Funding for Fuji Park, fairgrounds topic for panel again | NevadaAppeal.com

Funding for Fuji Park, fairgrounds topic for panel again

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

Obtaining enough money to improve Fuji Park and the Carson City Fairgrounds area will be the focus of the Parks and Recreation Commissioners during their meeting Tuesday.

The commissioners are being asked to recommend draft agreements with the developer of the former three-acre Bodine’s site – whomever it may be – to help offset the estimated $5 million price tag for all the improvements being planned.

Discussions began with the buyer of the South Carson City property last year, Kevin Coleman, the developer of Minden Village. He wanted to build a casino on the property and help pay for improvements to the facility. In exchange for parking privileges at the fairgrounds, he said he wanted to provide the city with up to $1 million.

Plans are in the works, however, for the property to be developed as a casino by another developer, Michael Pegrum, according to the city.

“It’s still not a done deal,” said Vern Krahn, parks planner. ‘It all hinges on a legally signed contract, but we still want to be prepared.”

There had been discussions and even a presentation by Coleman to a Fuji Park users group. The city, however, never had a written agreement with Coleman, Krahn emphasized.

No matter who builds a casino on the land next to the park and fairgrounds, “it would be a rare and unique opportunity” for the city to help pay for the upgrades, Krahn said.

The commissioners are being asked to recommend draft agreements for a donation similar to that initially considered by Coleman and for a parking area.

Reshuffling of spending priorities to help offset costs for the upgrades is also being considered so the project can be completed more quickly, Krahn said.

While an urban fishing pond in one section of the park grounds is pretty already much financed, other amenities in that section aren’t. The commissioners are being asked whether postponing the addition of two softball fields at JohnD Winters Centennial Parks, at a cost of $1 million, would be a feasible way to help the Fuji project along.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.

If you go

What: Parks and Recreation Commission meeting

When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Sierra Room, Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.