For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Ventetuolo
Reno, Nev. June 27, 2017. The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting.
1. Board of County Commissioners approves the use of General Fund Contingency to cover unanticipated flood-related expenses. Washoe County staff presented the Board of Commissioners with a presentation regarding the scope of costs for the unprecedented winter flooding in January and February of this year.
The flood costs. Staff reported costs to date of the two flood incidents, each incident distinguished by a separate Presidential declaration: the January flood as well as the North Valleys flood, which took place in February. The total costs for both incidents to date is just over $3 million, with the January flood cost at just under $1 million and the North Valleys costs just over $2 million. To date, Washoe County has not received any federal funding to offset these unexpected incidents.
Actions taken. Response costs for both flood incidents include a multitude of services such as road repair, health services, animal services, as well as barriers and infrastructure needs. In addition, Washoe County Social Services helped North Valleys flood-affected residents by walking door to door at the onset of flooding to determine needs, connected affected residents with short-term housing, over 7 tons of donated clothing, 14,000 pounds of pet food and water and over $10,000 in donated gift cards through a Washoe County employee-driven donation event.
Action approved today was to take $1.4 million from the General Fund to cover a portion of the disaster and just over $205,000 to cover the additional mosquito spraying in affected areas, bringing the approved amount to transfer out of the General Fund to just over $1.6 million.
Uncovered costs and future expenditures. The remaining $1.4 million disaster expense not covered is expected to be absorbed through other funds. Future expenses for further recovery costs are estimated at approximately $6 million, with additional mosquito spraying costs at just over $534,000.
Options for funding these additional and uncovered costs are to seek state assistance in the amount of $2.4 million, transfer $3 million from the Stabilization Fund, $2.9 million from water sale monies, $2.5 million from the General Fund Contingency Fund as well as deferring capital improvement projects.
Commissioner Kitty Jung thanked Budget Manager, Mark Mathers, for the comprehensive budget update and said, “The next step would be how we are going to turn this into a sustainable issue in a closed basin.” Jung continued, “We could look at if these homes should be elevated or turn the area into a General Improvement District (GID) as well as looking at the rest of the county and seeing where this could be an issue, so we are being proactive, rather than reactive.”
Plan for federal reimbursement. Washoe County has submitted the January flood, and in the process of submitting the North Valleys flood, to FEMA for federal reimbursement requesting up to 75 percent of the incurred flood costs. However, there is no timeline regarding when reimbursements will be made.