Supes consider roundabout, redevelopment, transit

Carson City supervisors will consider a roundabout at Fifth Street and Edmonds Drive among several items on their Thursday meeting agenda.

The controversial roundabout is expected to cost $205,724, about $85,000 higher than estimated when city transportation officials decided to make it permanent in September 1999.

A stop light for the intersection is estimated at $180,000.

City transportation officials recommend the roundabout be built despite its cost because it decreases the time it takes to get through the intersection and moves traffic with less congestion than the previous four-way intersection. The roundabout's efficiency could save the city money by delaying such projects as expanding Edmonds Drive to four lanes.

The roundabout was installed in April 1999 as a Nevada Department of Transportation experiment. The city decided to make it permanent partially because it was estimated to be cheaper than a traffic signal.

On another topic, Carson City's downtown will be in a state of redevelopment until 2031 if supervisors choose to add 15 years to the life of the redevelopment district.

Carson's Redevelopment Citizen's Committee recommended in January the district's life be extended, noting there was still much work to be done downtown. A state law passed through the 1999 legislature allows the addition of 15 years to state redevelopment districts.

The original redevelopment plan in 1986 allows a percentage of property taxes to be put back into improving the downtown. The district's collection of a percentage of property taxes is scheduled to end in 2016.

Although there are 16 years left for to improve downtown, the authority is strapped for cash. Adding 15 years will allow the authority to continue economic development and perhaps find more funding for projects such as Telegraph Square or the incentive program by refinancing their bonds.

The Carson City Chamber of Commerce will update the Redevelopment Authority on the status of the downtown business recruitment program. The authority gave the chamber about $15,000 in 1998 to help fill vacant business space downtown. In August 1999, the chamber had spent only $3,100 of the money to do a complete inventory of empty commercial space and developed a business recruitment plan and brochure.

The chamber missed its goal of attracting five new businesses downtown. The authority decided to continue their marketing agreement with the chamber, giving it another year and $10,000 to try to draw businesses.

In other business, an agreement among Carson City, the Nevada Department of Transportation and Washoe County on a proposed transit route between Carson City and Reno is up for approval.

The route between Reno and Douglas County is funded by NDOT and the Washoe County Regional Transportation Commission. Carson is being asked to help market the program and to help choose, monitor and clean bus stops.

There will be five or six stops in Carson City from Wal-Mart to Kmart. Each ride will cost $3 and the fee includes a transfer to the Citifare system in Reno.

The system is expected to be running by the end of July or early August.

If you go:

What: Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting

When: Thursday, 8:30 a.m.

Where: the Community Center's Sierra Room, 851 E. William St.


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