Focus was supposed to be on finding a site for Carson City's next recreation center, instead of on the joint-use facility being proposed on the Western Nevada Community College campus.
However, a significant portion of the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting Tuesday evening was spent on the WNCC proposal when several residents criticized the plan.
"WNCC has their own agenda: to take care of WNCC," said resident Dick Campbell. "That's their job."
"It's bad new for us," said Bob Lytle, who lives near WNCC. "Gone will be our views, afternoon sunlight, and peace and quiet."
Other concerns cited by residents include the potential for flooding in the area and lack of a safe access road.
Sites being considered for a center are the Edmonds Sports Complex, JohnD Winters Centennial Park and property at Arrowhead Drive and Goni Road. A center at each of these locations would cost $10.5 million, said Roger Moellendorf, the city's Parks and Recreation director.
Mills Park, the site of the city's Community and Aquatic centers, was considered a prime location. Putting the new rec center there would be more expensive because of the need to move the aquatic center's drainage system and obtain agreements with neighbors for more parking. The latter could drive the price up to $12 million or more, Moellendorf said.
The new center is slated to include a 10,600-square-foot multipurpose gymnasium, indoor walking track, indoor leisure pool and party room.
WNCC said it wants to provide up to $8 million for the project, in matching funds with the city if it is next to the campus. Its involvement with the project is subject to approval by the Board of Regents and Legislature.
But as Commission Chairwoman Donna Curtis said, "It's not a done deal."
The commission will continue to look at the matter during upcoming meetings.
In other business, the commissioners recommended the Board of Supervisors approve a set of rules for commercial uses of the Fuji Park fairgrounds, specifically car shows, that includes charging higher prices for non-resident users.
Carson City residents would be charged a base fee of $1,000, while non-residents would pay $5,000.
Mary-Margaret Madden, a deputy district attorney who advises the commissioners about the legal implications of their decisions, said initial research indicates that charging out-of-towners more to use the fairgrounds could be considered discriminatory.
Other stipulations include creating higher fees for non-recreational uses, not allowing commercial events on three-day weekends, allowing only two car shows each year, and requiring a meeting with city staff before approving use.
• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.