Incentives for distressed properties in Carson City considered
The Board of Supervisors on Thursday started taking a look at Carson City’s redevelopment efforts, including whether money should be used to incentivize the cleanup of distressed properties.
“Should we be considering blighted property assistance?” said Supervisor Karen Abowd, who chairs the board when it convenes as the Redevelopment Authority.
One such property is Jack’s Bar at the corner of 5th and Carson streets. The building has long been vacant and in disrepair, and is owned by the owners of the Ormsby House, which is up for sale.
“It’s no secret the Ormsby House is in negotiations and we’ve been pushing to include Jack’s Bar,” said Nick Marano, city manager.
But, Marano said, whether Jack’s Bar is torn down or refurbished, it would cost more than it’s worth an investor.
“If the Redevelopment Authority is interested in recreating that as a viable business this kind of incentive may be needed,” said Marano.
Supervisor Brad Bonkowski said the authority had been accused in the past of picking winners and losers when it provided incentives, but after further discussion the board agreed to consider it on a case by case basis.
“I could see where an incentive could push a project over the top and get it done,” said Mayor Bob Crowell.
Ronni Hannaman, executive director, Carson City Chamber of Commerce, and vice chair of the Redevelopment Authority Citizens Committee, which advises the board, spoke to advocate for the committee’s work and for improvements throughout the city.
“It looks pretty darn good downtown now,” said Hannaman.
“Maybe it’s time we took downtown out of redevelopment and did something on North Carson Street.”
She also suggested replacing the sound system at the Fuji Park fairgrounds.
“Those are the kind of things, they’re little pieces of the puzzle that make the whole,” said Hannaman.
The supervisors also heard two presentations on the city’s finances — on the audit of its fiscal year ended June 30, 2017 and on internal audit work programs — and voted to accept the annual financial report for the year ended in June.
The city’s assets exceeded its liabilities by $314,225,049, an increase of 3.7 percent attributable to a 10.4 percent jump in the consolidated tax revenue, according to auditor Eide Bailly.
General Fund reserves were $8,179,956, or 12.5 percent of total General Fund expenditures, well above the 8.3 percent set as a goal by the board.
Several minor errors were found, including double reimbursement by the Nevada Department of Transportation for the same $6,919 charge.
The board approved a $63,007 contract with Sierra Nevada Construction Inc., for construction manager at risk services for the South Carson Street Complete Street Project.
The contract is a pre-construction contract to start the process of redoing South Carson Street. The project is being designed by city staff and a construction contract will be later negotiated.
As part of the pre-construction phase, Sierra Nevada has already set up meetings in January to talk with affected businesses, said Dan LeBlanc, vice president of the Sparks construction company.
The board also referred an ordinance allowing tattoo parlors in retail commercial zones back to the Planning Commission.
The ordinance, recommended by the commission, would’ve made tattoo businesses an allowed use in retail areas. The board decided it wants the businesses to be a conditional use, meaning each one will need to apply for a special use permit, which gives the city some oversight of how many parlors are allowed to open.