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Growth Is Creating Big Question Marks For Washoe Residents


Washoe County recently conducted a citizen survey on quality of life in the area. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke with contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno to learn about the results.


KUNR: What did the county learn from this study? What are residents saying about the local quality of life?

Bob Conrad: What the county found in this survey is that citizens are ranking the quality of life in Washoe County as either good or excellent, the majority of residents. The biggest concern is new development.

KUNR: What are people most worried about with new development? 

BC: There's a lot of issues that come along with a lot of the growth that we've had in our region in the last four or five years. Some of the biggest concerns that folks have are growth and how that's impacting services, such as: law enforcement, social services and road maintenance. Where are we going to have affordable housing? How do we manage this growth? What do we do? Where do we build the houses? What is the environment going to look like for our children?

There's a lot of big question marks about how this region is going to adapt to the growth that is happening and is going to continue to happen into the foreseeable future.

KUNR: What services or factors do residents seem most satisfied by?

BC: People are mostly satisfied with the quality of life, the amenities, the natural environment, the arts, the climate, the ability to recreate. All of those kinds of things are very high quality-of-life indicators.

KUNR: With the results of this study coming out, did county commissioners offer any concrete, specific details on handling that future growth?


Not necessarily, but it's top of mind for everybody. The residents, I should also say, are not keen on raising fees or taxes in certain instances, such as a motor vehicle fee for things like recreational or cultural facilities, so while we all enjoy those kinds of things or get some benefit out of them, we don't necessarily want our taxes raised. That's one of the key takeaways from this survey. 

Michelle Billman is a former news director at KUNR Public Radio.
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