Chamber News & Views: Redevelopment funds make positive impact
Many downtown building facades have been revitalized recently thanks to the use of redevelopment matching funds authorized by the Redevelopment Authority Citizens Committee.
Redevelopment funds are not granted from the general fund and are earmarked specifically to enhance the appeal of the downtown (Area 1) and the southern corridor (Area 2). The funds are paid through “tax-increment financing,” meaning a portion of the property tax paid by the building owner in the districts is set aside specifically for redevelopment activities. There is no increase in the property tax. The funds are used specifically to encourage and attract private sector investment that would probably not otherwise occur.
Some of the recently completed projects include the upgrading of the exterior housing Battle Born Social at 318 N. Carson; the new roof at 112 N. Curry St.; the new facades at McFadden Plaza to create an inviting unified look, and new paint and general upgrades at Carson Jewelry & Loan. Currently, under exterior renovation are the three units of the former Horseshoe Club. Other funds have been set aside for two other projects soon to begin. Redevelopment will match up to $25,000 for improvements.
Further, Redevelopment funds support the cost of street closures to bring events into the City thus saving important dollars for the non-profits to hold events in the downtown. The committee has recommended financial support of many events through the years to encourage them to grow into successful annual events. The Epic Rides is partially supported through this funding as is Taste of Downtown, RSVP Fourth of July Fireworks, Silver & Snowflakes Festival of Lights, Nevada Day and other smaller programs attracting locals to enjoy their new downtown. The Carson City Arts & Cultural Commission receives $25,000 annually to supplement cultural programs and events through this funding.
Looking to the future, the citizens committee is recommending the improvement of The Alley that runs behind the former Horseshoe Club and Cactus Jacks. While this was first revitalized in the late 1990’s, The Alley was not kept in proper repair and needs another make-over to fit in with the rest of the planned redevelopment to include some of the side streets. The Alley would provide a perfect location for more intimate music venues and outdoor dining. It is anticipated the historic and much visited Blue Line will be repaired and repainted in 2018. A new outdoor play area is slated for partial funding to enhance the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada.
Redevelopment has set aside funding to support partial revitalization of South Carson Street in 2018, and will continue the co-op façade improvement program for those wishing to upgrade their exteriors within the districts. Monies are not used for signage.
For those unaware, the downtown property owners pay for the upkeep of the new area through a special assessment, thus no redevelopment or general funds are used in this area. Called the Neighborhood Improvement District (NID), this fund generates about $52,000 annually to keep the area clean and vegetation tended. The NID district extends from Washington to Fifth Streets encompassing Carson and Curry streets.