Plank sees storm drainage, budget as big 2001 issues

As Jon Plank faces a certain second term on the Carson City Board of Supervisors, he's looking forward to such issues as storm drainage and the budget to keep supervisors busy in 2001.

"I'm afraid if we tarry too long, people will forget how bad the 1997 flood was," Plank said. "The issue for us now is: Do we want to design for five-year floods or 100-year floods?"

With a price range estimated at $30 million, Plank said, one of the issues he wants to look at is not only how the system will be funded, but also how much the drainage improvements would affect residents' flood insurance.

Plank said the city will have a tough time with its budget this year.

"It's been a discouraging year with sales tax returns," he said. "We funded some positions with one-shot money this year. That's not the way to do it, but I felt compelled to get those public safety people on board. Money will be tight, but the demands of the community are such that it is tough to cut services. We need to take care of public safety. Following that, recreation opportunities that can help public safety."

Plank serves as chairman of the Regional Transportation Commission and wants to continue working on updating the city's transportation plan in preparation of becoming a metropolitan planning organization, a federal designation which will bring more federal money to the city.

He also wants to see the pedestrian element of the transportation master plan completed, as well as updating the bike plan as soon as possible. Transit services will be an issue as well, he said. And, of course, there is the freeway.

"We need to keep our eye on that freeway," Plank said. "It's sort of a done deal, but like Yogi Berra said about baseball games, it's not over 'til it's over."

Plank is reluctant to take credit for many things, but feels strongly about one cause he's taken up this year. Plank's latest project has been to update the Community Center. One day, someone pointed out to him that the carpet in the center was worn and taped together in places.

"It had become so bad it was dangerous and unfixable," Plank said. "We found a little bit of money and we'll be able to tile most of the floor."

Sprucing up the Community Center and finding a way to fund extra parking around the facility are among Plank's goals for the year.

"The Community Center is used six days a week, 52 weeks a year. It's used by all ages, not just for the meeting rooms and the theater. It's a busy place because of the activities. I like to work on projects that benefit the people."


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