Carson City Board of Supervisors OKs downtown biz district

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A downtown neighborhood improvement district formed by property owners to help maintain the business corridor received 4-1 final approval Thursday from Carson City’s Board of Supervisors.

The district, known by the acronym NID, forms a private sector unit authorized under state law. Property owners forming it can assess themselves to do things like snow and trash removal. The initial year’s target is $49,000.

“I’m not in favor of this,” said Supervisor Jim Shirk, the dissenting board member.

That came after he elicited from Community Development Director Lee Plemel acknowledgement it’s possible some property owners off Carson Street might have to pay a larger amount than those on it despite a lower percentage assessment.

Under questioning, Plemel acknowledged a larger parcel and building along some other street in the NID could pay more than a small combination on the main corridor despite a percentage assessment difference that’s higher on Carson Street.

“More than likely,” noted Shirk, “it is probable.”

Supervisor Brad Bonkowski, who months ago said formation of such a property owners’ district to pick up additional maintenance costs must precede city government’s downtown corridor makeover, made a suggestion for NID members.

He said if they tinker with their own assessment plans, they should include land parcels at some level, even if they don’t have real estate improvements on them. He said owners of those vacant parcels get maintenance benefits along with others.

Shirk, meanwhile, suggested just two persons had done the work regarding formation documents on the district, but Plemel said he may have left the wrong impression when he talked about the process two weeks ago.

“It wasn’t that two people did this on their own,” he said. He said one of them volunteered to help and the other had surgery recently.

“I don’t think any of the petitioners are here today,” he said.

The NID formation sets the stage for a vote next month on the downtown makeover contract with Q & D Construction, one expected to receive majority support unless city government and Q & D executives can’t agree on a project cost.

The process envisions a construction manager at risk (CMAR) method rather than a low bid process, though such low bidding would occur should no pact be negotiated.

A pre-pact estimate of the cost for Carson Street makeover work is under $8 million, with under $1 million more for a proposed Bob McFadden Plaza on West 3rd St. just off South Carson Street. The latter cost would include both public and private funds.

On Carson Street, from 5th Street on the south to William Street on the north, four vehicles lanes will be converted to three, with one south, one north and a center turn lane.

The median gets removed, sidewalks will be widened, bicycle lanes added and more trees will be planted on each side of the street. Pavers will go in at intersections, and benches, bike racks, trash receptacles or other items will be included.

City Manager Nick Marano vows the work will be done by Nevada Day this autumn.

Another set of board items Thursday, as it was the first meeting of 2016, dealt with reorganization of board members’ assignments and related matters.

Supervisor Lori Bagwell was returned to service on the Audit Committee, the Parks and Recreation Commission, the municipal golf board and as alternate to the Nevada Association of Counties (NACO).

Mayor Robert Crowell nominated Shirk to replace him as the board’s main NACO liaison but Shirk declined, saying he wasn’t able to take that role, so Crowell was returned to it and to the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC).

Bonkowski was returned 4-1 to the RTC over Shirk, who had nominated himself for that spot. Bonkowski and the mayor also stay as representatives to the Western Nevada legislative coalition.

Supervisor Karen Abowd was renamed Redevelopment Authority chairperson and Shirk was named vice chairman. Abowd also keeps the Nevada Works liaison role. Shelly Aldean, former supervisor, stays on the Tahoe Regional Planning Authority.

In other action, Jim Smolenski, a funeral home director, was returned to RTC, and Jack Zenteno, a state employee, was named a new RTC member.


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