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More power sought for Regional Transportation Commission

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

A proposed amendment to Carson City code would allow the Regional Transportation Commission to purchase or acquire property or obtain property interests for road projects.

The Board of Supervisors will take a first vote on this issue during their meeting today. A second approval is required for this to become part of city code.

Many of the land deals for the widening of Fairview Drive and extension of Stewart Street are complete so new rules would have little effect on these major freeway-related projects.

“We don’t always need to buy a piece of property,” said Patrick Pittenger, the city’s transportation program manager. “We might just need access to an area while a project is underway.”

The proposal would still be in adherence to state and federal rules for land acquisitions and agreements, he said.

When someone is against a land use or sales agreement approved by the RTC, they’ll have to take it to court. If the need arises to obtain a piece of land through eminent domain, someone could appeal the RTC decision to the supervisors, then take the matter to court, according to the Carson City District Attorney’s Office.

Having these issues voted on by the RTC, then the supervisors, only produces “another layer of approval,” said Supervisor Shelly Aldean, who also serves as chairwoman of the RTC, about current procedures. “Two supervisors are on the commission already. This streamlines the process because we’re removing an unnecessary step.”

Aldean and Supervisor Richard Staub are the two elected officials on the commission. The other three members are residents who volunteer their time.

Aldean said she would like to see language added to the code that explains what people can do if they oppose a specific land action, though she also said this doesn’t have to be done before this proposal is enacted.

The RTC meets on second Wednesdays of most months during the year.

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

If you go

WHAT: Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting

When: 8:30 a.m. today

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