The following are highlights from today’s Washoe County Board of County Commissioners meeting:
1. Washoe County Commissioners adopt a Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program in Washoe County: C-PACE allows commercial property owners to work with 3rd party private lenders to install renewable energy generation, battery storage, energy efficiency appliances and other technologies in commercial buildings. C-PACE debt is attached by a lien to the property and stays with the property if sold. C-PACE loans are considered lower-risk than other types of loans and come with lower interest rates as result.
C-PACE financing is available for both new construction and remodels. C-PACE financing is not yet available for private residences in Nevada, although owners of multi-family residences with more than 5 units will be able to participate in C-PACE. Washoe County expects to have its C-PACE program up and running by December 1, 2023.
“Washoe County has a goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050,” said Washoe County Sustainability Manager Brian Beffort. “C-PACE will incentivize private investment to address emissions in our commercial and industrial sectors, which make up approximately 25 percent of the emissions in the County. This is a great opportunity for the County to participate in the surging renewable energy and energy-efficiency economy by attracting private investment and creating jobs here for people who need them.”
For more information on C-PACE in Washoe County, contact Beffort at email@example.com or 775-447-0856.
2. Board approves tuberculosis clinic, funded by previously approved ARPA grant: Commissioners approved the designing and construction of a new NNPH tuberculosis (TB) clinic, a $10 million project funded by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The new facility will be constructed at the site of the former West Hills Hospital, which Washoe County purchased in August 2023. The new facility, which will replace the current building at 10 Kirman Ave., in Reno, will serve all residents in Washoe County and is expected to open in 2026.
3. Board amends county code related to animal permits: County Commissioners held a second hearing to adopt an ordinance amending Washoe County Code Chapter 55. The amendments update the County’s limit of three adult dogs to five per residence in the animal-congested areas of Washoe County. Any residence keeping more than five adult dogs for more than 30 days in a six-month period will be required to obtain a variance permit, as well as other permit processes, aimed to streamline the process for both applicant and Animal Services staff. This amendment is expected to reduce the number of households that will need to obtain a variance. There is no change to the number of cats, which remains at seven per residence.
4. Animal Services receives grant to expand microchipping stations: In October 2022, Washoe County Regional Animal Services (WCRAS) partnered with Pet Station, SPCA of Northern Nevada, and Nevada Humane Society to install nine pet microchipping stations in Pet Station stores and Options Veterinary Care. This program provides the opportunity for citizens who find a stray animal to bring the animal to a designated location with a scanning station to check for a microchip without having to bring the animal to the shelter or request an officer pick up the animal. Best Friends Animal Society approached WCRAS with a $15,000 grant opportunity to expand these stations and provide marketing of the service.
5. Board approves interlocal agreement for forensic lab analysis: The Board approved a$1.5 million interlocal agreement with the City of Reno for Forensic Laboratory Analysis Services performed by the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Science Division. Forensic Science Division provides Forensic Science Services to various Law Enforcement Agencies. The contract fees are based on a percentage of usage by each individual agency and cover the cost of services provided under the scope of work.
6. Three residents reappointed to Senior Services Advisory Board: The Board reappointed Thuy Tran, Charles Neuman, and Denise Myer to the Senior Services Advisory Board. Tran’s term is through March 31, 2027, and Neuman’s and Myer’s terms are through Sept. 30, 2027. The Advisory Board comprises 11 members who serve four-year terms: 2 members from each commission district, 1 at-large member who shall serve as a permanent member and 2 at-large alternates. The members must be residents of the county and have an interest in civic affairs, and an interest or experience in the fields of nutrition, geriatric social work, administration, finance, and law.
“I don’t believe that Charles Neuman served a full term, and Denise Myer did not serve a full term, and as far as Thuy Tran, she has done a great job, so I’d recommend that these folks be reappointed,” Commissioner Mike Clark said.
7. Two residents reappointed to the Board of Equalization: County Commissioners reappointed Daren McDonald and Eugenia Larmore to the Board of Equalization for four-year terms that will begin Jan. 1, 2024. The Washoe County Board of Equalization is charged with hearing appeals filed by property owners who do not agree with the value placed on their property for tax purposes by the County Assessor. The Board conducts its business annually during the month of February and is required to conclude its business on or before the last day of February.
“The fact that Nevada is the only state that assesses its property tax the way that we do really does create a unique skill set, so I couldn’t agree more that these folks are very talented,” Commissioner Clara Andriola said. “It’s great to see the continued effort to really get the word out so we have a large pool of qualified applicants, which makes the selection tough, but I do appreciate the expertise that many of these applicants brought to this board.”