Carson City Supervisors sat down with city department heads Thursday to figure out how to spend the city’s tax money for the upcoming 2020-21 fiscal year – along with a little bit of re-organizing and strengthening a number of city departments.
Right off the bat the discussion centered on the use of older motels as temporary apartments for Carson City’s low income citizens, many of whom are waiting for a Section 8 or other federal/state housing program vacancies. Openings are scarce and there’s quite a waiting list, we’re told. There is a low income apartment complex planned for a spot near Butti Way and Airport Road but it’s not expected to begin construction for at least a year or longer.
City Supervisors and staff then took up the issue of whether private housing developments can ask the city to maintain long off-street roadways within housing developments. A proposed housing development off College Parkway and Emerson asked the city to take over their big horseshoe driveway after their 37 houses are built and occupied. It wasn’t the first time a developer has asked the city to maintain what amounts to be an interior driveway between the homes. The city said it doesn’t have the money as it is to take care of the deteriorating roads and streets around Carson City much less commit to maintaining what amounts to private driveways. The proposition got a unanimous thumbs down. The developers will likely have to create a homeowners association to raise the money for driveway maintenance.
The Supervisors/City Staff dialog then shifted gears to other topics – and there were a lot of them. But here are targeted budget items that survived strict scrutiny:
* Increase funding for street maintenance. The city wants to work in partnership with residents and businesses to develop long-term solutions to fund road maintenance and other infrastructure.
* Establish what’s called “The tone at the top”: city management’s commitment to openness, honesty, integrity and ethical behavior.
* Continue to enhance and upgrade Carson City’s Cyber (computer) Security portfolio by increasing partnerships and cooperation with other regional governments and businesses thereby enhancing the city’s digital security.
* Explore opportunities for funding arts and cultural events in Carson City.
* Update the Carson City Municipal Code. Lots of it is quite old and revisions are needed throughout the city’s municipal rules and regulations.
* Construct a new fire station that includes an Emergency Operations Center, training, and back-up 9-1-1 dispatch center.
* Explore the costs and funding options associated with construction of a new Juvenile Justice Facility, or addition to the existing facility to prevent over-crowding.
* Implementation of the city’s Asset Management Program – launching a detailed evaluation of city assets and gauging their effectiveness in a rapidly growing community.
These were the top categories chosen by city staff, Supervisors and others as they begin to assemble the Carson City municipal budget which must be in place by mid-summer.
There were other items that ranked pretty high among the supervisors and staff. Over the next few months they’ll be examining city needs and fulfilling some of them based on the money the city has in reserves or from other sources.