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City to host second public meeting about Virginia Lake


Virignia Lake Image by raymondtan85/Flickr.com.

The City of Reno will host a public meeting on Thursday, December 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. about the Virginia Lake Water Quality Improvement Project.

The meeting will be held at the Peppermill Resort and Casino in the Tuscany Ballroom. It will also be live streamed at Reno.gov/Meetings and televised on Charter Channel 194. The City welcomes the public’s feedback on finding a long-term water quality solution for the lake.

Poor water conditions at Virginia Lake have caused citizen complaints, and the lake has been recognized as having historic water quality problems. This year, a public health closure caused by harmful algae blooms, diseased and dying waterfowl, and public input have driven the need for water quality improvements to Virginia Lake.

There are four management options. The City is asking for the community to provide feedback on their preferred management options. The four options are:

  1. Maintain Existing Conditions: The City will make no changes to the maintenance or operation of the lake.
  2. Improve Circulation in the Lake: The island will remain as is, and the City will move forward with water circulation improvement measures in 2015. This option relies on the continued process of gathering water quality data, keeping the option open for a potential island project at a future date.
  3. Reduce the Island Size: The diameter of the island would be reduced by 50 percent during the 2015 winter, while retaining nesting habitat for waterfowl. A reduction in nesting populations is expected to reduce pollution caused by bird excrement. In this option, the City would also move forward with circulation improvements to the lake in 2015.
  4. Remove the Island: The island would be removed completely in winter 2015. The removal of nesting populations on the island is expected to greatly reduce pollution caused by bird excrement. This option may include establishment of waterfowl nesting habitat along the shoreline. In this option, the City would also move forward designing and installing a system to improve circulation in the lake in 2015.

Citizens are asked to review the options and participate in a mobile survey by texting their preferred choice to 775-990-1585. They are also encouraged to attend the December 4 meeting to ask questions about the proposed alternatives. The opinion survey will be available through December 12.

City staff will compile the information from public meetings, opinion survey results and other input received and return public input to the Reno City Council with a recommendation for Council’s consideration early in 2015. City Council will then give staff direction on the project.

The first public meeting regarding the Virginia Lake Water Quality Improvement Project was held on September 18, 2014, with approximately 140 attendees.

“We recognize that there are many people in the community who are passionate about Virginia Lake,” said Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger. “Community engagement is a high priority at the City of Reno, and we’re hoping that our residents will help us get to the best possible solution.”

For more information, visit Reno.gov/VirginiaLake or call 334-4636. To learn more about protecting our waters from storm water runoff, visit tmstormwater.com.

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