Virginia City Highlands Property Owners’ Association

Minutes Special Meeting – Thursday March 2, 2006

Virginia City Highlands Fire Station Training Room – 7:00 pm


Present:  Woolley, Gravenstein, Lumos, Bent, Landaburu

I.       Call to order, declaration of a quorum and approval of meeting agenda (Action)

There being a quorum present President Woolley called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm.

II.     Approve minutes of February 14, 2006 regular meeting (Action)

Ø       A motion by Gravenstein, seconded by Bent to approve the minutes as presented was approved unanimously.

III.    Comments by Association Members (NRS 116.3108(3)) (Discussion Only)

No comments were offered by those attending.

IV.   Long Term Road Plan (Action)

President Woolley did a presentation on the current state of the roads, the status of the operating fund, and some suggested ideas for future road improvements.

There is approximately $42,000 in the operating account as of the beginning of March.  There about $10,000 in outstanding dues and late fees.  The attorney is working on approximately 15 who are in arrears from prior years. 

Our vehicle insurance is currently $14,000 per year.  Sale of the older equipment will not lower this number markedly.  There is an additional $7,600 for liability and property insurance due in the spring.  We are currently spending about $23,000 per year on roads.  Total income from dues and fees is about $66,500 per year.  If there are no extraordinary expenses in a given year, there should be $8,000 to $10,000 left at the end of the year.

He proposes spending approximately $6,000 in April and May to grade the roads and clean and shape ditches.  He has inspected all the roads in the last few days and found the gravel roads to be in very bad shape even though a great deal has been spent in gravel and maintenance over the years.

It is possible to have an additional 300 homes in the Highlands within the next 10 years which would double the traffic in the area.

In the next 10 years, Cartwright will need resurfacing, the grader will need to be replaced, and 5 miles of the more traveled roads (collectors) will need to be upgraded.  Some of the dead end roads need to be reworked, but have little traffic, so don’t need as great improvements as the collector roads.

We have $125,000 budgeted in the reserve plan for resurfacing Cartwright over a multi- year period.  It is possible to do slurry coat and chip seal instead of repaving but it would have to be done sooner.

President Woolley has done a significant amount of research on gravel road construction and maintenance and has consulted with engineers and a professional engineering geologist who specializes in this field.  He discussed some of the problems of road maintenance due to the soil conditions in the area.  He has prepared a long term plan spanning a 10 year period which includes a number of alternatives for repairing and maintaining the roads.  The work could be done all at once or spread out over a period of years.  It is anticipated that those roads that carry the most traffic will be the ones to receive the most repair.  The feeder roads can be re-graveled and maintained from the current road budget until such time as more building is done in those areas, increasing traffic and wear.

A summary of the alternatives detailing pros and cons and approximate costs for each is included in Appendix A to these minutes.

A questionnaire with all the alternatives and costs will be developed and sent out to all property owners for a vote.  If approved. a special assessment will be necessary to pay for road improvements.  The amount of the assessment will depend on the outcome of the vote of the property owners.  The cost to send out the information and ballot will be about $700.

It is possible that we may do test sections of the various alternatives.  Some applications have to be done on dry roads in warm weather.

The cost estimates are based on the existing road width which averages 16 feet.  This is less than a standard road width.   Costs would be significantly higher to widen the roads.

President Woolley explained that the ditches will always be a problem due to the steep terrain.  Installing rock chevrons (weirs) at intervals will help slow water down but the ditches will always silt up and need maintenance.    

John DuFresne stated that we need to upgrade between 30 - 40% of the drains prior to the road work.  

Debra Gravenstein expressed concern about some of the dead end roads that are steep and have had little improvement.  The property owners on those roads have been paying dues and assessments equal to those who live on the collector roads.  She feels that those property owners warrant maintenance and improvements on their roads as well.  She is doubtful that property owners will approve a plan which does all the roads at one time due to the expense. 

Woolley explained that just continuing to place gravel on the existing roads without additional work is just wasting money since the soils condition causes it to just sink down into the roadway.

Al Drake stated that the demographics of the area are changing as more homes are built.  He feels that there is a good chance that the current owners will vote to approve doing all the improvements at once.

