Carson City ready to approve bike path agreement |

Carson City ready to approve bike path agreement

Carson City officials are readying a bargain with the state to make sure a multi-use path gets built along the Carson City freeway.

State and local officals have been working for months to lower the costs of the freeway’s first phase so that a $3.5 million path and some native landscaping can be part of the freeway project.

“Subject to a couple of drafts going back and forth, this is our intent to formalize the agreement,” Mayor Ray Masayko said. “This is what the two-man committee – the governor and I – agreed to. This is what the city agrees to bring to the table to reduce overall project costs.”

City Manager John Berkich said Nevada Department of Transportation officials agree with the city’s plan in concept and the details of the final agreement will be ready for public review at Thursday’s supervisors meeting. If supervisors approve the agreement, it will go to the State Transportation Board on Sept. 20 for final approval.

The city’s proposal is basically the same as in recent months.

The plan is to help the state with wetland mitigation by building up to 11 acres of wetlands in the Silver Saddle Ranch area. The city will also provide land which will be offered to the Lompa family, whose land the freeway cuts across, as a trade to help reduce the amount of right of way needed through the Lompa fields south of Highway 50 East.

Masayko said the cost of the path is no longer $3.5 million with offers from land owners to donate land needed for the path. Without the land donations, costly retaining walls would have to be built. One retaining wall, along Northridge Drive will have to be built and will be paid for by the state, Masayko said. While the land donations are not set in stone, Masayko said when the deals are finalized, the land is another benefit the city can deliver to the freeway project.

Besides asking for the path, Masayko said the city is also requesting a minimum of soil on that freeway slopes “of a quality that will support the growth of natural vegetation.”

The state will construct a regional water quality reservoir that will treat storm water before letting water continue to the Carson River. The city will be allowed to use the the water quality basin for its storm water needs.

Scott Magruder, NDOT spokesman, said state officials are working to close the deal.

“At this point, we are still trying to see if it’s something that will work out,” Magruder said. “It’s looking good. we are still working out some of the details, but things are getting closer.”

Masayko and Gov. Kenny Guinn have been working on a solution to freeway drainage since May. Guinn presented an idea at the May 9 state transportation board meeting to use city land to curb some costs of freeway right of way through the Lompa wetlands south of Highway 50 East. The deal has morphed into the one before city supervisors Thursday.

Guinn proposed the idea as a way to sooth the controversy surrounding Carson City’s request that the state pay for the biking/walking path and minimal landscaping along the freeway.

About $92 million of extra funds for the $136 million Phase 1 freeway project is on hold until this month’s State Transportation Board meeting. The decision to increase the cost of the freeway was delayed in May pending meetings between the mayor and the governor.

If you go:

What: Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting

When: Thursday, 8:30 a.m.

Where: the Community Center’s Sierra Room, 851 E. William St.

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