Bill Goni reminds Supervisors he once sat in their seats

A former member of the Ormsby County Commission, Bill Goni reminded supervisors he once sat in their seats.

He was in office when the county decided to build Fuji Park. He, himself, helped build the fairgrounds.

On Thursday, the octogenarian asked Carson City supervisors to honor a promise made to those who helped turn sagebrush into a public gathering place.

"There were so many volunteers in the early days to set Fuji Park up," he said. "A lot of them are not around today. I think in their memory, you should always keep Fuji Park. To put commercial property in would certainly spoil it. I'd like to ask you to save Fuji Park for Basil Woon, for Fuji Woon and for me."

One resident called the area "a community treasure."

Another resident noted in Thursday's four-hour supervisors meeting he called the parks department in the capital city of 10 western states. None reported any parks for sale.

"We are along in our shallow commercial crassness," he said. "Parks are considered inviolable. Most progressive communities are adding parks, not selling them."

Carson City supervisors opted Thursday to allow the sale of the Carson City fairgrounds if a suitable relocation site can be found by Nevada Day. Over 100 people attended the meeting, and 20 spoke - all but two in favor of preserving the park and fairgrounds.

City Manager John Berkich quoted Thursday from a recent phone survey of 400 Carson City voters that 64 percent of Carson City residents favor relocating and rebuilding an improved fairgrounds.

However, in the same city phone survey, almost 53 percent of those polled said they opposed the development of of the park and fairgrounds even if though it could mean a loss in vital city sales tax dollars. Almost 68 percent of those polled agreed that preserving Fuji Park enhances quality of life, while almost 50 percent agreed preserving the fairgrounds enhances quality of life.

Susan Hoffman, a member of the Concerned Citizens to Save Fuji Park and the Fairgrounds, noted the most pressing problem in the community identified by those polled was traffic, followed by growth. She said city officials plan on adding two of the elements most of the people polled are most bothered by.

"Who is more important to please: the developers or citizens?" she asked.

Larry Osborne, executive vice president of the Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce, and Ron Kipp, president of the Builders Association of Western Nevada, both urged supervisors to relocate and consider development of the fairgrounds.

One Carson resident noted Fuji Park and the fairgrounds are becoming a symbol of what Carson City may become: a concrete jungle.

Supervisors gave city staff 90 days to come up with an alternative to the current fairground site, and added that Fuji Park should be improved. The exhibit hall will stay as a part of the park, regardless of development at the site.


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