Hon. Jim Shaw, Chair
Hon. Jim Galloway, Commissioner
Hon. David Humke, Commissioner
Hon. Pete Sferrazza, Commissioner
Hon. Bonnie Weber, Commissioner
Washoe County Commission
P.O. Box 11130
Reno, NV 89520

Dear Chair Shaw and Members of the Washoe County Commission:

We respectfully and strongly urge (a) the acquisition of the entire 1,019-acre Ballardini Ranch, by exercising Option 1, (b) using all legal means available to accomplish acquisition of the Ranch, and (c) that such action be taken immediately.

Our reasons are as follows:

     1. The Ballardini Ranch is the last link in a long-term plan adopted by public and private officials to protect the foothills on the eastern border of the federal lands between McCarran and the Mount Rose Highway. The ArrowCreek Development has, through private and public support, dedicated 1,400 acres of its property that will link to the Ballardini Ranch. With purchase of the entire Ballardini Ranch, (not just a portion of the Ranch), by exercising Option 1, there will be a 2,500-acre area of open space and wildlife refuge which will leave the citizens with unprecedented access to the mountains, a wildlife refuge that will assure the survival of the deer herd and other important and beautiful habitat, and a place that we can be proud of for posterity. Anything short of this will constitute, in our view, short sightedness and a breach with the current plan for the acquisition of the Ballardini Ranch as presented for approval to the voters in 2000.

     2. There will be no future opportunities to acquire a Ranch such as this. We strongly encourage the Washoe County Commissioners to take an aggressive position in ensuring acquisition of the Ranch.

     3. There is a loan available to Washoe County up to $20 million to purchase the Ranch, on flexible terms. We hope you will accept this unprecedented opportunity. We believe, should the County desire, that there are a number of opportunities available to obtain reimbursement for the same. We urge the County, however, to take those steps now.

     4. We firmly support acquisition of the Ballardini Ranch with only Option 1. It is the time to acquire the entire Ranch, and anything less would be a travesty. It is important to protect the deer herd, provide access through McCarran and fulfill the long-term goal and expectation of the advocates, both public and private, for the acquisition of the entire Ranch.

     5. Washoe County recently obtained an appraisal of fair market value of the entire Ballardini for approximately $19 million. There are more than enough funds now available, considering the $20 loan and $4 million available from the bond issue approved by the voters in 2000, to acquire the Ranch at its fair market value.

     We appreciate all that Washoe County has done to recognize the importance of this extremely valuable and unique potential public asset in the past. It is, however, necessary to take final action to accomplish this vision.

      Every once in a while an event occurs that will define the fortitude and foresight of our public officials. This is such an event. We ask that you act with clarity and alacrity, and take all legal steps necessary to acquire the Ranch forthwith.

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