Carson City residents can expect to see over $500,000 worth of additions and improvements to the city's park system in the next year.
The city's Parks and Recreation Commission approved Tuesday $225,000 of residential construction tax money, as well as an extra $200,000 for landscaping improvements to the east side of Mills Park.
Every year, taxes collected from new buildings constructed in the city are set aside for park use. This year, the commission received almost $986,000 in requests to be paid for with $225,000. The commission chose to fund:
- $39,816 to complete phase 1 of the Carson River Park
- $32,000 for the archery range at Centennial Park
- $10,534 for equipment at the Community Center theater
- $23,100 of a requested $138,600 for an audio system for the Community Center theater
- $70,009 for a paved parking lot at the Governor's Field Tee-Ball Complex
- $49,540 of a requested $343,340 for the Ronald D. Wilson Memorial Park in North Carson City
About $48,000 was requested for playground equipment at Fuji Park. Parks and Recreation Director Steve Kastens said with the uncertain future of the fairgrounds and park because of its new neighbor, Costco, city staff felt it prudent to wait and see what happens with the land before putting new equipment on it.
Also, Kastens said it is possible that money from the Costco land sale promised for park improvements could be used to buy playground equipment. About $8,400 for an office addition to the Community Center was passed up as well. Kastens said in the next two years, the city will start construction on a new community gym that will have extra office space.
The commission also approved plans to landscape the east end of Mills Park and to add an arboretum to the park.
Kastens said Mills Park was never actually completed. The new plan shows the extension of grass and paths to the east side of the park, the addition of volley ball courts and extra trees, shrubs and boulders. About $343,000 had been set aside for work on the Wungnema House and the east side landscaping. However, estimates for the project came in $200,000 higher. Question 18 tax income has been higher than expected, Kastens said, and shifting $200,000 from an unreserved fund to the landscaping shouldn't stretch park funds, he said.
The commission also approved a plan for the park that allows several new tree species to be added to the park over time. The idea is to arrange groves in functional locations to provide shade and a somewhat self-guided educational tour without overtaking the open space in the park. The trees will also replace the tree canopy provided by the cottonwood trees in the park, many of which are dying off or have become unsafe.
Tree species included in the design include oaks, maples, nut varieties, ash, locust, honey locust and evergreen trees among other species.