Carson City Board of Supervisors set stage for downtown design

A downtown design contract covering Carson, Curry and West 3rd streets cleared Carson City’s Board of Supervisors Thursday by a 4-1 vote.

The pact with Lumos & Associates of Carson City as the lead company calls for $1.1 million to do the detailed design work in an integrated fashion for the two streets and what will become a community plaza after closure of West 3rd. The plaza and Carson Street improvements will come first, Curry Street later in the overall project expected to cost up to $11 million overall.

“The goal is to be under construction in 2016,” said Danny Rotter, an engineer with the Public Works Department who will serve as project manager. He said this year there will be an April 14 workshop on design, a June public open house to display the 30 percent design stage and city governing board input for approval at the regular July 16 meeting with design completed by the end of the year.

“We see this budget going to CMAR,” said Rotter, using the acronym for construction manager at risk as the way to handle the project.

Supervisor Jim Shirk, who cast the dissenting vote, objected to Public Works pairing the plaza project with the streetscape upgrades because he supported the plaza but opposed the sales tax underpinning for business corridor improvements and other capital projects. The sales tax backs not only corridor improvements, but a multi-purpose athletic center, an animal shelter and community center upgrades.

The conceptual streetscape design for Carson Street so far envisions wider sidewalks and bicycle lanes with three vehicle lanes rather than four, a bid to calm car and truck traffic while encouraging pedestrians.

Supervisors Brad Bonkowski and Lori Bagwell had questions about details though they supported moving forward.

Bonkowski wanted assurances a downtown business district would be formed to handle maintenance even as approvals to proceed with the government’s work through Lumos proceed. Community Development Director Lee Plemel said 85 percent of assessed valuation of the downtown property approve the concept, but Bonkowski pressed for concurrent movement on both fronts.

Bagwell asked about a Lumos subcontract with the Impetus Agency of Reno to handle some public relations and marketing. Public Works Director Darren Schulz said that was to deal with aspects other than newspaper contacts, such as social media, and said coordination with businesses affected is necessary. Bagwell got assurances the cost would be broken out for her by Lumos. On hand for Lumos was Michael Bennett, a principal of the firm.

Doug Cramer of Mom & Pop’s Diner on the northwest corner of West 3rd and Carson streets generally supported the project “if done properly” and suggested there not only be a water treatment on the plaza in the summer but sought moving the ice rink from the Carson Nugget casino parking lot just west of the casino to the new plaza each winter. Despite his support, he did voice apprehension about losing parking near his eatery.

In other action, the board approved a process for selecting Carson City’s next treasurer, which comes in the aftermath of Al Kramer leaving to take a post at the state treasurer’s office. Anyone selected must run for the elective office in 2016 and again in 2018 before securing a four-year term if that’s the appointee’s goal. Each board member will list their top five candidates after applications come in and the field would be cut for interviews and selection.

Applications should go to the city Human Resources Department until March 9, after which the board process for selection transpires over coming weeks.

The board also voted 4-1, with Shirk again the dissenter, to support Senate Bill 11 in the 2015 Nevada Legislature. Staff short-form analysis of the proposed state law is it authorizes counties and cities, with some exceptions, to exercise powers for operations of their government. Mayor Robert Crowell said the bill didn’t pass last session, but involves the Dillon rule and local governments being subservient to state legislatures.


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