The Mesquite City Council made quick work of its meeting agenda Tuesday, June 12, after hearing a presentation from the Economic Development Technical Steering Committee. See MCJ story Econ Development Approved for Restructuring-Video
During the Public Comment portion of the meeting, Jerry Hafen, representing a non-profit organization Friends for Canines, presented a monetary gift to the Mesquite Police Department. The organization is a group of businessmen from the Clark County area who help maintain and sustain Police Canine programs.
"We heard that the Mesquite Police Department received a new narcotics detection dog. We approached Chief Troy Tanner and asked to be of assistance. We are pleased to donate $12,065.75 for Noro, the new dog," Hafen said.
"We got our new dog on June 7 and in less than a week, we got two felony drug arrests. It's an extremely effective canine program," Tanner explained. "Since we began the program years ago, we've confiscated over a million and a half dollars worth of illegal drugs. We appreciate the donation."
MPD Officer Quinn Averrett, the Department's Canine Officer, accepted the donation on behalf of Noro, a two year old Belgian Malinois.
Claudia Nichols, Ms Senior Mesquite 2012, Diane Wild, 1st Runner-up, and contestant Cheryl Beldin, were officially presented to the Council. Mary Nelson, a Pageant Board of Directors member, announced that the women had raised $3,600 in charitable donations for local non-profit organizations. Nichols and her Court will announce the winners of the funds at a reception on June 26 at the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery.
Nichols will compete for the State title of Ms. Senior Nevada on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 1:00 pm at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas.
Caption: Cheryl Beldin, left, Diane Wild, and Claudia Nichols, Ms Sr. Mesquite 2012 were officially presented to the Mesquite City Council at its meeting June 12. Photo by Barbara Ellestad.
In other Council action, the councilors approved an amendment to the cooperative agreement the the City has with the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) that governs maintenance and landscaping for the newly reconstructed I-15 Exit 120 interchange. The City will assume maintenance of the walls under the two bridges rather than leaving it to NDOT. City Staff was not satisfied with NDOT's method of removing graffiti and made arrangement to apply an Anti-Graffiti Coating to the walls during construction. That allows work crews to clean the graffiti off the walls rather than NDOT's method of simply painting over it, leaving a 'patchwork' affect.
The City also purchased eight palm trees for the interchange's roundabouts using Regional Transportation Commission funds dedicated to the project. According to Kurt Sawyer, Development
Services Director, the City will use $420,000 in grant funding to install more landscaping in the interchange area.
Under the terms of the agreement, the City of Mesquite will assume all maintenance from the bottom of the bridge girders to the ground. NDOT will maintain the bridge structure from the girders up. During the Council meeting, Mayor Mark Wier asked City Staff to track the cost of the maintenance performed by City crews.
Councilman Kraig Hafen recused himself from the agenda action citing familial interests in the interchange construction project.
An Interlocal Agreement with the Regional Flood Control District for flood control facilities maintenance in FY 2012-13 was unanimously approved without discussion. The agreement calls for the District to reimburse $210,000 to the City for its work.
Also without discussion, the Council approved two actions pertaining to the reconstruction of the Bunkerville Diversion in the Virgin River that was destroyed in the December 2010 flood.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), agreed to provide 75 percent of $708,750, estimated to be the cost of rebuilding the dam-like structure that provides a barrier in the river against invasive fish migrating up from Lake Mead. The structure also acts as a diversion during heavy water flows.
The Bunkerville Irrigation Company (BIC) is responsible for the remaining 25 percent and 100 percent of other costs that do not qualify for NRCS reimbursement. No City funds will be used for the project.
Because of limitations in how the NRCS funding is structured, the City must act as a go-between agent with NRCS and BIC. Up to 16 percent of design and administration costs that the City incurs will be refunded either by NRCS or BIC
The second item follows through with a Cooperative Agreement between BIC and the City of Mesquite. It echoes the same agreement that has BIC supplying 25 percent of the costs of rebuilding the diversion structure.
Hafen recused himself on both items because of ownership interests in the Bunkerville Irrigation Company (BIC) that is part of the agreement.
The Council unanimously approved without discussion a Letter of Understanding between the Teamsters Local 14 Fire Bargaining units and the City of Mesquite that extends the 2007 Labor Agreement for one more year.
Last year's labor agreement provided a five percent pay raise to firefighters over a two-year period. According to Mike Callahan, Director of Internal Services, the firefighters took the entire five percent raise last year so they will not receive any additional increases in their base pay or benefits this year.