Top headlines to know from the Board of County Commissioners meeting
Commissioners approve new ordinance changes for Animal Services

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Amy Ventetuolo

Reno, Nev. Jan. 23, 2018. The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting.

1. The Board of County Commissioners approve animal ordinance changes.  After a thorough public input process, Commissioners moved forward today approving the new ordinance changes related to exotic animals, number of animals owned and the abolishment of the Animal Control Board.

The first ordinance vacates the Animal Control Board and changes the permit process for residents of Washoe County wishing to possess over the legal limit of three adult dogs or seven adult cats within the congested areas of the county. While it is possible for residents to own more than the limit, a permit, or variance, will be required to do so.

The second ordinance change separates exotic animals into a three-tiered classification system. The three-tiered classification system is based on the animal’s characteristics, the risk of the animal to public safety and public health, the invasiveness of the species, and concerns for animal welfare.

While animals in Tier 1 will not require a permit, animals in tiers 2 and 3 will require a permit:

Tier 1: Animals are those typically found in pet stores and would not require permits.

Tier 2: Animals are those that pose a moderate health, safety or environmental risk, such as constrictor snakes greater than 10 feet and 30 pounds.

Tier 3: Animals are those that pose a significant health, safety or environmental risk, such as primates.

“After over 4 years of hard work by our staff and working with the community, we are very pleased the Commissioners have approved these needed changes that are in the interest of public safety, responsible pet ownership and animal welfare,” remarks Shyanne Schull, Washoe County Director of Regional Animal Services. “Our mission is to promote responsible care of animals and to help make Washoe County a safe community, and we believe today’s action enables us to do that.”

2. Commissioners approve a grant and bequest for Second Judicial District Court. Commissioners unanimously approved a $10,000 grant from the Lee F. Del Grande Foundation to continue opportunities for children and parents to visit at the Family Peace Center. The Lee F. Del Grande Foundation has provided grant support to the Second Judicial District Court for a number of years, including another recent grant in the amount of $30,000.

In addition, Commissioners also approved a bequest gift to the Second Judicial District Court from the estate of Deborah Lee Lumkes, to benefit the court’s CASA program. The late Ms. Lumkes was a local attorney who practiced family law for years. Her gift is to directly benefit the CASA volunteers for their dedication to children in the foster care system here in Washoe County.

“CASA volunteers are the eyes and ears to help our social workers, who advocate for the children placed in foster care. This is a very important program in our community, and we greatly appreciate the estate of Ms. Lumkes,” remarked Vice-Chair Kitty Jung. “We are also extremely grateful for the Lee F. Del Grande Foundation to provide us this generous support. Thank you very much.”

3. Gerlach Economic Development Plan Block Grant received approval. In a 2011 Community Assessment, a series of community meetings with the Gerlach residents, Economic Development was identified as a top priority. Since this time the Washoe County Grants Administrator, Gabrielle Enfield, has been working with a group of local residents, the Gerlach Economic Development Council, to find ways to assist with their economic development efforts. 

Washoe County submitted for, and was awarded, a Community Development Block Grant from the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development in the amount of $98,750. These grant funds were earmarked to hire a consulting firm to analyze economic assets, needs and opportunities for Gerlach, and develop a plan for how to accomplish an economic development project.  The Gerlach Economic Development Plan will include an inventory of existing assets, workforce analysis, regional traffic creation strategy for arts and tourism opportunities, and strategies for an economic development project implementation. 

Commissioners approved Better City as the firm to lead the economic development plan, in the amount of $101,710. Grant funds will cover the bid amount with the remaining $2,960 to come from the Office of the County Manager FY2018 budget, under Community Support.

“It’s time we look deeper into the ideas and projects identified by the 2011 Community Assessment,” says Gabrielle Enfield, Washoe County Grants Administrator. “With today’s approval from the Board of County Commissioners, we take a big step forward into unlocking the potential for the economic opportunities that lie in Gerlach.”

4. Board and Commission Appointments. Commissioners approved the following appointments:

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Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »