Carson City Board of Supervisors: Portion of sidewalk funds diverted elsewhere

A decision Thursday to provide about $45,000 to FISH and Ventana Sierra will cut sidewalk-improvement funding by at least $90,000, according to testimony at Carson City’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

The decision was preliminary in the sense that an April 1-30 public-comment period intervenes, but action on Community Development Block Grant recommendations are likely to stand after that. The board voted for a plan to provide $200,000 for sidewalk improvements that comply with the federal Americans With Disabilities Act rather than the $245,000 originally urged by a citizens panel headed by Ronni Hannaman, executive director of the city’s Chamber of Commerce.

Peeling off $20,000 for Friends In Service Helping (FISH) was aimed at helping that social-service organization start the process for expanded use of a building donated to it on Janelle Street in north Carson City. An additional $25,000 will go to Sierra Ventana, which operates homes for young people who are homeless and working toward independence in adulthood.

Board members quizzed Transportation Manager Patrick Pittenger about whether he could do with less than the $245,000, and he said the decision was theirs. He also said under questioning, however, that he uses CDBG funding from the city to leverage federal grant money available for such projects, and routinely doubles or even triples it in that manner.

Hannaman told the board the working group on CDBG and Community Support Services Grant money had urged that all the money go for Pittenger’s work because of unresolved questions about Sierra Ventana home ownership and the FISH building work being in the early stages. She said the sidewalk work was viewed as “the highest and best use of these funds” this year.

In all, the board decided on CSSG youth program financing by allocating $72,200 to seven agencies; for adult needs it allocated $302,454 in CDBG money, and it allocated $190,203 in CSSG grants to the sidewalks and 16 organizations.

In the CSSG funding process, $5,000 was added and several other small moves were made to boost the ESL (English as a Second Language) In Home Program of Northern Nevada. Funding went from $3,000 recommended to $14,103.


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