Carson City Board of Supervisors saves on bonds, spends on safety

A savings of about $2.1 million in bond interest is likely during the next few years because of action by Carson City’s Board of Supervisors Thursday.

In an unrelated matter moments later, the board held a public hearing and then approved collective bargaining language for a four-year pact with the sheriff’s lieutenants/captains unit that will require about $2.1 million over the contract’s life, an increase of $139,169 over what had been budgeted prior to negotiations.

The bonded indebtedness savings are estimated and were tied to first reading of ordinances, which means final assured adoption is required in two weeks, Finance Director Nick Providenti told the board the bond term won’t be extended and the first of the refunding bonds amounted originally to $15.5 million a decade ago and savings would amount to $1.3 million in interest during the next few years.

“I believe we used these bonds to fund the sheriff’s building in 2005,” Providenti said. The other refunding bonds are for about $6.4 million, dealt with roadway revenue funding, and have savings of $800,000 anticipated over coming years, according to Providenti. A third refunding bond issue covering sewer needs didn’t carry savings but were approved on first reading as well. Providenti anticipates an interest rate between 3 and 4 percent.

When Mayor Robert Crowell sought a motion on the first refunding bond, he teased his colleagues by asking who wanted to make a motion to save money. He followed that up by saying there had been a motion to do so and four members offering up seconding motions.

After the bond refunding action, the board rubber-stamped their earlier decision to set Carson City’s property tax, called an ad valorem tax, at a $3.52 rate per $100 in assessed valuation for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-16. That amounted to a drop of two cents, but there was little discussion as it carried forward earlier budgeting and revenue decision-making last spring. It was to adopt the city rate certified by the Nevada Tax Commission.

The labor contract reached with the Carson City Sheriff’s Supervisory Association, acting on behalf of lieutenants and captains, calls overall for nearly $500,000 in FY 2015-16, $537,000 the next fiscal year, $560,000 the following year and almost $590,000 in FY 2018-19. Board members were told the bulk of the amount over the estimated and budgeted level primarily was due to a change in longevity pay provisions.

The board reviewed the FY 2015-16 goals of City Manager Nick Marano, including his continuous process improvement program, enhancing web and smart phone communications for both citizens and staff, and incorporating both performance metrics and performance-based budgeting in future work on city spending blueprints.

Marano also talked of overseeing rollout of capital improvement projects funded by the 2014 city sales tax hike and using the construction manager at-risk process when possible going forward, board members suggested other goals such as including Spanish in a city website upgrade, acting on or closing out internal audit efficiency ideas, and reviewing liquor licensing and liquor manager oversight.

“Those are all great,” said Marano, speaking of them and other suggestions.

In other action, the board approved community growth lids or review processes brought by Community Development Director Lee Plemel in the aftermath of late May recommendations from the city’s Planning Commission. They call for a lid of 638 residential building permits for FY 2015-16, though that is unlikely given recent history, and upping the commercial-industrial growth management review trigger on water usage. It goes from 7,500 gallons per day to 15,000.

Supervisor Jim Shirk asked why the doubling on triggering water growth management review with the Planning Commission. Plemel and Darren Schulz, Public Works Department director, said the 7,500 standard was adopted in the 1980s when Carson City had fewer water rights and updating was overdue.

“I’ve got to say that at public works, we’d be comfortable with 30,000,” said Schulz.

As the board’s shorter-than-usual meeting began Thursday, Marano introduced to the board Courtney Warner, the new city Senior Center director. Warner moved here from Seattle, Wash., where she had for the past seven years worked overseeing programs in the residential seniors environment. Marano said she won the post here over “extremely competent peers.”


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