Doreen Mack guest column: Commitment to downtown advances Carson City
The Downtown 2020 group initiated and promoted the Downtown Renovation plan. This took years of planning, relentless meetings with the Board of Supervisors and working with many different city agencies, City Planner, City Manager and engineers. During this process there have been meetings with all the businesses and reaching out to the college and our high school to get them involved. We had public meetings where we listened and adapted your concerns to our plan for we understood that to be successful it takes a village.
Kudos to our Board of Supervisors that against all adversity they also saw a need to redevelop our City. Being involved with the Carson City Downtown Mainstreet organization in 1991-1992, business owner of Lofty Expressions and being instrumental in developing Telegraph Square, I know all too well that redevelopment is a necessary process in building a strong downtown core that radiates out to our community. It has been many years since there has been any downtown improvements and this needs to be done to make a safe and desirable community for businesses to want to locate here.
We are proud to say we have reached our Goals to be a walkable and people friendly downtown. We have been instrumental in the following:
Removal of the fence; 1/8 of a cent sales tax approved to support City improvements; and going from four to two lanes with turn lane, bike lane, parking, wider sidewalks, seating, landscaping & amenities.
The Downtown 2020 Group was tenacious in pursuing our goals for we saw a great need to do something before the freeway was completed to support existing businesses and create an environment to recruit new retail business to improve our economy. This was not a frivolous adventure. A few years ago traffic studies showed that downtown traffic was at 1972 levels; last year downtown traffic levels decreased to 1968 levels.
The downtown renovation is in coordination with the City replacing water and sewer lines and removing the medians. We all agreed construction would happen simultaneously with downtown improvements so it would not disrupt businesses any longer than necessary. Carson City needs to be a destination place to attract local people to make a downtown community and tourists to support our businesses and build our economy. Events and other historic attractions will be an on-going process.
This has been a journey and our motivation is what has brought this plan to fruition. The Carson Proud Group, Impetus Agency and the contractors are the people who are going to build and promote the downtown plan everyone has agreed on, from the Downtown 2020 Group, BOS, the City, and the public. We support them and the businesses and hope you do too.
The Downtown 2020 group has volunteered its time and worked diligently on keeping you updated on downtown projects. It will continue to be your eyes and ears, and will keep you informed of progress through our “Downtown 2020” Facebook page, where you will also have a voice.
Thank you from all of us and all who have supported us,
Downtown 2020 group members: Doreen Mack, president, Lacy Sheck, vice president, Gloria Deyhle, secretary, Jean Perpich, treasurer, Dennis Brunetm graphic artist and Victor Honein, member and business owner.