When the Mesquite City Council meets on Tuesday, May 22, it will consider a proposal to increase rates for leaseholders at the Mesquite Campus, home of private non-profit organizations like the Greater Mesquite Arts Foundation, Mesquite Cancer Society, Virgin Valley Theater Group, Alcoholics Anonymous, and the College of Southern Nevada.
Bryan Dangerfield, Director of Athletics and Leisure Services, is requesting the increase saying that "due to an increase in utility costs last year, the lease agreement rate needs to be adjusted by two cents per square foot in order to make up the difference."
"Over the past few years, the lease rate has been adjusted due to the fluctuation of utility costs and usage. This year, the proposed rate is 34 cents. The rate was at 33 cents per square foot in 2009-10 and 2010-11, but lowered to 32 cents last year due to lower utility usage."
In addition to the increased lease fees, he is also proposing a $10 a month increase for all Mesquite Campus users for a Common Area Maintenance (CAM) fee. The fee, previously called a maintenance fee, "will go toward some of the maintenance costs for landscaping and other common area upkeep by Parks staff as well as small projects in the future at the Mesquite Campus." The City does not charge the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) the CAM fee because it has its own maintenance crew.
Ten tenants will be charged the fee for "an annual total of $4,200." Dangerfield points out in his background material that the Mesquite Senior Games and Ms. Senior Mesquite pageant organizations are not charged the CAM fee because they only lease storage space. However in the Projected Monthly Fee Totals worksheet he lists them as also paying the CAM fee.
If the increases are approved, these are the new projected monthly rentals at the Mesquite Campus: CSN-$4,448.96; Alcoholics Anonymous-$323.12; Mesquite Arts Council-$339.77; Boy Scouts of America-$330.81; Greater Mesquite Arts Foundation-$323.12; Green Willow-$522.89; Mesquite Cancer Society-$195.07; Mesquite Toes Tap Team-$581.80; Virgin Valley Theater Group-$330.81; Virgin Valley Family Services-$387.15; Virgin Valley Artists Association-$907.06; Senior Games-$73.42; and Ms. Senior Mesquite-$131.04.
Total monthly rental income from all the Mesquite Campus leaseholders is projected at $8,895.
Dangerfield lists the City as paying a monthly total of $16,102.61 for its share of the campus buildings.
"The rate for the Boxing Club (housed separately in the Historic Gymnasium), will not be changed. The Boxing Club pays nine cents a square foot plus actual utilities used.
The fee increases come on top of a proposal in the next fiscal year budget to strip any supplemental funding from the City's Community Support fund for all the non-profit organizations except the Mesquite Senior Games which will receive $8,000. Last year, the organizations within the Greater Mesquite Arts Foundation received $10,000 from the City.
Dangerfield does not propose increasing Recreation Center user fees based on the increased power costs. Through May 14, (the latest figures available from the City Public Works Department), this fiscal year's power costs for the Rec Center add up to $199,832, the highest in the city. That compares to City Hall's power costs so far this year of $47,745.
The Mesquite City Council will also hear a presentation from the Economic Development Commission regarding a two year economic development plan. Earlier in the Spring, Mayor Mark Wier issued a challenge to the Commission to "put together a strategic plan" that the business community would buy into and help improve the economic situation in Mesquite.
"The City can't do it all," Wier told the Commission comprised of
business leaders from various industries in Mesquite.
"With this charge in mind, the Commission has met over the last few months and developed a short-term plan focused mainly on tourism," says the agenda item background material.
"One of the action items in the plan calls for a meeting between businesses and the community partners and resources that support events and outdoor recreation. This meeting will be run by private businesses for the benefit of private businesses. The first meeting will be May 23," the agenda item says. The Commission is recommending the B-2-B forums be held quarterly.
A second part of the short-term plan calls for the City and local business community to develop a "consistent theme that can be adopted across various branding efforts. For example, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) currently is running a campaign on www.VisitMesquite.com that was developed with limited input from local organizations. While the messaging seems to be working, the logo does not resemble any other logos used by the City or other organizations. Consequently, mixed messaging is created."
"In an effort to prevent future mixed messaging, the Commission feels that local organizations should be involved somehow in the LVCVA's process to develop the Mesquite brand for tourists. This way, the messaging that is ultimately developed can be understood and applied by all parties involved. Currently, the Commission is seeking input regarding possible tourism slogans. This input should be used next time the LVCVA refreshes the Visit Mesquite website."
[Editor's note: Mesquite Citizen Journal readers can vote on a proposed branding slogan in the MCJ poll located in the left menu bar of this Web site.]
In addition to creating a consistent branding message and creating a quarterly business forum, the Commission is advocating for revised City policies that may negatively impact events like fee schedules and restricted advertising at local events. It also supports the proposed Mesquite Indoor Sports Center, "Gold Butte Days" currently scheduled to replace the annual Greater Mesquite Arts Foundation Fall festival in October, utilizing the Visitor Center to promote local events, and painting the Virgin Valley Water District water storage tank along I-15 with a promotional logo.
The Council will also consider of a resolution supporting the Clark County School District 2012 Special Elective Tax Election. If approved by voters, the tax will cost property owners an additional 21.20 cents per $100 assessed valuation. "The proposal, if approved by the Debt Management Commission of Clark County and the electors of the district would potentially affect the City by preventing it from levying all or part of the amount of property taxes that the City is now entitled to levy under NRS, but is not now levying," says the agenda item background material. That means the City would not be able to raise its own taxes because the School District increase would take the total tax limit to the maximum allowed by Nevada Revised Statutes.
Other items the City Council will discuss at its meeting include:
--a presentation on "Mesquite Perspective" by the LVCVA;
--consideration of a resolution supporting the right of self determination for the residents of unincorporated township of Laughlin, NV. In June, Laughlin residents will be voting on a ballot initiative to incorporate the township;
--two updates to the City of Mesquite Master Plan; one for the housing element and one for the population element;
--consideration of a zoning change and Master Plan Amendment for the Riverside Commercial Center that wants to rezone 3.72 acres from Industrial Light to Commercial General, located at 750 and 780 W. Hafen Lane.
The meeting, open to the public, begins at 5:00 pm, May 22, in the Mesquite City Council chambers.