Carson City moves forward with affordable housing project
The Board of Supervisors have chosen an $18 million, 160-unit affordable housing project for six acres of Carson City-owned land on Butti Way.
The board on Thursday reviewed two submissions to a request for proposal issued by the city in September and selected PalaSeek LLC, a Carson City-based partnership that has built similar developments, including the College Villas Senior Apartments in Henderson.
The PalaSeek project proposes a multi-story building consisting of 160 one, two, and three-bedroom apartments. Apartments would be set aside and rents established based on tenants share of the area median income, data published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sixteen units would be for tenants earning below 50 percent of AMI, 128 units for those earning less than 80 percent of AMI, and 16 units for those earning more than 80 percent AMI. The current AMI for Carson City is $68,700.
PalaSeek expects to build the project in phases with initial occupancy in December 2021.
The other project was presented by Carson City Veterans’ Village Coalition Group, which proposed 60 single-story, attached units consisting of 12 studio apartments, 36 one-bedroom units and 12 two-bedroom units.
The project cost was estimated at $5.8 million and the veterans group was teaming with CPLC Nevada, which had worked on Richards Crossing in Carson City and projects in Douglas and Lyon counties. The expected initial occupancy was September 2022.
The supervisors cited several reasons why they unanimously chose one project over another.
“First and foremost, I don’t think we need transitional housing. We need permanent housing,” said Mayor Pro Tem Lori Bagwell, who led the meeting in Mayor Bob Crowell’s absence.
The PalaSeek units are all larger and being built as permanent residences while the Veterans’ Village Coalition project proposed smaller units meant for people to transition out of in a year to 18 months.
During public comment, two Carson City residents, one a neighbor to the project property, spoke in favor of the smaller, single-story Veterans’ Village plan.
“I appreciate the public comment that smaller is preferable and if we had multiple parcels of land to develop I’d agree with you,” said Supervisor Stacey Giomi. “I think we need to maximize this property. We’ve got one shot and this is it.”
The board also discussed minimizing the use of HUD vouchers for tenants. By law, the apartment management would have to take individuals with vouchers from anywhere and the supervisors said they wanted to make sure Carson City residents and those who work here get priority placement.
PalaSeek plans to install solar energy equipment, most likely on top of car ports, which they have done to save tenants electricity costs in other projects.
PalaSeek agreed to pay the city $10,000 plus transfer taxes for the land, which will have a deed restriction or some other mechanism to ensure it is used for affordable housing.
The board directed staff to negotiate an agreement that will include the land reverting back to the city if the developer is unable to secure financing or complete the project.
The board also approved a 10-year, $5.1 million interlocal agreement with the Nevada Department of Transportation for access to the Statewide Public Safety Radio Communications System.
The agreement initially came before the board in May, when both Sheriff Ken Furlong and Fire Chief Sean Slamon spoke in support of it, when the board directed staff to make some changes to the contract and bring it back.
“Kudos to Public Works and staff for corralling this. I can’t think of a more important thing for public safety,” said Giomi, a former Carson City fire chief.
The board voted to accept the annual financial report for the fiscal year that ended in June. The report, prepared by the city’s external auditor, Piercy, Bowler, Taylor and Kern, gave the city an unqualified opinion and certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting.
Two violations were found: the Grant Fund expenses Juvenile Function exceeded the budget by $2,613 due to underestimated grant proceeds and expenses, and the Insurance Fund expense exceeded the budget by $586,069 due to an unanticipated liability accrual for a large legal case.
Revenues increased from $103.5 million in the year ending June 2018 to $118.5 million while expenses decreased from $105.8 million to $94.6 million, for a net position increase of $26.2 million.
“We had a very good year,” said Sheri Russell, chief financial officer.