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March 26, 2013
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Carson City's Board of Supervisors opposes bill on bonding, backs Nevada State Prison preservation bill

Supervisors spurned potential roadblocks to local government bonding Monday but gave a thumbs-up to Nevada State Prison preservation.

Carson City’s Board of Supervisors emphatically made their stances known regarding legislation in the Legislature dealing with those subjects, voting 4-0 each time. Supervisor Karen Abowd was absent.

“I don’t see anything good in this at all,” Supervisor Brad Bonkowski said regarding Assembly Bill 387. As written, it would require a two-thirds supermajority from voters to authorize bonds in counties with fewer than 100,000 residents. That would include Carson City, a consolidated city-county, as well Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties.

Supervisor John McKenna tiptoed to the brink of calling the proposal idiotic, but instead made the motion that the board “strongly does not support” the bill as introduced.

Assemblyman Jim Wheeler of Minden, who said he was the main sponsor, characterized the legislation as coming out of bill drafting in a form different than intended. He added he had to introduce it that way due to time constraints.

Wheeler said his intent isn’t to stop bonding, but to remove a tax that supports the bonded indebtedness once the bond is paid off in full.

He said he hopes to have a discussion on his concept and is 100 percent open to amendments, and he acknowledged the provision requiring two-thirds approval from voters may exit the bill. “That will probably be changed,” he said, suggesting it just be more than 50 percent.

Supervisors supported Carson City Assemblyman Pete Livermore’s AB356, which encourages preservation of the empty Nevada State Prison as a historic site. Glen Whorton, president of the Nevada State Prison Preservation Society, said the legislation eventually could help get the U.S. Department of Interior to make the preservation designation.

Carson City’s supervisors also voted without dissent to support Livermore’s AB268, which would authorize adjoining counties to enter into cooperative agreements and create tax-increment areas.

The board was told the measure is enabling legislation. An example of such an area could be forming one between Carson City and Douglas County to deal with Clear Creek Road in both counties.

In addition, the board voted against supporting AB312, which would modify the city’s charter by calling for appointment of members on the Charter Review Committee.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Mar 26, 2013 12:16PM Published Mar 26, 2013 10:00AM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.