Carson River Park, tucked among the cottonwood trees near Lloyd's Bridge in southeast Carson City, will be upgraded this fall, not only to accommodate small groups, but to reflect more of the character of the city's Silver Saddle Ranch next door.
"We'll add more picnic tables and a picnic shelter," Park Planner Vern Krahn told the Carson City Board of Supervisors on Thursday.
Other plans include natural landscaping to match the park's natural surroundings, replacing a chain-link fence on the west side of the park with ranch-style fencing, and changing the architecture of a well house by adding a barn door so it better fits in with the character of the nearby ranch, Krahn said. Additional sidewalks and parking are also included in the plan.
Carson River Park is about 40 acres, the majority of which lies on the east side of the river south of Carson River Road. The developed portion is roughly 2 acres.
According to Krahn's report, the Parks and Recreation Department has added a number of improvements to the park throughout the years, including a fishing pier with access for people with disabilities; a multi-use decomposed-granite trail; an asphalt parking lot; an enclosure for portable restrooms; and a concrete boat ramp.
A site development plan was approved in April 2008 by the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Carson River Advisory Committee.
Park staff decided to bring the $231,000 plan to supervisors only recently because of the favorable bidding climate. Krahn said the development of the city's Aquatic Trail has also focused more attention on Carson River Park.
Supervisors unanimously voted Thursday to move ahead with the project.
Plans for the park could include a rock-climbing feature, but no play equipment is planned, Krahn said.
Nancy Santos, president of Friends of the Silver Saddle Ranch, said after Thursday's meeting that she hadn't seen the updated site plan but is pleased there won't be any playground equipment.
"I know their goal was to keep it natural so that no one would have to look out the window of the ranch house and see big blue and gold playground equipment, so I'm hoping the plan blends in nicely with the ranch," Santos said.
The project will be funded through previously allocated residential construction taxes of $78,193, a Question 1 grant for $145,548, and a Carson Water Subconservancy grant of $7,500. No design or construction expenses will come from the general fund.
Supervisor Karen Abowd asked whether park maintenance costs had been taken into account with the new amenities; Krahn said the changes amounted to little impact because the staff already maintains the park.
Krahn said after the meeting that he expects the project to go out to bid in September, and he hopes the project is completed "before the snow flies."
The park area will be a construction site for two or three months, he said, and it will be left to the discretion of the contractor whether to close it for safety during that time.
In other action Thursday, supervisors:
• Awarded a $345,000 contract to V&C Construction for improvements to the Carson City Waterfall Fire Watershed.
• Approved an abandonment of public right-of-way from Tri State Surveying of about 6,783 square feet adjacent to properties located at 1712 Karin Drive to the west, 1946 Hamilton Ave. to the north and an unaddressed parcel to the east.
• Adopted a resolution for issuing general-obligation bonds for financing water and sewer projects.
• Introduced, on a first reading, an ordinance amending the city code for water, sewerage and drainage by adding additional definitions and clarifying and modifying previous definitions to be consistent with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.