$160K to bring fair to Carson approved

Almost $160,000 to upgrade Fuji Park and Fairgrounds power and lighting, which would accommodate a Sesquicentennial Fair and other events, was recommended Monday.

The recommendation by the Redevelopment Authority Citizens Committee to Carson City’s Board of Supervisors, which also acts as the city’s Redevelopment Authority, was approved by the citizens panel on a 5-1 vote with one additional member abstaining.

The action came after a lengthy presentation and discussion, which included Deputy City Manager Marena Works telling the citizens committee she had hired a fair manager and that other aspects of the fair planned for late July and early August were proceeding. The fair manager will be Susan Taylor of Orland, Calif., who took the job for $45,000 a year, according to Works.

She then mounted her proposal for the $159,273, saying it was for infrastructure and came after consultation with the fair manager-designate about how to handle everything at the park and fairgrounds at the city’s south edge.

“It was probably a little worse than I initially thought,” she said of the electrical and other needs. The first request for redevelopment financing came in at $96,070, but that was prior to the consultation and changes in how the park’s power and lighting may be set up in the next few months. She also voiced the hope some could be used for tents and other needs besides power.

The committee, however, discussed the proposal extensively and decided against allowing redevelopment funds for anything that wasn’t permanent infrastructure for the fair and other events at an improved park/fairgrounds facility. Member Jed Block said he was for improvements, but voted against the higher figure and said the $96,000 would have got the ball rolling without a full commitment now.

Supervisor Brad Bonkowski, the only committee member who sits on the board and actual Redevelopment Authority, said he would abstain at this point.

Committee member Ronni Hannaman, who made the motion for the full figure and wouldn’t lower it to $96,000, said Fuji is a diamond in the rough and that she wants it polished as much as possible. Hannaman is the executive director of the city’s Chamber of Commerce.

During her presentation, Works said fair entry likely will be free, a trend that can increase income for vendors while helping attract fair-goers. She estimated the event might attract upwards of 40,000 attendees while it is under way July 30-Aug. 3.


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