Carson City is thriving thanks to its citizens and city staff, according to Mayor Bob Crowell.
Crowell delivered his annual State of the City address Wednesday at the Carson City Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon.
“We live in a community where its residents are committed to making the city we call home a shining example of what communities can do to make life better for all of us,” Crowell told a room of 120 attendees in the Gold Dust West. “So today I am proud to report to you that the state of our city is healthy and fiscally sound.”
Crowell said the city began its new fiscal year with 15 percent of annual expenses in a rainy day fund, thanks to revenues rising while spending was kept in check.
Carson City’s taxable sales last year were more $1 billion and revenue from sales tax increased 10 percent.
“If this trend continues, we may well end up with $2.1 million in additional revenue for this year, some of which we will save and some we will use to address capital reinvestment,” he said.
Crowell said unemployment is down with fewer than 1,000 residents seeking work, down from 3,000 unemployed and looking during the recent recession.
“We haven’t seen that number for 11 years, but we should not rest until every resident who wants a job has one,” said Crowell.
And he touted the city’s school system and its students.
“How about our high school’s graduation rate, 92.3 percent? Doesn’t get a whole lot better than that,” he said.
The mayor highlighted accomplishments in 2017, including $350,000 spent in downtown building facade improvements, a combination of city and private investment, and completed repairs at local parks and trails, including Moffat Open Space, and Long Ranch and Mexican Ditch trails, after significant damage from two winter floods.
And he looked ahead to needs in the coming year, including all types of residential development.
“The Nevada Rural Housing Authority found a substantial need for additional affordable housing units, including affordable apartments. To a large degree, our efforts at workforce development depend upon our community’s ability to offer affordable housing,” he said. “And speaking of housing, as you heard from our board members on the video, there is also a growing need for transitional housing in our community where individuals can reside in a healthy and secure environment while embracing a positive lifestyle and where recidivism is reduced.”
The event started with a video of the mayor, other members of the Board of Supervisors, and city staff talking about the city, including Supervisor John Barrette in front of the city’s first piece of public art, “Inside the Mind of da Vinci,” installed outside the Carson City Community Center last year, and Supervisor Lori Bagwell at Ross Gold Park, which will soon be rehabilitated to provide equipment for both abled and disabled children and adults.
The event ended with a brief question and answer session, in which the mayor was first asked about the status of the Ormsby House, the long-vacant downtown hotel/casino property that’s for sale.
“I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will be resolved in the very near future,” said Crowell.
The mayor was also asked what’s the city’s part in workforce development.
“We’re putting the infrastructure in place for younger families,” said Crowell. “That is the most critical thing the city can do.”
The event was recorded and the video was set to be posted at the city web site — carson.org — later in the day.