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County Approves New Waste Management Agreement

By Bob Conrad

waste-management-single-streamResidents of unincorporated Washoe County will soon be getting new recycling bins. The Washoe Board of County Commissioners approved at its meeting today a new franchise agreement with the private company, Waste Management.

The new contract means new services for residents of the county who are not currently being served under Reno or Sparks Waste Management agreements.

Residents in portions of Washoe County will now get the same kinds of services that Reno and Sparks residents have, including free dump days at transfer stations and stickers for bags of excess waste.

In addition, those still using green and yellow crates for recycling will transition next month to a single rolling bin for all recyclables.

Waste Management said that the new wheeled carts are easier to move and that single stream recycling expands the types of materials that can be recycled while reducing items placed in the trash.

These changes will also come with a fee increase depending on how many bins a residence uses and what types of services are required. Bear-proof bins will also be available in areas near bear habitat.

Problems cited with the city of Reno’s agreement with Waste Management had some board members tepid about the new contract. They approved a review period of two years to potentially renegotiate provisions related to single-stream recycling.

MORE COUNTY COMMISSION HIGHLIGHTS

Courtesy of Washoe County staff

1. County Commissioners begin process to increase Washoe County sales tax rate after voters approved Washoe County Question 1. County Commissioners approved a request to amended Washoe County Code Chapter 20 to increase the Washoe County sales tax rate by 0.54 percent after Washoe County Question 1 was passed on Nov. 8, 2016.

Voters approved that the additional sales tax revenue will be spent on school repairs and construction for the Washoe County School District.

The request will now be submitted to the District Attorney’s office to prepare a proposed ordinance, which is required per Washoe County Code 2.040.

2. Commission District 5 Special Funds will be used to help Gerlach Fire Department and remodel North Valleys Library. County Commissioners approved a $4,775 Commission District Special Fund disbursement from Commissioner Jeanne Herman for District 5. Herman is using district funds to purchase a self-loading gurney for the Gerlach Fire Department.

A portion of the grant money will also go to Friends of the Library to help pay for the remodeling of the North Valleys Library.

Commission District Special Funds were approved by County Commissioners to use special funding outside the budget to support the needs of Washoe County residents. Each County Commissioner has $20,000 to spend. Funds appropriated through the Commission District Special Funds must provide substantial benefit to residents of Washoe County. Grant recipients must be a non-profit organization, created for religious, charitable or educational purposes, or a government entity.

3. Canvass of the Vote for Assembly District 31 recount approved. As required by state law, County Commissioners canvassed the returns from the recount for the Assembly District 31 race between Jill Dickman and Skip Daly. Commissioners approved the proposed Declaration of Canvass of Vote and Order for the AD 31 recount which makes the results official.

The recount began and ended on Nov. 21, 2016. Washoe County Registrar of Voters Luanne Cutler said the recount showed the outcome for the AD 31 race remained the same.

See the official results here.

Kevin Dick

Kevin Dick, Washoe County Health District

4. Washoe County Health District presentation highlights programs and services. Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick presented an overview of programs, services and community partnerships offered through the Health District to improve public health countywide.

Dick also reviewed the mission, vision and strategic plan for the Health District in its efforts to advance public health through ensuring clean air and water, safe foods, and monitoring for diseases in the community.

The Board of Health is composed of seven members, including the Chair of the County Commission and Health District, Kitty Jung, two representatives each from Reno, Sparks, and a physician licensed to practice medicine in Nevada. The Health District is currently staffed with 148 full-time employees in five divisions: Administrative Services, Air Quality Management, Community and Clinical Health Services, Environmental Health Services, and Epidemiology and Public Health Preparedness.

“Thank you, Mr. Dick, and all the staff at the Washoe County Health District for all the great work,” Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler (District 1) said. “We value and appreciate the important services the District provides our community to help keep Washoe County’s citizens healthy, safe and secure.”

More information about the Health District can be found at www.washoecounty.us/health.

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