Top headlines to know from Board of County Commissioners meeting
Update on North Valleys flooding and future prevention plans

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Amy Ventetuolo

Reno, Nev. Sept. 12, 2017. The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting.

1. Washoe County Community Services Department provides North Valleys Flood Incident update. Dwayne Smith, Director of Engineering and Capital Projects, provided a North Valleys Flood Incident update to the Board of County Commissioners today regarding the 2017 North Valleys Flood Incident, which included upcoming winter preparations and future flood prevention efforts.  To date, Washoe County has spent $2.7 million on flood response efforts in the North Valleys.

  • Winter preparations. Washoe County currently maintains both the Hesco flood barriers, water pumps and regularly maintains ditches in the area. Washoe County is spending approximately $70,000 per month maintaining the temporary flood protection measures. In addition, county staff have continued to prepare for the upcoming 2017/18 winter and spring precipitation seasons.
  • FEMA Grant. To address the longer-term flood impacts, staff has been in discussions with the State of Nevada Department of Public Safety regarding a hazard mitigation grant program (HMGP). This FEMA-funded grant is part of FEMA’s Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program. The FEMA grant could be used to acquire homes that are located within the area impacted by the 2017 Presidentially-declared February flood. The grant would allow for the acquisition and demolition or relocation of residential structures to a site outside of the FEMA flood plain and the underlying property would then be converted to a deed-restricted open space. Purchase of any home would be voluntary and would require the homeowner to agree to the terms of the program.
  • Long-Term Planning. Staff presented the Commission with a proposal to develop a specific flood response plan for each closed-basin, Swan Lake, Silver Lake and White Lake. The development of a specific flood response plan for these basins is to aid decision makers, emergency responders and the community with an understanding of potential actions, and is estimated to cost approximately $75,000.                                                                                                                                                                          Staff also presented to Commissioners the development of a comprehensive closed-basin flood mitigation plan to potentially eliminate future flooding in the area. The development of a comprehensive flood mitigation plan could be used to identify, analyze and provide recommendations that could be used by residents and municipalities and other stakeholders to address future floods within the North Valley’s small closed hydro-basins. The development of a plan would require contracting with technical professionals, conducting multiple meetings with stakeholders, residents, and municipalities, ultimately to provide possible recommendations to the municipalities for their consideration, and is estimated to cost between $450,000 and $600,000 and would take approximately one year to develop.

The County Commission unanimously approved the motion to move forward with all of the proposed actions including to continue with the winter preparations currently in place to protect the area, the development of a flood response plan, development of a flood mitigation plan and continue the process to pursue the FEMA grant program for possible purchase of specific residences.

Dave2. Commissioners approve reorganization of Office of the County Manager. Due to recent retirements and staff departures, Commissioners approved County Manager John Slaughter’s reorganization plan of the Office of the County Manager. This reorganization includes the addition of a third Assistant County Manager and the reclassification of the current Director of Community Services, Dave Solaro (pictured left), to that Assistant County Manager position, as well as the elimination of the Management Services Director position.

“I want to acknowledge a change in our staff family, as Dave Solaro is stepping into a role from Community Services Director to a true Assistant County Manager role, and it comes at a cost savings” remarks Commission Chair, Bob Lucey. “I want to thank Solaro for his commitment to take on multiple tasks and I would like to thank our County Manager, John Slaughter, for this strategic move that will also be fiscally sound for our taxpayers.”

3.  County Commissioners approve agreement to provide meals to seniors in Washoe and Storey County. County Commissioners approved an interlocal agreement with Storey County to have the Human Services Agency (HSA) continue to provide a Senior Nutrition Program to seniors from Oct. 1, 2017 through Sept. 30, 2019. Currently, the HSA Senior Services Division provides more than 6,800 meals to seniors in Storey County each year. According to the interlocal agreement, Storey County will reimburse HSA Senior Services for the cost of meals.

In addition, County Commissioners approved a $131,511 supplemental grant award from the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division for the HSA’s Nutrition Services Incentive Program. The program provides funding to help pay for food in order to operate the Congregate and Home Delivered Meal program, which provides 376,254 meals to seniors every year. Funding for the program is based on the number of meals served to Washoe County seniors annually. The grant will assist in paying for the cost of meals that were served from Oct. 1, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2017. Washoe County operates ten congregate meal sites in the area. See a complete list of sites.

“This agreement shows Washoe County’s willingness to partner with local governments such as Storey County to ensure the needs of seniors are met,” HSA Director Amber Howell said. “Washoe County values our senior citizens and that mission will remain a priority well into the future.”

4. Commissioners direct Special District Funds. The Board of County Commissioners approved Special District Funds disbursement for Commissioner Vaughn Hartung in the amount of $1,000 to The First Tee of Northern Nevada to help support the National School Program at one elementary school in Washoe County.

The Board of County Commissioners approved Special District Funds disbursement for Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler in the amount of $3,000 to the Shakespeare Animal Fund to provide veterinary services to low-income seniors, the disabled and retired veterans. 


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