Residents still care about Fuji land |

Residents still care about Fuji land

Amanda Hammon

If nothing else, Carson City’s board of supervisors meeting Thursday proved that residents still care about land slated for Costco.

The city moved forward on all requests regarding 15 acres of land near Fuji Park earmarked as the future home of a 148,000 square foot Costco warehouse.

The land is now officially in the redevelopment district and City Manager John Berkich is officially asked to negotiate a deal with Costco as well as apply for permits necessary to gain 3.2 acres of U. S. Forest Service land.

An item requesting the profits from the sale of 15 acres of land across Old Clear Creek Road from Fuji Park was pulled from discussion until a later meeting.

Although the city has been insistent that Costco will take over only a parcel across the street from Costco, residents continued to question the city’s true intentions for Fuji Park.

“We’ve heard rumors that Marriott and Wal-Mart want to locate at Fuji Park,” resident Barbara Alexander said. “If things aren’t clear, we don’t know what’s to believe. You are the people we depend on to get the word out. I feel citizens weren’t given enough information to attend meetings early on in the process. People have rioted over less than this.”

Supervisors countered that the process had gone through at least three other city commissions and several meetings had been held on the issues by supervisors.

Berkich has been dealing with Costco since November. The land was added to the city’s redevelopment district so the city could negotiate with one entity rather than go through the public bid process.

The proceeds from the sale of the land, estimated at $3.2 million, are expected to be returned to Carson City. The disposal of that money will be the next huge step for city supervisors. The soonest the city could sell the land would be Feb. 17.

— Supervisors approved $25,000 for a lawyer specializing in Medicare law to help appeal a decision that threatens Carson’s ambulance service.

The Carson City Ambulance Service received a $140,000 loan from the city’s general fund after a Medicare audit cost the service about $147,000. The city is appealing Medicare’s decision and is asking for a refund but had to pay the money up front or face paying more in interest rates.

Medicare ordered an audit by a private company of Carson’s 1,600 Medicare ambulance runs from mid-1995 to mid-1996. The company reviewed 80 cases which Medicare had already paid and determined Carson City shouldn’t have been reimbursed for services. The case should be appealed within the next six months, and that’s why the city needs the outside legal counsel to help with the case.

“Medicare is like the IRS code, it’s difficult,” Deputy District Attorney Mark Forsberg said. “For a non-expert attorney to tread in it is treacherous. We can learn a lot from this process when we have (the experts) involved.”

The costs for the attorney could spiral up to $50,000.

— Carson City’s Environmental Health Department recently received a $27,000 grant to promote recycling and waste reduction public awareness.

The money will continue to fund programs for third and fourth grade children like a subscription to “Trash Talk,” a recycling-themed newspaper geared towards children.

Part of the money will be used for an adult education publication called “One Man’s Trash.”

“This will give us a chance to reach a little taller audience,” Deputy Health Director Ken Arnold said.

The publication will be distributed quarterly with the Capital City Focus.