Carson City supervisors voted Thursday to accept the Nevada Department of Transportation's offer of an 11-acre parcel left over from the freeway bypass construction to create an open-space/neighborhood park along Imus Road just north of Arrowhead Drive.
There was some resistance at first from board members who questioned why a former owner of one of those parcels wasn't being allowed to buy his property back. Craig Mullet submitted a letter to the board, arguing that he should be given that opportunity.
"Philosophically, I feel he should be allowed to buy it back," said Supervisor Shelly Aldean.
Ruth Borrelli of NDOT said that's not exactly what happened.
"He did not own the property when we purchased it," she said.
Borrelli said that Mullet had a "first right of refusal" from the previous owner but that another person also had a first right of refusal on the parcel.
"She gave a first right of refusal to two persons," she said, adding that that makes allowing Mullet to buy it "legally very complicated."
It's the reason the NDOT board decided to turn it over at no cost to Carson City - a decision she said is supported by other property owners in the area.
Asked whether Mullet could buy the property if the city left those parcels out of the deal, she said no, that it would almost certainly go to a public auction.
The vote was unanimous to accept the land, but Parks Planner Vern Krahn said it will be some time before there is money to develop a park there. The first task, he said, will be to remove three houses - two of which are not habitable - from the land. Parks crews are expected to get to that project this summer.
In other business, the board:
• Voted to add a full-time alternative sentencing officer to provide security for the juvenile court. Special Master Kristin Luis said that child custody and other matters in that court are often very emotional and contentious and that security is needed to ensure the safety of everyone. The cost, including initial purchase of equipment for the officer, is just over $82,000 for the first year but will just cost the employee's salary thereafter.
• Accepted a $15,047 Byrne Memorial Justice grant, which supports the sheriff's office Cops and Kids program. That program, now in its eighth year, attempts to reduce at-risk behavior by young people.
• Approved spending $649,637 to buy a new landfill compactor for the city dump. The compactor is basically a large, wheeled bulldozer and replaces a similar machine that officials say is past its useful life. The money comes from the capital projects bond fund.
• Approved spending $661,181 to cover the city's share of the latest project on the freeway bypass. The city's share includes moving utilities and constructing the storm drain system in the area, among other issues. NDOT plans to bid the project, valued at $13 million to $15 million, this summer. The biggest piece of the work is construction of the Snyder Avenue overpass.