Carson, Douglas have more in common

Carson City and Douglas County have more in common than in conflict.

That should be the starting point if supervisors and commissioners sit down this week to discuss, among other things, Carson City's move to block an auction of federal land.

The property, 146 acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management, is in development-ripe Northern Douglas County. Carson City leaders believe not enough thought has gone into the effects on South Carson City if the land becomes a shopping center.

The real reason, however, is the property presents another threat in the continuing leakage of sales-tax dollars from Carson to Douglas.

And that's where the conflict comes in.

But if both sides can step back from the fray for a minute -- and we truly believe they can -- supervisors and commissioners will be able to take a longer, wider view of the situation.

First, they will realize they share the same issues -- a congested Highway 395, the desire to maintain quality of life as the area develops, the need to supply services people expect amid a stagnant economy. Tugging at both ends of the commercial sales-tax bone like a couple of hungry dogs ultimately doesn't benefit either.

In the long view, as residential growth shifts to Lyon County and, someday, a Highway 395 bypass around Carson dramatically shifts its commercial growth patterns, there is much to gain and more to lose.

Douglas and Carson leaders could look back 10 or 20 years from now and regret their stubbornness. Or they could look back and be grateful they took steps in cooperation that will best serve all the region's residents.

There have been success stories before -- the Carson River Subconservancy District being a notable one. If Nevadans can get together on water issues, they can get together on anything.

The best solution, it seems to us, is some kind of economic development zone on either side of the county line. Share the wealth, share the costs and, most critical, share the decision-making.

It was a better idea five years ago; let's not let another five years pass.


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