The Incredible Shrinking Nugget Project
Submitted by admin on Fri, 05/11/2012 - 12:53pm
It started off with a grand $90 million vision. Then it shrank to $50 million. Now, the Carson City Center Project, aka Nugget Project, looks like it got downsized again, this time to $28 million.
According to the agenda for the May 17 Board of Supervisors meeting, the board will consider directing City Manager Larry Werner to draft a ballot question asking voters to approve a quarter cent sales tax increase to finance the $28 million project.
What got cut? Mainly the parking garage.
During past discussions of this project, questions were raised about the parking structure, which many suggested mainly benefited the Carson Nugget. Several people asked if it was needed, or could be delayed. But project supporters like Nugget President Steve Neighbors and others said that it had to be a part of the plan, that they needed the parking to make up for the area to be covered by the Knowledge and Discovery Center and plaza.
It seems now they don't need the space as much as they claimed. Werner is quoted in the Nevada Appeal today saying they don't need the space, and that there is plenty of parking without it.
I'm not sure what justification is being provided for the change in parking needs, other than the changes in the political winds and trouble with the financing.
This change could help deflate the charge that this project was mainly about the Nugget trading land for a city-built-and-opertated parking garage.
On the financing side, the agenda materials state that the petition being circulated to force a public vote on the project made it difficult to raise donations and obtain private financing. It appears now that instead of the public-private partnership, the city would make this like a regular bonded public works project.
There are other questions to be resolved, such as the status of the 7-figure cash donation from the Hop & Mae Adams Foundation that Neighbors committed to in September to cover any shortfall in fundraising.
This will make for an interesting meeting next Thursday.