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County Withholds Funding for Regional Planning Agency; City Responds

Date:

photo-may-30-12-54-02-pm-300x225-6628801-9364305The Washoe County Commission voted today not to approve payment of more than $200,000 for the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency (TMRPA) until, according to a statement from the County, a review has been conducted of how the TMRPA can “become more effective for economic development in the region.”

Read the complete news release by the County below.

The City of Reno issued a follow-up news release expressing support for the TMRPA.

There is an agreement among the City of Reno, City of Sparks and Washoe County, and each have agreed to fund the TMRPA in the following proportions: Reno 40%, Sparks 30%, and Washoe 30%. The City of Reno and City of Sparks have committed to their share of the funds for the upcoming fiscal year.

In response to the County Commission’s decision, Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger said:

We support the Interlocal Agreement in its current form and are fully behind the effort to collaborate as a region as we prepare and plan for growth. We’re hopeful that once the concerns of some of the Washoe County Commissioners are addressed, we’ll continue to move forward with the agreement in place. It is our intention to work with our partners at the County, Sparks, and TMRPA to reach a suitable compromise.

Read the City of Reno news release below.

Washoe County News Release

The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, June 23, 2015. Videos of County Commission meetings are replayed regularly on WCTV (Charter Ch. 193). You may also watch videos-on-demand online.

1. The County Commission voted 3-2 (Hartung/Herman dissenting) to not approve payment of $205,162 to fund Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency (TMRPA) until the structure and purpose of the Regional Planning Governing Board have been reviewed. The Board’s decision will withhold the County’s portion and payment of the annual budget for TMRPA until the following have been reviewed:

  • Study the structure of Regional Planning and identify ways for it to become more effective for economic development in the region;
  • Look at different models and best practices of regional planning including others in Nevada such as Clark County; and
  • Address the representation on the Regional Planning Governing Board to become more equitable between the three governments that make up the board: City of Reno, City of Sparks and Washoe County.  The three County Governing Board members represent unincorporated residents and residents living in the two cities.

2. Approval of radio system that helps public safety first responders communicate more effectively. The Board of County Commissioners approved the purchase of the P25 Phase II radio system upgrade which will enhance communications for public safety first responders by allowing remote areas and areas with poor coverage to be serviced by in-vehicle repeater systems.  The system provides multi-level security for terminal equipment (mobiles and handhelds) and radio management services as well as modern public safety grade encryption.  This system will ensure Washoe County’s critical infrastructure can be updated and provide reliable equipment that will help public safety responders communicate better in emergencies, like wildfires.

The goal of the Washoe County Regional Communications System (WCRCS) is to provide effective and reliable radio communications for routine intra-agency operations as well as inter-agency communications throughout the region during mutual aid and disaster operations. The current radio system is outdated and in need of replacement. WCRCS, Nevada Department of Transportation and Nevada Energy have started working on a plan to migrate to a new P25 phase 2 radio system. The migration to the new system will be a phased-in approach which will transpire over a five to seven year period. The new equipment will also address radio coverage problems in the Red Rock / Rancho Haven area.

3. Board approved bid for construction on the New Washoe City Park Rehabilitation Project. New Washoe City Park is located in Washoe Valley off of Eastlake Boulevard and is the only Washoe County park on the east side of Washoe Valley. The New Washoe City Park Rehabilitation Project will consist of removal and disposal of existing playground equipment and installation of new playground equipment. The renovation of the park will create new recreation opportunities for users of all abilities.

The total project cost is $220,476 and is funded through Park District 3C Residential Construction Tax (RCT) and Infrastructure Preservation Funds.

4. Board awards a bid to Granite Construction for the Matterhorn Boulevard Improvement Project. Matterhorn Boulevard is receiving some much needed upgrades this August. The Matterhorn Roadway Improvement Project includes the reconstruction of more than five miles of asphaltic concrete (AC) pavement in the North Valleys area.

Area residents have complained of wide cracks in the roadway and previous crack repairs have been only marginally effective and have required Washoe County to spend additional money continually repairing them, only to have them open within a short time.

While all AC pavement cracks are normal and included in the Washoe County roads maintenance program, wide cracks are different in that they are much larger and wider and continue to expand over time.  Because of the continual movement of this type of AC material, standard repair approaches are not effective and have resulted in significant and reoccurring maintenance costs.

Roadways with wide cracks are found in all areas including those maintained by Washoe County, the City of Reno, the City of Sparks and the Regional Transportation Commission.  Local agencies have been working with UNR and local consultants and contractors to identify the best way to repair and/or replace these roadways.

“It’s going to be a blessing to have these roads paved so drivers don’t feel like they are going across railroad tracks,” said Washoe County Commissioner Jeanne Herman (District 5). I want to thank the Washoe County road crews for working on this.”

5. Board approves amendment to Washoe County Code Chapter 55, regulating commercial breeders. The commercial breeding code establishes rules for persons who breed more than five litters of cats or dogs in a calendar year. The breeder will be required to obtain a welfare permit before their operation can be licensed through the local jurisdiction and will be subject to periodic inspections by Animal Control Officers.

City of Reno News Release

Reno, Nevada (June 23, 2015) — At today’s Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting, the County Commission voted 3-to-2 to not approve payment of $205,162 of the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 funding to Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency (TMRPA) until the structure and purpose of the Regional Planning Governing Board have been reviewed.

There is an Interlocal Agreement in place between the City of Reno, City of Sparks, and Washoe County in which the local governments have committed to fund the TMRPA in the following proportions: Reno 40%, Sparks 30%, and Washoe 30%. The City of Reno and City of Sparks have committed to their share of the funds for the upcoming fiscal year.

In response to the County Commission’s decision, the City of Reno is releasing the following statement through Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger:

We support the Interlocal Agreement in its current form and are fully behind the effort to collaborate as a region as we prepare and plan for growth. We’re hopeful that once the concerns of some of the Washoe County Commissioners are addressed, we’ll continue to move forward with the agreement in place. It is our intention to work with our partners at the County, Sparks, and TMRPA to reach a suitable compromise.

According to Washoe County, its portion and payment of the annual budget for TMRPA will be withheld until the following have been reviewed:

  • Study the structure of Regional Planning and identify ways for it to become more effective for economic development in the region.

  • Look at different models and best practices of regional planning including others in Nevada such as Clark County.

  • Address the representation on the Regional Planning Governing Board to become more equitable between the three governments that make up the board: City of Reno, City of Sparks, and Washoe County. The three County Governing Board members represent unincorporated residents and residents living in the two cities.

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Bob Conrad
Bob Conradhttp://thisisreno.com
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. He is also a part time instructor at UNR.

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