John Barrette

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March 10, 2013
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Carson Perspective: Carson City’s poised for a rebound thanks to tough, spirited residents

Carson City looks resilient and poised for revival. - In a word, it’s tough. More on toughness later from the outlandish 20th century Baltimore sage H.L. Mencken. But first, let’s look at what laid Carson City and the nation low of late, relying on the same prophetic sage of yesteryear.“The fundamental cause of panics and business depressions is probably nothing more subtle than the desire to get something for nothing,” wrote the author and columnist. A collapse follows, he said, because resultant fictitious wealth is proved to be just that.The corollary also is true. Fictitious poverty after a collapse is just as illusory and takes about as long to exit stage left or right.That makes a recent report intriguing. It projected Carson City and Gulfport-Biloxi in Mississippi were among 15 housing markets expected to rebound best by the summer 2017.The projection, though based on Fiserv Case-Shiller Index data, was hokum because no one knows the future for certain. But the projection report had real data upon which the notion gets legs. Carson City housing prices dropped 51 percent from a peak in early 2006. Gulfport-Biloxi in southern Mississippi dropped more than 21 percent from the peak there in late 2007. A quick check with the Carson City real estate agent who shared the report determined there is barely enough residential stock now for sale in this city to house, say, Gerlach, Nev., population 206 circa 2010.A local report not long ago to city government showed 56 percent of Carson City housing stock was built in the 1970s or before. In addition, planners project this city of 55,000 can build out to 75,000.It will. Carson City is poised for a rebound. Existing and new housing stock will help, as will other factors not analyzed in this space today. One reason is Carson City has tough folks — mammals of persistence and tenacity. One more Mencken quote:“Man is one of the toughest of animated creatures. Only the anthrax bacillus can stand so unfavorable an environment for so long a time. All other mammals would succumb quickly to what man endures almost without damage. Consider, for example, the life of a soldier in the front line — or the life of anyone in Mississippi.”Sorry, Gulfport-Biloxi. Place your bets on Nevada’s capital city. Now, to the week that will be. Supervisors begin discussing capital budget matters at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in the Community Center’s Sierra Room. The elephant in the room will spark palaver on how to pay for sewage-treatment plant upgrades, though a menagerie of other needs trail the pachyderm as well.Public Works holds a 6:30 p.m. workshop that night in the same room to take public comment on plans to narrow Carson Street downtown to two lanes of traffic and make related changes.Other Sierra Room meetings: Convention & Visitors Bureau, 4 p.m. Monday; and the Carson Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and Regional Transportation Committee start at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.• John Barrette covers Carson City government and business. He can be reached at

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Mar 10, 2013 05:57AM Published Mar 10, 2013 05:56AM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.