Top 5 things to know from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting
Update on water removal operations from Lemmon Valley

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Nancy Leuenhagen

Reno, Nevada.  March 28, 2017. The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting.

1. Update on recovery efforts in Lemmon Valley. North Valleys Flood Incident Commander Sam Hicks gave a presentation on flood recovery efforts in Lemmon Valley to the Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday.

Hicks updated Commissioners on the completion of the 4-mile long temporary barrier wall that was installed, as well as the Community Meeting that is scheduled at O’Brien Middle School on Wednesday, March 29, at 6 p.m.

Hicks said that pumps were sending water away from properties in Lemmon Valley at a rate of 18,000 gallons per minute, which equates to about 40 acre feet per day.

Water pumps will continue to be in place on site until the level of Swan Lake recedes. Crews are monitoring neighborhoods most affected to ensure that progress is maintained. He reminded residents that barriers might have small amounts of water seeping out, but it won’t affect operations. Back-up pumps are also on hand if needed.

Also, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to Washoe County for flooding from Feb. 5-22.

“Thank you to Incident Commander Hicks and the response teams for your hard work in Lemmon Valley,” Commission Chair Bob Lucey said. “We will continue to speak with residents at our Community Meeting on Wednesday and keep them informed during this process.”

2.  Recognition on the passing of former Washoe County Commissioner Francis William “Bill” Farr. The Board of County Commissioners recognized former Washoe County Commissioner Francis William "Bill" Farr, who passed away Saturday, March 25. He was 93 years old. Farr served on the Washoe County Commission from 1977-82, was also the City of Sparks' longest serving fire chief (1951-1976) and a former Nevada State Senator.

Washoe County Commissioner Vaughn Hartung said, “Bill Farr was a community leader and a visionary for Washoe County, the City of Sparks and the State of Nevada. He will be greatly missed by our region.”

3. Sponsorship approved for Hot August Nights event.  Commissioners approved the sponsorship of the 2017 Hot August Nights Vintage Trailer Rally, which will be held this summer at Washoe County’s Rancho San Rafael Regional Park Aug. 8-13.

The in-kind sponsorship for this special event for Hot August Nights is in consideration of waiving the park facility rental and use fees.  Washoe County will be recognized as a sponsor of the event.

Commission Chair Lucey said, “Hot August Nights is a legacy event that has tremendous benefit to our economy. When we have an opportunity to contribute to an event like this that has an impact on our entire community and region, it is a great move and we need to support this initiative.”

4.  Washoe County Citizen Survey results.  The Board was updated on a recent, statistically-valid citizen survey of Washoe County residents. Washoe County contracted with the National Research Center, which works with the International County/City Management Association, to conduct this survey. See results. The purpose of the survey was to query residents about their perceptions of County services, the relative importance of strategic planning areas and major functional areas of the County.

Highlights of the survey found that Washoe County residents feel they enjoy a good quality of life, with 89 percent saying they would recommend it to others. Most felt positive about the local economy and safety in their neighborhoods. Residents also provided insight as to the County's priorities, specifically putting an emphasis on maintenance of roads, planning for increased growth and public safety services in unincorporated areas of the County. 

5. Commission approves Sexual Assault Kit Initiative DNA testing funds. The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Science Division and the Nevada Attorney General’s Office were awarded $402,917 in grant funds through the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Program to help address the backlog of untested sexual assault kits throughout northern Nevada. 

“The lab takes in upwards of 500 cases with more than 1,000 testing samples in a year, each kit costing between $600 and $1,500,” said Lisa Smyth-Roam, Ph.D., Supervising Criminalist at the Sheriff’s Office.  The funds will be used to contract with Sorenson Forensics who will perform biological screening and DNA analysis for sexual assault kits in northern Nevada.

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