Carson City's first piece of protected open space soon will get some improvements.
The Moffat property was purchased for about $327,000 in 2000 and is bordered by Dave's Power Palace, the Mexican Ditch, Edmonds Drive and Hells Bells Road.
The property will soon feature a round trail to the top of its rocky outcropping and a plaque memorializing the Moffat family, which sold the property to the city for about half its value, said Open Space Manager Juan Guzman.
"So far, the (open space) committee has stressed paying for property and let the park side of Question 18 pay for improvements," Guzman said. "The exception was this was a commitment to Mr. Moffat."
A mutual provision of the sale was that it would be improved with the viewing area, Guzman said. He said the city hasn't set a date for the start of construction, which will take 45 days to complete.
Improvements slated at more than $61,000 will include a gravel parking lot off Lepire Drive, decomposed-granite trails and a shade structure with benches. The umbrella-shaped shade structure may in the future become the trademark of city open parcels to help distinguish city-owned parcels from property owned by the Bureau of Land Management.
The Moffat property lies at a juncture key to linking trails planned along the Linear and Mexican ditches, and a management plan for the property shows improvements to the trail intersection as well as more trails.
Open space planning has been in the works since the passage of the Quality of Life initiative in 1996. Question 18 authorized a quarter of 1 percent sales tax increase to fund open space, parks and trails. The tax raises about $1.7 million a year with 40 percent going toward open space, 40 percent towards parks and 20 percent for maintenance of new park projects. So far, the city has spent around $2 million on open space initiatives, including the Moffat property and $1 million for about 61 acres near Prison Hill.