CRYSTAL TOWNSHIP — After 22 years of functioning with a goal to improve its downtown district, members of the Crystal Township Downtown Development Authority (DDA) are hoping they still have a future.
During Wednesday evening’s Crystal Township Board meeting, acting DDA Chairman David Wight presented the board with recommendations going forward after the resignation of three DDA members.
“The DDA is really an instrument of the township. In a way, the township needs to utilize the DDA as a tool,” Wight said. “Between the two boards, it’s required that we work closely together.”
After presenting a history of the DDA, as well as statistics involving funding through tax increment financing (TIF), Wight pleaded that the Township Board allow the DDA to continue operating, as opposed to dissolving the 12-member board, which has been loosely discussed by township officials.
Wight recommended the board amend DDA membership to be eight to 12 members, as opposed to a minimum of 12; continue to operate off of the DDA’s 1995 master plan; continue to execute projects identified in the latest survey of township residents; actively pursue grants to improve the downtown district; and create a retail business incubator in the downtown district.
Wight also suggested the DDA and Township Board work together through joint work sessions to “flesh-out” proposed projects.
“We’d like to actively pursue grants and block grants … as there are some eyesores in the community that we would like to address,” Wight said.
Township Clerk Bob Naumann said he was in favor of the DDA continuing to operate, as long as the master plan would be updated.
“I’m a supporter of that effort, it’s a 21-year-old plan, and I think there are some things that are very real for us to develop, and some that are wishes in the sky that shouldn’t be there,” he said.
“If the board was agreeable, we would update the whole plan, data and projects combined,” Wight responded.
The Township Board took no action on the DDA, but will likely make a decision at the next township meeting on Dec. 14.
According to Naumann, the Township Board and the Carson City Library Board, which operates the Crystal Community Library, have made additional progress in moving the library to the Crystal Community Center.
Naumann said it has been agreed upon that the library will operate in a currently vacant room at the community center, and the Library Board will not be required to pay rent — as has been the case with the library currently operating at its location at 221 W. Lake St., which is in need of repairs but prepared to be occupied and renovated by the Crystal Historical Society.
In facing criticism from township resident Pat McShosh about not receiving any revenue from the Carson City Library, Township Supervisor Chris Johnston said the issue involving the move of the library was not about generating additional revenue, but removing additional utility costs the township is paying at the library’s current location.
“We’re trying to keep the library in town is what we’re trying to do,” he said. “This will give them a better facility, and we will not have to pay the current utility bills anymore.”
Naumann said as final details are worked out in the contract and lease agreement between the township and library board, he anticipates a move to the community center to happen next summer.
“We don’t think this will be ready in the next couple of months,” he said.
Naumann said a second room will remain vacant, in the event that the Carson City-Crystal Adult Education program needs to be moved from the 1930 section of the community center in the event of severe disrepair of that section of the community center.