Carson board to get look March 14 at capital budget, Carson St. plan

Major issues regarding funding of sewage-treatment plant improvements and whether to cut traffic on Carson Street downtown two lanes will begin getting tackled March 14.

City government on Monday announced an 8:30 a.m. Board of Supervisors meeting on the capital budget a week from Thursday, as well as a Public Works Department workshop about Carson Street traffic at 6:30 p.m.

Both the morning board meeting and the evening Public Works session are in the Sierra Room at the Carson City Community Center.

The board will begin dealing with big-ticket items that face the board over the next five years, including wastewater-treatment issues.

Public Works Director Andy Burnham will make presentations regarding fiscal year 2013-14 through FY 2017-18 on wastewater, water, stormwater, street and transit, as well as the city's fleet of vehicles.

"Wastewater is the big one," Burnham said. "Everything else pales in significance."

Burnham said he will present the capital program and provide extensive history, and he expects discussion of various ideas before action that would come no sooner than April.

City government is still working with rate consultants and preparing for the options that supervisors can contemplate, Burnham said.

In prior meetings, supervisors have indicated they know rates, and particularly wastewater-treatment rates, must increase.

The sewage-treatment plant is aging, and city government must avoid problems that might lead to federal oversight turning into fines that could reach nearly $40,000 daily during violations.

Whether a one-time fee boost of about 35 percent, multi-year increases in the 10 percent range or some other wastewater rate rise is in the cards won't be known until later, Burnham said.

A presentation and workshop also are planned Thursday evening to answer questions and take public comment "regarding proposed plans to create a pedestrian-friendly environment on Carson Street through the downtown area."

The narrowing of traffic from four lanes to two, plus allowing on-street parking in some places, would occur between Fifth Street on the south and Ann Street on the north if supervisors eventually approve it.

"The conceptual plan would require no construction other than striping the pavement and removing the existing fence at some locations along the sidewalk," according to a departmental news release.

"The public is invited to ask questions of Public Works staff regarding the project and provide comments regarding the conceptual plans."


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