Mayor Lori Bagwell: Carson City to build for the future

Mayor Lori Bagwell delivers her annual State of the City address Thursday at Gold Dust West Casino.

Mayor Lori Bagwell delivers her annual State of the City address Thursday at Gold Dust West Casino.
Photo by Adam Trumble.

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In Carson City, 2024 will be the year of construction.

Those were the words of Mayor Lori Bagwell during the annual State of the City address, hosted by the Carson City Chamber at the Gold Dust West Casino on Thursday.

“If design was the word for 2023, ‘start’ is the word for 2024,” Bagwell said.

The capital city’s first female mayor touched on a few of the many projects she said would be a record for the largest capital construction season with more than $75 million in investments.

“The momentum from 2023 carries into 2024,” Bagwell said of the city’s improvements.

The city will start construction on the Quill Wastewater Treatment Plant. The project includes a 3,200-square-foot expansion and other improvements on part of approximately 414 acres of city-owned property zoned public community. The improvements will enable the plant to treat up to 6 million gallons per day, versus currently treating an estimated 1.5 million gallons a day.

The city will also begin the East William Street project to make utility improvements. A third improvement is the Southeast Area Sewer Conversion Project, which will put homes between Snyder Avenue and Clearview Drive with Conte Drive as the border on city sewer.

Other projects include the 5th Street preservation project, Winnie Lane reconstruction, Empire sewer rehabilitation, and ARPA neighborhood roads project.

The projects all coincide with the construction of a new fire station off Butti Way. It will be the city’s first new station since the mid-1970s.

Earlier this month the Board of Supervisors approved a contract with CORE West Inc., for approximately $15.6 million. The contract is to construct the approximately 17,700-square-foot fire station that will include an emergency operations center, IT offices and backup dispatch station. The total budget for the project is estimated to be $18.4 million.

In praising public works, the department which will oversee the projects, Bagwell cited work last year on preparing the projects for construction.

“That’s not all,” she said about Public Works’ accomplishments in 2023. “They constructed 2.3 miles of new multi-modal pathways, worked on 3.4 miles of existing streets, and completed the Colorado Street Construction Project.”

Bagwell touched on Carson City’s growth management plan, sharing population increases have not been significant in any particular year since 1982. Demographics indicate Carson experienced a 2.2 percent growth between July 2021 and 2022, its largest in 20 years.

“I think we are doing a good job of managing our growth,” Bagwell said, about capping growth at 3 percent.

Statistically, 28 percent of residents are 60 or older; 23 percent are under the age of 20; 24 percent are between the ages of 40 and 59; and 25 percent are between 20 and 39, which Bagwell considered a fairly even distribution among the groups.

With growth comes housing being built in Carson. Bagwell discussed future housing with the city’s Tanamera Apartments (306 units), housing at Ash Canyon with 41 units on the east side of Ormsby Boulevard and at Capital Crossing (137 units).

The city has been working to update its zoning code with Municipal Code Title 18, the rewrite for which has been in progress. This year, Bagwell said it’s time to rewrite Title 4 addressing licenses and business regulations. The city is also working on updating its master plan.

“I encourage all of you to participate in this process,” Bagwell said. “Your ideas are important to us.”

The first-term mayor highlighted major sources of federal funding obtained throughout the year, which totaled $9.4 million, and the projects it benefits. The Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act amount of $2.4 million will help to break ground on a Prison Hill West site. Another $2.3 million will benefit the Carson River Trail System. Another $1.8 million helped to secure water rights for the Buzzy’s Ranch Wetland Enhancement project, and $1.1 million goes to the city’s Appion Way traffic signal and intersection improvements.

In other highlights, the mayor called attention to Carson City Senior Center’s remodel which was completed last year. The senior center now offers new lunch choices — including to-go. The center served more than 34,000 meals last year, while the Meals on Wheels program delivered more than 100,000 meals last year.

“Many might not eat healthy (without this service),” Bagwell said.

This year, the senior center plans to bring art workshops with poetry reading classes and education programs that teach best practices to recognize and protect seniors from fraud and scams and, to improve service, staff members plan to reduce the Meals on Wheels waitlist.

Health and Human Services, led by Director Nicki Aaker, held 21 public flu events in October through which about 800 individuals were vaccinated, of whom 283 were 65 or older. More than 400 food establishments inspections were made compared to 315 last year, Bagwell shared, and temporary events inspections increased from 52 in 2022 to 92 in 2023.

“Keeping your food safe is vitally important,” Bagwell said. “I want to thank our restaurants … for doing such a great job.”

As for past 2024, Bagwell said that the lack of road funding in the capital city isn’t going away anytime soon.

“We have to figure out road funding,” she said of the future. “I am positive we will come up with something.”

Nevada Appeal reporter Jessica Garcia contributed to this article.


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