Indian Hills takes first step to become a city |

Indian Hills takes first step to become a city

by Kurt Hildebrand

Indian Hills will ask the 2005 Legislature to approve a charter which could, with a favorable popular election, make it Douglas County’s first city.

About 60 people packed into the chambers of the Indian Hills General Improvement District on Tuesday to hear information and share their opinions about becoming a city.

Residents questioned the assertion that Indian Hills could become a city and that taxes would drop.

“I don’t see how taxes are going to go down,” said resident Ron Lynch. “I don’t see how incorporating into a city will make us better off.”

Longtime Carson Valley resident Garry Den Heyer said he would prefer not to have an additional layer of government.

“More bureaucracy is a no-no,” he said. “If you can tell me how a city would be better, then I will vote yes.”

Reaction to the proposal from residents attending the meeting was mostly negative.

Most said they didn’t believe Indian Hills was ready to be a city. They questioned a study prepared by the district that says the plan is feasible.

Brian Patrick, longtime resident, accused the improvement district of attempting to solve the district’s problems by becoming a city.

“I would love to see an independent committee formed,” Patrick said. “We need more time and more of a commitment from the people.”

Resident Keith Logan questioned the figures in the study relating to law enforcement.

He warned that if the district seeks a city and the numbers are off, then the entire community will look foolish.

“We need to wait until we get correct numbers to move forward,” he said. “If it takes a year or two longer then it will be a year or two better.”

Board member Chuck Swanson asked district manager Jim Bentley why there was a hurry to approve the charter and move on.

Bentley said that if there was a delay, it could be 2009 before a city was in place.

“If we wait seven to eight years then the point will be moot,” he said. “At that point it will all be built out.”

Board member Art Baer pointed out that nothing will happen until the voters decide.

“This vote doesn’t change a darn thing,” Baer said. “It still requires a vote of the people. We’re just getting it started.”

Board members approved a resolution seeking approval from the Legislature of a charter. Bentley pointed out the Legislature will look very closely at the district’s material before voting for a charter.