Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Commissioner Gilman holds 2nd Open Forum

 Having just come from a Community Open Forum hosted by Lance Gelman, newly-elected Storey County Commissioner, word regarding the county's need to consolidate and focus the effort to improve our neighborhoods is the first order of  business. There is a real need to take an existing but inactive Community Outreach and Services Program (COSP) to the next level. Gilman asked that everyone attending (about 40 citizens) contact the two other Commissioners and the County Manager to endorse the appointment and full funding of this Program. 

They are:
Commission Chairman Bill Sjovangen
(775) 847-0968 office
(775) 847-7558

Vice Chairman Marshal McBride
(775) 847-0968 office
(775) 847-0325

County Manager Pat Whitten
(775) 847-0909 office
(775) 721-7001 cell

     The Outreach Program will oversee and streamline community action programs, measure the "pulse" of community wants and needs, and assist where there is need in promoting and funding events and other community endeavors  Projects now go unfunded and/or undone for lack of guidance. Gelman pledged to endorse and expedite any program that will benefit the River District neighborhoods. 

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     Also discussed was the building of a bike path out from the new Veteran's Memorial Bridge, part of the Southeast Connector being built to extend Sparks Boulevard (to be named   Veteran's Boulevard at completion) to and through the new Lockwood Trailhead Park. As the majority of attendees voiced a general disapproval of the project, it was explained that the Path will come out Canyon Way, across the Lockwood Bridge, turn on the Long Creek Bridge, take Peri Ranch Road out to the Landfill road. The only neighborhood involved with any bike or foot traffic would be, at this date, the LCC homes along Peri Ranch Road and the homes in the Peri Ranch complex. No Plan involving Rainbow Bend as been proposed and none is contemplated.

     One attendee became so upset, she walked from the room saying, "No, no, no..." When asked to stay and explain her position, she did not and left the building. Such impassioned opposition seems a common dilemma to those want the path as a means to avoid the freeway in getting to and from town. Without explanation by that one person, her position fell to daft explanation based on emotional fact and rumor.

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     When queried, Gelman offered that no Storey County housing project is proposed that he knew of in the River District. He said there was one in the Painted Rock area on the Washoe county side of the river. 

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     As operator of the Reno Tahoe Industrial Park (RTI), he reported that "a few" of the 100-odd wells dug in the area have yielded tepid water. Most the wells are approximately 100 feet deep. To get water hot enough to use for geothermal purposes, he said, wells in the 1,000 foot depth are more likely to be involved. 

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     Calls to the above numbers have been unsuccessful this afternoon. Do not give up. Send emails. This is critical to improving the River District position in the county. Your endorsement of the Community Outreach Program may be the critical one that balances this issue.
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The May 10, 2013 issue of Comstock Chronicle carries a front page article on what is discussed above. In the article, it reads that the question of going ahead on the Community Outreach Program is unresolved, although unclearly written. There is review of the recent history included. 
Omitted but also discussed was the situation with the railroad (Burlington Northern Santa Fe...BNSF?) carrying cargo containers to and from the RTI. Suggestion was made that there are fees involved in the track snow tunnels going over Donner Pass and that two-high containers do not fit through the tunnels, even though one sees them go by both directions in that configuration. Also, it was submitted that the railroad sees the cargo container traffic as "inconsequential"...not far enough to be "profitable enough." Since the railroad has proven time and again to be "not good neighbors," one wonders if this is "snow" to set up the eventual fee schedule to the railroads' maximum advantage. 

One attendee offered information about a trucking company that does this type of shipping. Later discussion conjectured that, based on driver experience, fees would be approximately $500 per container.

All this began with the statement by Commissioner Gilman that the largest bicycle maker in America was looking to set up distribution in RTI. Without their desired means to containerized shipping, they have put plans on hold while alternatives are investigated and discussed. As present, this is costing jobs and economic energy as we recover for years of recession.

In attempting to contact Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Public Affairs Director Lena Kent, it seemed appropriate to have the railroad comment on this service situation and two others regarding the railroad. 
She returned a first call, commenting that BNSF does service RTI and she was not aware of what I was saying in my first voicemail. I returned her call, leaving a message that she should read this weblog and reply by email (as a comment or to timkelly_nv@hotmail.com ) Her reply will be published here.

For some reason, the emails I sent have not been delivered. I have received notification to that effect from my email provider. One was a Notice of Delay, but no reason was given. The other a Notice of Undelivered Mail. Again with no explanation. 

1 comment:

Tim Kelly said...

Comments, where germane to the subject, will be added to the body of the Post.