Carson City Board of Supervisors to take on problems of motel blight

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Two key issues are on the Board of Supervisors agenda for Thursday: the problems involving the city’s dilapidated resident motels and the first phase of the city’s budget process for the coming year.

City Manager Nick Marano said there have been continuous complaints about the condition of some of those motels that are largely inhabited by people he said would otherwise be homeless.

He said he is putting together an informal task force and plans to recommend what to do about those long term residential motels — especially compliance with health/safety rules. He said too often those residents are living in unsanitary conditions in motel rooms that have HVAC and other problems.

“We can do aggressive code enforcement and close them down but then what do we do with the people,” Marano said. “If it’s life safety, we’re going to close them down but, in the end, it’s really a people problem. The blight is really a symptom.”

He said he wants some guidance from the board on how to proceed. In Carson City, he said, much of the problem properties are in plain view because a number of those motel operations are right on Carson Street.

“We’ll present what we believe we should do and ask them what they want us to do,” he said.

In addition, Marano and Financial Officer Nancy Paulson will present the board with the initial assumptions for both revenue and expenses to be used in preparing the fiscal 2017 budget.

A key revenue stream for the city is the so-called Consolidated tax (the C-Tax) which consists of six different levies: the liquor and cigarette taxes, real property transfer tax, basic city-county relief tax and supplemental city-county relief tax plus the motor vehicle privilege tax.

If current trends continue, the C-Tax is projected increase by just over $1 million in fiscal 2017 to $26.2 million. That follows a projected $1.6 million increase in those revenues through the end of this fiscal year.

If those increases materialize, they would more than offset the projected $372,000 shortfall in the property tax for the capital.

Marano said he will recommend that supervisors leave the overall property tax rate at $3.52 per $100 of assessed valuation. That rate can legally rise to as much as $3.66 per $100 of assessed valuation

The board will be presented with a long list of budget assumptions that include the 2 percent COLA and merit pay adjustments for public safety personnel and the 1.75 percent adjustments for other classified and unclassified employees.

Projections include a 10 percent increase in the budget for health insurance.

There also will be a discussion of the city’s emergency operations management plan. Marano said operations including preparation for potential flooding will be discussed, “especially since we move into what could be a very wet March.”

Finally, he said he will advise board members the city plans to post weekly updates on the downtown corridor reconstruction project to keep residents up on progress as the contractor moves forward. As a potential enhancement to that project, Marano said the city wants to apply for a National Endowment of the Arts grant of $40,000. The grant requires an equal match but he said that requirement has already been met through bench sponsorships and a $10,000 in-kind match from the Brewery Arts Center. The money would commission local artists to create works that would be included as part of the Downtown Corridor Project.

The board will meet at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in the Sierra Room of the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.


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