Kingsbury crumbling infrastructure
More than anyone else, Debbie Burkett knows Kingsbury General Improvement District roads are in pretty awful shape.
Every two years, Burkett walks the district’s 22 miles of asphalt street, pinpointing sections in need of immediate attention, parts that require only mild patching, and work that can be delayed for a while longer.
After these lengthy treks into the heart of Kingsbury, Burkett, who is the district’s project manager and administrator, funnels her findings into a computer program called Micropaver which prioritizes her findings in terms of urgency.
“The concept is to keep our roads above the critical pavement condition index – what we call PCI,” Burkett explained. “Basically, we are using a scientific method to track roads. Many times a resident may complain that their road needs an overlay – but this system allows us to prioritize and address the most critical situations. It’s consistent, and not just our opinion.”
Although Burkett has been using the program six years, identifying problem spots and suggesting priorities, the money to actually follow through on her findings has just not been there. Kingsbury roads have suffered a great deal.
“Unfortunately, our roads are in a very critical state,” said Candi Rohr, the district’s general manager. “Financially, we are not able to keep up with the kind of maintenance they would require.”
The district began charging a monthly $13.50 snow removal fee per residential unit last year, in the hopes of freeing-up money from the general fund to use on road improvements. As a result several road repair projects are happening this summer, mainly catch-up work long overdue.
The district also hiked water rates by 13.25 percent after the water fund, from which nearly $1 million was being drawn annually for water line and facility improvements, became significantly drained. Currently, Rohr has identified nearly $11 million in future water system improvements, and hopes to follow a project time line extending into 2008.
“We’re planning to pursue a grant from the state of Nevada for all our water improvement needs over the next 20 years. We have applied before but they said our water rates were too low, and that our customer base is large enough to deal with the improvements – I plan to apply again anyway,” Rohr said. “Our board of trustees is very committed to long-range planning and keeping things working and reliable into the future – that helps a lot.”
The sewer system, for which the district is also responsible, is getting some attention as well – televised attention.
“We are budgeted to run a camera along the entire length of the sewer system to check for cracks, separations, or roots growing into the pipes,” Rohr said. “However, our system functions well and we don’t anticipate any major damage.”
The rate hike residents should prepare to encounter in upcoming years, said Rohr, is the water rate.
“Operating costs are becoming more and more expensive, the county and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency are expecting more,” she said. “I anticipate water rates will continue to rise in the future.”
BREAKOUT: KGID 1999 Summer projects
n South Benjamin waterline replacement project
n Kingsbury Estates/Tahoe Village erosion control project
n South Benjamin Drive overlay and Tramway Drive reconstruction project
n General road repair and maintenance throughout the district
BREAKOUT: More information
For more information, contact Kingsbury General Improvement District at: (775) 588-3548, or write: P.O. Box 2220, Stateline, Nev., 89449.
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