Carson City RTC looks at Empire School sidewalk, JAC buses

The Regional Transportation Commission approved contracts for a sidewalk improvement project at Empire Elementary School and new buses to replace an aging Jump Around Carson fleet.

At its meeting Wednesday, the commission also paved the way for lighting at the intersection of Highway 50 and Empire Ranch Road and discussed language for the upcoming Carson City Fuel Revenue Indexing ballot question.

The RTC approved a contract not to exceed $198,789.50 with V & C Construction Inc., the lowest responsive bidder, to remove 11,300 square feet of sidewalk improvements and construct approximately 4,000 square feet of sidewalk and accessibility ramps, 5,200 square feet of driveways and aprons and 1,700 square feet of pavement at Empire Elementary.

The project is being paid for entirely with federal money through the Community Development Block Grant program of the Federal Transit Administration.

New fixed-route JAC buses are coming from Creative Bus Sales.

The commission approved the purchase of two, 35-foot-long buses for $313,235 with the option to purchase up to four more buses contingent on commission approval.

The buses are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and replace existing buses which are reaching the end of their useful lives.

The RTC also authorized the transportation manager to sign an agreement with the Nevada Department of Transportation to install lighting at the intersection of Highway 50 and Empire Ranch.

The city will maintain the lighting once it’s installed.

Patrick Pittenger, transportation manager, said a number of citizens had voiced concerns about safety at the intersection.

“Whatever (NDOT) puts up there will be a significant improvement,” said Pittenger.

“The cost of power is well worth the safety.”

The RTC discussed proposed ballot language for the fuel tax question which, if passed, would give the Board of Supervisors the authority to increase the motor vehicle fuel tax by not more 3 cents annually between 2017 and 2026.

State statute requires the question on the 2016 general election ballot in most of the state’s counties, including Carson City.

Statute also requires informal committees be formed to write arguments for and against the question to accompany the ballot, but no one has yet applied.

The committees can comprise as few as one person each and if no suitable candidates apply, the district attorney’s office, which writes the question and explanation, writes the pro and con argument as well, said Daniel Yu, deputy district attorney.

The RTC also approved a Federal Lands Access Program Project Memorandum of Agreement and Reimbursement Agreement.

The project is to reconstruct 2.5 miles of Sierra Vista Lane and provide improved parking areas and signage for better access to federal lands.

The project involves the Bureau of Land Management and Central Federal Lands Highway Division as well as the city and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2017.

The city is responsible for 5 percent of the funding, or about $239,662, for the $4.8 million project.

In the final, information only item, Pittenger gave an update on street crack repairs on Arrowhead Drive and said similar work will be done next at the Silver Oak development.

He talked about several projects going out to bid soon, including one for a seal coat on a section of Curry Street and another for cape seal on Lompa Lane.

When asked about the downtown project, Pittenger said it was going well so far and the public response had been positive.

Commission Chair Brad Bonkowski said he had meeting with downtown business owners to see how the construction has affected them.

“The businesses are being supported by their customers. It is good to hear people are going out of their way and I want to commend the public for that and encourage them to continue,” said Bonkowski.


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