Boards and Commissions:
Carson City is blessed with a citizenry that believes in the value and benefits of community service and active public engagement. The men and women who serve the City as volunteers and as members of its boards, committees, and commissions are critical to Carson City's mission of providing quality services to its residents and to ensuring government processes are open, transparent and inclusive and that our superior quality of life is preserved for present and future generations. If you are interested in serving please check our website on a regular basis at carson.org/government/boards and committees.
In January of each year, we appoint members of the Board of Supervisors to serve on these valuable boards. I look forward to serving with many of you on the following Boards and Committees:
Liquor and Entertainment Board (All Board of Supervisors plus the Sheriff)
Parks, Recreation and Open Space
Redevelopment Authority, Vice-Chairman
Carson Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO)
Regional Transportation Commission (RTC)
Carson City Municipal Golf Corporation
Board of Health (All Board of Supervisors plus the Health Officer)
Nevada Association of Counties, Alternate
Planning Next Year's Budget:
Each year the Board of Supervisors must set a preliminary property tax rate, an ending fund balance target, and proposed changes to prior year activity to begin the budget building process. We review all of the financial data available from the past ten years to estimate what will be available over the next five years to help us plan appropriately.
We start with determining the property tax rate. The current law restricts (tax cap) the amount of property tax increase to 3% per year for a residential property and 8% for commercial. Therefore, when we change the property tax rate it makes little difference on your actual tax bills for existing properties. It does make a difference on new properties added to the tax rolls as the property tax rate times 35 percent of your assessed value sets the amount of property tax you will pay as no tax cap is initially applied. After the first year, the property will be subject to the tax cap.
Over the past year, the Board has discussed the options to have new development help pay their fair share. Should we charge an impact fee on new building construction, increase water and sewer connection fees, etc? The Board is very concerned about the cost for new construction, especially for housing becoming so expensive that affordable housing will not be available. We try to balance all of these needs when making our decisions. We voted to increase our property tax rate by 5 cents and to dedicate the increase to our asset management program. The property tax rate increase will require new buildings to help pay the cost of needed asset repair and maintenance such as roof repairs, painting, playgrounds, vehicles, etc. I voted for this increase in the tax rate as I believe it would not harm our existing property tax payers.
We then discussed the ending fund balance requirements. The Board of Supervisors had previously set a goal of 8% (reserve cash of 30 days). We discussed our options of lowering this amount to 5% (reserve cash of 18 days) and using the cash to pay for capital needs (about $2,000,000). Ultimately, we voted to leave the ending fund balance at 8%. I voted to leave it at 8% as I feel it is prudent to have enough cash in the bank to respond to emergencies, just like the recent flood. It is necessary for us to pay 100% of the cost of the flood and then wait up to 2 years to receive 75% reimbursement from FEMA.
New Fire Chief:
Sean Slamon is our new Fire Chief. Mr. Slamon was selected after careful review of the applicants' work experience and education. Mr. Slamon has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Occupational Studies from California State University Long Beach and an Associate's of Science degree in Fire Science from Modesto Junior College.
Chief Slamon was selected from a highly competitive group of finalists, and was the clear consensus choice of panels comprised of regional Fire Chiefs, the City Department Directors and the Firefighters of the Carson City Fire Department. Chief Slamon will bring nearly 30 years of professional firefighting and leadership experience to Carson City. He will follow former Chiefs Stacey Giomi and Bob Schreihans in leading one of Northern Nevada's busiest and most professional Fire Departments.
Mr. Slamon began his fire service career in 1988 as a firefighter for Foster City Fire Department. He has served in numerous positions for Modesto Fire Department since he was brought on as a firefighter in 1989. He was the department training officer for three years, a shift Battalion Chief for five years and the Operations Division Chief for three years. Most recently, Slamon served as the Fire Chief for Modesto Fire Department, a position he obtained in 2014. He is a certified and qualified strike team leader and has led numerous deployments on large wildfires throughout the state.
