Partnerships and new energy

Pictured above is the abandoned Supply One building on South Carson Street.  Photo by Rick Gunn

Pictured above is the abandoned Supply One building on South Carson Street. Photo by Rick Gunn

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No city is an economic island unto itself.

According to the Economic Vitality Strategic Plan, Carson City's economic health depends on all facets of the community working together, including city, county and state government, business owners, property owners, educators and the community in general.

Two of the five goals identified in the plan relate to partnerships, first within the community and then with similar groups in the region.

Of prime importance is the partnership of city government with the residents and workers of Carson City.

"I think what's most important is that this is a community plan, not the city's plan," City Manager John Berkich said. "If it's going to be successful, there's going to need to continue to be community involvement."

Other communities implementing similar plans have only been successful when the community stayed involved, Berkich said.

In the next few months, members of the committee that put the Economic Vitality Strategic Plan into writing will be presenting its plan to revitalize Carson City to the public.

In the next few weeks the committee, the Economic Strategic Planning Committee, will morph into the Carson City Economic Vitality Coalition -- the mostly volunteer organization charged with taking the plan from paper into the real world.

Everyone is invited to be involved. There's work to be done.

One very visible project expected to receive a new surge of cooperative support is the effort to fill the old Supply One site, which has been empty for two years since the bankruptcy of the Reno-based company. Access and parking problems with the elevated lot have driven away potential developers.

The strategy includes improvements to Curry Street to make access easier; adding drainage improvements to the lot; combining the Supply One site with property to its south to increase the development area; possible installation of a signal on South Carson and Eagle Station Lane or other traffic improvements for better access.

It's an undertaking involving the city, Nevada Department of Transportation, the property owner and economic and real estate professionals who know how to match developers with land. Some of that has already begun.

Development cooperation is not the only realm for partnership building. New businesses want to know they can find qualified employees.

That's where a partnership with educators comes in.

The Economic Vitality Strategic Plan seeks dialog with the high schools on curriculum to strengthen the job skills of graduates. And dialog with Western Nevada Community College on classes and even helping the college provide a four-year degree program.

Partnerships with art and heritage programs in Carson City not only strengthen those elements of the community, but help ensure the city looks attractive and preserves its heritage, said the plan.

Carson City hopes to see all its potential partners become partners in reality.

"All people are important to the process," said Ron Weisinger, executive director of the Northern Nevada Development Authority. "'They' is all of us."


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