City of Las Vegas

Building Community To Make Life Better

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One of Councilman Bob Coffin’s favorite parks in his ward is also one of the city’s most historic ones. Here is some history on the Huntridge Circle Park in recognition of Parks and Rec Month:

Circle Park first opened in 1941, in what was then one of the first neighborhoods in Las Vegas.

The Huntridge area was the home of casino owners, developers and other men and women who helped make Las Vegas what it is today.

The bungalow homes that were built in the 40s and 50s surrounding the park still remain.

Huntridge, along with two other subdivisions being built at the time, represented a departure in previous housing projects for Las Vegas, in that it was formally laid out to Federal Highway Administration standards, which stressed safety and good design practices. Additionally, it was progressive for the fact that it included provisions for an elementary school, a park, a commercial center within walking distance, and a theater.

Today, the Huntridge area is home to a new generation of Las Vegans – young families, professionals and homeowners who are making an investment in the urban core and believe in the City Council’s vision for a revitalized downtown.

Over the years the city has worked with the neighbors to create amenities at the park to support the changing demographics.

The park now includes a playground, planters for gardening and more.

One of Councilman Bob Coffin’s favorite parks in his ward is also one of the city’s most historic ones. Here is some history on the Huntridge Circle Park in recognition of Parks and Rec Month:

Circle Park first opened in 1941, in what was then one of the first neighborhoods in Las Vegas.

The Huntridge area was the home of casino owners, developers and other men and women who helped make Las Vegas what it is today.

The bungalow homes that were built in the 40s and 50s surrounding the park still remain.

Huntridge, along with two other subdivisions being built at the time, represented a departure in previous housing projects for Las Vegas, in that it was formally laid out to Federal Highway Administration standards, which stressed safety and good design practices. Additionally, it was progressive for the fact that it included provisions for an elementary school, a park, a commercial center within walking distance, and a theater.

Today, the Huntridge area is home to a new generation of Las Vegans – young families, professionals and homeowners who are making an investment in the urban core and believe in the City Council’s vision for a revitalized downtown.

Over the years the city has worked with the neighbors to create amenities at the park to support the changing demographics.

The park now includes a playground, planters for gardening and more.

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City staff, several council members and members from the community embarked on trip this past weekend to Portland, Oregon to get a first-hand look the potential for a stadium in downtown Las Vegas. Councilmen Ricki Y. Barlow and Steven D. Ross were among the city group that attended, which included City Manager Betsy Fretwell, Economic and Urban Development Director Bill Arent and other city staff. Downtown casino owners and other local officials also attended the trip.

The city is in an exclusive negotiating agreement with the Cordish Companies to build a state-of-the-art soccer stadium on the north end of Symphony Park in the heart of downtown. The Cordish Companies have partnered with Findlay Sports, a local company owned by the Findlay Family. Plans call for Findlay Sports to purchase a Major League Soccer (MLS) team to play at the new stadium. The proposal is scheduled to be discussed by the City Council Aug. 20.

The purpose of the trip was for the city to do its due diligence in researching the feasibility for a stadium in downtown Las Vegas. The proposed public-private partnership for a major league soccer stadium is a significant undertaking and the city wanted to do its research, including fact-finding from similar projects in other cities. Site visits are a common tool for cities seeking to undertake large infrastructure projects.

The city also wanted to look at the potential fiscal and economic impact and public benefits from a downtown stadium. Portland repurposed a former baseball stadium in its downtown area and through the Portland Timbers has successfully operated the team in an urban environment.

Also, the city sought to learn from Portland’s experience. During the trip, the city met with team representatives and a representative of major league soccer. The team also met with Portland Redevelopment officials on best practices. While in Portland, city officials also met with the Portland Development Commission to share best practices and to get a different perspective on the impact the stadium has had in Portland.

Councilman Ross said his biggest take-away from the trip was how the stadium affected the economy and the energy it brought to the city. The entire community supports the team and it has created new jobs and spurred new businesses.

“I’m excited about the prospect of a major-league soccer team coming to our city, for the benefits of Las Vegans,” he said. “I would love to see the city wrap itself around a team like it did in the UNLV basketball days. I saw the energy the Portland Timbers brought to the city and the economic benefits it created, and that was really exciting. I would love to see that kind of energy here.”

Other items Councilman Ross noted was that 40 percent of the people who attend the games use light rail for transporation, and another 40 percent ride their bikes or walk. Councilman Ross saw an entire block of bike racks filled with the bikes of people attending the games.

Financing for the stadium has still not been determined.

“I want to see the total financing package and through negotiations, how they come up with a plan so it’s not coming out of taxpayers’ pockets,” Councilman Ross said.

