For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Ventetuolo
Reno, Nev. March 31, 2020. The following report highlights an important agenda item from the Washoe County Board of County Commissioners meeting:
1. Commissioners ratify Declaration of State of Emergency and Incident Command Response Team in Washoe County. The Board will received and ratified the Declaration of a State of Emergency in Washoe County issued by the Washoe County Manager on March 16, 2020, due to COVID-19 interruptions to government, disruption of utility services, and other potential and related events to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, pursuant to WCC 65.320.
Commissioners also ratified the Interlocal Agreement for Incident Command and a Coordinated Response to COVID-19. This means certain authority and responsibility for operational control and management of COVID-19 from Washoe County, the City of Reno, the City of Sparks and the Washoe County Health District, has been delegated to an Incident Command Team led by Incident Commander, Sam Hicks.
The COVID-19 Incident Command Team oversees the day-to-day regional response and includes everything from testing, working with our local hospitals and healthcare providers, public safety and emergency responders, legal, coordinated public information, and all volunteer agencies, providing management of the incident.
“Our Incident Command Team, under the leadership of Sam Hicks, is working around the clock to address this pandemic, from housing and food to ensuring public safety and healthcare. In my opinion you are doing the Lord’s work to keep us all safe and I can’t thank you enough,” said Chair Bob Lucey.
2. Facility operator of Our Place Women and Family Shelter approved. County Commissioners approved Reno Initiative for Shelter and Equality (RISE) to become the facility operator of the Our Place Women and Family Shelter.
Families and children in daycare will relocate from the Community Assistance Center to Our Place this spring followed by the women upon completion of the 114-bed women’s shelter. Our Place will provide a more safe and secure environment for women to receive several services, such as mental health, educational and employment opportunities.
In addition, Our Place will enable an increased capacity to serve more individuals with a targeted approach for long-term success.
The more than $1.9 million contract between RISE and Washoe County is a 14-month agreement to operate the shelter, which provides an opportunity to renew annually each of the following four years.
3. Pennington Foundation donates more than half a million dollars to foster children. County Commissioners accepted two grants from the William N. Pennington Foundation to the Washoe County Human Services Agency (HSA) to help provide for children in care.
The William N. Pennington Foundation awarded more than $371,250, in a grant to give $450 each to 825 HSA children in care. Funding will provide significant support to the foster children in HSA’s care by assisting HSA with essential clothing, school supplies, costs for extracurricular activities, and Christmas presents.
In addition, the William N. Pennington Foundation provided a more than $198,000 grant to build a playground for kids that will be staying at the Our Place campus in Sparks.
“Washoe County is so thankful for the William N. Pennington Foundation and their generous grants to help our youngest, most vulnerable population,” Washoe County HSA Director Amber Howell said. “The Foundation has been a faithful supporter of children and a true staple of kindness in our community.”
The next virtual Board of County Commissioners meeting will take placed as scheduled on April 14, 2020.