City, Fuji Park users to meet
Members of the Fuji Park Users Association are hoping a meeting with city officials Sunday will clear up confusion surrounding the park’s future.
Jack Andersen, president of the Karson Kruzers Car Club, organized the meeting hoping to clear up confusion he feels was created by the Costco land deal.
“We want to find out what their plans are for Fuji Park,” Andersen said. “We want everybody to understand what’s going on. Are they just going to destroy Fuji Park, or are they going to improve it?”
Fuji Park and the Carson City Fairgrounds were thrown into the limelight when the city announced its attempts to lure warehouse-giant Costco to Carson City.
About 18 acres north of Old Clear Creek Road was added to the city’s redevelopment district, allowing the city to deal with one entity rather than go through a public bid process to sell the land. City officials are in final negotiations with Costco, and the land is slated for construction of a 148,000-square-foot warehouse and a gas station.
Andersen charges the process to bring Costco to Carson City happened too quickly with little opportunity for residents to comment.
“It was a done deal since the beginning,” he said. “We’re not fighting that anymore, but it shouldn’t have been this way. It should have been brought up long before. This is a very important issue to people and if we would have known, we could have been involved.
“All we’re asking is to let us be involved.”
Andersen said one of their biggest concerns is future parking. Without parking, he said, many of the events, especially those involving horse trailers, won’t take place at Fuji Park. The Costco lot was used for overflow parking. He also said rumors that another developer is interested in the park site makes users anxious.
The Karson Kruzers hold car shows at the park annually. Andersen calls Fuji Park “the best kept secret of Carson City” and wants to see improvements to the park, such as were outlined in a 1990 plan.
Andersen said he expects more than 100 people to attend the meeting, including members of several horse associations and car clubs.
“We hope to get something accomplished that will work for both sides,” Andersen said.
Parks and Recreation Director Steve Kastens said he understands the users’ concerns. To his knowledge, the city has no other commitments for the park and fairgrounds.
Supervisor Jon Plank said he was concerned with preserving the area for users.
“I think it’s our duty to meet with them if they want us to,” Plank said. “We have the fate of the park in our hands as elected officials, and they don’t. It’s our duty to listen to what they have to say.”
Parks and Recreation Commissioner Glen Martel said it was important to deal with misconceptions now and take a look at the park’s future.
“This meeting will be a positive way to get information to residents,” Martel said. “I think it would be prudent to look to the future of the fairgrounds and plan. Now is the time, not two years or five years when another developer comes in.”