Lori Bagwell: Connecting with Carson City government

Editor’s note: The Nevada Appeal presented the Carson City Board of Supervisors, the mayor and city manager an opportunity for a column.

Let me give you some news you can use ...

In May of 2015, the Board of Supervisors approved two strategic objectives.

The first objective was to enhance community awareness and a chance to comment on city activities and operations. The second objective was to provide consistent, timely financial reports to the Board of Supervisors and public.

The city has created a web application designed to provide our residents, businesses and visitors with a Virtual City Hall, giving you the opportunity to access City Hall, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, from the comfort of your own home. The website can be accessed from the city’s webpage at Carson.org. Select “Carson City Connect,” and select the topic you’re interested in learning more about, or to report an issue you would like the city to address. All issues reported are logged in a database and tracked.

We hope this new web application will provide you with needed information and allow direct access for your comments. Following are a few requests and responses from the Carson City Connect.

One person asked, “Where do I take automotive batteries, used oil, or antifreeze?”

The Carson City Landfill at 3600 Flint Drive has free disposal of these automotive items at the entrance to the Landfill. In addition, many automotive parts and service stores have recycling or take-back programs.

Another requested a repair for her streetlight (standalone not attached to a traffic signal) which was turning on and off randomly instead of responding to ambient light conditions.

I learned Carson City has 1,537 streetlights owned by NV Energy and 186 owned by Carson City. The Public Works Department spends about $22,000 a month on electrical bills for these streetlights. NV Energy maintains the majority of streetlights in neighborhoods and along roads. These lights emit a distinctive yellow color. NV Energy lights have a fixture number on the light pole. This number is typically five to six digits and looks something like “L30390-10.” To report problems with an NV Energy light, visit its Night Guard Maintenance page at www.nvenegry.com/home/requestservice/streetlight, or call 775-834-4444.

Lights maintained by Carson City are typically LED lights. They provide a clear white light. LED fixtures typically have many small LEDs visible on the bottom of the light. Carson City maintained lights are found on or near traffic signals and down several streets including Fairview Drive, Curry Street and Stewart Street. The decorative post lights along Carson Street and the gaslights on Curry Street are also maintained by Carson City.

Still another citizen was concerned about a large city cottonwood tree whose roots were lifting the concrete on his driveway, and he was also concerned it would begin to interfere or cause damage to a city water meter.

Public Works staff responded to the report and resolved the problem.

The second objective to provide consistent, timely financial reports is being accomplished with a new program called Open Government. We should have this new program available by the end of the year. This program will allow you to review the city budget online and to see what has been received or spent against a budgeted line item in near real time.

You’ll be able to review the city’s checkbook online. You’ll be able to see how every penny of your money is spent. For example, our total expenditures budget is $173 million. $70.2 million is budgeted in General Fund, or 40.50 percent of the total budgeted expenditures. This year, $9.32 million was budgeted for the Fire Department, or 5.4 percent of total expenditures. So far this year, the Fire Department has spent $2.40 million (July 1-Oct. 15). The program will allow you to click further for more details about the Fire Department (or any other department) expenditures.

The Board of Supervisors is committed to providing the residents of Carson City with improved access to information. I want to thank Erik Von Schimmelmann, chief information officer, and his staff for their dedicated efforts to provide these new web applications. They are working hard to improve Carson City’s ability to inform you.

We hope these two new web applications will be heavily used by the public to improve your knowledge about our city.

Lori Bagwell represents Ward 3 on the Carson City Board of Supervisors. She can be reached at 775-283-711 or lbagwell@carson.org.


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