New Lake Tahoe sewer authority takes shape |

New Lake Tahoe sewer authority takes shape

Kurt Hildebrand

A majority of a new board to govern Lake Tahoe’s sewer plant in Douglas County has been selected with the addition of county commissioner Nancy McDermid on Thursday.

Both the Kingsbury and Round Hill general improvement districts appointed new members to the new Douglas County Lake Tahoe Sewer Authority at their June meetings.

Wesley Rice will represent Round Hill while Darya Vogt was appointed by the Kingsbury Grade district. Tahoe-Douglas Sewer District trustee Grant Thompson was appointed on July 11, according to district manager Janet Murphy.

The new board replaces Douglas County Sewer District No. 1, which will be eliminated on Oct. 1 by act of the Nevada Legislature.

Under the new law, three of the board members will come from the district’s former customer districts.

Both Kingsbury and Round Hill had discussions on the new members agendized for their June meetings.

Once all the board members are selected and meeting, they will pick a fifth member from the Stateline business community.

A proposal to subsidize construction of a new sewer pond for the sewer district in the East Valley by selling gravel from the excavation prompted a two-year-long fight that led to legislative action.

While the Legislature eliminated the governing structure that consisted of representatives from the Lake Tahoe casino properties, the district still doesn’t have a sewer pond.

It does own 1,000 acres of land a few miles up Stockyard Road from East Valley Road, where the sewer ponds it was forced to abandon by the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection are located. The district has been sharing winter effluent storage with the Minden Gardnerville Sanitation District since 2007. During the summer, the treated effluent is used to irrigate Bently and Park fields.

During public comment at their July 6 meeting, East Valley residents asked that county commissioners prohibit industrial uses on land in the Pine Nuts within three miles of new homes.

Resident Bob Ballou asked that commissioners be proactive and write an ordinance limiting where new mining operations can be conducted, just as they did with solar panels.

“Well out of sight and ear shot from residential areas,” he said. “Preserve the Quality of Life your constituents have said they value most in numerous costly studies and plans.”

Gary Griffith said commissioners have seen applications because there is a lack of prohibition against them in county code.

Thor Teigen suggested that noticing requirements for issues such as the mining operation should be expanded to include a larger community.

“I live less than a mile from where the rubber hits the road, I would have the majority of the trucks within 200 feet of my door,” he said of the proposal to mine gravel not far from where he lives.

The former Sewer District No. 1 plant is the only one serving Douglas County’s Lake Tahoe residents. Most Minden, Gardnerville and Gardnerville Ranchos residents’ sewer is treated by the Minden-Garnerville Sanitation District in Minden.

The county and Indian Hills also operate plants in Carson Valley.

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