Activity center off front burner |

Activity center off front burner

John Barrette

Construction of Carson City’s proposed multipurpose activity center won’t start until next year, but it hasn’t officially been shelved.

That was the word Monday from Parks and Recreation Director Roger Moellendorf after he was contacted about a talk by Joel Dunn, executive director of the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau. Dunn said it was his understanding plans to build the MAC had been shelved again.

“We had to shelve the project,” he said of an earlier plan that wasn’t constructed because funds were insufficient. “My understanding is that it is shelved again.”

Not so, said Moellendorf, though he acknowledged it may take more time than he had expected earlier this year. In January, he said the project likely would start sometime this year.

“It’s not officially shelved,” Moellendorf said. “We’re working with our consultants.” He said, however, that he didn’t intend to proceed with a project that would cost millions of dollars until he is convinced it is going to be within budget. He said he remains hopeful of proceeding within six months or so.

“We’re hopeful that by the spring we’re going to have a project that’s pretty much a go,” he said. He said the city has $5.7 million in Question 18 financing available, but the latest version of plans called for more. Question 18 is the quality-of-life funding program approved in the 1990s by voters that has helped improve recreation opportunities.

The MAC is planned for property near the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada, at 1870 Russell Way not far from the I-580 freeway bypass and East William Street, which also is U.S. Highway 50.

Dunn, who used to run recreation programs in Moellendorf’s department and still lures tournaments to Carson City as director of the visitors bureau, called having such an indoor recreation facility key. He also talked of plans he has to lure tourists and events to the city involving activities and attractions unrelated to athletics.

“I’m not a sports guy,” he said. “I’m a business guy” who is working to put “heads in beds” and spur economic activity no matter what attractions can get that job done.