Carson economic plan approved | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson economic plan approved

by Sally J. Taylor

The three task forces of the Carson City Economic Development Team have put the finishing touches to the city’s Economic Vitality Strategic Plan.

The task now, they say, is to put it into action.

After minor tweaking and one major change in wording, the plan was unanimously approved by the 60 or so community volunteers who have labored on the plan for six months on the Economic Development, Corridor Strategies and Downtown Strategies task forces.

The one stumbling block on Tuesday evening involved wording relating to the Carson City Airport.

Due to oversights on the part of the coalition and airport officials, representatives of the airport were not involved in the coalition — that is, until use of airport land was addressed in the draft plan.

Nearly a dozen airport supporters, led by Airport Authority board member Gene Sheldon, on Tuesday brought their concerns to the Economic Development task force. They requested elimination of a phrase suggesting alternative uses be examined for the land currently occupied by the airport.

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The task force and development team agreed to the change.

“I think we can still do the job we need to do without that language,” coalition facilitator Charles Long said.

With the plan approved, the work really begins.

“What is to prevent the report from joining all the other reports about what we can do to revitalize the economy sitting on the shelf?” Long asked.

The answer, which is included in the plan, is the creation of the Economic Vitality Coalition.

“Each task force will have a representative on the coalition to maintain continuity,” Long said.

“It’s a partnership to create accountability, to make sure the plan is a living document.”

The Economic Vitality Coalition, which will also include representatives from government, education, business, major employers and the general public, will begin meetings within a couple weeks. It’s expected Western Nevada Community College will provide staffing services to the committee at a cost of $25,000 supplied by participating organizations.

Also on Tuesday, groups were appointed to begin taking the plan to the public through presentations to service clubs, business and governmental bodies as well as any soap box available. The goal is to get the entire community involved in the plan.

The Economic Vitality Strategic Plan will be available on the city’s Web site at http://www.carson-city.nv.us. In a few weeks it will be printed in its final form and available at City Hall.

In general, the plan is divided into five sets of recommendations: One, partnerships; two, corridors; three, economic sectors; four, regionalism, and five, downtown.

Each area has objectives that constitute a work plan, with a total of 31 objectives.

For instance, Objective 1.3 calls for enhancing business-education partnerships. Objective 2.2 sets up a work group to explore making Carson City an alternative energy center. And Objective 4.3 seeks to improve downtown parking by partnering with public and private entities to develop additional parking lots and garages plus addressing the perception of a lack of parking by improving signs directing drivers to parking.