Councilman Ricki Barlow echoed his enthusiasm for bringing a stadium downtown. “We are working hard to bring this exciting venue to Ward 5,” he said.

The public is invited to two community meetings to learn more about the stadium proposal. At the meeting, Cordish Companies and Findlay Sports will share financing plans for the proposed soccer stadium for Symphony Park. The first meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 4, at the Doolittle Community Center, located at 1950 N. J St. The second meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 7, in City Council chambers, located on the second floor of City Hall, 495 S. Main St. The Aug. 7 meeting will be televised live on KCLV Channel 2.

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Our  Parks and Recreation month spotlight continues. We asked Ward 5 Councilman Ricki Barlow to choose his favorite park and, not surprisingly, he picked one of the city’s oldest parks: Lorenzi Park. A place where Councilman Barlow frequented as a kid growing up in Las Vegas, it’s even the place where he learned to fish alongside his dad. “There are so many activities at this park,” Councilman Barlow said. “From fishing at the lakes, to biking around the trails and enjoying the wide open spaces, this is a great place to spend a Sunday afternoon with your family or host an event this summer”  

In addition to outstanding amenities, Lorenzi Park played a special role in Las Vegas history. It opened in 1926, when immigrant David G. Lorenzi transformed his 1912 purchase of 80 acres into a resort. With a pool, dance pavilion, lakes and orchards, it quickly became a family destination. During the late 40s and 50s, the park reopened as Twin Lakes Lodge, which became a dude ranch and weekend getaway for those working at the Nevada Test Site. It also attracted anyone hoping to take advantage of a quick Nevada divorce. At the time, a person only needed to establish residency for six weeks, something many did at Twin Lakes Lodge.  In 1965, the city took ownership of the park.

Over the past five years, the park has undergone a $30 million renovation, giving it a new face to welcome future generations of park enthusiasts. Here are five things not to miss at the park:

Fishing

The man-made lakes at Lorenzi Park are stocked with fish and open to the public.

The City’s Biggest Splash Pad                                                                                                   

Splash pads are the perfect escape from the summer heat. Our splash pads are both water smart and safe and great for kids of all ages. See more of Lorenzi Park’s splash pad here.

Band Shell

On one of the islands near the lakes, a band shell provides a perfect summer venue for outdoor concerts. If you’d like to perform at Lorenzi Park, contact the Ward 5 office at 702-229-6405.

Rose Garden

Head out to the park and enjoy a garden devoted to roses. With ample shade and open space, it’s the perfect place to spend a quiet afternoon in the park.

Rent a Pavilion

Looking for somewhere to host your summer event? Lorenzi Park offers seven different pavilions that are available to rent. Learn more 702-229-6718.

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We’re spotlighting some of our parks this month during Parks and Recreation Month. Next up: Police Memorial Park in Ward 4. This park is home to several monuments honoring fallen officers in southern Nevada. It includes the Monument, Memorial Wall, Rock and two dedicated tree groves to memorialize local police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. 

Police Memorial Park is located in the northwest at Cheyenne and Metro Academy Way. 

We have the top 5 things you need to see if you visit this park: 

  1. Police Memorial Monutment (pictured above)
  2. Southern Nevada Law Enforcement Memorial Walk
  3. Fallen Officer Memorial Wall and Tree Grove 
  4. LVMPD Fallen Officer Rock (which used to call our old City Hall home)
  5. Lou Gehrigs (ALS) Tree Grove

To see which areas are available to host events at the park, visit this webpage

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July 16 City Council Meeting Recap

Today’s City Council was a busy one. Here’s what you need to know about what happened.

New Regulations Approved For Packaged Liquor On Fremont Street

Discussions about the sale of packed liquor on Fremont Street also resumed. The City Council had voted at the June 18 meeting to prohibit glass and metal containers underneath the Fremont Street Experience (FSE) canopy and also required packaged liquor to be placed in a separate bag after purchase under the canopy. Today, the City Council voted to approve that alcohol must be kept in a separate, sealed bag with receipt. If the bag containing alcohol is opened, the packaged liquor is subject to confiscation NOT criminal punishment. Businesses must have signage that it is illegal to consume packaged liquor AND open a bag containing alcohol. The Council will review this new policy in six months. These ordinances only apply to packaged liquor sales. Other alcoholic beverages purchased from bars under the canopy can still be enjoyed, as they always have been.  The City Council has responded to the public’s outcry regarding safety concerns on the Fremont Street Experience. The new packaged liquor ordinances are just one of the steps being taken as the Council addresses these issues. We want to protect the iconic Las Vegas experience but also promise a clean and safe environment for visitors. For more info on what the city is doing to address safety issues, see this blog post.

