For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Ventetuolo
Reno, Nev. Dec. 12, 2017. The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting.
1. Washoe County Commissioners approve agreement with RSCVA regarding Wildcreek Golf Course. Washoe County Board of County Commissioners were presented with items related to land and water development from Washoe County School District (WCSD) officials that would allow for WCSD to move forward on a new high school at 3500 Sullivan Lane.
• Background of potential purchase. The land was purchased by Reno Sparks Visitor’s Authority in the name of Washoe County in 1974 and is operated by RSCVA as a golf course called Wildcreek. Nevada Revised Statues requires Board of County Commissioner approval for any sale of the Wildcreek property by RSCVA. Washoe County Board of Commissioners confirmed their support of the new high school project with approval of the letter of intent to cooperate in the development on May 1, 2017.
• Next steps. Today, the Board of County Commissioners approved the agreement concepts that allow Washoe County to work with WCSD to take critical next steps in the development of the new school. Legal documents with details of the proposal will be brought back before the board for confirmation in the spring of 2018. For more information on the high school project, please visit: www.wcsdbuilding.com/wildcreek
2. Washoe County Commissioners approve an additional $300K in HESCO barrier around Swan Lake. Dwayne Smith, Director of Engineering, provided a North Valleys Flood Incident Update to the Board of County Commissioners regarding the 2017 North Valleys Flood Incident, which included upcoming winter preparations, direction on the FEMA grant and funding to provide additional HESCO barrier. To date, Washoe County has spent over $4 million on flood response efforts in the North Valleys.
“The county has done a tremendous amount of work in the North Valleys and have provided resources needed. We realize the HESCO barriers are an inconvenience, but this is not harmful, it has helped attempt to restore a life they once had, based on the current challenges. These are natural challenges and nothing we can do can change the outcome Swan Lake is experiencing,” says Washoe County Commission Chair, Bob Lucey. “Washoe County will continue to do the work we’ve been doing to prevent further challenges with berms and barriers. We should move forward with the home purchase program with FEMA, which moves individuals into new areas, because this flooding will inevitably happen again, we will continually be challenged with terminal basins in Washoe County.”
• Winter preparations. Washoe County currently maintains four miles of HESCO flood barriers, water pumps and regularly maintains ditches in the area. Washoe County is spending approximately $70,000 per month maintaining the temporary flood protection measures. In addition, county staff have provided resources and continue to inform residents how to best prepare for the upcoming 2017/18 winter and spring precipitation seasons.
• FEMA Grant. To address the longer-term flood impacts, staff has been in discussions with the affected area residents to gauge interest in participating in the FEMA hazard mitigation grant program (HMGP). The FEMA grant could be used to acquire homes that are located within the area impacted by the 2017 Presidentially-declared February flood. The grant would allow for the acquisition and demolition or relocation of residential structures to a site outside of the FEMA flood plain and the underlying property would then be converted to a deed-restricted open space. Staff proposed to continue to work with interested residents in this voluntary program to help them complete the application before FEMA’s deadline of February of 2018. Purchase of any home would be voluntary, would require the homeowner to agree to the terms of the program, and is at the approval of FEMA.
• Additional HESCO barrier. Staff presented the Commission with a proposal to purchase additional HESCO barrier to maintain flood protections currently in place. Washoe County is working with regional partners to continually monitor the conditions in the North Valleys area. Recent observations show an increase of lake levels over the past month due to rainfall, reduced evaporation rates approaching the fall and winter season, and ground in the region being saturated causing precipitation to run off the ground instead of absorbing into it. In response, Washoe County staff has begun construction work on a new berm at the end of Pompe Way to continue protection efforts. The berm construction will require the removal of a small portion of HESCO barrier on Pompe Way to provide access to the area for this construction. Staff requested up to $300,000 of contingency funds to purchase the additional barrier to connect the new berm and existing HESCO barrier. This new portion of protection will allow those residents on Pompe Way without access to their homes, to potentially move back in, and will assure protections to the remainder of the neighborhood to the west.
The County Commission unanimously approved to move forward with all of the proposed actions, including to continue with the winter preparations currently in place, continue the process to help residents apply for the FEMA grant program for possible purchase of specific residences, and the contingency funds to purchase the additional HESCO barrier to complete the berm construction.
3. Commissioners present Resolution to drone delivery company, Flirtey, Inc. Washoe County Commissioners are pleased to be a team member in the City of Reno’s application to the United States Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration for designation as one of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program. To commemorate this partnership, the Commission approved committing to being a team member, along with the City of Reno and Flirtey, a local drone delivery company.
“It’s been a great experience to connect with the counties and cities to see how the process works and we thank you for putting this on your agenda,” says Owen Galassini, one of the engineers of manufacturing and testing at Flirtey, Inc. “Our mission is to change lifestyles and save lives, in partnership with the FAA we are hopeful to get the green light to test drone delivery in our region.”
Flirtey was the first company to conduct an FAA-approved drone delivery in collaboration with NASA in the United States, and first home drone delivery in Washoe County. Flirtey has also recently collaborated with REMSA to launch the first automated external defibrillator (AED) drone delivery service.
4. Commissioners approve grant funds to Washoe County Medical Examiner for opioid overdose deaths. The Board of County Commissioners approved a $79,914 grant from the State of Nevada Department Health and Human Services to the Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner and Coroner’s Office to investigate opioid-related deaths and input data into a national database. This data can be used by law enforcement, health agencies, etc. to better understand the root causes of such deaths, which will lead to better prevention and treatment programs.