A big shout out to everyone that took the title of my newsletter seriously "Be Engaged and Involved". It was such a pleasure to meet wth three different groups this month to learn firsthand of their issues.
First, Sharon and her neighbors were concerned about speeding issues on East Fifth Street in the school zone. They wanted to know what the City could do to reduce this issue. Several City staff, the Sheriff and I met with the neighbors and discussed ideas to remedy the situation. Some of the suggestions have already been implemented and others are being considered. Staff will be updating the 15 mile per hour required times shortly, moving from 7:30 AM to 7:15 AM to help improve safety in the area.
Second, staff and I met with neighbors on Golden Eagle Lane. This issue is interesting and probably similar in other areas. This road has several owners: private, City and State. The neighbors wanted to know which entity owned which sections and how they could get their potholes fixed. This is a much more difficult issue. With our City road funds so stretched, we are being careful to only repair City owned roads. We will be marking the road for the neighborhood to see who owns what. The really bad portion of the road is owned by Open Space (Carson City) and we will be fixing that portion. We provided the residents with the information to contact the State and then they will work together on their owned portions. This was a great meeting as we all learned together and worked together to try and solve the issues.
Third, it was a pleasure to meet with Saul, Barbara and Sadie (the dog) to walk the Long Range Park. They were asking what could be changed to allow for a better walking path for the dogs off leash. Admittedly, this is a difficult issue to tackle. The park has designated areas that dogs may be off the leash versus areas the dog must be leashed. We came up with some ideas, but I am wondering if any of you have suggestions. Maybe we can all work to together to figure this one out. I thought it might need a foot bridge before the portion of the park that has the playground. But of course that costs money! Let me know your ideas.
NEVADA LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS' WHITE HOUSE CONVENTION:
We received an invitation to participate in the Nevada Local Elected Officials' White House Convention on November 3, 2017. The Mayor and I are pleased to be attending the Convention on behalf of Carson City. One of the primary goals of the Convention is to ensure that we are introduced and connected with appropriate officials at each agency to ensure efficient coordination between the Federal Agencies and Carson City. I am looking forward to representing Carson City at the Convention. I will report what happened in the next newsletter.
The Foundation for Carson City Parks & Recreation (FCCPR), is hosting an Open House at the Wungnema House located in Mills Park, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 29, 2017. This is an all ages event, children are welcome, and may come in costume for some old fashioned trick or treating. Parents and children will have an opportunity to learn about this historic home, Native American culture, and the Wungnema family's contributions to our town. Members of the Foundation's Board of Directors will be in attendance and can provide visitors information about the Foundation, affiliated organizations, and the Foundation's latest project to facilitate improvements to Carson City's dog parks.
FCCPR maintains the Wungnema House under a lease agreement with the city. The house was built in 1948 by a family of Hopi stonemasons, the Wungnemas, and served as their home until the early 1970s. Notable, in addition to the house's exterior masonry, is the inclusion of Hopi Water Clan's symbol in the rock fireplace surround. The Wungnema's distinctive masonry survives in many homes and other structures in Carson City, but is also found in homes, churches, ranches, and other structures at Lake Tahoe, Washoe Valley, and Reno. Access to the house is from the Seely Loop, the east entrance for Mills Park, off North Saliman Road, opposite Carson High School in Carson City, Nevada.
BOARD MEETINGS RECAP
The City is applying for two major grants. The first grant request is for a Recreational Trails Program to provide funding for phase 1 of a project to rehabilitate the path system in Long Ranch Park.
The Long Ranch Estates development was built approximately
twenty years ago and the path system is wearing out with age.. Maintenance is urgently needed for infrastructure preservation
to provide a safe recreational amenity for the public to use and enjoy at this popular park. The engineer's estimate for total rehabilitation is $510,705.
If approved, an application requesting approximately $200,000 for rehabilitation of a portion of the path system would be submitted, with a total estimated cost of $249,000. If successful, rehabilitation would take place on the northern section of the park or a combination of the southern and western sections.
During the last budget cycle, the Board recognized the need to begin budgeting to begin to address the aging infrastructure throughout the City's park system and to serve as match for grant opportunities. We budgeted around $73,000 for these needs. We are hopeful we receive this grant as we have the $49,000 match needed to complete the first phase of the improvements. I wish we had enough to complete the entire $510,705 project, but it would be a start.
The City is also applying for a TIGER grant. "The TIGER grant program is a highly competitive program whose winners will be awarded with the funding they need to rebuild the infrastructure of
their communities," said Secretary Elaine L. Chao (U.S. Department of Transportation). "TIGER grants will continue to fund innovative projects that will improve the
safety of America's passengers and goods." There is $500 million available for awards.
Carson City is applying for $7.57 million for the South Carson Street Complete Streets project. The grant would provide the needed funding to improve the road from Fifth Street to Fairview Dr. We are hoping to receive this grant as it would allow us to do the work at the same time we will be improving the road from Fairview to Roland.
The grant does not require local match money, but we are hoping the $10 million we are investing in the rest of the street project will give us the competitive edge.
STORM WATER INCREASE:
The Board was faced with a difficult decision concerning storm water needs. After the last major storms, I know you all are aware we have to do some much needed infrastructure upgrades in the storm water system.
The Utility Finance Oversight Committee (UFOC) met and recommended the Board increase the storm water rates to pay for needed projects. The Board took their recommendations into consideration when making our decision. The UFOC voted to provide increases each year for the next three years. The Board decided to increase the storm water rates for just one year. We believe more funding is needed for storm water, but we want to make sure of our method and reasoning for the rate structure.
The rates changes approved are:
Single Family Property from $4.38 a month to $5.69
Multi-Family Property from $22.56 a month to $29.33
Public Property from $24.64 a month to $32.03
Manufacturing Property from $29.38 to $38.19
Commercial Property from $31.51 to $40.96
The projects estimated to be completed with the $4,875,000 funding:
Lakeview Improvements $250,000
Kings Canyon Channel Maintenance (Roop to Saliman) $110,000
Kings Canyon Culver Upgrade (at Creeks Crossing) $90,000
Carson Street Improvements (Fairview to Clearview) $900,000
Carson St. Improvements (5th to Stewart and Curry St) $2,900,000
Minor Improvements throughout Community $625,000
The Public Works Department identified an additional 7.6 million in needs.
ASSISTANCE TO LOW INCOME PROPERTY OWNERS TO HELP DEFRAY UTILITY COSTS:
Supervisor Abowd and I worked with staff and the chair of the Utility Finance Oversight Committee to review current ordinances to provide relief to those struggling to pay their utility bills. We discovered the City ordinance Chapter 12.04 was outdated and no longer functional. We worked together as a team to determine if there were better alternatives and opportunities to still provide assistance to those in need without adversely impacting the water, sewer and storm water funds.
Our goal was to find a way to not take money from the utility funds as we already don't have enough in those accounts to meet all our infrastructure needs. Yet, we recognized that some property owners are struggling to meet their utility bill obligations.
The working group recommended we develop a program to allow others in the community to donate money through their utility bill to help those in need. Property owners needing assistance would then apply with a local non profit to request the needed assistance. The non profit would then review their financial need and approve their application for assistance. Using a non profit agency will keep program costs minimal and would also allow individuals to directly donate to the non profit for the utility assistance program.
This same methodology is used by Southwest Gas and NV Energy. Karen and I presented this proposal to the Utility Financial Oversight Committee and received a unanimous recommendation for the Board of Supervisors to implement.
The Board approved the general guidelines and requested staff to develop a revised ordinance.
NEW VOTING MACHINES:
The Board approved the purchase of new voting equipment for $454,975.97. Our new system will include an actual paper ballot that you will cast and then place in the ballot box upon completion. The voting system is not attached to any network that can be hacked. It is a stand alone system. The integrity of the voting system was very important to the Board and Clerk-Recorder. The new system should be in place for the 2018 election cycle.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Oct. 30 - Carson Tahoe Spooktacular, 3:30 - 5:30 pm. Carson Tahoe Health Parking Lot 4
Oct. 31: Safe Trick or Treat at the Carson Mall 3-5 pm. 5 pm trick or treating begins at the Governor's Mansion.
November 10 - 3 pm at Fuji Park Fairgrounds. U.S. Flag Retirement Ceremony. We have over 2,000 flags collected from the flag bins sponsored by the Children of the American Revolution. If you have a flag that needs to be retired, you may place your flags in a one of three bins, City Hall, the Flag Store or the Carson City Library. Please join us for this patriotic event.
November 18 - December 30
- POLAR EXPRESS: The Virginia & Truckee will be taking passengers to the North Pole once again this holiday season when the THE POLAR EXPRESS returns to Carson City, Nov. 18 through Dec. 30. With More dates and trains added this season! To purchase tickets, call 877-724-5007 or 775-291-0208 or visit
December 1 - Silver and Snowflakes Celebration. Begins at 5:30 at the Capitol with the Christmas Tree Lighting and then City Hall for Empty Bowls and other festivities. I don't have all the details yet, but I know Ronnie with the Chamber has lots of fun in store for everyone!