Smart economic planning needed
For a community already searching for ways to make ends meet, this hasn’t been a great week.
Losing a manufacturer and dozens of jobs is barely a blip for a large metro area, but for Carson City, it’s a significant step back. Those are exactly the kinds of jobs the city is working so diligently to attract.
Mr. Gasket, which has operated in Carson City for nearly 40 years, will lay off 73 workers due to the slump in the auto industry and move its operations to Cleveland.
When you consider the other short-term economic obstacles the city is dealing with, including slumping real estate, gaming and auto sales, there’s cause for concern.
All of this illustrates the urgency the city must have in building its future, and that includes diversification. It’s no secret that the city is heavily dependent on auto sales, which make up about a third of its sales tax revenue. With Michael Hohl considering moving his operations to Douglas County, the need for diversification is even more urgent.
It’s fortunate the city is keenly aware of what has to be done and that it has sharp people planning for the future, including work to bring in retailers and manufacturers. It’s largely because of that planning that there are legitimate reasons for optimism. There have been announcements of new retailers recently, including in the long-vacant Kmart building. More announcements are likely this year, even though Douglas County and Reno will continue to be competitors for any retailer eying the disposable incomes of Carson City residents.
At the same time, the city is cutting expenses at every turn and community leaders are meeting in earnest to make sure Carson City remains a place people want to live. That includes finding solutions to the gang and drug problems.
No amount of planning can ensure the city won’t face more news like the closing of Mr. Gasket, but without that planning, Carson City’s future would be bleak.