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Highlights from Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting



washoe-150x150-2735666-9414382The Washoe County Board of Commissioners was to discuss and hear a review of Nevada Assembly Bill 46 (AB46) regarding the Washoe County School District’s (WCSD) capital funding needs tonight at 7 p.m. in the Washoe County Commission Chambers. It is the first of several public meetings about AB46. The Washoe County Board of Commissioners also held its regularly scheduled meeting today and took action on items including: heard the monthly report from the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD); approved the Interlocal Agreement between the County and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection-Community Services Department to implement a stormwater pollutant reduction program for Lake Tahoe; approved emergency related purchases to repair the Washoe County Regional Communication System which was damaged by lightning; accepted several grant awards for Washoe County Senior Services; and appointed Janet Davis to the Open Space and Regional Parks Commission, District 1.

Discussion of AB46: Items 26 & 27. WCSD Superintendent Pedro Martinez was to make the initial presentation to the Washoe County Board of Commissioners about AB46 and the capital funding needs in the WCSD. Tonight’s 7 p.m. meeting is the first of several public meetings about the capital needs initiative.

Governor Brian Sandoval signed AB46 into law June 11, 2013. The bill passed by the Nevada Legislature included an amendment that allows the Washoe County Board of Commissioners to determine whether to enact the proposed tax increases that would generate funding for critical school repairs and maintenance in the WCSD. The school capital needs initiative proposes to increase sales tax by ¼ of 1 percent in Washoe County and property tax by 5 cents per $100 of assessed value in Washoe County. The proposal needs to be approved by 4 of the 5 county commissioners by Jan. 1, 2014 to be enacted. Read further details on AB 46 or watch the discussion live on the Washoe Channel tonight.

Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District: Item 7. TMFPD Chief Charles Moore highlighted the importance of defensible space and the dangers of juniper bushes in particular during this extreme fire season. View a TMFPD video of a recent juniper-fueled fire. “It’s important for homeowners to see what happens when brush catches fire and to see the dangers of having junipers and other dry brush near homes,” said Moore, who used a video taken by a TMFPD firefighter arriving on the scene of a brush fire to show how quickly the flames spread.  Visit the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension website for more information on how to “Junk the Junipers.” Commissioners also accepted a Nevada Division of Forestry grant award in the amount of $80,698 for a Curbside Chipping Program which will take place this fall. TMFPD is also working to revive the Palomino Valley auxiliary firefighting force and is training approximately 20 local residents on fire tender operations, logistical support and basic wildfire training. The new firefighting force is expected to be ready by early October and will be able to initiate fire suppression on wildfires and support structural fires with water tender shuttles.  Logistical support will assist with firefighter rehabilitation during emergency scenes and other non-suppression related jobs. “This is an enthusiastic group that is ready and willing to revive the Palomino Valley fire station. The District will outfit the fire station with a water tender, patrol and support vehicle,” said Moore.

Interlocal agreement on Lake Tahoe: Item 8.  Commissioners approved the Interlocal agreement between the Washoe County Community Services Department and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection-Community Services Department to implement the Lake Tahoe Maximum Daily Load Program (TMDL). The agreement establishes Washoe County’s commitment to participate in an urban stormwater pollutant reduction program at Lake Tahoe. The TMDL reduction program is an implementation and verification program that covers the first five years of the Lake Tahoe TMDL and will be the first phase of a long term approach to reduce pollutant loads in urban stormwater entering Lake Tahoe. See the staff report on the Interlocal agreement.

Repairs to the Washoe County Regional Communication System: Item 10. Commissioners approved an emergency request for funds for radio communication replacement parts to support the Washoe County Regional Communication System. On June 28, 2013 five lightning strikes hit the Network Operations Center, which is adjacent to the Regional Emergency Operations Center. The lightning strikes damaged many internal components central to the operation of the Washoe County Regional Communication System and damages exceeded the available stock of spare parts. “Thanks to an integrated team effort among Washoe County departments and our regional partners such as North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, NV Energy and NDOT, we were able to quickly respond so that public safety communication remained continuously available,” said Washoe County’s Chief Information Management Officer Laura Schmidt.

Grant awards for Senior Services: Item 14. Commissioners accepted several grants from the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division for several Older Americans Act programs. Washoe County’s Senior Services Department depends primarily on state and federal grant funds to support core services such as Meals-on-Wheels. The federal sequester and State budget decisions have reduced funding and the Department’s Visiting Nurse and blood pressure clinics are ending for about 300 seniors.  The Department is seeking new resources to provide these services, but anticipates additional federal and state grant reductions. “The good news is there has been a small increase in funding for Homemaker and Representative Payee programs which will help about 50 more seniors remain independent in their homes,” said Grady Tarbutton, Director of Washoe County Senior Services. For more information, view the grant awards from Nevada Aging and Disability Services.

Open Space and Regional Parks Commission appointment: Item 6.I.2. Janet Davis was appointed by the Commissioners to the Open Space and Regional Parks Commission, District 1, for a term commencing July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2017. The Open Space and Regional Parks Commission is composed of nine members, all of whom are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners from residents of the County at large. See the complete list of members.

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