KGID explores options for funding road repairs
The Kingsbury General Improvement District estimates it will need about $9.3 million to adequately repair its roads.
And that’s just this year. Next year, if nothing is done, the problem will become more severe and the cost more expensive, said Candi Rohr, KGID general manager.
“We recognize from looking at the roads that many of them are in poor condition and in need of reconstruction,” she said. “We don’t have the revenue on an annual basis to allow us to do that, so we have to raise a significant amount all at one time.”
But where will the money come from?
Finding the answer to that question is the purpose of a recently formed citizens advisory committee, which met last week to discuss six funding options identified by district staff:
— Snow removal fee: A bill making its way through the Nevada Legislature – introduced by Assemblyman Lynn Hettrick, R-Gardnerville, by request from KGID – would authorize GIDs to charge a snow removal fee.
Under current law, improvement districts are allowed to levy fees for water, sewer, and other services only. Money for street maintenance and snow removal comes from state tax revenue and a property tax rate that varies throughout the 16 lake GIDs.
If legislators approve the bill, the KGID Board of Trustees could implement a fee – Rohr estimates at about $12 to $13 per month – after one or more public hearings. That money would be used solely for snow removal services, freeing up tax revenues for road maintenance.
— General obligation bonds: With the approval of registered voters within the district, KGID could issue bonds in an amount up to that approved by voters. The district could levy a property tax sufficient to make payments on the bond debt, which would vary based on the assessed value of homes.
— Tax override: With the approval of registered voters in the district, KGID may exceed the property tax limit imposed by state law by a specified additional tax rate or by a rate that generates a certain amount of tax revenues.
— Special assessment bonds: Under state law, the district may create a special assessment district to make a public improvement as long as the owners of more than one-half of the properties to be assessed do not protest at a public hearing. However, this option could not provide funds to continually maintain existing roads. Assessment of property would be based on the relative benefit of the project rather than assessed value.
— Pay-as-you-go: Road maintenance, reconstruction and repair would be undertaken as funds become available.
— Grant funds: KGID is participating in meetings regarding the distribution of the $20 million in funding for erosion control passed by Nevada voters in November. The district will also explore possible funding from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency for drainage-related erosion control projects.
Advantages and disadvantages exist for each possibility, Rohr said. Some require the accumulation of debt and increased taxes, while others may not provide the funds to fully address road construction needs or continued maintenance on the road surface once repairs are made.
Rohr said the next step in the process is to complete another pavement condition index this summer. Such a study was done in 1995, and found that road conditions would require about $6.3 million to remedy.
That estimate has jumped to $9.3 million after two years, primarily caused by severe weather and the lack of a full maintenance plan during that time, Rohr said.
She said residents were not leaning toward any one option at last week’s meeting, but seemed to be more overwhelmed at the task before them.
Sherm McKissock, a 20-year Kingsbury resident who attended the meeting, said he thought district officials made a good presentation of the situation.
“Apparently much of this has been put off for years, and at least this board is facing up to what’s in front of us,” he said.
In his opinion, the best choice would be to implement the snow removal fee in order to address immediate road and drainage needs.
After the pavement study is complete, McKissock said he would be willing to look at fixing the roads for the long term – possibly through one of the bonding options.
“Another survey will give us a better handle on how fast the roads are going to pot,” he said. “I think it’s important only because it’s something we can’t avoid. We live here at this altitude – KGID runs all the way to the top where the weather is most severe – and the roads take most of the beating.”
Rohr said the next committee meeting will likely be several months from now, after the pavement survey is completed.
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