For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Ventetuolo
Reno, Nev. May 23, 2017. The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting.
1. Washoe County Budget Receives Unanimous Approval from Board of County of Commissioners. Washoe County staff presented the Board with a final balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The $635 million budget includes Capital Improvement Projects totaling $40 million for the fiscal year 2017-18 to make needed improvements to county libraries, fund new voting equipment and continued infrastructure improvements.
“We are proud of our FY2017-18 budget, specifically regarding additional resources to our Sober 24 program, new positions in the Medical Examiner’s Office, District Court, Health District and the Regional Public Safety Training Center” remarked County Manager John Slaughter. “In addition, expanding some park hours, enhancing our capital improvement process and consolidating planning and building into one division are a few of the things we find very positive about the budget, especially considering all of our natural disasters and unknown costs, this was significant.”
In total there are 15 new full time positions in the new budget funded through reallocation of resources and increased fees.
Voting equipment replacement has been a priority since many of the machines have been in use for over a decade, spanning more than a dozen elections. Replacement of the outdated voting machines is estimated to cost between $3.8 to $4.2 million. The FY18 budget includes $1.9 million to fund a portion of the new equipment that, if passed through legislation, could be partially reimbursed by the State. If legislation does not pass, Washoe County would need to fund the remainder of the cost in FY19.
”This is the first time since 2011-12 we have a balanced budget that promotes fiscal sustainability for several years into the future,” says Christine Vuletich, Assistant County Manager. “We went above merely satisfying the statutory requirement, and created a truly structurally balanced budget.”
2. Commissioners direct their special District Funds. The Board of County Commissioners have approved special district funds disbursement for Vice-Chair Berkbigler in the amount of $2,000 to benefit the following grant: Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition. Special District Funds from Commissioner Hartung were also approved for disbursement in the amount of $11,500 to benefit the following grants: The Nevada Discovery Museum, Reed High School, Alyce Taylor Elementary School, Bud Beasley Elementary School, Ed Van Gorder Elementary School and Jesse Hall Elementary School.
“The Commissioners who are distributing these funds are far too humble to highlight these contributions, but I will,” says Commissioner Jung. “Thank you Commissioners Hartung and Vice-Chair Berkbigler, I am confident your contributions are very much appreciated by the recipients.”
3. $1M Bid Awarded for the Washoe County Social Services Visitation Center Renovation Project. Commissioners awarded a $1,100,000 contract to Reyman Brothers Construction Inc. for the Washoe County Social Services Visitation Center Renovation Project. With the help of a Victims of Crimes Act (VOCA) federal grant, Washoe County Social Services purchased a building located at 905 E. Prater Way earlier this year and renovation is underway. The center will be designed to create a home-like environment where families can visit with their children in foster care. Child Protective Services has outgrown their current center located at 350 S. Center Street, which features only ten small visitation and interview rooms to accommodate the over 15,000 family visits each year.
The new Family Engagement Center will offer the following: View a rendering of the Family Engagement Center kitchen.