Top 5 things to know from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting
New franchise agreement with Waste Management includes single stream recycling.

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Amy Ventetuolo

Reno, Nevada. Nov. 29, 2016. The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Videos of County Commission meetings are replayed regularly on WCTV (Charter Ch. 193). You may also watch videos on-demand online.

1. County Commission approves a new franchise agreement with Waste Management to include single stream recycling.  At Tuesday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting, the Board approved a new Garbage Franchise Agreement  with Waste Management in the unincorporated areas of Washoe County.  

The contract for a new agreement will be updated as follows:

  1. No change to current franchise for commercial services.
  2. Review period after 24 months, at which time either party can reopen the contract to negotiate related to residential single stream recycling.
  3. Franchise fee will increase from 5 percent to 6 percent as of May 1, 2017; 7 percent May 1, 2018; and 8 percent May 1, 2019, subjected to adjustment after 24 months by Washoe County.  The franchise fee will go toward projects aimed at the beautification of Washoe County.
  4. Authorize District Attorney’s Office to work with Waste Management to ensure the proposed motion is reflected in the executed franchise agreement.

The new agreement also expands recyclables and replaces the currently used green and yellow crates with a recycling cart equal in size to each customer’s trash service. Recycling carts will be delivered by Waste Management to unincorporated Washoe County residents currently using recycling crates. Customers currently using a personal trash will also receive a Waste Management issued trash cart. Cart delivery is expected to begin on Dec. 19, 2016. In the months of May and November, residents will be able to include an additional six bags or 50 pounds of garbage for pickup without any additional charge.

The new agreement begins Feb. 1, 2017 and expires Dec. 31, 2030.

The original agreement with Waste Management (formerly Independent Sanitation) began on Dec. 31, 1982. The existing Garbage Franchise Agreement between Washoe County and Waste Management was approved on Nov. 29, 2000 and was renewed at their option on Dec. 12, 2015, for another five years. 

2. County Commissioners begin process to increase Washoe County sales tax rate after voters approved Washoe County Question 1. County Commissioners approved a request to amended Washoe County Code Chapter 20 to increase the Washoe County sales tax rate by 0.54 percent after Washoe County Question 1 was passed on Nov. 8, 2016.

Voters approved that the additional sales tax revenue will be spent on school repairs and construction for the Washoe County School District.

The request will now be submitted to the District Attorney’s Office to prepare a proposed ordinance, which is required per Washoe County Code 2.040.

3. Commission District 5 Special Funds will be used to help Gerlach Fire Department and remodel North Valleys Library. County Commissioners approved a $4,775 Commission District Special Fund disbursement from Commissioner Jeanne Herman for District 5. Herman is using district funds to purchase a self-loading gurney for the Gerlach Fire Department.

A portion of the grant money will also go to Friends of the Library to help pay for the remodeling of the North Valleys Library.

Commission District Special Funds were approved by County Commissioners to use special funding outside the budget to support the needs of Washoe County residents. Each County Commissioner has $20,000 to spend. Funds appropriated through the Commission District Special Funds must provide substantial benefit to residents of Washoe County. Grant recipients must be a non-profit organization, created for religious, charitable or educational purposes, or a government entity.

4. Canvass of the Vote for Assembly District 31 recount approved. As required by state law, County Commissioners canvassed the returns from the recount for the Assembly District 31 race between Jill Dickman and Skip Daly. Commissioners approved the proposed Declaration of Canvass of Vote and Order for the AD 31 recount which makes the results official.

The recount began and ended on Nov. 21, 2016. Washoe County Registrar of Voters Luanne Cutler said the recount showed the outcome for the AD 31 race remained the same.

See the official results here.

5. Washoe County Health District presentation highlights programs and services. Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick presented an overview of programs, services and community partnerships offered through the Health District to improve public health countywide.

Dick also reviewed the mission, vision and strategic plan for the Health District in its efforts to advance public health through ensuring clean air and water, safe foods and monitoring for diseases in the community.

Watch the Health District Video here.

The Board of Health is composed of seven members, including the Chair of the County Commission and Health District, Kitty Jung, two representatives each from Reno, Sparks, and a physician licensed to practice medicine in Nevada. The Health District is currently staffed with 148 full-time employees in five divisions: Administrative Services, Air Quality Management, Community and Clinical Health Services, Environmental Health Services, and Epidemiology and Public Health Preparedness.

“Thank you, Mr. Dick, and all the staff at the Washoe County Health District for all the great work,” Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler (Dist. 1) said. “We value and appreciate the important services the District provides our community to help keep Washoe County’s citizens healthy, safe and secure.”

More information about the Health District can be found at


Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »
Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »