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Highlights from today’s Reno City Council meeting



reno-logo-8913289-1491195Today the Reno City Council held its regularly scheduled meeting. Below are some highlights from the meeting.

• Agenda Item E.2
The City Council approved an agreement in the amount of $270,000 with Paolo Cividino, Tutto Ferro, Inc., to design, fabricate, and install the public art for the Virginia Street Bridge replacement.
The preliminary designs includes imbedding mosaic state seals in the sidewalk in the middle of both sides of the bridge, those coupled with three metal laser cut panels in the center of each side of the bridge railing to allow for the seal to be illuminated by the sun. In addition, the artwork will include geographic panels on the retaining walls along the sidewalk with historical information and topographic depictions of those geographic locals surrounding Reno and the Truckee River closed basin on the large flood wall that will be used to allow access to the river below the City Plaza.
The Reno Arts and Culture Commission unanimously recommended Cividino to perform the work along with the preliminary designs.
Funding for this project is through the Federal Highway Administration (Bridge Funds) administered by the Nevada Department of Transportation, 1/8th cent sales tax administered by the Flood Management Authority and local fuel tax administered by the Regional Transportation Commission.
• Agenda Item E.3
The City Council accepted a $75,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture through the Nevada Division of Forestry to undertake the first phase of a two-phase fuels reduction plan for Rosewood Wash. Rosewood Wash is a canyon in southwest Reno which runs for approximately one mile between South McCarran Boulevard and Belford Road.
In the wake of the Caughlin Fire in November 2011, in which adjacent Manzanita Canyon ignited, residents in the neighborhoods along Rosewood Wash expressed concerns to City staff about the overgrowth of vegetation in the Wash. The residents were specifically interested in taking preventative steps that would mitigate the risk of wildfire and potential damage to their homes.
City staff in Parks, Recreation and Community Services and the Reno Fire Department, along with staff from the Nevada Division of Forestry and the University of Nevada, Reno Cooperative Extension Living with Fire Program, held a community meeting in April 2012 to discuss concerns, options and potential solutions to the fire risk posed by vegetative overgrowth in Rosewood Wash. A two-phase mitigation plan was then developed.
Phase I includes a prioritization of areas to be treated based upon hazard and risk; identification of property ownership; determination of best methods for fuels reduction; community engagement and education; and development of a maintenance plan to ensure that the Wash and surrounding neighborhoods would remain in a fire-adapted condition after the fuels reduction had been accomplished.
Phase II includes the implementation of the Phase I recommendations and course of action. Phase I is expected to begin in fall of 2013.
• Agenda Item F.5 and F.6
The City Council approved two collective bargaining agreements with the International Union of Operating Engineers Stationary Local 39, AFL-CIO; one with the Non-Supervisory Unit and the other with the Supervisory Unit. Both agreements are for the period of July 1, 2011, through June 3, 2015, and provide no increase in benefits or salaries.
The Agreement does provide for the elimination of paid retiree medical insurance premiums (OPEB) for new City employees, a continuation of the split in the contribution increase in cost for the Nevada Public Employee Retirement System, a reduction in deferred compensation match, and a reduction in paid health insurance premiums for dependents, which will result in savings of approximately $1 million per year for the City of Reno.
As the City of Reno continues recovering from the recession and continues to facing significant challenges, these two Agreements help in creating a fiscally sound contract for the employees, the City, and the community.
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