Eagle Valley’s lease approved

A lease extending operation of the city’s Eagle Valley Golf complex by a non-profit firm won final approval Thursday and a city supervisor will go on the non-profit’s board.

As written, the renegotiated lease calls for the city to get 6 percent of gross monthly golf complex revenues.

Though it won another slim 3-2 endorsement, this time with some minor changes, action on who might operate the city’s two golf course complex over the long haul remained an issue as the minority pair on Carson City’s Board of Supervisors kept pressing for a bid process.

In addition, operators of Silver Oak, a private 18-hole golf course, sent city government a letter expressing interest in running the city’s 36-hole complex on Carson City’s east side. But Mayor Robert Crowell and Supervisors John McKenna and Karen Abowd approved the lease despite Supervisors Jim Shirk and Brad Bonkowski preferring another course.

McKenna then was named by colleagues to serve on the board of the non-profit Carson City Municipal Golf Corp., the current operator.

Shirk said he wanted bids, affording the option to “compare apples to apples” and ensure fairness “before we sign this lease.”

Bonkowski, who also pushed for bidding, expressed concern as well about lease language allowing for an arbitration process between lease signatories should the city decide to use the golf course land for some other purpose. He said he feared that could let golf course operators “hold the city hostage.”

Bonkowski and Shirk indicated after the tally their interest in continuing to push for a bid process, but acknowledged unless votes change they may face difficulty getting it.

Before the action, supervisors heard from Dwight Millard, owner of the private 27-hole Empire Ranch golf course, Eagle Valley golf manager Jim Kepler, and Maurice White during public comment period on the matter.

White, who ran for the city board and attends most meetings, suggested requiring the non-profit board be required to hold meetings in public. Kepler, saying golf is on a comeback as he responded to a question, reported Eagle Valley fees haven’t been raised from advertised rates this year.

Millard, meanwhile, questioned the idea of putting a supervisor on the non-profit board.

“As a matter of fact, I think it compromises the board member,” he said, if a supervisor sits on the city and non-profit boards simultaneously. Millard also said he has no problem with the municipal course except that operators hadn’t been paying higher amounts called for in the previous lease.

In other action, the city’s governing board:

• Authorized Sheriff Ken Furlong to continue discussing with the city’s School Board the feasibility of seeking a $125,000 grant from COPS (the office of Community Oriented Policing Services) to increase the number of officers in schools here. Supervisors were told the three-year program would cost a local match requirement of $331,000 and must continue in subsequent years. Discussion with school officials, if fruitful, could lead to shared financing of the match requirement.

• Finalized an ordinance codifying animal services, plus altering fees, in a proposal that previously won approval from the board after a lengthy public forum process. Pet owners and others who breed and raise small animals balked initially over a provision regarding having more than three animals over six months of age in one location without an inspection and fee, but that was approved eventually. The first-year, such fees for inspection and permit total $100; subsequent years cost $50.

• Finalized ordinances dealing with environmental health issues, among them inspection and permit fees for restaurants/bars and other food establishments, which will increase revenue by $17,000 to city government. Fees were altered, with some outlets going higher and some lower, by assessing inventory and locations. Major locations seeing increases or decreases will be the Casino Fandango, up from $300 to $1,350; Carson Nugget, from $300 to $1,000; Costco, from $125 to $550; but Wal-Mart, down from $505 to $450.


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