Funding local roads poses budgetary challenge for Douglas County | SierraSun.com

Funding local roads poses budgetary challenge for Douglas County

Kurt Hildebrand
khildebrand@recordcourier.com

One of the biggest challenges Douglas County will face in producing its budget next year will be finding the money to work on local roads.

The session to kick off next year's county budget is 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 27, at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1616 Eighth St., in Minden.

Douglas County commissioners agree with residents that the county is not doing a good job of maintaining roads in the neighborhoods not covered by a town or general improvement district.

There are $14 million a year in infrastructure needs, but the county has budgeted $4.5 million to $5 million.

The county issued a $13 million bond funded by the nickel gas tax to work on regional roads.

Part of the issue is the towns and improvement districts devote a significant portion of their tax revenues to maintaining roads in their boundaries.

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At a roundtable sponsored by the county in Topaz Ranch Estates, residents of Quail Run Way said their road wasn't being maintained. While local roads in Topaz Ranch Estates are the responsibility of the district, Quail Run falls outside its boundaries and is a county issue.

Topaz Lake residents have sought improvement to their roads from the county for years.

Douglas County's current budget year started July 1 and will run through June 30, 2018.

A local roads workshop is scheduled for Jan. 23, 2018, according to County Manager Larry Werner.

Commissioners approved a $44.5 million general fund budget in May, up 3.5 percent from the previous year. Property taxes account for $19.9 million of the general fund, an increase of 3.9 percent.

State consolidated taxes, including sales tax revenues, provide $11.65 million of the general fund, while the county receives $965,000 in gaming revenues.

The county spends $31.1 million in personnel, up 0.9 percent and $9.7 million in services and supplies, up 9.2 percent.

All of the county's funds, including its redevelopment, town and utility funds amount to $181.5 million, up from the previous year's $160.9 million.