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Council approves first phase of Moana Springs pool construction

By Kelsey Penrose

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The Moana Springs Community Aquatics and Fitness Center will be breaking ground next month. Phase one of the project was approved unanimously on Wednesday by Reno City Council. 

Council members approved a maximum $12 million budget for this phase. 

The project budget is estimated at $45 million, including a $9 million pledge from the William N. Pennington Foundation. The remaining funding will come from the General Capital Improvement Fund andTax-Exempt General Obligation Bond.

When finished, the building will be a two-story steel structure with a facade built of concrete and a wood-finish metal siding and glass to allow light to filter in. 

Phase one will begin in August. It will focus on the purchase of steel as well as on site improvements, including concrete and paving, fencing and gates, landscaping and utility work. 

The parking lot will be able to fit up to 214 vehicles, with nine electric vehicle ports, along with a bus drop off zone. 

The George Hamilton Memorial Park will be relocated into a grouping of existing mature trees that are being preserved on site. The project is dedicated to preserving as many mature trees as possible, officials said.

Project planners are also looking at solar and geothermal power to offset energy costs associated with the facility, which Council member Naomi Duerr said could save up to 80% of the facility’s energy costs. 

Phase two will include vertical construction of the project as well as building the pools. Plans call for a 50-meter pool, a multi-use pool, and an outdoor pool, seating for up to 400 spectators, as well as a fitness center and multipurpose rooms.

The facility is estimated to be finished in 2024. 

Other council actions

Council approved $400,000 to reimburse the Washoe County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) for the construction of the micro-mobility pilot project in downtown Reno.

There are more than two miles of constructed and protected micro-mobility lanes in use on Fifth Street from Vine Street to Evans Avenue and on Virginia Street from Fifth to Liberty. Proposed micro-mobility connections include Midtown to the downtown/Riverwalk area along with a Keystone Commons to Evans Avenue connection. 

 The city is gathering community feedback on the project through October. Officials will then make recommendations to council members in November. 

Community feedback on the project can be shared at Reno.gov/Engage through October. 

Council approved pay increases for non-union city employees. All unrepresented  positions, with the exception of Municipal Court judges, received a 7% increase effective July 1, while Municipal Court judges received a 4.5% increase effective July 1. The cost is $1.7 million. 

“It was always understood by the council there would be unrepresented folks. We don’t want to be paying represented and unrepresented groups disproportionately. This is the next logical extension of that,” said Council member Devon Reese.

Council members unanimously approved to accept another $100,000 in CARES Act funds from the Nevada Housing Division for rental and deposit assistance for residents at or below 30% area median income. The city has now received nearly $1.3 million for rental and deposit support. 

Council awarded a contract to Sierra Nevada Construction for a Watt Street Neighborhood Street Project and Lakeside sewer capacity project for $8 from the city’s street and sewer fund.

Council awarded a contract to Q&D Construction Inc. for the Chevy Chase and Pembroke sewer rehabilitation project for $2.85 million from the sewer fund, as well as consulting services not to exceed $244,974.

According to staff, this project includes reestablishing existing sewer laterals to adjacent sewer mains within the streets between Chevy Chase Street and Arlington Avenue and replacing about 1,250 feet of a sewer main along Pembroke Drive.

Council members donate $500 eac to the Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation. Council member Naomi Duerr said her one-year-old nephew was recently diagnosed with Leukemia and has been going to San Francisco to receive treatment.

Due to the current election cycle, Council members Duerr and Bonnie Weber along with Mayor Schieve could not use their council funds to donate. Council member Reese said he would use additional funds to donate on their behalf. 

All council members, except Council member Brekhus, said they would match the donations.

“Our funds are kept in northern Nevada,” said Brigette Cole, a program director with the nonprofit. “Eighty cents from every dollar raised goes directly to helping our families. Like Council member Duerr was commenting, a lot of that is travel and support for them while they’re going through treatment.”  

The motion was approved unanimously. 

Council approved a fire equipment purchase for $3.1 million. That includes two engines, two brush trucks and one ambulance.

Collective bargaining agreements approved. The council approved a CBA with the Reno Fire Department Administrators Association, Local 39 Non-Supervisory Unit and Local 39 Supervisory Unit.  

While the majority of the board was in favor of the bargaining agreements, Councilmember Brekhus said she was opposed. 

“I’ve been on here almost ten years and this is the first [collective bargaining] agreement I have ever opposed,” she said. “I oppose it, not under financial matters, […] but this is an abrogation of authority, and it is absolutely the wrong place to embed a staffing level. The way to address your growth considerations, and this is related to growth, is clearly outlined in our master plan. […] This will hurt the city in the end.” 

Brekhus went on to say that the fire stations aren’t fully staffed.

“When are we going to add five stations?” she asked. “We can’t even staff the ones we have but we continue to adopt policies that spread our coverage very thin.” 

The motion passed with Brekhus voting against. 

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