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Seniors ask Bush for use of old BLM land

RHONDA COSTA-LANDERS

A measure to provide federal land east of the Carson City Senior Citizens Center on Beverly Drive is headed to President Bush’s desk for signing.

The 4.48-acre parcel, valued at about $300,000, would allow seniors with limited mobility to have access to a senior center, the Carson Tahoe Rehabilitation Center Hospital, an assisted living center, and adult day care center. It passed the Senate Aug. 2.

If it is not used for intended purposes, the property managed by the Bureau of Land Management will revert to the federal government.

“This is so exciting,” said Janice McIntosh, executive director of the senior center. “Virginia Johnson from the Resources Subcommittee in Washington, D.C., called me today (Wednesday) and updated me on the progress. I knew the measure had passed out of the House, but I hadn’t checked on it for several days.

“All it needs is George W.’s autograph,” she said.

McIntosh said because the measure is non-controversial, she doesn’t think Bush will have a problem signing it. Once the measure is signed it will be deeded within 120 days to Carson City.

“People have been trying since 1997 to get the property. All my predecessors’ hard work has paid off. They deserve credit too because they did a lot of hard work.”

McIntosh delivered the good news to the lunch crowd at the senior center Wednesday and was met with a resounding applause.

“This whole thing was started by Sen. (Richard) Bryan,” said McIntosh. “When it fell out, it was re-introduced by Sen. (Jim) Gibbons, then by John Ensign and co-sponsored by Sen. (Harry) Reid.

“It’s important to note our legislators, both Republican and Democrat, got together, took it to Congress and got this going.”

McIntosh traveled to Washington June 12 and testified at a Resources Subcommittee hearing in favor of the measure.

“Carson City will be very pleased when this happens. Everyone has worked together to get it done. It’s great Nevada showed them how to get it done and it’s great for our seniors.”

The news comes just in time for the center’s expansion project, scheduled to break ground Sept. 15