Carson City supervisors to bond as early as December; DAWG program reviewed

Saliman water main project delayed until next year

Capital improvement bonds, city departmental reports and a new program to pair dogs with courtroom witnesses concerned Carson City’s Board of Supervisors Thursday.

The board handled a few items, though members spent most of the morning working as the Board of Health along with Health Officer Susan Pintar and Sheriff Ken Furlong. Among those few board items, however, was a resolution of city government’s intent to issue $13.6 million in bonded indebtedness and authorize public notice of that intent, which sets the stage for issuance as early as December.

The bonds would be backed by revenues from the previously-passed city sales tax hike of one-eighth of a penny, which will begin coming in after Oct. 1. The board earlier approved the hike with Supervisor Jim Shirk dissenting, but Thursday he made this step unanimous after saying he couldn’t continue opposing what the rest of the board had started in motion.

Finance Director Nick Providenti said interest on the bonds could be 4.56 percent or lower, according to projections now.

The bonds will provide funding for capital projects such as the multi-purpose athletic center (MAC) on Russell Way, an animal services shelter on Butti Way, business corridor streetscape improvements downtown, north, south and east of the city core, and upgrades for cultural events at the Community Center. Details of all those projects are unfinished, though the MAC design is near completion.

Among departmental snapshots of activities through March and June of the past fiscal year was one provided by Darren Schulz, public works director, who said drought has been depleting groundwater and raising arsenic and uranium levels. He said, however, water quality remains good and the department isn’t alarmed.

Looking forward, he informed the board a $2 million water main project from Saliman Road to Roop Street through Mills Park will be delayed until next year. At the Aug. 9 board meeting, he had said work on the project would start this fall and could cause some traffic lane tie-ups near Carson High School, but that problem now is put off along with the project because federal standards delayed contractor progress.

The board also heard from District Attorney Neil Rombardo and one of his assistants regarding a new program to help courtroom witnesses by pairing them with therapy dogs for calming purposes. The District Attorney’s Witness Guide (DAWG) program will use Subaru, a locally-trained therapy dog, who was brought in for an introduction to board members.

Rombardo and Mark Krueger, the assistant, said such programs are increasingly being used elsewhere. Carson City will be the first jurisdiction to use it in Nevada, according to Rombardo and Krueger. Krueger said the next step is to take the idea to judges for their approval.


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