City keeps Campagni; working on Hohl | NevadaAppeal.com

City keeps Campagni; working on Hohl

Dave Frank
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer

Dick Campagni will keep his auto dealerships in Carson City for at least 20 years under a new agreement with the city, and supervisors hope to make a similar agreement with the city’s other major auto dealer, Michael Hohl. They hope to make it happen without using the money they had set aside for a deal with him.

Supervisors approved an agreement Thursday extending the deadline from the end of this year to the end of 2009 for Campagni to complete work on a new location for his Toyota-Scion dealership.

He is using 3.6 million grant from the city.

The city could also have an agreement with Hohl soon by raising money through bond sales and using money from the redevelopment fund to pay off the bonds.

City Manager Larry Werner said he wanted to use the $4.8 million set aside for a deal with Hohl to make sure the city can balance its budget over the next several years.

Supervisors did agree Thursday to close the city landfill on Sundays starting Dec. 7 to help handle an expected $3.5 million shortfall this fiscal year. Werner said he the city has some money reserves, however, and he is more concerned about what the budget will look like in 2014 than later this year.

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“We will not get into a position where we don’t have a balanced budget at the end of the year,” Werner said. “I guarantee that.”

Though supervisors are still working on a deal with Hohl, they were able to reach an initial deal with Campagni in 2005. They renegotiated the agreement to give him an extra year to build his $10 million to $13 million new dealership on South Carson Street, but got him to agree to keep his three dealerships in Carson City at least 20 years instead of the previously agreed 15 years.

The project had to be delayed for several reasons, Campagni told supervisors. He named a delay in getting a new left turn lane on South Carson Street, wanting road work on Curry Street to be done before he opened and not wanting to start work in winter.

He said work is now scheduled to start in March.

Supervisors have said they hope to have a similar agreement with Hohl by the end of the year.

“Whatever the deal is for Mr. Campagni, it should be the same thing for Michael Hohl,” Mayor Marv Teixeira said.

Auto sales make up about a third of the city’s revenue from sales taxes, which is one of the main sources of funding for the city.

But the slow economy has hurt auto sales more than the average industry in Carson City, according to the Nevada Department of Taxation. Sales at dealerships were down more than 15 percent for fiscal 2007 compared to fiscal 2006. The first month of fiscal 2008, July, was worse than that.

Auto sales were down more than 26 percent that month compared to the same time a year before.

– Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.

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