More city money for NNDA possible |

More city money for NNDA possible

John Barrette

A $200,000 commitment over two years to beef up Northern Nevada Development Authority (NNDA) work for Carson City managed to clear a preliminary hurdle Thursday, but the heavy lifting is yet to come.

After hearing a report from Rob Hooper, executive director of the regional economic development authority, the board voted 4-1 to instruct city staff to analyze Hooper’s funding proposal and seek a source for city money to pay for it. The dissenting vote was cast by Supervisor John McKenna, who voiced worries about Carson City just emerging from difficult times that could come again. Hooper, however, had argued for an upgrade.

“We need to get Carson City focused on a specific program for Carson City,” he said. “We are the manufacturing hub of the state. We need to focus on those manufacturers.”

The capital city does have a significant number of light manufacturing plants, among the largest Click Bond, Inc., which serves the aerospace industry. Hooper mentioned that industry as talked of a September recruiting trip to Brazil, where there is a strong aerospace connection.

His presentation, however, focused not only on outreach but also on growing existing Carson City plants, helping beef up workforce development, and luring capital for new industrial buildings.

Supervisor Brad Bonkowski, a commercial real estate agent active in NNDA, made the motion to get staff researching whether and how to pay NNDA more in the future. The city already provides almost $25,000 a year as a base allotment for participating in the 4 1/2 counties’ regional government development authority. The $200,000 over two years would provide nearly $50,000 for the base allotment, the rest for Carson City-specific efforts.

Bonkowski said growth and retention efforts for existing Carson City manufacturers should have been under way the past decade, so the initiative is overdue.

In other action, the board finalized approval for $2.7 million in debt to upgrade hardware and software for the city’s 911 emergency communications system and rejected bids for more than $2 million for an East-West Water Transmission Main project due to a dispute over who submitted the responsive low bid.

Approving the 911 debt was expected. The latter rejection was because the district attorney’s office said litigation between the two lowest bidders might delay the project, so it’s going out for bid again.