Federal funds could go toward meth treatment, playing fields

Carson City elected officials have earmarked anti-methamphetamine efforts and outdoor playing fields for local youths as their top priorities for federal grant money expected to come to the community.

The Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada has asked for $253,000 to construct a multipurpose outdoor field as a public facility. The city's public works department also would like $267,600 to improve sidewalks around Empire Elementary School so disabled residents could get around more easily.

An advisory group comprised of residents and local government officials reviewed requests from several sources within the community. Their recommendations were provided to the supervisors, who met on Thursday.

The supervisors will make their final decisions about how the money will be spent after residents get an opportunity to comment on the plan.

The review group rated the sidewalk improvements as most worthy, but the supervisors opted to fund the Boys & Girls Club heavily - their entire request. Leftover money, roughly $54,300, would go to sidewalk upgrades, part of which would come from last year's grant budget.

"While I usually defer to individuals on boards and commissions, we have an entity that helps low- and moderate-income families," said Supervisor Richard Staub.

Mayor Marv Teixeira didn't participate in this vote because of his longtime involvement with the Boys & Girls Club board.

The public-service portion of the grant went to the Community Counseling Center to pay for an employee to manage methamphetamine treatment cases, $58,343. It had the second highest recommendation.

The other group vying for money is the Ron Wood Family Resource Center, for mental health counseling of youths. It came in first with the advisory panel.

The money is distributed this way: 65 percent for public facilities and improvements, 15 percent for public service and the rest, 20 percent, for administrative work.

A 30-day public comment period is required before the allocations are again put before the supervisors for their final approval. Residents can turn in written comments between March 15 and April 13 at the court house, City Hall, Carson City Library, and the Public Works department.

Supervisors will make their final decisions in May.

The grants, administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, have been around for more than 30 years.

Last year's allotment went toward such things as the purchase of a city fire truck and anti-meth efforts.

CDBG money is separated between public and private recipients. Last year, the city received about $457,400. This year's total is expected to be comparable, but hasn't been determined, said Javier Ramirez, the city's citizen outreach coordinator and grant coordinator.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber@nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.

In other business, the supervisors:

• Approved a $20 million water infrastructure-improvement bond. The bond would be paid off using future payments by water customers.

• Gave initial consent to a plan that would provide discounted water rates to low-income seniors.

• OK'd an update of the city's municipal code related to handicapped parking rules, including a boost in fines from $100 to $250 per offense.


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