Top 5 things to know from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting
County Commissioners accept bid for Rancho San Rafael Regional Park irrigation reconstruction project.

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Joshua Andreasen

Reno, Nevada. Oct. 25, 2016. The following report highlights five agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. Videos of County Commission meetings are replayed regularly on WCTV (Charter Ch. 193). You may also watch videos on-demand online.

1. Bid approved for the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park irrigation reconstruction project. County Commissioners awarded a $1,200,135 bid agreement to Burdick Excavation Co. for phase 2 of the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park irrigation reconstruction project.

Phase 2 of the reconstruction project will involve installing a new irrigation system over 30 acres within the park. The upgrade will include the Wilbur D. May Arboretum. The current irrigation system is outdated and in need of new piping, valves, a control system and a pump station.

Phase 1 has already been completed. The project included a new irrigation pump station to enhance the utilization of surface water coming from Highland Ditch. The project also reduces the need for potable water.

Rancho San Rafael Regional Park is owned by Washoe County. More than 1.5 million people visit the park every year.

2. Commissioners approve the terms of a purchase of property for a Child Protective Services Family Visitation Center. County Commissioners approved a $535,000 agreement to purchase property located at 905 E. Prater Way in Sparks, as the future site for a Child Protective Services Family Visitation Center.

The 6,200-square-foot building will feature multiple visitation playrooms and private areas, a playground and picnic areas for children and families off site from the downtown main location.  

The funds for the visitation center are a mix between County funds, Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) federal funds and donations.  

The goal of the visitation center is to provide a place where birth parents, foster parents and children will be able interact in an open, natural environment with age-appropriate activities throughout the building. The center will create a more positive experience during a very stressful time for families and increase family engagement, teach healthy parenting and increase reunification and parental participation.  

“We are so excited for this opportunity and have been awarded the ability to provide this to our families in the child welfare system,” Washoe County Social Services Director Amber Howell said. “We can't wait to get started and are anxious to begin the renovations, redesigns, construction and furnishing.”

To be a part of this exciting community need and willingness to volunteer or donate, please call 775-337-4488.

3. Agreement approved for management at Washoe Golf Course. County Commissioners tentatively approved a four and a half year agreement between Washoe County and Bell-Men Golf to manage Washoe Golf Course. The vote was 3-2 (Lucey, Hartung dissent). The agreement is for the time period of Jan. 1, 2017 through June 30, 2021.

Staff will finalize the draft licensing agreement with Bell-Men Golf. The new contract will include Bell-Men taking over maintenance of the course from Washoe County.

Washoe Golf Course is owned by Washoe County. The course, founded in the early 1930s, is the oldest golf course in Reno. The Washoe Golf Course features 162 acres, 18 holes, practice facilities, putting green, driving range, chipping area, pro shop and a clubhouse with a restaurant.

4. County Commissioners accept the Washoe County Library Annual Report for FY 2015-16. In a joint meeting Tuesday, the Washoe County Library Board of Trustees and the County Commissioners heard a presentation by Library Director, Jeff Scott, on the Washoe County Library Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2015-2016. 

Scott highlighted many of the library’s accomplishments this year which included expanded library hours and increased material checkouts. Washoe County’s 12 library branches combined had more than 1.6 million checkouts last year for an approximate value of $40 million.

The library system expanded programming opportunities and added more funding for children’s materials. Several programs highlighted included the launch of the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten project geared towards early literacy. 

“The Washoe County Library System is needed now more than ever,” Scott said. “With Early Literacy and Makerspaces becoming such a large need in the community and in the state, the Washoe County Library System is here to help. We save the community money and provide critical resources where our community needs us most. Our Annual Report reflects these efforts. “

“First and foremost, I want to thank you, Jeff Scott, for your leadership,” said Washoe County Commissioner Bob Lucey (Dist. 2), who is the Commission Liaison for the Library Board of Trustees. “A number of your programs have been very successful and the extended hours are a highlight for many individuals. We've seen that it’s not just a library, it’s a community center, it provides jobs, it’s where we go to vote, kids get a number of educational programs and so much more.”

5. Presentation about the Sanford Center for Aging Presentation. Dr. Peter Reed, Director of the Sanford Center for Aging, gave County Commissioners a presentation about the organization, whose mission is to enhance the quality of life and well-being among elders through education, translational research, and community outreach. Their vision for the future is to be recognized across Nevada and beyond as leaders in aging-related research, education, and community outreach.

According to Reed, Nevada has the 2nd highest growth of seniors In terms of percent of population of people over 65. Chair Kitty Jung commended the work of the Sanford Center in terms of what is being taught at University. She referred to the “Silver Tsunami,” a phrase that refers to the rise in median age of the United State workforce, and was impressed the Sanford Center for Aging was preparing for it. 

The Sanford Center for Aging is funded in the large part through an endowment made by Jean Sanford in 1992.

Learn more about the Sanford Center for Aging

Public Notice 

Due to remodeling and security upgrades of the Commission Chambers, Tuesday’s board meeting was the final one in the chambers for 2016. County Commission meetings for the following dates will be held in the Health District Board room in Building B of the Washoe County Administration Complex at 1001 E. 9th St:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 10 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 10 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 13, at 10 a.m.

The main focus of the remodel will be to upgrade to security, safety and accessibility. There will also be a vast technological upgrade for an enhanced online experience, new audience seating, new carpet, an extension of the dais, an easier process for public comment requests and more.


Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »
Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »