Supervisors approve Marano’s contract |

Supervisors approve Marano’s contract

John Barrette

Carson City’s Board of Supervisors approved a contract Thursday compensating the next city manager at more than $230,000 and began seeking federal funds for affordable housing units on the north side.

In two other matters, the board also kept the multipurpose athletic center (MAC) site near the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada and set the stage to take on $2.7 million in debt for upgrades in the 911 emergency communications system.

On June 2, Nick Marano will begin as the next city manager at an annual salary of $171,500 plus benefits of $56,491 and additional expense allowances. He receives a car allowance of $3,921 and a phone allowance of $971. His benefits are $2,603 for medicare, $44,161 for the Public Employees Retirement System program, $9,068 in group insurance and $559 involving workers compensation. A one-time moving allowance of up to $10,000 also is included.

That makes the entire package for the first year $242,883. Marano, a retired Marine Corps colonel and management consultant, was hired earlier by the board without dissent and the vote on this negotiated contract was routinely approved with little comment.

The affordable housing matter involved a board decision instructing city staff to move toward implementing a plan by FISH (Friends In Service Helping) in an effort to secure Housing and Urban Development (HUD) federal funds for a project. The plan is to demolish a building donated to FISH at 430 Jeanell Drive in North Carson City and erect transitional housing on the 1.7 acres FISH now owns.

City staff indicated the Nevada Housing Division has said up to $1 million in HOME program funds may be available through HUD for use on the project. Carson City, if the proposal works out, would receive the funds with 10 percent to administer the project and monitor it for the two decades the transitional housing must remain affordable.

Jim Peckham, executive director of FISH, testified and took questions on the concept.

“Our goal is to build an apartment building that’s considered low income housing from HUD’s standpoint,” Peckham said. He said there is need for homeless people who also require wraparound services from society to go with housing.

“There’s just no shelter for them,” he said

Supervisor John McKenna sought assurances FISH would be around 20 years. Mayor Robert Crowell and Supervisor Brad Bonkowski expressed concern about city liability and accountability. Peckham and staff covered their questions.

Supervisor Jim Shirk said he favors of the idea.

“I think this is a much needed project,” he said.

The MAC issue was whether to move the athletic center from Russell Way next to the Boys and Girls Club of Western Nevada to Mills Park, something advocated by Shirk earlier, which attracted several to favor keeping it on Russell Way. Among them was Assemblyman Pete Livermore, a former supervisor, who said he was just appearing as a citizen. He said Mills Park had been ruled out earlier because of parking pressures there.

“Let’s get busy; let’s build the community what was promised 20 years ago,” he said.

Shirk earlier had argued for moving the MAC to Mills Park and stuck to his guns Thursday, so the vote once again was 4-1.

Immediately after that, the board approved a staff timeline on all projects envisioned with city sales tax money and bonds, but with two provisos. An an amendment to that timeline was to speed up design and, if possible, start of construction soon. The other was direction for staff to work diligently on setting up business improvement districts for business corridor improvements.

The board earlier voted to boost city sales tax an eighth of a penny, or $12.50 per $10,000 in taxable goods purchased, to help pay for the MAC, an animal shelter, upgrade Community Center cultural capacity, and do business streetscape improvements all along Carson Street — including downtown — and on East William Street.

The board in addition approved the next step in medium-term debt for hardware and software upgrades to the city’s 911 system. The city is expected to go to market seeking the $2.7 million loan funds on June 24, and is figuring on no more than a 3 percent interest rate, though hope was held out it might prove closer to 2.5 percent.