VIRGINIA CITY - The first five trustees for the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center's General Improvement District were appointed by Storey County commissioners on Tuesday.
The center's 14,000 acres are interspersed among about 35,000 acres of the Asamera Ranch property in northeast Storey County. Purported to be one of the largest in the world, the center could potentially generate more than $100 billion into the local economy over the next 15 to 18 years, according to owner Lance Gilman.
Trustees can be appointed by the commission or elected by members of the park's general improvement district. But since the area has no population, attorney Bob Sader, representative for the center, recommended a list of five potential members. Their terms will be staggered and appointees will serve as trustees until the next general election.
Appointed trustees David and Debbie Blackford will serve until the first Monday in the year 2003, and terms for Bart and Cheryl Wheeler and John Eastes will end the first Monday of the year 2005.
Essentially a governing body, trustees will oversee the business of supplying the new industrial park with utilities such as water, sewer, electricity, and natural gas services.
With the ability to accommodate both light and heavy manufacturing, it's a project that could change the economic face of Northern Nevada and the industrial and economic diversity of the whole region.
Control of sewer and water facilities should be turned over to the newly-formed Board in January or February, and the power and natural gas around the end of 2001.
This move signals another step forward for the center.
In other business:
A group of Nevada Department of Transportation divers that inspected the Hafed Bridge, a critical link over the Truckee River in northeast Storey County, found the concrete piers supporting the structure have eroded and the bridge's stability is in serious question. The bridge's integrity began to falter during the flood of 1997 according to commission chairman Chuck Haynes.
"NDOT has been monitoring the situation for some time," he said. "They finally put some divers in the water (to assess any damage) last Friday."
In light of this development, Storey County officials requested a temporary portable bridge from the Department of Transportation but director Tom Stevens denied the request and suggested an alternative.
"We're going to be building coffer dams around the pylons and will replace the eroded (areas) with concrete," Haynes said, noting that the work has already started.
Storey County together with private individuals that use the bridge are funding the project, which should be completed in about a week.
Construction of a new bridge is in the works but in the meantime, all of the companies using the bridge must sign liabliity waivers. (Trucks crossing the bridge weigh up to 80,000 pounds.)
This was the last meeting for district three county commissioner Karl Trink, who received a plaque commemorating his service and dedication to the quality of life in Storey County. Trink, who served on the board for four years, recently lost his seat to Robert Kershaw.
He took the opportunity to stump for some of his causes, including a five-member Commission. He lauded the hard work and dedication of county workers, and recommended increasing wages. He isn't sure at this point if he'll continue in politics.
"I may keep my fingers in it (politics) a little bit," Trink said. "But I'm not young any more."
Trink is a retired security systems salesman and moved here in 1986 from the San Jose area.