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Update on the Washoe County Regional Detention Center presented to Commissioners

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Amy Ventetuolo

Reno, Nev. Oct. 10, 2017. The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting.

1. County Commissioners acknowledged the first quarterly report on the status of the Washoe County Regional Detention Center.  The Washoe County Board of Commissioners were presented the first of a regular quarterly report they requested outlining the status of the Washoe County Regional Detention Center. The presentation conducted by Chief Deputy Tom Green, highlighted security, conditions of confinement and medical care of inmates.  

Capacity and Security. The current capacity of the center allows for a total bed count of 1,301 beds, with an average daily population of 1,087 which is nearly a two percent increase over last year. The dentition center is on track during this fiscal year to book over 22,000 people into the facility. Although the average daily population of the detention facility increased only slightly in the last year, the percentage of inmates who are felons charged with violent crimes, and gang-affiliated inmates, has increased significantly.

Safety of the staff, visitors and inmates are a top priority with the report focusing on preventing prisoners from escape. Improvements such as increased cameras, window mesh, additional gates, added razor wire and improved locks have worked to prevent any escapes of prisoners in for the past fifteen years. The report noted there are ongoing and future capital improvement projects necessary to maintain an aging facility.

Welfare of inmates. The welfare of the inmates was assessed by looking at their health and their access to medical care. The overall inmate population has been found to be generally unhealthier than a traditional general sampling of the public and categorized by the contracted medical doctor as “extremely ill”, due to various lifestyle factors. Currently there are over 800 inmates under treatment for a chronic medical condition, 551 are receiving some type of medication and 261 are on a mental health medication. As a result, the detention facility’s contracted medical provider, Naphcare, logged 7,700 hours in staff time during just one 30-day period (June 30 – July 30, 2017). The medical contract with Naphcare was extended through May 31, 2018 to ensure care for inmates while a new Request for Proposal was developed.

“I want to thank you for all the work you do in jail operations, you do a phenomenal job,” says Commission Chair Bob Lucey. “A number of us have taken time to visit the jails throughout the U.S. to look at how we approach health care. As Commissioner Jung mentioned earlier, the jail is often referred to as the largest mental health facility in northern Nevada. These are multi-faceted issues and we need to have these conversations with multiple justice departments. The Commission is committed to helping the Sheriff’s Office with the next steps.” The Board of Commissioners thanked Chief Deputy Green and requested continued quarterly updates.

2. Commissioners receive an update on Waste Management franchise agreement.  Assistant County Manager, Kate Thomas, updated the Board of Commissioners with recent efforts to address some issues and concerns with the current Waste Management franchise agreement. Issue areas from citizens and county staff include: communication, container options, excess waste, agreement language, senior rate and a service waiver. Thomas addressed each issue in a presentation along with staff recommendations for implementation:

Reduced Size Container Option. Waste Management currently does not include a 32-gallon service for households generating a small amount of garbage and need less service. Staff proposed the recommendation to add a 32-gallon container for garbage at a reduced service rate of $18.50.

Excess Waste Option. Due to seasonal times where larger property owners have excess yard waste, the new Waste Management agreement offers 25 excess waste stickers provided annually as well as the addition of two months, May and November, for residents to place up to six excess trash bags or bundles at the curb without a sticker at no additional cost. Additionally, customers may purchase a bulk sticker package at $104.40, a $26 savings, which contains 50 stickers to be used any time. Staff recommended the approval of a discounted sticker package to the franchise rate sheet.

Language Change to Billing. Staff has received questions from residents around the delinquency of Waste Management billing. Staff recommended adding language to section 5.9(a) notating that bills are due upon receipt, however, they are not delinquent until the end of the quarter, or the 91st day.

The Chair spoke on behalf of the Commission saying improved customer service from Waste Management is the number one priority. Commissioner Vaughn Hartung agreed and added, “the Ombudsmen role could serve as our main point of contact to address needs in our area to better serve our community.”

After discussion the Board of Commissioners directed staff to further address concerns that were discussed and come back at a future meeting for approval on specific actions.

3.  Commissioners approved repair work on the Washoe County Incline Community Center Project. The Washoe County Incline Village Community Center, remodeled in 2006, has an existing concrete ramp and sidewalk around the facility are in an advanced state of disrepair due to weather conditions and is in need of replacement. As a result, Commissioners approved the Incline Village Community Center Project which consists of construction of a new code compliant accessible concrete ramp, sidewalk, curb and gutter for access with a new roof extension cover over the new ramp. The contract was awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, Shaw Construction Company in the amount of $119,400 to perform needed repairs. In addition, the purchase of all roofing materials necessary for the project in the amount of $3,217.43 as well as the $25,000 project contingency fund.

4. Commissioners approve in-kind donation to Bartley Ranch Regional Park. The Board of Commissioners unanimously accepted an in-kind donation from Rancharrah Holdings, LLC, to Bartley Ranch Regional Park for two equestrian arenas, to improve the equestrian experience, as well as trail system improvements. Rancharrah has agreed to transport, install and maintain all of the supplies and materials for the two additional equestrian arenas, valued at $82,879. Rancharrah has also agreed to enter into a Maintenance Agreement for the equestrian improvements. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Chip Bowlby, who made this donation,” remarked Vice Chair Berkbigler. “This is such a positive improvement as we have a lot of equestrian activity through that area and we greatly appreciate this donation.”

5. Grants for senior meals accepted. County Commissioners accepted two grants totaling more than $800,000 from the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division to serve nutritious meals to Washoe County seniors. The grants pay for congregate and home delivered meals

“Washoe County is grateful to continue to receive support from the state to assist in serving this vital need in our community,” said HSA Seniors Division Director, Ken Retterath.

The Washoe County Human Services Agency estimates 410,000 congregate home delivered and second home delivered meals will be provided to seniors over the age of 60 during the next year. 


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 »