Carson City Board of Supervisors to take up 3rd Street proposal

A $689,000 proposal to close 3rd Street in downtown Carson City for an events and leisure plaza goes to the Board of Supervisors Thursday.

In actuality, public funding will be less and the board will be acting as the city Redevelopment Authority when it will take up two items involving it after members return from lunch at 1:30 p.m. in the Carson City Community Center’s Sierra Room, 851 E. William St. The major facet is closing the West 3rd Street block from Carson to Curry streets. The item calls for approval by the authority to recommend the board — the same members — proceed with the plan.

“The preliminary design of the plaza, from which preliminary cost estimates have been produced, includes a permanent stage for events and pedestrian amenities and landscaping,” according to a staff synopsis of that main agenda item, which is expected to be presented by Community Development Director Lee Plemel. Those proposed amenities include not only the stage, but a water feature.

“If approved,” the agenda staff analysis said, “it is anticipated that construction would begin in 2016.”

Preliminary estimates include $271,942 in this year’s redevelopments funds, $218,058 from the redevelopment revolving fund in Fiscal Year 2015-16, for a total of $490,000 as the main funding to design and construct an events plaza. At the city’s last meeting of the mayor and supervisors, City Manager Nick Marano said part of the additional money would come in $125,000 from a private donation, but he didn’t disclose the donor.

Thursday’s agenda backup documents showed the McFadden family would provide the donation and noted Bob McFadden played a major role in rehabilitating the former St. Charles Hotel building that now houses the Firkin & Fox bistro and bar on the southwest corner of Carson and 3rd streets. The McFadden family verbally committed to the contribution and sought naming rights involving the plaza, the documents indicate.

Financing would be rounded out with $73,953 from Public Works from that department’s utilities fund for related plaza work.

The agenda documents show the stage would be built on private property and improvements would be made in the area including rebuilding the faces and roofs on the north side of the street and removal of the deck on the Firkin & fox. The existing parking lot would also get a face lift.

The other agenda facet is approval of a previous recommendation by the Redevelopment Authority Citizens Committee, on a 6-0 vote with one RACC member absent, for closing the street to use undesignated redevelopment infrastructure money to do such a project. If the actual authority and board members OK the proposal, the RACC would be shown conceptual designs and, eventually, the final design for review and recommendations,

Redevelopment money comes in a particular district from any increase after a property tax revenue baseline is determined when the district is formed. It develops as years go by and values and/or revenues rise, according to Lori Bagwell, RACC chairperson and a supervisor-elect who takes office next January. She said the RACC recommended the plaza on 3rd street in part because it doesn’t require new city indebtedness.

“For a change, we have some money,” she said, so the committee pondered “what viable project can we do without debt. It’s a short street, and you can actually have a plaza area.”

The proposal must be approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the Board of Supervisors.


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