Carson City board tackles new laws, BAC, industry | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson City board tackles new laws, BAC, industry

Nevada Appeal staff report

Reports on the recent Legislature and city manufacturing prospects were focal points of Thursday morning’s Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting.

Key legislative matters affecting the city were discussed, along with retention and recruitment of industry, marking significant matters that were of major concern despite the fact the minds of the board and many city observers were on an afternoon item deciding the fate of a new city animal shelter.

Before that shelter plan got new life via a revamped financing plan, however, the significant reports on legislation and manufacturing pointed the way to other future actions for city staff and the board.

Mary Walker of Walker and Associates, the lobbying firm representing city government and other jurisdictions in this region, said her group monitored more than 500 bills. She said there were just three matters that didn’t go the city’s way. Among those was the outcome on child protective services and how the state handles it for the community, as well as costs involved.

“That one was incredibly disappointing,” she said. Subsequent discussion disclosed staying with state handling of child protective services will cost an additional $100,000 or more, or upwards of $530,000, and so consideration may have to be given by the board to opting out and handling the task at the city government level. Not only is the funding change a problem, but quality of past service by the state has been questioned.

Danny Campos of Northern Nevada Development Authority (NNDA) — which contracts with city government to help existing industry grow, to retain local manufacturers, and to lure in more — offered a quarterly report on progress. He said regarding recruitment, NNDA has several interested firms with one nearly committed, though a sticking point is finding the right space in the city.

He said NNDA is “working with them on a build-to-suit option.” Supervisor Bard Bonkowski noted that new commercial space hasn’t been built for industry here in about a decade.

Regarding retention and expansion of existing industry, Campos said, interviews with more than 40 firms have identified at least eight expansion opportunities. He said the 43 involved are among 192 qualified industry manufacturers in Carson City, many of them small but with growth prospects. He said NNDA works with those existing firms on incentives and pathways to growth and workforce development issues.

In other activity, the board voted 4-1 to extend the Brewery Arts Center (BAC) contract to handle local access community broadcast work until Sept. 30, or through the first quarter of next fiscal year, but also required the BAC board to come up with various details of how the organization operates.

The agenda item had called for an annual extension at $140,000. Supervisor Jim Shirk dissented, calling for the matter to go to an open bid process.