Supervisors support tax incentives for Harley-Davidson Financial

Carson City supervisors threw their support Thursday behind Harley-Davidson Financial Corp.'s application for state tax breaks

The Carson-based company employs 500 at its largest subsidiary office on Technology Way, but needs to relocate before November 2004 when its lease expires. The company is planning to build a new office, estimated to cost $30 million, somewhere in Nevada, company officials say.

The company payroll represents $15 million and, based on its expected future earnings, would be given a tax break of $235,125 in a one-time sales tax abatement purchase and $108,955 over a 10-year period in city property taxes, the city estimates.

"This is a real success story for Carson City," said Mayor Ray Masayko. "I am absolutely committed to doing anything we can do to help Harley-Davidson Financial in Carson City. I see (the company) as an anchor in our community."

An estimated 80 percent of the employees who work at the Carson plant live in the city, a company official told supervisors Thursday.

The board unanimously approved signing a letter of support to be sent to the state Commission on Economic Development.

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A conceptual plan for the Ronald D. Wilson Memorial Park, to be located along Mark Way near James Drive, was approved by Carson City supervisors Thursday.

Supervisors allocated $70,500 for the first phase of construction. Owners of the neighboring Cottonwood Mobile Home Park asked the city to purchase a 25-foot by 288-foot strip of land on the park's west side to act as a landscaped buffer. Instead, supervisors asked staff to design butter mitigation concepts for the area to create a visual and physical buffer zone.

The city will install 40 evergreen trees to be 6-feet tall at a minimum along the entire eastern side of a chain link fence that will be placed along the park's west property line. The fence and trees will be installed before any other construction activities occur at the park, city staff said in a report to supervisors.

"I think it's appropriate and timely that we approve this master plan," said Supervisor Pete Livermore.

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No discussion took place Thursday before city supervisors approved an $85,000 settlement for Brian Elder, a resident who sued the city, the sheriff's department and three deputies for an alleged beating on Christmas Eve 1999.

Elder filed a violation of civil rights claim with the U.S. District Court in Reno for monetary damages after he was acquitted of several misdemeanor charges stemming from the incident.

According to court documents, Elder's attorneys claim his civil rights were violated when he was thrown to the ground and beaten on the back of the head and back with a baton when handcuffed by deputies Bob Guimont and Troy Graunke.

Officers were responding to a report of excessive noise and arrested Elder and another man following a struggle.

Elder reportedly received a cut to his head, a chipped vertebrae, neck and back injuries and several abrasions to his face during the struggle. He was arrested and officers asked for charges of battery of a peace officer, disturbing the peace, obstructing and resisting, and riding a dirt bike within 500 feet of a residence. Elder was acquitted of all charges.

Carson City District Attorney's Office sought a settlement with Elder instead of risking an impending jury trial where they could have potentially been liable for up to $150,000 in attorneys fees and damage awards.


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