The Reno City Council on Wednesday moved to rebuild the Moana Pool and establish the Public Safety Center, two projects that were in jeopardy of losing grant dollars if further progress didn’t occur on either premises.
Moana Pool, 240 W. Moana Lane, was in need of repairs and closed in 2007. The council last year accepted a $9 million grant from the William N. Pennington Foundation to rebuild it. A condition of the grant requires the project, which collectively costs $44 million, meet specific financial milestones by the end of the 2022 fiscal year.
The Public Safety Center, 955 Kuenzli St., received a $5 million Pennington Foundation grant in 2019 and it requires a building retrofit be completed by the end of the 2023 fiscal year and that the almost $35 million project for the Reno Police Department be funded by then.
The existing police department headquarters, 455 E. Second St., isn’t in good shape, Councilwoman Neoma Jardon said.
“The police department probably should’ve been shut down by OSHA decades ago,” Jardon said. “I sincerely don’t know how it has functioned to any degree and certainly not to any super efficient and affective degree for decades and that’s not an exaggeration.”
Councilman Devon Reese agreed, adding the East Second Street building has been held together by “strong will, duct tape and paint.” The new police facility that will sit on approximately 7 acres will allow for more parking, and he said the spaciousness of it will give victims a greater sense of safety.
Reese also said he’s received feedback from the community in favor of rebuilding the Moana Pool.
“It really is something the community needs,” Reese said. “This is the first pool I want to see built, quite frankly, in my lifetime; and I think we need several more.”
Council members approved funding plans for both projects. Money will come from revenue sources that include sale of properties, pending settlements, annual savings, and private fundraising.
“Sources proposed for the current year are available now and do not impact any other areas of the budget such as contingency, long term liabilities, capital already in progress, or capital dedicated for a specific program,” city finance director Deborah Lauchner wrote in a report to council members.
Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.