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County OKs outsourcing some court security
by Joshua H. Silavent
Nov 09, 2011 | 674 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SPARKS — The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office received the go-ahead from the county commission on Tuesday to pursue outsourcing some court security personnel in order to save an estimated $275,000 annually.

The sheriff’s office will continue to provide staffing of court bailiffs and also the court security dispatch center, but will seek a private contractor to supply security officers at the Sparks Justice Court, Second Judicial District Court, Reno Justice Court and the Jan Evans Juvenile Justice Center.

According to county staff reports, security personnel for these courts “are the first line of defense in identifying suspicious or dangerous individuals and/or material and preventing entry into the courthouses.”

The move to solicit bids for a court security contract comes on the heels of declining tax revenues for Washoe County government and as part of a $1.68 million budget reduction plan recently approved by county commissioners.

In other news Tuesday, commissioners heard an auditor’s report on the county’s finances.

According to the report, net capital assets decreased $46 million during the last fiscal year; outstanding debt of $248 million remains well below the legal limit of $1.1 billion; and the county’s bond rating remained unchanged at AA+.

Revenues decreased last year by 3 percent, or $9.3 million, while expenditures increased 2 percent, or $4.4 million. Additionally, the county’s ending fund balance sits at just $900,000.

The report states that two minor compliance issues were noted and one new accounting standard was implemented.

Finally, the county commission approved the purchase of 13.32 acres of vacant land along the Truckee River near Verdi in the amount of about $845,000. The land is to be used for hiking, fishing, river access, future trail connectivity and other recreational purposes.

The Riverbend parcel is located next to property already owned by Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space, increasing the amount of public land in the area available for recreational use.

Acquisition of the site, located along Old Highway 40 on the north side of the Truckee River just east of Verdi, will also provide additional wildlife habitat and river access for the Truckee Loyalton deer herd, migratory birds and waterfowl, according to staff reports.

The purchase will be funded with $420,000 from the Truckee River State Question One Bond of 2002, which requires a 50 percent match. The Washoe County One Bond of 2000 will provide the matching money.
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