Duckhill Residents request to become part of Carson City
Assemblyman Al Kramer introduced Assembly Bill 140 that would move the County line for several homes on Duck Hill. The residents presented the Board with a petition requesting our support as they go to the Legislature for their request. The Board could not find a reason to deny their request. I believe the residents would be better served by Carson City for ambulance, police, garbage and fire needs. These homeowners will not utilize Carson City utilities and they maintain their own road. This is not intended to become a fight with Washoe County, simply a line adjustment to provide better services to Nevada residents.
Improvements to Nuisance Ordinances:
I was pleased to complete a project I began working on two years ago with Supervisor Abowd. We wanted the ability to hold the extended stay motels accountable for appropriate living conditions. We approved a revised ordinance (Chapter 8.08) that clarifies residential motels are subject to inspection and can be considered a nuisance and ordered to fix identified issues pursuant to the International Property Maintenance Code. We hope this will improve the living conditions of some of our most vulnerable residents.
The Board voted to declare a moratorium, for a period of up to 180 days on the acceptance of and processing of planning or other applications for construction or operation of new marijuana establishments. The Board felt it should wait for the State Legislature and the Nevada Department of Taxation to complete their work on Recreational (Retail) Marijuana before the Board issued licenses. We felt this was the most prudent course of action.
911 Phone Services:
The Board approved a contract with AT&T to provide 911 phone service for $877,333 over a five year period. The 911 services are funded from a .25 cent tax on your phone bills. We had no choice but to accept this contract as the services need to continue by, law. Unfortunately, the tax will not cover the amount owed on the contract and the General Fund of Carson City will need to make up about $82,000 per year.
The Nevada Legislature is considering requiring police agencies to require the use of body cameras and may be increasing the tax on the phone bills from 25 cents to $1 to cover the costs of the body cameras.
The RTC authorized nine pavement preservation capital projects for next year with an estimated cost of $1.3 Million:
- Airport Road - College Pkwy. to U.S. 50 (Micro Seal)
- Arrowhead Drive/Medical Parkway - Emerson Dr. to Eagle Valley Ranch Rd. (Micro Seal)
- Carson River Road - Fifth St. to Sierra Vista Ln. (Micros Seal)
- W. College Parkway - N. Carson St. to N. Ormsby Blvd. (Micro Seal)
- Edmonds Drive/Snyder Avenue - Fairview Dr. to Snyder Ave. and Edmunds Dr. to Bigelow Dr. (Micro Seal)
- Fifth Street - Saliman Rd. to Fairview Dr. (Micro Seal)
- Koontz Lane - Edmunds Dr. to Curry St. (Micro Seal)
- Stewart Street - William St. to Carson St. (Slurry Seal)
- E. College Parkway - Nye Ln. to Sherman Ln. (Mill and Overlay Project)
Just in case you do not know what the pavement preservation types are, I thought I would share.
Slurry Sealing - Slurry Sealing is a surface treatment. It creates a wearing course and can be used to extend the life of pavements which are still in fair to good condition. Crack-filling and pothole repairs should be completed prior to the application of a slurry seal. ADA improvements such as compliant corner ramps are not required with a slurry seal.
Micro Surfacing - Micro Surfacing is a surface treatment. It creates a wearing course and can be used to extend the life of pavements which are still in fair to good condition. It is slightly more expensive and more significant than a Slurry Seal. Crack-filling and pothole repairs should be completed prior to the application of a slurry seal. ADA improvements such as compliant corner ramps are required with a Micro Surfacing.
Mill and Overlay - A mill and overlay is a significant construction project for a roadway. A project of this type includes the removal of the top 2"-3" of an asphalt. Once that portion is removed, patching may be completed to the asphalt which remains. Finally, a new layer of asphalt is placed, replacing the 2" - 3" of asphalt which was removed. This approach can be used on roads in fair to poor condition as a means of avoiding more expensive full reconstruction. ADA improvements such as compliant corner ramps are required with a Mill and Overlay.
Cape Seal - A Cape Seal is a surface treatment, and is one of the most significant surface treatments which is available. It consists of the application of two separate surface treatments. First, a chip seal is applied. A chip seal includes the application of a liquid asphalt material and aggregate (small rocks) being places on the surface. Second, a micro seal is completed on top of the chip seal. The size of the aggregate in each layer is specified so that the two layers mesh together.