Board suggests capital funding for Fuji Park Fairgrounds

More than $100,000 for the Fuji Park Fairgrounds and almost $40,000 for the Brewery Arts Center won endorsement from the Redevelopment Authority Citizens Committee on Monday.

The advisory panel voted to recommend $122,851 for a shelter at the fairgrounds in southern Carson City and $39,273 for partial work on the arts center’s proposal to close Minnesota Street from King to Second streets downtown and create an integrated BAC campus. The money is for undesignated capital infrastructure projects.

The recommendations will go to the Board of Supervisors, which also acts as city government’s Redevelopment Authority. The two projects won out over four others, which weren’t recommended by the citizens advisory unit.

Vern Krahn, city parks planner, said the shelter is the first phase of a plan to upgrade the Fuji Park Fairgrounds so it can be used more by tenants who could rent it for events. He said a shelter is necessary because there is little shade available. He said the first-phase shelter proposal was a “barebones” plan.

Other witnesses were supportive, among them Joel Dunn of the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“I will make the Fuji facility an economic engine,” said Dunn, the bureau’s executive director.

Steve Forester, general manager of Bodines Casino next to the park and fairgrounds, said a state fair there “would be awesome” as he joined Dunn and others voicing support.

“It is so under-utilized that it’s really said,” he added.

Plans for a state or regional fair at the facility are being discussed.

The BAC plan to close Minnesota and create a campus encompassing some two square blocks was supported by John Shelton, BAC director, and John Copoulos, the architect.

“The phase of the overall campus is critical,” said Shelton of the proposal. The request from the panel and city was for $81,422. Shelton said getting started would help in the quest to raise funds from private donors for the campus project, which has been on the drawing board for years.


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