Board to keep open space, rec separate |

Board to keep open space, rec separate

The Board of Supervisors on Thursday decided against merging two citizen advisory committees into one board.

The supervisors were considering whether to combine the Open Space Advisory Committee and the Parks and Recreation Commission, two panels that advise Carson City’s Parks, Recreation, and Open Space department.

Nick Marano, city manager, introduced the item, saying a job objective given to him was to review the city’s various committees, and Jennifer Budge, Parks & Rec director, said there was some overlap in the two boards, which already meet jointly at least once a year.

Mayor Bob Crowell said he was concerned that an effort to be more efficient would create its own set of problems.

“I think Open Space feels like a stepchild and is now being brought under Parks and Rec.”— Mayor Bob Crowell

“I think Open Space feels like a stepchild and is now being brought under Parks and Rec,” he said.

Seven people gave public comment and all but one, who said she was neutral, was opposed to combining the two boards.

“I think it should not be approved. We are two independent groups. I understand wanting efficiencies, but we do have two different missions,” said Bruce Scott, chair of the Open Space Advisory Committee. “I think a lot of overlap can be addressed at the staff level.”

Supervisor Lori Bagwell, who sits on the Parks and Recreation Commission, came up with a compromise and made a motion to maintain both boards, which will each meet four times a year and then twice a year jointly.

The board approved that by a vote of 3-1. Supervisor Brad Bonkowski was absent and Supervisor John Barrette voted no after an amendment he proposed to put a supervisor on the Open Space committee wasn’t included.

The supervisors also decided a factual error had been made in a property tax assessment.

The two parcels on Medical Parkway had long been zoned residential, one with a residence and the other with the septic tank that served the adjacent residence. In 2011, the property owner had the land rezoned commercial and in 2015 the Assessor reappraised the parcel with the septic tank as vacant commercial, raising the property taxes from $858 to just more than $9,000.

The owners appealed it to the county and state boards of equalization, arguing the septic tank was an improvement and the property use, as a residence, hadn’t changed. The Board of Equalization directed the Assessor to bring the matter to the Board of Supervisors to determine if a factual error had been made.

“This could go either way so what does Solomon do?” said Crowell. “Sometimes you just have to put an end to it.”

The board voted 3-1 the property had been overassessed due to an error, with Bagwell voting no because she didn’t think the Assessor’s actions were in error.

The supervisors approved a contract with Q & D Construction not to exceed $3,990,210.35 for the Downtown Curry Streetscape project.

The project will mirror the work done on Carson Street — utility replacement, widening sidewalks, and street repaving — on five blocks of Curry Street between Robinson and Musser streets as well as one block of each side street.

The city is holding a groundbreaking on April 30 and Q&D is expected to get started on the project in early May.

The board also passed on second reading an ordinance revamping the health inspection process for restaurants, which will now receive grades prominently displayed at the eateries.

And the supervisors heard the first reading of an ordinance to impose signage limits on marijuana establishments.

The ordinance, recommended by the Planning Commission, would’ve allowed two, 15 square-foot signs or a single 30 square-foot sign, at the city’s two medical marijuana dispensaries and recreational marijuana retail outlets, which are co-located.

The board limited it to one or two 15 square-foot signs, and not a single 30 square-foot sign.

One of the businesses, Sierra Well on Highway 50 East, has two frontages and can install two signs while the other store, Rise on Clearview Drive, has only one store front so it can display a single sign.