Top headlines from the Board of County Commissioners Meeting

by | Oct 11, 2022

The following are highlights from today’s Washoe County Board of County Commissioners meeting:     

1. Board approves initiating amendments to County Code regarding cannabis lounges: At the September 20 Board of County Commissioners meeting, the Board instructed staff to draft amendments to the County Code that would regulate and allow cannabis consumption lounges. In today’s meeting, the Board voted 3-2 to formally initiate the ordinance to amend code that will allow cannabis consumption lounges in unincorporated Washoe County. Staff will work with the District Attorney’s Office to draft ordinance language amending chapters 110 and 25.

2. Board approves renewal with Well Care to oversee Community Triage Center: The Community Triage Center (CTC) is a facility that operates to provide crisis psychiatric services, medical and social detoxification from alcohol or other substances, or co-occurring disorders, for individuals who are 18 years of age or older and are not in need of emergency room care. The current CTC operator agreement expired June 20 of this year, so this agreement with Well Care is retroactive to July 1, 2022, and includes an investment by the City of Reno, City of Sparks, Washoe County, the State of Nevada, northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services, Northern Nevada Medical Center, Renown Regional Medical Center, Renown South Meadows Medical Center, and Medtrans Casalto allows for the services to continue while a Crisis Now model is explored for the future. Washoe County’s portion of the $1.8 million agreement is just over $1.1 million for the fiscal year ending June 20, 2023.

3. Human Services Agency receives state grants for senior services and housing assistance: The Board approved the receipt of a $71,000 grant from the State of Nevada, Aging and Disability Services Division, to provide medically based care for cognitively and physically impaired adults. Adult Day Health provides social, nursing, and community support and serves as an alternative to institutional care.

In other action, the Board approved the receipt of the FY23 Homemaker subgrant from the State of Nevada, Aging and Disability Services Division. The $364,000 grant supports the Homemaker program through HSA Senior Services, which provides an important service in our continuum of care, with the goal of supporting independent living and preventing premature institutionalization.  

The Board also approved the 2023 Agreement to use the Account for Affordable Housing and Welfare Set-Aside Program. The agreement between Washoe County and the State of Nevada Department of Business and Industry is for just over $142,000 and provides assistance to families and seniors in danger of becoming homeless or who are homeless and are in need of assistance with utilities, security deposits, rent or a mortgage payment. These funds are provided to each county in the state.

4. Fitness courts to be built at regional parks: The Board of County Commissioners approved the expenditure of ARPA funding to build two fitness courts at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park and South Valleys Regional Park. These fitness courts support the county’s efforts to provide residents with fun, and convenient opportunities for physical activity that is free and available to all residents. Local art will be displayed on each of the two fitness courts, and the funding will be covered primarily, $312,000, through ARPA funding in the category of “Strong Health Communities: Neighborhood Features that Promote Health and Safety.” The remaining 24 percent of the cost, or $100,000, will be covered by a grant from Renown Health.

5. District 1 Funds allocated to projects in downtown Reno: Commissioner Alexis Hill allocated $25,000 of her District 1 Special Fund to go to the Downtown Reno Partnership through the Community Foundation of Western Nevada to support a T3 Patroller, a micro-mobility vehicle similar to a Segway that will enable the Downtown Ambassadors to respond faster to hotline calls and emergency situations. Hill also allocated $1,500 to the Truckee Meadows Bike Alliance to support the Dutch Cycling Embassy ThinkBike Workshop. This event will feature free instructional and fun workshops for anyone interested in learning about urban mobility, road safety, emission reductions, the economics of cycling, social inclusion, and health. The Board unanimously approved the allocations.

6. Board recognizes Pyramid Lake Paiute Fire Chief Don Pelt for National Hero Day: Commissioner Jeanne Herman read a proclamation honoring Chief Don Pelt for National Hero Day. Pelt is the fire chief of the Pyramid Lake Fire and Rescue emergency response team.

“Between our county manager and Chief Pelt, the town of Gerlach now is covered with fire protection, and that’s what this is all about,” Herman said.  

7. October is named National Italian-American Heritage and Culture Month: Commissioner Bob Lucey read a proclamation declaring October National Italian-American Heritage and Culture Month. This month is celebrated locally with the annual Great Italian Festival in downtown Reno.

“I got the opportunity this weekend to participate in the Great Italian Festival,” Lucey said. “What an amazing opportunity to see some of the hardworking Italian families that we’re fortunate to have here in Northern Nevada. They’ve really founded and sculpted how we see Northern Nevada.”