A $446 million flood project for the Reno area has been approved -- an action that allows the Army Corps of Engineers to design the project, but local leaders have to figure out how to pay for it. That could mean a new fee for property owners.
Floods happen in the Reno area about every 10 years, causing up to $660 million in damage. The congressional approval of a flood control project comes with no money. The board of the Truckee River Flood Management Authority can impose a fee on property owners.
Executive Director Jay Aldean says such a fee would be a first in the nation and he is anticipating a legal challenge. So, the board is going slowly.
"You can’t have big gaping holes that attorneys can lob grenades through," says Aldean. "We have to make sure that we have this all tightly taken care of?”
Aldean says he will ask the Nevada Supreme Court for a judicial review of the fee. He isn’t ready to say what the fees will be, but he did say they would be scaled according to benefit to property owners. The authority also plans to ask the legislature for approval to put the fees on county tax bills.