Showdown at Fuji Park, or how much for 50 pounds of mayo?
Notes on Costco…
– Took a drive to the proposed Fuji Park site Sunday afternoon. The sun was out. It was unseasonably warm for December. Great day to take the kids to the park. Unfortunately, the park was empty. The swings were motionless. The barbecue grills were cold. No game of touch football. No Frisbee. No dogs fetching balls. No lovers stealing kisses on a picnic blanket.
Not a person was stirring, not even a mouse. The only sign of life was a guy sleeping in a parked car located somewhere near what might some day be the front door of Costco. At least I think he was alive.
– I’ve lived here four years and used Fuji Park twice. Notes from those outings … great restrooms, could use some grass beneath the swings, saw an elephant there once. Also had a pecan punch under a shaded tree during Catholic Mass. Forgive me, Father.
– Fuji Park, as it sits today, is dead. It is used some 20 days per year for events. If the city does nothing, Fuji Park will remain dead. Money to bring it back to life would have to come from sales taxes. Costco could provide Carson City with an estimated $2 million a year in tax money.
– $2 million a year could buy Carson City lots of great stuff.
– Some of that stuff might include more deputies, library renovations, or maybe even a firefighter or two.
– Cities don’t grow by simply building houses. Not unless the city is a bedroom community.
– Carson City isn’t a bedroom community, but could be if it loses any more sales taxes to Douglas or Washoe Counties.
– Sales tax is the horse that pulls city government. It represents somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 percent of Carson City’s $59 million or so budget.
– Without Costco the horse is a nag.
– Nags can’t pull city government.
– If the Carson City sells the 15-acre parcel to Costco, all the money from that sale should go to find another park, or improve an existing park to accommodate the events displaced at Fuji.
– Carson City residents go to Costco today. The only problem is that it’s currently located in Reno. It would be great to eliminate another reason to have to go to Reno.
– Carson City businesses lose lots of business to Reno.
– Traffic will be a problem down south with or without a Costco at Fuji Park. Costco will likely end up a mile or two down the highway in Douglas County if Carson City passes on it. Carson City will get the traffic and Douglas County the sales and property taxes.
– Come to think of it, the Costco in Reno might still be the fastest way to go. Especially from North Carson.
– Maybe we can put our schools inside a redevelopment district. They are just as blighted as Fuji Park.
– Costco won’t fix our schools, but at least they’ll be surrounded by pretty parks.
– Can I get my blighted garage in a redevelopment district?
– I don’t buy mayo by the 50-gallon jar. But my wife probably will.
– Costco must love being loved. Maybe the Carson City and Douglas County managers can meet at high noon out at Fuji Park for an egg toss or game of rock, paper, scissors. The winner gets Costco. The loser gets a giant water slide.
– I could buy a 100-pound bag of bologna to go with the 50 pounds of mayo.
– As a matter of fact, I could stay home in my pajamas and shop on the Internet. The mayo and bologna would be at my doorstep by 10 the next morning.
– Carson City and Douglas County have lots more to worry about than getting a Costco. There are no sales taxes when you buy stuff on the Internet.
– Bill Gates doesn’t care who gets the Costco. He probably doesn’t even eat bologna.
– Carson City Manager John Berkitch should be commended for trying to put the Costco deal together. That’s what he gets paid for.
– Mayor Ray Masayko should be commended for trying to make sure the deal is a “win-win.” That’s what he was elected for.
Jeff Ackerman is publisher and editor of the Nevada Appeal.