Nevada Indian Commission may lose grants for remodeling cultural center

Carson City, Neveda (AP) 11-09

Administrative hurdles and a looming deadline may cost the Nevada Indian Commission some $280,000 in grants secured to remodel the future home of the Stewart Indian Cultural Center.

Historic Preservation Officer Ron James said the state public works office has taken over the project and is requiring the commission pay administration and management fees like other state agencies. Department officials have also mandated a full seismic retrofit of the historic stone building before additional work can be done.

But James said grants from the Cultural Affairs bond funds can only be used for “brick and mortar,” not administrative costs.

“I don’t see a pathway to save the grant because Public Works requires the fees and we can’t pay the fees,” James told the Stewart project’s advisory committee during an October meeting.

The project faces a substantial penalty unless money from the first of two grants is being spent by Dec. 31. James said the Historic Preservation Commission, which meets Monday, should take back an initial $150,000 grand and reallocate it to another project that can immediately use the money.

Sherry Rupert, executive director of the Indian Commission, said a mandate to turn over the project to the public works department was a surprise. Grant were used for aesthetic remodeling because the commission believed seismic issues in the 100-year-old building had already been addressed.

Robin Reedy, chief of staff to Gov. Jim Gibbons, said she will work with public works officials to see if there is some way to fix the situation and move the project forward.