Top headlines from the Board of County Commissioners meeting

by | May 28, 2024

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

1. Board renews contracts with homeless services providers: Washoe County contracts with Karma Box, Reno Initiative for Shelter and Equality (RISE), and Volunteers of America (VOA) for operations of Our Place, the Nevada Cares Campus and Safe Camp. The Board voted to approve cost-of-living increases to their contracts for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2024. These increases fall under the approved budget authority and incur no additional fiscal impact.

“These organizations – Volunteers of America, RISE, Karma Box – have all greatly contributed to the betterment and the wellness of our community, and it hasn’t been an easy task to tackle this as a region and come together,” Commissioner Mariluz Garcia said. “We want our nonprofit operators to be able to help carry this torch. The county can’t do everything for everyone, and we rely heavily on these individuals and organizations. These three contracts are specifically for the retention and recruitment of these organizations to stay healthy, stay operational, so we can continue to do this work.” 

2. Board upholds approval of Sky Tavern special use permit: The Board of Adjustment approved a special use permit for the Sky Tavern Junior Ski Program Expansion on April 4. The full permit includes utility service for the installation of snowmaking infrastructure and an expansion of the destination resort use type to expand site parking and lighting for the parking area and lighting for night skiing.

Mount Rose Bowl Property Owners Water Co. appealed the part of the permit that allows lights for night skiing. The permit allows lighting until 9 p.m., mostly during the winter months. The Board of County Commissioners upheld the BOA’s permit approval.  

3. District Attorney receives approval to proceed with litigation against U.S. Postal Service: The U.S. Postal Service has decided to move mail processing operations from Reno to Sacramento. The move has the potential to significantly delay delivery of sensitive mail such as official notices, bills, payments, and ballots. Deputy District Attorney Nathan Edwards presented a recommendation to pursue any and all legally viable claims against the USPS to require the USPS to participate in the advisory opinion process before the Postal Regulatory Commission. 

4. Board awards building projects from Affordable Housing Trust Fund: The Affordable Housing Trust Fund was established in 2018 and has become a funding source for permanent supportive housing for extremely low income. The fund has received county allocations and private donations and now has a $2 million balance. The first two projects to receive funding were approved by the Board of County Commissioners today. These projects will create 220 new supportive housing units. The Sutro Senior Sanctuary will provide 170 units with a completion date no later than February 2026 at a cost of $1 million; and the Line Drive Apartments will provide 51 units with a completion date no later than June 2026 at a cost of $750,000.

5. Board approves District Special Fund allocations: The Board of County Commissioners approved District Special Fund allocations from districts 2 and 3, represented by Commissioner Mike Clark and Commissioner Mariluz Garcia, respectively.

  • $5,000 to Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful to support community-wide clean-up efforts, like the Great Community Cleanup and the Sun Valley drop-off site. 
  • $5,000 to the Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada to support their mission to advocate for and with individuals with Down Syndrome and their families to break down any barriers to full, productive and satisfying lives. 
  • $5,000 to the Robert Unsworth Foundation to provide tennis equipment and instruction to public schools and youth groups. 

6. Commission commemorates National Youth Apprenticeship Week: The Board presented a proclamation declaring May 5-11 National Youth Apprenticeship Week. Apprenticeships foster partnerships between educational institutions, businesses, and government entities, which is essential for the success and expansion of youth apprenticeship initiatives.

 7. Board approves donation to Animal Services to support pet reunification efforts: Washoe County Regional Animal Services received a $20,000 grant from the Petco Love Foundation to expand and market its pet reunification efforts. WCRAS has a texting program that allows citizens to more easily report a lost or found pet. This builds on previous grant funding to implement public microchip scanning stations to allow the public to scan a pet for a microchip and reunite them with their family before taking the pet to the shelter.