City Manager Receives 10 Percent Raise

City Manager Betsy Fretwell presented to the City Council on the progress of this past fiscal year, which ended June 30. Having been the city manager now for five years, she reflected on where the city was when she took the position in 2009.  We had a budget deficit of an estimated $40 million and a five year structural deficit of something approaching $400 million. Office space had a 17.3 percent vacancy rate. There was 13.1 percent unemployment and there had been a 10.4 percent drop in gaming revenues. Thankfully, our city has not only rebounded but is thriving.  Our financial situation took a very positive turn last year and performed for the first time in five years with more revenues than expenses. Our unemployment is back down to 7.6 percent and downtown has one of the lowest office vacancy rates in the valley.  We lowered greenhouse gases emissions to 1999 levels and are on our way to our goal of achieving levels not seen since 1990.  Forty percent of our business licenses are issued online and 80 percent of plans are submitted online and $120 million in new project commitments which will bring 1400 new jobs in the next 12 months. Thanks to the innovative leadership of our city manager, the City Council approved a 10 percent raise for her.  From 2009 to 2013, she had no raises and a competitive salary analysis among other top cities revealed that her salary was less than competitive. 

Discussion About RFP for Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Ambulance Provider Postponed Until August 6 Meeting

Las Vegas Fire & Rescue asked the City Council to postpone a discussion about a competitive request for proposal (RFP) process to identify an ambulance provider for the new ambulance franchise agreement.  LVFR wanted additional time to discuss a possible contract renewal with our current provider, American Medical Response (AMR). The Council is scheduled to receive an update at the Aug. 6 meeting.

Eighteen Neighborhoods Receive Grants To Improve Community

City Council today unanimously approved $55,000 in Neighborhood Partners Fund grants for 18 projects that will improve the community. The recipients are neighborhood associations registered with the city of Las Vegas. The residents in the neighborhood associations will provide more than $163,570 in matching labor and donations to improve their neighborhoods. Since 1998, the city has funded 290 neighborhood projects. These projects have generated close to $2.5 million worth of matching volunteer labor or donations for a total impact of more than $3.5 million to city communities. 

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Despite a rainy start, local officials gathered at City Hall today to kick off construction on the Main Street improvement project. Living near City Hall, Mayor Goodman spoke at the event and reiterated her excitement about the beautification of a street that she has driven nearly every day for decades. She also praised City Manager Betsy Fretwell and the entire city team for taking the initiative to install new bike lanes that will make biking and walking downtown easier and safer. Councilman Barlow then led a bike race (or, in his case, a Trikke race) around City Hall to commemorate the occasion.
Starting today, the east half of Main Street between Carson and U.S. 95 will be closed to traffic. Two-way traffic will be on the west side of Main Street with just one travel lane in each direction. This closure will be in effect 24-hours-a-day and will continue for the next few months while drainage facilities, sidewalk and the roadway on this east side is reconstructed. Pedestrian accommodations will be provided on both sides of the street. The $13.9 million project, which will stretch along Main Street between Bonneville Avenue and north of U.S. 95, will improve traffic flow within the corridor and make the area safer for bicyclists and pedestrians by adding new green bike lanes and widening sidewalks. Work on phase 1 expected to be completed by the end of 2015 and will create 104 new jobs. The project will also include roadway improvements such as asphalt paving and street lighting, as well as landscaping including trees and planters. In addition, the improvements will bring traffic signal modifications, traffic striping and signage and more. Phase 2, which is scheduled to commence in late 2015, will extend these improvements from Bonneville to Las Vegas Boulevard and will also convert Main and Commerce Streets to complementary one-way thoroughfares.
The project is being funded by Fuel Revenue Indexing (FRI), general fund dollars and city of Las Vegas room tax. Through FRI, revenue is generated every time a motorist fuels their vehicle, and a portion of what they pay at the pump helps to create jobs by funding transportation and public safety projects throughout Clark County. For motorists, this averages out to about a dime a day over the three-year period from 2014 - 2016. Funds help keep pace with material and labor costs, raising $700 million, funding 185 projects and creating 9,000 jobs. For more information, visit www.rtcsnv.com/fri

Despite a rainy start, local officials gathered at City Hall today to kick off construction on the Main Street improvement project. Living near City Hall, Mayor Goodman spoke at the event and reiterated her excitement about the beautification of a street that she has driven nearly every day for decades. She also praised City Manager Betsy Fretwell and the entire city team for taking the initiative to install new bike lanes that will make biking and walking downtown easier and safer. Councilman Barlow then led a bike race (or, in his case, a Trikke race) around City Hall to commemorate the occasion.

Starting today, the east half of Main Street between Carson and U.S. 95 will be closed to traffic. Two-way traffic will be on the west side of Main Street with just one travel lane in each direction. This closure will be in effect 24-hours-a-day and will continue for the next few months while drainage facilities, sidewalk and the roadway on this east side is reconstructed. Pedestrian accommodations will be provided on both sides of the street. The $13.9 million project, which will stretch along Main Street between Bonneville Avenue and north of U.S. 95, will improve traffic flow within the corridor and make the area safer for bicyclists and pedestrians by adding new green bike lanes and widening sidewalks. Work on phase 1 expected to be completed by the end of 2015 and will create 104 new jobs. The project will also include roadway improvements such as asphalt paving and street lighting, as well as landscaping including trees and planters. In addition, the improvements will bring traffic signal modifications, traffic striping and signage and more. Phase 2, which is scheduled to commence in late 2015, will extend these improvements from Bonneville to Las Vegas Boulevard and will also convert Main and Commerce Streets to complementary one-way thoroughfares.

The project is being funded by Fuel Revenue Indexing (FRI), general fund dollars and city of Las Vegas room tax. Through FRI, revenue is generated every time a motorist fuels their vehicle, and a portion of what they pay at the pump helps to create jobs by funding transportation and public safety projects throughout Clark County. For motorists, this averages out to about a dime a day over the three-year period from 2014 - 2016. Funds help keep pace with material and labor costs, raising $700 million, funding 185 projects and creating 9,000 jobs. For more information, visit www.rtcsnv.com/fri

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Summer Fun at the Dog Park

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For Parks and Recreation month, we wanted to remind you of a fabulous perk for city pet owners: dog parks. Our first dog park was put in place in 1993 and we now have 10.  Some of our dog parks at Kellogg, Justice Myron E. Leavitt and Jaycee Community Park and Centennial Hills have separate dog runs based on the size of your pup. Wayne Bunker Park even boasts the Barkin’ Basin Park, which is a 7.75 acre park designed specifically for canine companions.  All of our dog parks have safe, enclosed areas for your pup to run around while supervised.

Have fun! Find a city park near you: http://lasvegasnevada.gov/Find/parks_facilities.htm

List of City Dog Parks

All American Park

Barkin’ Basin Park

Centennial Hills Park

Charlie Kellogg and Joe Zaher Sports Complex

Children’s Memorial Park

Justice Myron E. Leavitt and Jaycee Community Park

Lorenzi Park

Police Memorial Park

Winding Trails Park

Woofter Park

Dog Park Safety Tips from the ASPCA:

Before you enter the park, check out the crowd for a few minutes. Do the dogs seem to be romping happily? If so, let the fun begin! If, on the other hand, you notice canine troublemakers bullying or fighting with other dogs—or if you simply feel uneasy about letting your dog play with a particular group of dogs—plan to come back at a later time.

When a new dog arrives at a dog park, the other dogs often rush over to investigate. This sudden flood of attention can overwhelm newcomers. To avoid a canine mob scene, linger outside the park for a few minutes and let other dogs notice your dog’s presence outside the park’s enclosure. When their excitement about her arrival dissipates, you can enter the park together. After your dog has played a while and become part of the group inside the park, don’t let her become a mob member. Instead, call her to you when you notice newcomers arriving.

Keep your attention on your dog and her playmates so that you’re aware of what she’s doing at all times. If you see signs that play’s not going well, you can step in to stop interaction before things get out of hand. (Please see Interpreting Dog Play and Interaction, below, to learn about these signs.)

Avoid canine clumping. When a pair or group of dogs plays nonstop for more than a few minutes, playmates can get overexcited and tension can arise. Instead of standing in one spot during your entire visit, move to a new area of the park every few minutes. Encourage your dog to follow you when you walk to a new spot. Praise and reward her for keeping track of where you are and for coming when you call.

If at any point you think your dog might not be having fun, take her home. If she’s interacting with another dog, don’t hesitate to ask that dog’s pet parent to help you end the play session. It’s better to call it quits early so your dog still has a good experience overall. You don’t want her to decide that she doesn’t enjoy playing with other dogs anymore.

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To celebrate Parks and Recreation Month, Councilman Steve Ross shared his favorite park with us: Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs. At 680 acres, this secluded oasis is our largest park. “I love the peacefulness, wildlife, and so much more,” he said. We’ve got three things that make the park worth the trip.

Wildlife
Have you ever wanted to see peacocks up close? Head out to the park, where countless peacocks roam freely. You’ll also see ducks, geese, birds and more. Thanks to Horses for Heroes, you can even ride horses and enjoy a petting zoo. Visit http://horses4heroes.org/tag/floyd-lamb-park/ for info.

History
Twenty three buildings that were part of the historic Tule Springs Ranch have been maintained and offer visitors a glimpse into what life was like for the early residents of Las Vegas. As a certified historical park, Tule Springs is also one of the few sites in the US where evidence suggests there was the presence of man before 11,000 BC.

Lakes
A natural spring helps keep fresh water in the four lakes at the park. These lakes are home to a variety of wildlife, including fish. Fishing is welcome at the park.

Get more info on the park at: http://www.lasvegasnevada.gov/find/21180.htm

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July is Parks and Recreation Month so Mayor Goodman agreed to share her favorite park with us:  Firefighters Memorial Park. She tells us why below.
When I first took office in 2011 I had the opportunity to attend Federal Emergency Management Agency training at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland, along with a group of local government employees. It was an eye-opening experience to see the training and work that our local government agencies go through to ensure that they can respond to emergencies and safeguard the public. I had always had a great respect for our first responders, but the experience in Emmitsburg gave me a greater appreciation for what our firefighter, police and marshals do for us. They truly love this community, and I like to see the community recognize our heroes whenever we can. That is why Firefighters Memorial Park is such a special place.
Firefighters Memorial Park is located at Redwood Street and West Oakey Boulevard in Ward 1, close to Bonanza High School and the College of Southern Nevada campus. It is a lovely open space of nearly 16 acres. The highlight of the park is a massive sculpture that stands as a memorial to our firefighters. It is surrounded by green grass and it is a very peaceful, reflective spot in our city.  The park also has picnic areas, and playground for young children to burn off energy and have some fun. There is even a softball field.  I invite everyone to visit Firefighters Memorial Park, pack a picnic and take some time to remember that our first responders are out there every day working to protect us.

July is Parks and Recreation Month so Mayor Goodman agreed to share her favorite park with us: Firefighters Memorial Park. She tells us why below.

When I first took office in 2011 I had the opportunity to attend Federal Emergency Management Agency training at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland, along with a group of local government employees. It was an eye-opening experience to see the training and work that our local government agencies go through to ensure that they can respond to emergencies and safeguard the public. I had always had a great respect for our first responders, but the experience in Emmitsburg gave me a greater appreciation for what our firefighter, police and marshals do for us. They truly love this community, and I like to see the community recognize our heroes whenever we can. That is why Firefighters Memorial Park is such a special place.

Firefighters Memorial Park is located at Redwood Street and West Oakey Boulevard in Ward 1, close to Bonanza High School and the College of Southern Nevada campus. It is a lovely open space of nearly 16 acres. The highlight of the park is a massive sculpture that stands as a memorial to our firefighters. It is surrounded by green grass and it is a very peaceful, reflective spot in our city. The park also has picnic areas, and playground for young children to burn off energy and have some fun. There is even a softball field. I invite everyone to visit Firefighters Memorial Park, pack a picnic and take some time to remember that our first responders are out there every day working to protect us.

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RFP Process for New Ambulance Provider

We wanted to be the first to share some news with you. At next week’s City Council meeting, the council will discuss moving forward with a competitive request for proposal (RFP) process to identify an ambulance provider for the new ambulance franchise agreement.  Our current provider, American Medical Response (AMR), will have the opportunity to participate.

This, in no way, reflects of our public differences with AMR earlier this year. We have a responsibility to find the best possible ambulance partner to ensure that the emergency medical transport system is as efficient as possible .

The city of Las Vegas entered into a 10-year ambulance franchise agreement renewal with Mercy Incorporated doing business as AMR, which commenced on Dec. 1, 2005 and expires on Nov. 30, 2015. The city has had a long and productive partnership with AMR, with a previous agreement dating back to 2000.  Prior to that the agreement with AMR’s predecessor, Mercy Ambulance, had been in place for a number of years.

Both the emergency needs of our residents and the pre-hospital care delivered by LVFR have evolved significantly over the past 10 years. LVFR has matured from providing mostly the first response component for medical emergencies to providing care along the entire continuum of pre-hospital care: from the 9-1-1 call, first response, and emergency care and transport to the hospital. In response to recommendations from a study by the International City/County Management Association, LVFR is re-establishing itself as the primary provider of pre-hospital care in the city of Las Vegas. 

Next week’s discussion will be the first step in navigating a changing and evolving landscape, which will require a very strong partnership with our private ambulance provider.