$200,000 ready for park | TahoeDailyTribune.com

$200,000 ready for park

Douglas County has more than $500,000 just waiting to be spent at James Lee Park, and tonight could mark the beginning of the formal approval process for the expenditure.

Improvements at the park are among the topics to be discussed during a joint meeting of the county commission and the Indian Hills General Improvement District board.

County Community Services Director Scott Morgan, who oversees the parks and recreation department, said improvements planned for James Lee Park include another sports field and a building that would house restrooms and storage space. The county has set aside $572,000 in residential construction taxes to pay for it.

Morgan said the improvements would affect about 25 acres at the park, which currently has one playing field. The work would also include pipes and wires needed to support the third playing field and other amenities the park is eventually slated to get.

Though the money has been available, decisions on spending it were postponed while county officials waited for legal opinions ensuring the tax money could be used for the park. With a recent opinion from the state attorney general’s office affirming the use is OK, officials are ready to proceed.

Tonight’s meeting will center around allocating the money and developing an agreement between Indian Hills and the county for construction and operation of the park. Final approval could be granted in July, with construction starting in the fall.

– Space is welcomed. Morgan predicted the extra space would be welcomed by north Carson Valley residents, who he said have to drive to Minden or Gardnerville to participate in youth sports leagues because Carson City no longer allows non-residents to join due to its own space constraints.

“We think by improving James Lee Park, it opens it up for a Little League branch to be established in the North Valley,” said Morgan. “Primarily, there’s no organized youth sports, and it kind of puts a burden on those people in the north to drive to Minden and Gardnerville if they want to be in youth sports.”

Tonight’s meeting may also include action on another park planned for the Indian Hills area, to be called Valley Vista. County Manager Dan Holler said a four-acre site off Vista Grande Boulevard near the new shopping center has been set aside, but it’s no more than bare dirt. He said the county is considering offering some money to pay for basic improvements like grass if Indian Hills would match the amount given.

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