Ground breaking for Carson City’s “Big MAC” on Russell Way was slated next month to start building a recreational facility for which a $7.7 million contract was approved Thursday.
The Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 Thursday, with one abstention, in approving the pact forged between city staff and Miles Construction, Inc.
Though it took some two decades from conception to contract, that snail’s pace until now turns into a sprint to the finish line with the contractor pledging to get the job done by December. The facility is called the MAC as an acronym for the formal name — multi-purpose athletic center — and with its multiple sports courts and overhead jogging/walking track is called big because it’s the larger of two versions considered in recent years.
“We’ve gone through this way too long in this community,” said Joel Dunn, now executive director of the Carson City Visitors Bureau and formerly the man who oversaw recreation programs for city government’s Parks and Recreation Department. He made that comment part of his testimony supporting the project before the pact was approved. He recounted various twists and turns that slowed getting to this point.
“I do believe that we are back on track, where we need to be,” he said. Dunn’s former interest was for community recreation programs and his current outlook was to promote weekend tournaments in colder months that bring outside competitors and families to the city, increasing hotel/motel usage. He said there’s a cooperative method of getting those things accomplished.
Also testifying was Ryan Russell, attorney and board member with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada. He and Roger Moellendorf, Parks and Recreation Department director, detailed the joint usage agreement between the city and the club.
The MAC facility is being built next to the club facility on Russell Way, providing for both club member and public programs in both buildings.
Supervisor Brad Bonkowski cited a business relationship with Miles Construction and abstained to avoid any conflict of interest. Supervisors Jim Shirk and Lori Bagwell explained their differing votes.
Shirk said he favors such a facility but doesn’t support some of the funding coming from last year’s one-eighth of a penny city sales tax hike. Bagwell said 75 percent of the funding comes from the Quality of Life (Question 18) sales tax hike approved by voters in 1996, and though she favored a vote of the people last year as well she believed the community supports the project.
Moellendorf, like Dunn, recounted some of the history in the MAC’s slow generative process and recalled it was on the original list of those used as examples to justify the Quality of Life program voters approved in 1996.
“Actually, it’s the last project to be funded out of that list,” he said. The overall project cost is $8.3 million, with the additional $600,000 for “soft” cost items like furnishings, permits and the like. Some $6 million comes from existing Question 18 funds already banked; another $2.2 million is from the infrastructure fund that relies on last year’s tax hike.
In other morning action Thursday, the city’s governing board approved a pact for more than $145,000 with Manhard Consulting, LTC, for design services on the next phase of the water main under construction through Mills Park, taking it down to Washington Street to the city’s west side, and awarded a $153,000 contract to Armac Construction, LLC, for city landfill entrance repair.
The board also in the morning session accepted City Manager Nick Marano’s report on implementing an employee efficiency study talking about whether he should hire a grants coordinator, set the stage for open houses on a revised city strategic plan to seek public reaction and input, and authorized a fire department reorganization new Chief Bob Schreihans sought for efficient administration and operations.