I’d like to take this opportunity to address some of the questions raised in a recent letter on the editorial page.
The Carson Street improvements are to be paid with the one-eighth-percent sales tax adopted in April 2014. With that funding stream, the city was able to take advantage of historically low interest rates and issued $13.6 million in bonds to pay for the Downtown Corridor, the Athletic Center and the Animal Shelter. The one-eighth-percent sales tax costs a household $12.50 for every $10,000 in taxable purchases. It’s estimated approximately 40 percent of all sales tax revenues is paid by non-Carson City residents. Water and sewer lines in Carson Street — which are more than 50 years old and overdue for replacement — are going to be replaced using Utility funds that are budgeted for such projects.
The total cost of the Downtown Streetscape Improvement Project is $11.4 million. This total encompasses aesthetic and utility improvements being made to Carson Street, Third Street and Curry Street.
$7.462 million of that is from sales tax revenue
$490,000 is from the redevelopment budget
$2 million is from the water budget
$637,700 is from the sewer budget
$652,253 is from the storm water budget
$125,000 is from a private donation
Carson Street central improvements will cost a total of $8.96 million
Third Street improvements will cost a total of $713,953
Curry Street improvements will cost a total of $1.722 million
The project has multiple benefits for the downtown area. One goal being to replace the utilities under the road. Currently the utilities are outdated and therefore costly to maintain and repair. By making the investment now to upgrade them, we hope to preserve them for longer and at a lower cost.
The aesthetic updates will improve the visual appeal and walkability of Carson Street to help promote tourism and visits to the area. Similar projects have shown economic benefits in many communities, including decreased commercial vacancy rates, increased retail sales revenues, increased tourism, increased property values and the public investment has led to private investment well beyond the public investment.
During construction, a number of businesses along Carson Street will be affected from closures to both the streets and sidewalks. The contractor hired for the job, Q&D Construction, is developing a plan and working closely with the businesses and property owners to reduce the impacts of construction. These same businesses will benefit from the improvements once completed.
A marketing plan is currently in development for the business along Carson Street to help minimize impact.
The Public Works Department and the Board of Supervisors are dedicated to serving Carson City in any and all capacities. Any and all questions are welcome by contacting the city engineering manger, Danny Rotter, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Project updates and construction updates can also be found at Carsonproud.com and on the CarsonProud Facebook page.
Daniel Rotter is Carson City’s engineering manager.