Carson City is Nevada’s capital, but it’s also an independent city with about 60,000 residents.
Every two years, the city is taken over by legislators and lobbyists, but for the people who call Carson City their permanent home, they face similar challenges of any municipality in Nevada.
Bob Crowell is the mayor of Carson City. He recently returned from a trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with President Donald Trump and the administration.
Crowell said his biggest concern was talking to people in Washington about grant money the city needs to pay for a large street improvement project.
The project will improve the streets around the center of town. Crowell said the project is aimed at presenting a beautiful city to the people who get off the freeway.
“I wanted to go back there to make sure the folks in DC knew that we were out here and how important that grant was to us, hopefully, I’d like to say I accomplished that purpose,” he said.
Carson City also recently received a grant to help pay for homeless services in the city. The homeless population hasn’t grown in recent years but they want to provide a proper home for people who need it.
“We’re using those monies to make sure we try and find places for people to stay that is healthy and is not a place where they’re going to be discarded,” Crowell said.
Like many places in Nevada, Carson City has allowed recreational and medical marijuana dispensaries to open. But Carson City put a moratorium on the sale of marijuana for several months.
Crowell said they wanted to make sure they understood the ramification the sale of pot had on other communities and to launch an education project.
Reno has been suffering through a housing crunch, especially for lower and mid-priced homes. Crowell said for the first time in his memory people are moving from Reno to Carson City.
However, he doesn’t expect the same kind of rapid growth that Reno and Las Vegas has seen. He said an ordinance passed in the 70s keeps a tight control on growth in the city.
Another problem seen in Las Vegas and Reno that Crowell says Carson City doesn’t have is a school budget shortfall.
Crowell said public schools in his city are well funded and the graduation rate is at 92 percent. Making sure schools in the city continue to do well is one of his life goals.
“I would like to make sure that as I leave this office and as I left the school board that we have a community that is sustainable over the long term and is one that is comfortable for folks with younger families who want to participate in a great quality of life and also participate in what I think is a great public education,” he said.
Crowell leaves office in 2020.