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Sparks City Council Highlights September 14, 2020

Sparks, NV – The following are highlights from the September 14, 2020 Sparks City Council Meeting.

General Business:

  • Ed Lawson was sworn in at the city of Sparks’ 26th mayor. Mayor Lawson was elected to the Sparks City Council in November 2010, reelected in 2014 and 2018 and was appointed Mayor Pro Tempore in November of 2018. He will serve out the remainder of Mayor Ron Smith’s term through the November 2022 election cycle. Mayor Smith died last month of cancer. 
    “I’m extremely honored to have the great privilege of serving as mayor of the City of Sparks,” Lawson said. “I plan to continue the amazing work that Mayor Ron Smith has done for this great city.” Mayor Lawson is a champion for economic development, serves on the Regional Planning Governing Board, the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) Board of Directors, the Community Homelessness Advisory Board, Legislative Team, and several other boards and commissions. He is an active member in the Rotary Club of Sparks and has been recognized as the 2014 Public Official of the Year by the Builders Association of Northern Nevada.
  • Dian VanderWell was sworn in as councilmember for Ward 2. VanderWell has served on the Sparks Planning Commission, Sparks Charter Committee, Regional Planning Commission and the Technical Review Committee of the Washoe County Home Consortium, Sparks Citizens Advisory Committee and the Sparks Parks and Recreation Commission. She will serve out the remainder of Mayor Ed Lawson’s term through the November 2022 election cycle.
  • Mayor Ed Lawson appointed Councilmember Charlene Bybee to serve as Mayor Pro Tempore. Mayor Pro Tempore Bybee would perform the mayoral duties should a temporary absence or disability of the mayor occur.
  • Mayor Ed Lawson appointed Justin Shore to the Sparks Civil Service Commission for a three-year term ending June 30, 2023.
  • Council approved the building official’s recommendation to appoint Brett McElhaney (Structural/Civil Engineer) and Matthew Myres (Mechanical Engineer) to the Building Code Board of Appeals, with terms ending September 30, 2022. 
  • Council approved a complement change in Management Services to add a Human Resources Analyst I/II position.
  • Council approved the purchase of a J$91,700.54 Jacobsen HR800 16’ wide deck mower.
  • Council approved a 50% rent reduction for Goodi’s Fresh Squeezed Lemonade concession services at Sparks Marina Park. On March 15, 2020, the City cancelled all special events through at least April 30, 2020, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. No special events are scheduled at the Marina for the remainder of Goodi’s operating season. In addition, the swimming beach at the Marina has been closed. These factors have had a significant negative impact on Goodi’s sales at the Marina.
  • Council ratified an agreement in the amount not to exceed $1,790,385.00 between the city of Sparks and the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher education on behalf of the University of Nevada Reno to fund research related to the presence of the COVID-19 virus in waste water and community prevalence monitoring.
  • Council ratified a $100,000 agreement for a grant award from the city of Sparks to the Moonridge Foundation for the Delivering with Dignity Reno-Sparks program. The Moonridge Foundation is working in conjunction with the United Way of Northern Nevada to provide this much needed and innovative program to our community. The grant will provide for the delivery of over 15,000 meals to eligible citizens who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and will help to preserve at least four jobs at a small independently owned catering company located in Sparks. 
  • Council ratified an $85,000.00 agreement between Imperium Consulting, LLC and the city of Sparks for renter mediation services to renters and landlords in Sparks.
  • Council approved an amendment to the tentative map for Pioneer Meadows Village 6 to add 10 lots, increasing the number of lots from 183 to 193 on 44.69 acres located in the Pioneer Meadows Planned Development zoning district located at 7000 Rolling Meadows Drive, Sparks.

Planning and Zoning Public Hearings and Action Items:

  • Council held a public hearing and approved an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan land use designation for 13.81 acres of Intermediate Density Residential (IDR) and 15 acres of Commercial property to 28.81 acres of Multi-Family Residential (MF14) on a site 28.81 acres within a larger 386.87 acre parcel located at 555 Highland Ranch Parkway, Sparks. They also adopted a bill to rezone the 28.81 acres to Multi-Family Residential.

Announcements, Presentations, Recognition Items and Items of Special Interest:

  • Council heard an update on the cumulative fiscal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic from Chief Financial Officer Jeff Cronk.
  • Council received an annual update from Mike Kazmierski, President of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN).