Congratulations to the city’s Department of Finance, Purchasing and Contracts Division, for being awarded the 2014 National Procurement Institute’s Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award (AEP)! This is the fifth AEP award for the city.
This prestigious award is earned by those organizations that demonstrate excellence by obtaining a high score based on standardized criteria. The criteria are designed to measure innovation, professionalism, productivity, e-procurement, and leadership attributes of the procurement organization. It is presented yearly, and is earned by less than 100 of the public procurement organizations in the U.S.
Purchasing Manager Yolanda “Yoli” C. Jones, C.P.M., CPPO will be accepting the award for the Purchasing and Contracts Team at the NPI conference in October.
As summer comes to an end and your back to school preparation begins you might be thinking about before and after school care for your children. The city of Las Vegas provides a safe, educational and fun opportunity for your children during these in between hours, through our Safekey program. Safekey is a structured program for your children that provides nutritional education, homework & tutoring help, life skill training, team building, creativity development, solid friendships and fun.
Programs like Safekey have been shown to improve kids’ school attendance, behavior and their overall success in school. For parents, you’ll have peace of mind and a more productive day at work knowing that your child is safe … and having fun too. Here are some of the highlights:
- Affordable: $7/visit for mornings, $10/visit + for afternoons/early evenings (plus $20 annual registration fee) Financial aid available.
- Convenient: Safekey is offered at more than 60 local Clark County School District schools for children in kindergarten-fifth grade.
- Excellent employees: Staff is carefully selected and have passed extensive background checks, drug tests and are fingerprinted. Mandatory in-service takes place twice a year where staff is trained in emergency and safety procedures.
- Fun activities: Before school, kids participate in board games, arts and crafts, nutrition education and physical activities as they prepare for their school day. A typical after-school day begins with a healthy snack, then continues with homework time, followed by arts and crafts projects, games, physical activities and reading.
- Homework help: Staff has time to work one-on-one when someone needs extra help with homework or with a craft project.
- Nutrition: At select eligible sites, full after-school meals are provided through our partnership with Three Square Kids Café. Through our partnership with the Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) Kids Club, every day we focus on healthy lifestyle behaviors with physical activities, teaching kids about healthy eating, personal safety and other positive choices.
To sign up visit lasvegasnevada.gov/safekey, call us at 702-229-7529 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since July is Parks and Rec month, our Deputy City Marshals have some park safety tips to keep in mind this summer.
The Deputy City Marshals are a specialized law enforcement unit, consisting of Category I Peace Officers (Police officers), responsible for providing law enforcement services to residents, tourists, and employees utilizing city facilities located within the City of Las Vegas limits, specifically those located on property owned, leased, operated or otherwise under the control of the City of Las Vegas.
Stay safe while enjoying our parks this summer!
Close all windows and lock all doors of your vehicle. Take all valuables with you.
See something, say something. If any suspicious persons or activity is observed, dial the Deputy City Marshal Unit, at 702-229-6444, and a patrol unit will respond to investigate. If someone or something makes you uneasy, trust your instincts.
Parents and guardians, please supervise your children at all times.
Keep belongings close to your person at all times. Do not leave items unattended. If a person asks to use your cell phone, do not give that person your phone. Get to somewhere safe, and dial the Deputy City Marshal Unit, at 702-229-6444, to report the incident.
Stay hydrated, and don’t get burned. Water is your best friend in helping prevent heat-related illnesses. Wear waterproof sunscreen and protective clothing.
Keep dogs leashed at all times, other than in designated dog park areas.
Read and obey the posted park closing hours, as the Deputy City Marshal Unit patrols all City of Las Vegas parks and enforces park rules violations.
Please contact the Deputy City Marshal Unit Dispatch, at 702-229-6444, to report any safety issues concerning broken playground equipment, faulty lighting, flooding, etc.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Police Memorial Monutment (pictured above)
- Southern Nevada Law Enforcement Memorial Walk
- Fallen Officer Memorial Wall and Tree Grove
- LVMPD Fallen Officer Rock (which used to call our old City Hall home)
- Lou Gehrigs (ALS) Tree Grove
To see which areas are available to host events at the park, visit this webpage.
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.
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
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
Police Memorial Park
Winding Trails 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.