaches a broader demographic, and quality of vendors and food.

Any public officials interested in participating in a similar online forum can contact The Record-Courier at or 782-5121, ext. 215.