New fee schedules passed by Carson City supervisors

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The Board of Supervisors on Thursday passed new fee schedules for the stormwater utility and recreation facilities.

For stormwater, the board approved a new proposal to add a three-tiered residential rate rather than a flat rate for all single-family houses.

“The tiered structure is more equitable,” said Acting Mayor Brad Bonkowski. “The public comment I’ve been getting is from owners of smaller homes saying why should I pay as much as someone with a 5,000 square foot house on one acre.”

The monthly stormwater rates for the three residential tiers will be $6.29, $7.96, and $8.79, starting Jan. 1, 2021, with increases phased in over three years ending at $7.40, $12.50, and $15, respectively.

The new tiers are for single-story less than 1,600 square feet and multi-story less than 2,400 square feet; single-story from 1,600 to 2,400 square feet and multi-story 2,400 square feet to 3,600 square feet; and single-story larger than 2,400 square feet and multi-story larger 3,600 square feet.

“What seemed to fit was using structure size as a surrogate for impervious area,” said Andy Hummel, wastewater utility manager.

The commercial rates are also tiered, but based on the amount of impervious area, such as driveways and parking lots, at the property.

The city’s recreation fees have not changed since 2009. First ever fees for the renovated Carson Rifle and Pistol Range were implemented separately and became effective in July. The remaining fee changes will start in January and June next year, depending on the facility.

Some of the fee changes include a $1 increase for all drop-in fees at the Aquatic Facility and Multi-purpose Athletic Center and new family drop-in rates and annual passes at both facilities.

“We worked hard to find the sweet spot that was equitable to both the facilities and the public,” said Mayor Elect Lori Bagwell.

The board also began an effort to put all Carson City fees into uniform schedules referred to in the municipal code instead of embedded in it as they are now. The change will allow changes to the fees without new ordinances, but the process will still be a public process with business impact statements issued and approval required from the board.

Both the utility and recreation fees have been before the board multiple times and were recommended by committees — the Utility Finance Oversight Committee for stormwater and both the Open Space Committee and the Parks and Recreations Commission for the recreation fees.

The Sierra Room where the supervisors usually meet and the MAC will now be known as the Robert “Bob” Crowell Board Room and the Robert “Bob” Crowell Multi-purpose Athletic Center after the board voted to rename the venues to honor Carson City’s late mayor.

“There was no greater supporter of quality of life,” said Jennifer Budge, director, Parks, Recreation and Open Space.

The supervisors heard their regular COVID-19 situation report from Nicki Aaker, director, Carson City Health and Human Services, who was speaking from her home because she has tested positive for the virus and is quarantining.

Aaker said there were 138 new cases in Carson City for the weeks Oct. 18-31, a 11 percent increase from the two-week period of Oct. 11-24. The average age is 37.

She said at Carson Tahoe Health 82 percent of staffed beds, 79 percent of ICU beds and 23 percent of ventilators are utilized.

“Washoe Med’s two facilities are completely full,” said Bonkowski.

Aaker said Renown had remodeled part of a parking garage for additional patients which has yet to be used.

“In recent days CTH has not received direct transfers from Washoe County hospitals. While inpatient admissions are increasing throughout Northern Nevada, available inpatient beds still exist in Reno and Sparks,” Alan Garrett, president and CEO, told the Nevada Appeal on Thursday.

The board directed staff to look into several possibilities for spending roughly $500,000 in CARES Act funding, which must be spent before the end of the year unless the federal government extends the deadline.

Staff is going to look into purchasing additional personal protective equipment both for the hospital and for the city inventory, specialty freezers which may be needed for an upcoming vaccine against the virus, and outdoor heaters so restaurants and other businesses can continue to serve customers outside in colder weather.


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