For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Ventetuolo
Reno, Nevada. Jan. 24, 2017. The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017.
1. County Commission adopts increase in sales tax for school capital improvement projects. At Tuesday’s Board of County Commissioners (BCC) meeting, the County Commission held the second reading of an ordinance to raise sales and use taxes by 0.54 percent in Washoe County. The increase in sales taxes will pay for the construction, repair and renovation of Washoe County School District facilities. The new Washoe County sales tax rate is 8.265 percent. The Commission is required to move forward with the sales tax increase following the passage of Senate Bill 411 and voter-approved Washoe County Question one, which was passed by voters during the General Election in November 2016.
The ordinance will be submitted to the Nevada Department of Taxation within 10 days. The Department of Taxation is tentatively scheduled to begin collecting the new sales tax rate in April.
2. County Commission discusses revisions to franchise agreement with Waste Management. The Board discussed the concerns regarding the parameters of the new Garbage Franchise Agreement previously approved on Nov. 29, 2016 by the Board. The franchise agreement with Waste Management has yet to be executed and the Board is now requesting revisions to improve the agreement on behalf of the citizens.
The County Commission discussed numerous concerns from citizens regarding Waste Management’s services. The Board directed staff to work with Waste Management to improve the agreement regarding single stream recycling, trash services and communication between Waste Management and customers across all service areas.
The Commission also addressed adding more individualized flexibility for trash service options for citizens with larger yards.
“Washoe County has been communicating with Waste Management daily on the communication component of trash service, the new single stream recycling agreement, and addressing individual service delays” said Assistant County Manager Kevin Schiller. “An unprecedented winter has significantly affected trash service and single stream recycling, which has led to several complaints from our citizens.”
Commission Chair Bob Lucey said, “The objective of this Commission has been and will continue to be to provide a safe, secure and healthy community. Under the current proposed new agreement, I’m not certain that is being done.”
Chair Lucey requested staff to draft an improved franchise agreement with Waste Management and bring that agreement before the County Commission for future action.
3. County Commission approves agreement to expand visitor services to Galena Creek Recreation Area. The County Commission approved an agreement between Great Basin Institute (GBI), Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service-Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. The agreement enables GBI to offer and expand visitor services and interpretive programming in the Galena Creek Recreation Area.
GBI offers a variety of programs for the public. The Visitor’s Center offers a monthly Galena Toddlers program which focuses on nature-based stories and crafts. In addition, there is a homeschool group that visits once a month. GBI has also taken over the Galena Fest event in late September. The event focuses on a mountain bike ride and mountain trail run, but also provides an opportunity for visitors to better understand all of the work that GBI does at Galena Creek Park.
“The partnership Washoe County has with the US Forest Service and Great Basin Institute is the epitome of a collaboration effort,” Washoe County District Parks Manager Colleen Wallace-Barnum said. “Great Basin Institute provides the necessary staffing and programming at the Visitor’s Center, which resides on Forest Service property. We hope to continue this partnership in order to provide the citizens of our community an enriching experience when entering the gateway to Lake Tahoe at the base of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.”
The Galena Creek Recreation Area is located on federal land near Washoe County’s Galena Creek Regional Park and includes trailheads, trails, a visitor center and much more.
4. County Commission approves priorities for the 79th Nevada Legislative Session. The County Commission discussed priorities for the upcoming Nevada Legislative Session. The Commission agreed that the following priorities will be used by staff and elected officials to guide their actions during the session:
- Respect for governmental roles
- Recover our economic strength
- Regional solutions to services provisions
- Legislative communication policy
The Nevada Legislative Session begins Feb. 6, 2017, in Carson City.
5. County Commission approves Forensic Support Services Agreement. The County Commission approved the Forensic Support Services Agreement between Washoe County on behalf of Washoe County Sheriff’s Office and Mono County on behalf of Mono County District Attorney’s Office. The agreement is at a rate of $250 per hour and will not exceed $15,000.
The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) provides forensic services to federal, state and local agencies throughout northern Nevada. WCSO does all in-house laboratory analysis, including field investigation.
“We have very dedicated, hardworking, and skilled analysts that take pride in providing Washoe County and Northern Nevada with the highest quality of forensic analysis and crime scene processing,” Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Supervising Criminalist Steven Johnson said. “We now have a great opportunity to provide this same quality of work to one of our neighboring California communities.”