City supervisors move forward on Stewart extension despite criticism

A plan to extend North Stewart Street faced slight opposition from area residents Thursday, when city supervisors hired an appraiser to gauge the value of four residential buildings the city must buy in order to do it.

Residents David and Muffy Vhay submitted a letter to the supervisors asking why they would want to demolish homes to put a busy road in the middle of "a quiet, affordable" neighborhood, while questioning the importance of the project.

Carson City Engineer Larry Werner said extending North Stewart Street from its current ending at William Street several blocks north to Roop Street will alleviate snarled traffic along Carson Street through the center of the city.

"It won't do much in the north end or the south end," Werner said, but it will thin out downtown traffic.

Carson City resident Gold Fry, who along with his wife, Betty, owns a duplex the city is planning to purchase for the new roadway, also complained to supervisors that he hadn't heard of the project until just last week, when the appraiser called him.

Werner said the entire neighborhood has been notified of the proposal, but they may not remember because it was done years ago.

The city first came up with the plan to add Stewart Street to Roop and Carson Streets as main north/south arterials in 2002. Transportation officials, however, have since been focusing on Roop Street, which is scheduled to reopen today at 6 p.m. after months of construction to widen it to four lanes from Beverly Drive north to Winnie Lane.

"It (Stewart Street) is significantly under used because of the way it's not connected," Werner said.

Meeting notes

Carson City supervisors approved a plan on Thursday to use revenue from a proposed eighth-cent sales tax hike to finance part of the Virginia & Truckee Railway, which Northern Nevada officials claim will be a major tourist draw.

The tax would pay a $15 million bond to be spent on the V&T reconstruction. Part of local room taxes already go toward the V&T, contributing about $4.1 million.

Tax foes reaffirmed their desire to see the .00125 sales tax increase go before voters, rather than leaving it up to local officials.

Carson City resident John Wagner argued that any tourists coming to ride the rebuilt historic line from Carson to Virginia City, will do their shopping in the historic Old West mining town, and the extra cost to Carson City residents will never be repaid.

"It's going to take a lot of T-shirts," Wagner said. "I don't see this as an economic boon to Carson City."

Parks and Recreation Chairman Tom Keeton chimed in on the board's behalf, saying that in a representative form of government, elected officials are supposed to do what they believe to be in the best interest of its citizens, rather than what seems more popular at the time.

Anyone who doesn't like what choices the supervisors make, Keeton added, "will get a chance at at least two" of them in the next election.

City supervisors enthusiastically approved a $12,500 contribution to help the Nevada Commission on Tourism perform a study of recreational opportunities on the Carson River, much like a report, although smaller in scale, that led to a new whitewater park in Reno.

State tourism official Chris Chrystal said the commission isn't planning anything as grand as Reno's emphasis on extreme rafting, but that the Carson River has a lot of recreation to offer that has never been tapped.

The first step, Chrystal said and supervisors agreed, would be to clean up the stretch of river that runs through Carson City, from Dayton to Lyon County, in Carson River Canyon.

On a trip along the river earlier this year, supervisor Pete Livermore said he counted 22 abandoned cars along its edges.

- Contact reporter Cory McConnell at or 881-1217.


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