Genoa landscape work snarls Nevada’s oldest downtown
Ryan Summerlin March 14, 2013
The path to a new Genoa has been rocky, and for the next week or two, one fraught with obstacles caused by downtown construction.
A week after Douglas County commissioners approved $59,000 to fix the portion of the Genoa Vista Trail in town, the curbs have been evened out. Main Street has been reduced to one lane through town while workers complete the path.
Missing as of Monday is the island that once graced the intersection of Main and Nixon Streets. All that remains is a large pile of dirt and a power pole that’s slated to be removed when the lines are moved underground.
While no one has a date for the island’s creation, monuments that occupied it, including one commemorating the founding of the Territorial Enterprise, date back to the 1930s.
Town Historian Billie Jean Rightmire pointed out at one meeting that the merge lane from Main Street onto Genoa Lane could be a holdover from pioneer days to accommodate logging wagons from the town mill.
Town Manager Sheryl Gonzales said the monuments will be relocated to the new pavilion that will occupy the former turn lane.
Gonzales said that despite the construction work, town businesses are operating. In some cases, they are taking advantage of the extra workforce in town with deals for construction workers.
The $1 million downtown landscaping project is being done by A&K Earthmovers. Repairs to the Vista Trail, and subsequent installation of pavers, are being done by V&C Construction to the tune of $550,000 with the correction. The two companies are working at the same time, complicating getting through town.
The rest of the $2.2 million provided by Douglas County Redevelopment in the largest nondisaster expenditure in the history of Nevada’s first settlement will go to taking out several power poles downtown and putting those utilities underground. NV Energy will be responsible for that work. Officials hope work is completed by Candy Dance.
On Tuesday, residents Rightmire and Bill Brooks asked town board members not to renew the contract with Tim Russell who serves as town engineer, and the project manager for the redevelopment agency.
Both blamed Russell’s design for the Vista Trail issue. Rightmire pointed out that even she could tell the Vista Trail curbs weren’t even and that the engineer should be held responsible.
Work on the project was halted by a Nevada Department of Transportation inspector. Russell said the curbs were built to state specifications. County commissioners turned the issue over to the District Attorney’s Office to determine if they could recoup the $60,000.
Town board members renewed their contract with Russell.