Carson City leaders prepared for regional economic development

Carson City may band together with Douglas and Lyon counties to ignore county lines in oder to foster economic development opportunities.

Carson City supervisors Friday indicated they were ready to explore regional development opportunities with their neighbors, establishing enterprise zones which would cross county lines, but create an economic boon for both counties.

"It has to be a win-win for both counties, it can't be one sided," Supervisor Kay Bennett said. "If it's carefully done and well thought out, the outcome will be a sustainable economic resource for both counties. We can continue to compete with one another, you put up a box, we'll put up a box. If we could (fix) up that area as if county lines were invisible, what could be done?"

City Manger John Berkich said Douglas County officials are almost ready for a study seeing if "marrying the counties together in a joint development project" is feasible.

"We're quickly realizing we're in this together, and that we need each other," Berkich said. "We believe we have the ability under current statutes to do this. We have these areas but for the county line could be part of Carson City. This, I think, is going to be the future. This can be a great things if it's done right for both counties."

Bennett and Mayor Ray Masayko noted that joint development would be a logical move with Lyon County along the city's eastern boarder.

For months a public/private committee led by Berkich has worked on an economic development strategy that could become part of the city's master plan. The committee has examined economic issues facing the capital from dwindling land to recruiting top businesses to the area.

Supervisors requested the committee to continue their work without board interruption, but return with results as soon as possible. The city will hire a consultant, likely the Urban Land Institute, to help the committee identify areas the city should further target for economic development.

Supervisors were also updated on the status of finding a new location for the city's fairgrounds and Fuji Park. Berkich said the state is still against the idea of using the Stewart Indian School as a potential location for the fairgrounds. Berkich said while he has told interested developers the fairgrounds and park on Old Clear Creek Road are "not in play," the city is increasing its efforts to find an alternate location somewhere in Eagle Valley.


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