The new casino’s license is contingent upon inspection of the building, approved by all agencies overseeing the property, fingerprint approval from the FBI and criminal justice system and upon issuance of a gaming license by Gaming Control Board, according to City documents. The casino will provide the City of Sparks $36,000 annually from its 300 slot machines in taxes.
Councilman Ed Lawson expressed his congratulations to Rhoda and his team for helping bring more life to Victorian Avenue and the City of Sparks.
“It is pretty cool for us and we are really excited about having some more action down there,” Lawson said. “You are helping bring the whole plaza together, and the speed you are bringing it to the market is great.”
The Sparks City Council also approved funding $440,000 for contract staffing for projects in parks and street maintenance and setup, takedown, maintenance and support during special events. Maintenance and Operations Manager Danny Hamlin said the Community Services Department plans to use the funds as follows: $220,000 for parks maintenance to mow, pick up trash, edge turf, irrigation maintenance and one temporary employee to run the Community Service program; $160,000 for street maintenance, including crack sealing, street patching, fill pot holes and cleaning alleys; $40,000 to support special events and cleanup for park rentals; $17,000 for graffiti removal; $3,000 for Washoe County Sheriff’s Office work crews to trim shrubs, pull weeds and clean play equipment.
The City Council also approved the Mary Wahl Drain Valve Replacement Project and an informal quote of $85,591 to Anchor Construction for its completion. The project will replace the existing steel flap gate, which does not prevent back flow of waters from the Truckee River into the storm drain, with a new self-sealing back flow prevention valve to reduce the back flow potential in the storm drain and possible localized flooding of the adjoining properties, according to Assistant Director of Community Services John Martini.
Martini said periods of high water levels in the Truckee River can cause water from the river to back up into the storm drain system and contribute to localized flooding of streets and businesses. The drainage ditch, which was originally created in the 1880s, serves as the second largest storm drain outfall to the Truckee River in Sparks (North Truckee Drain). The drain now extends to the northwest corner of Sparks, north of McCarran Boulevard.
The City Council also motioned approval for Contracts and Risk Manager Dan Marran to purchase various commercial insurance policies protecting the “financial interests” of the City. A total of $266,458 was approved for three areas of liability with two more areas up for discussion at the June 24 City Council meeting.
“The City self-funds loss exposures that are predictable, where it is not cost effective to purchase commercial insurance, and where losses do not threaten its financial stability,” Marran said in his report. “However, there are potential issues that present significant exposure to the City's financial stability, are somewhat unpredictable, and lend themselves to being commercially insured.”
The Council approved rates for coverage in the areas of General Liability, Tenant User Liability and Employee Dishonesty. Additionally, the City Council agreed to push the option of a new “Cyber Liability” policy until the June 24 meeting. The cyber policy, according to Marran, will be molded into the property damage and physical damage liability policies discussed in two weeks.
The expenditures for the insurance policies will occur in the fiscal year of 2014.
Members of the City of Sparks Legislative Team summarized some of the important Nevada Assembly Bills passed during the Legislative Session. Most notably, the team said Governor Brian Sandoval signed off on SB 509, otherwise known as the Sparks Room Tax Bill.
The bill, according to presenting team members Adam Mayberry and Rocky Finseth, keeps the 2.5 percent room tax intact which the city uses to fund the care of Victorian Square. Mayberry said the bill was one of the team’s highest priorities and thanked those who backed the bill.
One bill still waiting for the Governor’s approval is AB 7 which would change the definition of a resort/casino in Washoe County to have 300 rooms instead of 200. Mayberry said the bill was one of the last to come through the pipeline and did not hear much discussion from outside entities in Carson City.