City Manager Nick Marano’s tenure as city manager won plaudits Thursday, the same day city government finalized two interactions with federal and state officials triggering major changes here.
The Carson City Board of Supervisors praised Marano’s first year of work, heard his goals for the coming year, approved a pact unleashing the next construction phase of the I-580 freeway through town, and authorized issuance of a check for $375,000 to complete final details required by the 2009 congressional Omnibus Public Land Management Act. The act transfers more than 5,400 acres of land to city government for open space or parks.
The trio of board actions represented major if routine and expected action by the mayor and supervisors, but the latter was branded outright as a big deal by several involved.
“We’re finally getting the deed,” said Roger Moellendorf, Parks and Recreation Department director. He referred to the 2009 federal law by its informal name — the Carson City lands bill. “This is a big deal. It represents a significant achievement for the community going into the future.”
Mayor Robert Crowell echoed Moellendorf’s comment about it being a dig deal and Ann Bollinger, open space manager in parks and recreation, said the land could be the city’s in a short order after the check is issued to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as previously agreed in details involving stewardship of the Silver Saddle Ranch, a portion of the acreage in the transfer.
“If approved,” said Bollinger, “the property could be ours as early as next week.”
The land comes with some challenges and responsibilities. Among the challenges, Sheriff Ken Furlong confided after the approving vote, is policing Prison Hill property and overseeing lands formerly overseen by the BLM. Responsibilities also include maintenance and involvement in cooperative fire suppression, if need be, with annual estimated costs for those $55,000 for the former and $37,500 for the latter.
The board also approved a pact with the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) regarding landscaping, maintenance and specifying other duties of the city and NDOT involved with constructing the next phase of the freeway from Fairview Drive to Spooner Junction, which is near the city’s southern boundary with Douglas County.
Transportation Manager Patrick Pittenger said there have been previous contracts with NDOT as construction phases got underway, this latest phase starts soon and pointed out an interchange at Spooner Junction won’t be done along with the extension as had originally been projected.
“The interchange is not a portion of this phase,” he said. “That could be 10 years in the future.”
Pittenger told the board when interchanges do get done, city government would pay under an already-done agreement $7.1 million over several years to NDOT from three-cents of the ongoing extra nickel city gasoline tax in effect for years. City government now uses the proceeds for city street work, having taken over state roads in Carson City.
Marano’s evaluation went well, with Crowell leading the praise by saying the city manager who started June 2, 2014, either met or exceeded expectations. The four supervisors also were generally or specifically complimentary.
“It seems to me that you’ve hit the ground running,” Crowell said. “I think you’ve done exactly what you told us you were going to do.”
Marano took the opportunity to outline his goals for Fiscal Year 2015-16 and beyond as he thanked board members for their kudos and the opportunity to run city government.
He listed as his top three goals in year two bringing in performance measures regarding city activity and performance-based budgeting for FY 2016-17, moving his “continuous process improvement” program through the next steps, and upgrading the city website or social media tools on smart phones for complaints, communications and events announcements. Those and other goals will be nailed down for later board analysis and approval.