Carson City Board of Supervisors: Empire Ranch crops up again at board meeting

Questions about the future of Empire Ranch land cropped up again at Carson City’s Board of Supervisors meeting Thursday.

Mary Bowers, who lives just off the Empire Ranch Golf Course complex land, cited various possibilities she has heard about for city purchase and use of the land, which she termed “just very frightening.”

City government seeks an appraisal of the 27-acre property, and officials remain concerned that if it were sold to someone else due to bankruptcy proceedings involving the owner, it might be lost as a wastewater-treatment effluent option. The city provides the effluent for that land and other golfing, farming and park facilities because federal clean water dictates keep it out of the Carson River.

Supervisor Brad Bonkowski told Bowers he will hold a neighborhood meeting about the issue at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Empire Ranch course clubhouse. He urged her to be there.

Later in the meeting, the city took the next step toward issuing utility bonds and Supervisor Jim Shirk raised questions about language in an agenda item on property purchases. He asked Finance Director Nick Providenti if the language meant the bond issue proceeds could be used to buy any property.

“That is my understanding,” Providenti replied, “subject to bond counsel and board approval.”

Shirk asked if that was allowed as long as it facilitates sewer operations. Providenti said he was correct. No specific mention was made of Empire Ranch during that exchange.

The bond issues in question amount to $22.9 million for sewer plant and $1.9 million for related matters, and $6 million for water-infrastructure work. The ordinances involved were approved in final action on 4-1 tallies, with Shirk dissenting.

In an unrelated financial matter, the board voted unanimously to accept the low bid by Horizon Construction of $82,724 for building a picnic structure at the Fuji Park Fairgrounds.


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