Homemaker, airport manager and chimney sweep vie for seat on Silver Springs GID

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The busiest race in Lyon County this election season is the one for the Silver Springs General Improvement District.

Eight candidates are running for four seats on the board, which has been the focus of controversy over rate hikes, a possible merger with the water company and expansion of the sewer system.

Chrysti Barbee, a homemaker and 34-year Silver Springs resident, wants to make sure the GID doesn't "go in and change laws or change rates without the public being informed."

An expanded sewage treatment plant should be the top priority for the GID, she said.

"There are a lot of homes being built, and eventually all of them will be on the sewer system," she said. "I want to make sure that the people are adequately represented and heard from."

Barbee had four children, three of whom were raised in Silver Springs. Another child died at a young age.

Matthew DuFresne runs a chimney sweep business in Silver Springs, but has a history of utilities work, and would like to see the GID merge with the water company.

"A merger would be best for the taxpayers and as the GID expands, we should work together with business to expand and bring more business to the area," he said.

DuFresne, a former Stagecoach GID worker, said he thinks the sewage operation in Silver Springs was running smoothly, but the Silver Springs GID should be careful to expand in a way that allows for a "gradual but steady increase in development."

He said once the plant expands, the GID can expand lines and improve upkeep of the equipment and infrastructure.

DuFresne, the single father of a 6-year-old son, is a former member of the Central Lyon County Vector Control Board. He has also worked for a utility in Hawaii.

He said he was always interested in politics and has been asked to run for the GID or the water board since moving to Silver Springs 13 years ago from Washoe Valley.

Kay Bennett, a former Carson City supervisor and current co-manager of the Silver Springs Airport, also supports a merger between the water company and the GID. She believes her experiences in Carson City would serve her well on the GID.

"I was involved with a lot of the policy decisions with regard to rates, policies, expansion and future planning with the city," she said. "I hope to bring the benefit of my experience in governance and policy decisions in a team effort."

Bennett served as a Carson City supervisor from 1988 to 2000.

She said she doesn't believe that her position as co-manager of the airport would present a conflict of interest on the GID board, which has been involved in a dispute with the airport over an effluent disposal agreement. Bennett said she will recuse herself from any decision regarding effluent or the effluent re-use agreement.

"I intend to be very strictly in compliance with the ethics laws," she said.

Bennett said plant expansion, a merger with the water company and credibility were the top issues for the GID.

"At this point the GID board enjoys very little credibility, both with the community and with Lyon county and the neighboring utilities," she said.

Candidate Bob Wells could not be reached for comment.

Also running are Lyon County Planning Commissioner Ray Johnson, incumbents Bill Holler and Bob Freeman and real estate broker Dick Linderman.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at kwoodmansee@nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111 ext. 351.


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