Fight to save Fuji, Fairgrounds, not over

The fight to save Fuji Park and the fairgrounds is not over.

Although Carson City supervisors decided at a meeting Thursday night that Fuji Park is not for sale, the Carson City Fairgrounds may be sold as commercial property if the city can find a suitable relocation site within 90 days.

The Concerned Citizens to Save Fuji Park and the Fairgrounds and the Fuji Park Users Coalition are happy about the decision to preserve Fuji Park, but are not ready to give up on the fairgrounds, they said Friday.

Petitions will still be circulated and the weekly protests in front of city hall will continue while the groups decide what steps will be necessary to save the fairgrounds.

They are worried that if the fairgrounds are sold, eventually Fuji Park will be sold too, said Charles Kuhn of the Concerned Citizens to Save Fuji Park and the Fairgrounds.

"We have no confidence that Fuji Park will be untouchable," Kuhn said. "Our petition specifically states to preserve the park and the fairgrounds. We feel like the two must stay hand in hand."

Jon Nowlin, also a member of the group, said he is uncertain the city can handle the task within the given time limit. Besides finding a new site, the city will have to decide if it will be economically feasible to move the fairgrounds, he said.

"They have that whole package and that's a lot to do in 90 days," Nowlin said.

"I think they want to revisit the old sites," said Vivian Kuhn, president of the group. "That's a shame that taxpayer's dollars will be going to look at sites that we all said were bad."

The Fuji Park Users Coalition is planning a meeting so the group can list the improvements needed for the park. Once they do so they will present the list to the city, said Jack Andersen, president of the coalition.

He's concerned that moving the fairgrounds would not make good financial sense and said that finding a new site is only half of what needs to be accomplished.

"We need to have a spot to build (the fairgrounds), first of all, and the money to build it, second of all," Andersen said.

But until either group moves forward with their plans, they are waiting for the official minutes of the meeting to be released so they can review the supervisors' decision.

Julian Smith, the group's attorney, said that there was some confusion about the decision made.

A promise Mayor Ray Masayko gave - that the city has 90 days to find a new site for the fairgrounds before it is taken off the market - may not have coincided with the motion read by Supervisor Pete Livermore, Smith said.

Smith also said that the city cannot sell land that it holds in trust for the citizens and thinks it may be grounds for a lawsuit.

"If the district attorney doesn't recognize that, if the city supervisors don't see that, we'll see if the court will," he said.

Some members were also concerned that the supervisors had made their decision before citizens spent three hours testifying at the public meeting, Smith said.

"It was obviously done before they got there," he said. "They let people spend three hours discussing the pros and cons then they read from a typed motion."

Livermore said it is a routine practice for the supervisors to come into meetings with recommendations from staff members about what motion should be made. He said the decision was not made beforehand.

"What we accomplished last night was a reasonable solution - a reasonable compromise," he said.


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