Cecelia Lak pointed out that there are many people who own multiple lots so a high assessment would be a heavy burden on them.

Keith Judson commented that nearly half the owners are absentee owners and it will be difficult to convince them to approve the more expensive alternatives.

Debra says that most people know that existing dues are not enough to maintain the association facilities and need to be raised.  They have been reluctant to approve an increase since they haven’t seen positive results for the money.  If we can show a potential benefit for all, folks may be more receptive to a raise in dues.  

Many properties do not have culverts under their driveways. In these cases ditches might have to be cut across those driveways in order to provide adequate drainage.  Property owners would have to be notified prior to the work being done.  It was suggested that this might be addressed in the mailing. 

John DuFresne was asked if he would be able to get the roads and ditches graded for $6,000 as an interim measure.  This amounts to about six weeks work.  He indicated that he could get most of it done.  There needs to be an agreed upon plan for the work.  If approved, there will not be much additional road work until fall.

Rita Lumos thanked President Woolley for all his work and research on this project

Ø     A motion by Lumos, seconded by Gravenstein authorizing an expenditure of up to $6,000 for road work, not including fuel and supplies, under the direction of Woolley was approved unanimously.  The motion called for priorities to be set by Woolley with DuFresne reporting his progress to Woolley on a weekly basis.  Any problems that arise should be reported that day.

V.   Adjourn

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.


Respectfully submitted,


Rita Lumos, Secretary



Cartwright Road Resurfacing   

Asphalt top coat


Slurry Seal




Grading only



Cost per Sq. Ft. ±

Cost per mile ±

10 year cost ±

Cheap - initially $0.02 per sq ft (labor and equip) or about $22,000 per complete grading of all 14 miles.


High labor and equipment costs for maintenance

Needs to be done at least 2 times per year.

Dust uncontrolled

Eventual failure under heavier traffic


Will require an increase in dues to pay for higher maintenance costs








Add 2 inches of Gravel per Year



Cost per Sq. Ft. ±

Cost per mile ±

10 year cost ±

Initial cost is cheap about $0.17 per sq ft

Road crew is familiar with material.


Prone to sinking

Yearly replacement cost is very high.

Dust is uncontrolled

Slippery for driving on during the dry season.








Soil Stabilizer



Cost per Sq. Ft. ±

Cost per mile ±

10 year cost ±

Cost is $0.25-0.30 per sq ft. (materials + labor)

Manufacturer will be onsite to supe rvise application

Surface to a depth of 4-6” will be stabilized to a very solid layer (like concrete)

Nearly impervious to water

No dust for 1st year or two

Application is relatively quick.

Repairs are easy

No importing of gravel needed

Minimal maintenance needed for many years.

Controls Erosion

New material for us to use, though its been around for many years and used primarily on haul roads for mines and other applications

More intensive labor for grading and drainage before initial application.

Surface dust will increase over time as top surface wears, but will not be anywhere near as dusty as untreated roads.








Chip Seal on top of Soil Stabilizer



Cost per Sq. Ft. ±

Cost per mile ±

10 year cost ±

Looks like a gravel road but acts more like an asphalt paved road.

Long lasting

Minimal or no maintenance for many years

Durability to heavy traffic

Surface can be rough for better traction

Dust Controlled

Adding top coats over the years will lead to a durable long lasting surface with minimal maintenance

Cost $0.50-0.55 sq ft. (includes soil stabilizer cost)

Future top coat additions after 10 years would be closer to $0.20-0.25 sq ft.

Repairs are more difficult and would likely be related to redressing the entire top coat after a 10 yr period.

Highest initial up front costs as most roads would need stabilization first before any chip seal was applied.








Geotextile Fabric and Gravel



Cost per Sq. Ft. ±

Cost per mile ±

10 year cost ±

Gravel no longer disappears.

Gravel surface produces good winter traction.

Maintenance reduced significantly to occasional light grading and touch up stone applications

With proper maintenance will last many, many years


Cost, approx $0.50 per sq ft. + some maintenance

May not be suitable for steeper grades

Dust will still be an issue

“Sweetening” of top coat gravel will be needed from time to time

“Spin-off” from poor driving skills will be a problem.






Costs assume a 16 ft. wide roadway improvement.