For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Ventetuolo
Reno, Nev. Nov. 28, 2017. The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting.
1. Washoe County Commissioners introduce Development Agreement with Apple, Inc. Commissioners introduced the first reading of a Development Agreement with Apple, Inc. after their purchase of the Reno Technology Park and Sparks Energy Park, within unincorporated Washoe County.
“We thank Apple, the representatives, and county staff for their work on this project,” says Commission Chair Bob Lucey. “Apple is continuing to be a larger participant in our county and this is a major purchase of land to grow their business in our region. We thank Apple and all who made this possible.”
The second reading for final approval to establish this development agreement will take place at the Board of County Commissioners meeting on December 12, 2017.
2. Commissioners approve the purchase of the Ballardini Trailhead in South Reno. Commissioners approve the purchase of undeveloped land adjacent to the Ballardini Trailhead in South Reno. Commissioners approved the acquisition of Persigehl-Ballardini land consisting of over 93 acres of land with the remaining funding from the voter-approved WC-1 Regional Parks, Open Space, Trails and Library Bond of 2000. This $38M bond has funded two new libraries, with the remaining funds allocated for park improvements, trailhead and trail development and the acquisition of open space.
When the bond was first proposed in 2000 with 54 percent of the vote, the 93 acres of undeveloped land adjacent from the Ballardini Trailhead in South Reno was identified as high priority on the WC-1 Regional Parks, Open Space, Trails and Library Bond of 2000 project list, and was initially earmarked for purchase in order to preserve open space supporting Washoe County’s Regional Open Space and Trails program. This land is important to maintain access to public lands, enhance trail systems, to preserve wildlife habitat, scenic and natural resources and provide recreational opportunities.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to steward the voter-approved bond with an area that can be enjoyed for years to come,” says Assistant County Manager, Dave Solaro. “This will also continue to enhance the Regional Open Space and Trails program for the entire community.”
3. Commissioners affirmed the Board of Adjustment’s partial approval with conditions of a special use permit for Gail Willey Landscaping and Colorock. Gail Willey Landscaping and Colorock were seeking to move their current business operations from the City of Reno to Pleasant Valley. Gail Willey Landscaping and Colorock sought a special use permit with the Board of Adjustment (BOA) on Oct. 5, 2017. The BOA granted a partial approval allowing for a wholesale nursery to sell plants, trees and flowers, but not allowing for the remainder of the business operations to relocate. The applicant appealed this decision to the Board of County Commissioners and was seeking authorization to move their full range of existing business operations. Today, Commissioners denied the relocation of the portion of the business specific to Colorock, to Pleasant Valley. After hearing presentations from both supporters and opponents of the project and public comment, the Commission agreed this project was not suitable for the requested move.
The Board of County Commissioners upheld the BOA’s decision to allow for partial approval of nursery operations. This decision affirms the partial approval set forth by the BOA which denies the move of full range of business operations.
4. Commissioners approve multiple grants to help the most vulnerable throughout Washoe County. The Board of County Commissioners approved several grants today to help the most vulnerable populations in our community. County Commissioners approved a $75,000 FY18 Mental Health grant from the State of Nevada Division of Public Behavioral Health to the Washoe County Human Services Agency (HSA). The grant will go toward providing mental health support for seniors suffering from mental illness.
Over the past year, HSA Senior Services has responded to a high volume of incidents involving mentally ill seniors who have exhibited suicidal thoughts, aggression, agitation, depression, and substance abuse. This grant will provide funding for seniors suffering from various mental health issues and in need of treatment, case management rehabilitation, as well as other types of support.
In addition, grant funding will be used to hire a contract Licensed Clinical Social Worker, which will be responsible for collecting data regarding seniors and their mental health needs, all in an effort to construct a mental health unit in the future.
Commissioners also approved a $50,000 grant from the State of Nevada – Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant to the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office Victim Witness Assistance Center. This grant was received to assist victims of crime with emergency services. Victims and their families are often in need of immediate assistance with such things as housing, clothing, food, and basic toiletries. The funds obtained from VOCA’s Victim Assistance Program will be used to support those needs, with a primary focus on assisting families of domestic violence, child abuse, sex crimes and the families of murder victims. Injured and surviving family members of serious or fatal Driving Under the Influence cases can also be helped with this grant.
In addition, Commissioners approved a $25,000 grant for the Washoe County Child Advocacy Center, which provides a single location for the reporting, investigation, treatment and healing of victims of child abuse. Washoe County has made Community Support funds available to local community based providers to support services that address diverse health and human service needs in the community. The grant that will ensure the health and safety of the child through a neutral, child-centered environment designed to minimize trauma to the child, provide advocacy for the child and non-offending caregivers and support effective investigations. Local organizations continue to donate to the Child Advocacy Center to help with equipment, operational, and program needs.
5. National Flood Insurance Program for residents of unincorporated Washoe County recertified, providing cost savings to residents. Today, Commissioners approved the recertification to the National Flood Insuracne Program (NFIP) which offers a signifcant dscount on flood insurance premiums for residents within unincorporated Washoe County whose properties are within FEMA floodplains. In 2008, Washoe County submitted an application to the National Flood Insurance Program and was certified with a class raiting of 7. A class 7 rating provides a 15 percent reduction in flood insurance premiums for homeowners in unincorporated Washoe County.
Each year, the Community Services Department in Washoe County submits an annual recertification to the NFIP to maintain the class rating of 7, allowing residents to receive the premium reduction. This year, there is more than 600 unincorporated Washoe County residents receiving the 15 percent reduction on national flood insurance premiums, resulting in a total annual savings of approximately $110,000. Each year, the Community Services Department sends out a letter to each of the residents explaining what the program is and the benefits received under the program. In 2018, Washoe County will be reassessed during the NFIP five-year review cycle.
6. Commissioners conduct interviews and select top candidate for Alternate Public Defender. After a public interview process conducted at the meeting today with four candidates, the Board of County Commissioners have selected Mr. Marc Picker as the top candidate for the Alternate Public Defender position. Negotiations between the top candidate and the County Manager regarding compensation and start date are still pending and will need to be finalized.
7. 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 $14,000 to the Human Services Agency (HSA) to support the development of the Incline Community Center.