Home>Articles>RSCVA Rejects $350K Funding Proposal For TART Connect

Alexis Hill and Charlene Bybee of the RSCVA. (Photo: Ariel Van Cleve for the Nevada Globe)

RSCVA Rejects $350K Funding Proposal For TART Connect

Board members expressed concern that it was inappropriate for RSCVA to conduct such spending

By Ariel Van Cleve, January 26, 2024 3:18 pm

In a five-to-four vote on Thursday, the board of directors for the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) rejected a $350,00 proposal introduced by Travel North Tahoe Nevada’s CEO Andy Chapman that would partially fund the Incline Village-Crystal Bay TART Connect micro-shuttle project.

Though the board had donated to the project in the last fiscal year, certain board members expressed concern that it was inappropriate for their organization to conduct such spending.

“We’re being asked to step outside of our box—to provide for transportation which, in my opinion, isn’t the function of RCVA [RSCVA],” stated board member Richard Jay.

RSCVA Board Members John East and Richard Jay (Photo by Ariel Van Cleve for the Nevada Globe)

Discussion at the meeting also revealed that the RSCVA did not possess sufficient monetary resources to cover the $350,000 request without employing spending cuts or its emergency resources.

In deliberation, Jay looked toward the future. “I know a little bit about economics, and we’ve got a recession coming up,” he warned, “And we need to think about that as fiduciaries. . . . we have something coming up; and, in that time, we have to really be stewards of our finances.”

Hesitations sliced the $350,000 request into a motion that would have provided only $75,000, but the proposed grant ultimately failed.

Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve expressed strong support for raising funds for the micro-shuttle program, but voted against spending on the project from the RSCVA, saying, “I just believe that this is something that should be over at RTC [Regional Transportation Commission].”

Hillary Schieve, Mayor of the City of Reno and Board Member of the RSCVA (Photo: Ariel Van Cleve for The Nevada Globe)

Similarly, board member Rick Murdock remarked that “more so than us giving the money, I’d like to see us go back to the drawing board. I’m all for it—finding other avenues and supporting it.”

The motion’s supporters included Washoe County Commission Chairwoman Alexis Hill and Sparks City Councilwoman Charlene Bybee.

“So, it’s a different mindset; but really, it is our strategic plan that talks about stewardship efforts,” noted Bybee. “So, it’s transportation; but it’s that stewardship of Tahoe; and it does indirectly, I think, relate to workers, to businesses, and to, you know, for the lake and for the people up there.”

Despite its failure to obtain financing from the RSCVA, the Incline Village-Crystal Bay TART Connect micro-shuttle project has thus far obtained contribution commitments from the Washoe County Commission, the RTC, and Travel North Tahoe Nevada totaling $825,000—an amount that represents nearly 95% of the funds it subsisted on in the last fiscal year.

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Ariel Van Cleve
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