Congratulations to members of the Las Vegas Department of Detention and Enforcement and Las Vegas Fire and Rescue for being recognized by the Rotary Clubs Of Southern Nevada during the 13th annual SOAR Ceremony (Safety Officers Award Recognition)!
Corrections Officers Ramon Brookins and Martha Salazar were recognized for their quick responses in dealing with an inmate who was attempting to commit suicide last year. Thanks to their quick response and calm demeanor, the inmate never lost consciousness or received any injuries. Officers Brookins and Salazar exemplify the city of Las Vegas core values of Achievement, Teamwork and Ownership, NOW. They contribute daily to the city’s core purpose of “Building Community to Make Life Better!”
Ronald E. Kline II has been a member of Las Vegas Fire and Rescue since 1995, serving as a firefighter/paramedic since 1997. Ron was recognized for his extensive involvement with the community. He has been involved with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) for the past 19 years and has been the chairman for the MDA Boot Drive for Las Vegas Fire & Rescue for the past 10 years. He has also served as an MDA Summer Camp Counselor. He is also on the Board of Directors for Operation Fire Heat, a local charity that replaces toys and other items for children that were lost due to a fire during the holiday season.
The city of Las Vegas announced today their involvement with Next Door (nextdoor.com), the private social network for neighborhoods, to improve citywide and neighbor-to-neighbor communications.
Led by Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman, Sheriff Douglas C. Gillespie and Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Chief William McDonald, this integration with Next Door will enable the city of Las Vegas, Las Vegas Fire and Rescue and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) to use Next Door to build stronger, safer communities with the help of Las Vegas residents. LVMPD and Next Door neighborhoods will be able to work together to increase safety and strengthen virtual neighborhood watch.
“Las Vegas is an innovative and resourceful city. Joining Next Door is another way to further our efforts in making Las Vegas an even better place to call home,” said Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman. “Giving residents more avenues to easily and effectively connect with city departments and each other about the things that matter most to their communities will create a stronger and safer Las Vegas.”
More than 110 neighborhoods, representing 60 percent of the city of Las Vegas, have already launched Next Door websites.In the past 30 days, more than 2,000 conversations have taken place in neighborhoods across the city.
Using Next Door, Las Vegas residents can create private neighborhood websites to share information, including neighborhood public safety issues, community events and activities, local services and even lost pets. The city will be able to post information, such as important news, services, programs, free events and emergency notifications to Next Door neighborhoods within the city.
Next Door is free for residents and the city. Each Las Vegas neighborhood has its own private Next Door neighborhood website, accessible only to residents of that neighborhood. Neighborhoods establish and self-manage their own Next Door website and the city will not be able to access residents’ websites, contact information, or content. All members must verify that they live within the neighborhood before joining Next Door. Information shared on Next Door is password protected and cannot be accessed by Google or other search engines.
“Having the ability to easily communicate with residents is vital to not only maintaining, but increasing, safety and reducing crime across the city,” said Sheriff Douglas C. Gillespie. “Next Door enables us to share important information that can help reduce crime within our Las Vegas communities, and gives neighbors the ability to collaborate on virtual neighborhood watch efforts.”
Those interested in joining their neighborhood’s Next Door website can visit nextdoor.com/lasvegas and enter their address. If residents have questions about their Nextdoor website, please visit help.nextdoor.com.
The discussion about the stadium played a major role in today’s meeting. A presentation was given on the impact of the stadium to our city. Highlights include:
- The city’s top three guiding principles during negotiations to pass a stadium have been: we won’t raise taxes, we won’t use general operating dollars or bear any operating costs
- The current proposal calls for funding from room tax revenues, tourism improvement district bonds and infrastructure funds budgeted for Symphony Park
- There have been 5,400 seat pledges and 21 suite pledges (there are 34 total)
- MLS averages 19,000 attendees per game
- The city has been involved in many successful public/private partnerships like the Smith Center and the Mob Museum.
- The current annual projections for the stadium include: 249,000 room nights, $9.2 million in taxes and 1,124 construction jobs
Ultimately, the Council voted to postpone further discussion of the stadium to the October 1 City Council meeting. We will be sharing dates for public meetings soon, to ensure that the public has time to weigh in on the proposal before it is considered before Council again.
The City Council also voted to extend our contract with American Medical Response as our Las Vegas Fire and Rescue ambulance partner.
Jeanne Baer was named by Councilman Steven D. Ross as the Citizen of the Month. She is a favorite belly dancer instructor at our Centennial Hills Community Center.
Mayor Goodman also recognized our Water Pollution Control Facility as our September ACTION Team for their diligence to ensure that sewer water if cleaned to the highest standards before it is placed back into Lake Mead.
Councilman Coffin proclaimed September 15 through October 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month in the city of Las Vegas. Several groups and countries were recognized at the meeting.
Las Vegas Deputy City Marshals are asking for the public’s assistance in locating two persons of interest in a series of auto burglaries at city recreational facilities.
A total of six cars have been burglarized between Aug. 21 and Aug. 24, 2014, at three locations – two at All-American Park, located at 1551 S. Buffalo Drive, one at the Durango Hills YMCA, located at 3521 N. Durango Drive, and three at the Garside Swimming Pool, located at 250 S. Torrey Pines Drive. All of the burglaries have occurred in the parking lots of these facilities.
The individuals Marshals are looking to contact are a man and a woman believed to be driving a silver, two-door sedan. Pictures of the individuals as well as the vehicle have been included with this press release.
If the public has any information about these crimes, or the persons of interest, they are urged to contact Deputy City Marshal Investigators at (702)229-3223 or e-mail email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> or email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>.
There has been some confusion surrounding the downtown stadium project so we wanted to clarify a few points:
It is very common to have public financing for stadiums. In fact the agreement proposed by The Cordish Companies and Findlay Sports & Entertainment has lower public financing than other major stadium projects, including:
- Philadelphia Union – 60% Publicly Funded
- Toronto FC – 71% Publicly Funded
- Sporting KC – 75% Publicly Funded
- Chicago Fire – 100% Publicly Funded
For the proposed stadium in Las Vegas 59% of this investment is privately funded, with 41% coming from public sources. Here’s how we get to those figures. The city’s contribution would be:
- $14 million in infrastructure costs including roads, sidewalks, curb-gutter around the stadium.
- $114.8 million in General Obligation (GO) Bonds
- $22 million in Sales Tax Anticipated Revenue Bonds (STAR)
The benefit of the city borrowing the money through bonds is that it would be at a much lower interest rate than the private sector could do it.
As it relates to the $114.8 million in GO bonds, the city would be responsible for paying $3 million per year over the 30-year period to retire those bonds using available sources of funds, anticipated to be room tax revenue. These would be projected taxes on tourists and do not rely on new taxes from local residents or businesses. The Cordish Companies and Findlay Sports & Entertainment would be required to pay the remaining balance through private team rent and private stadium revenues, which is $4 million/year in years 1-10, and $5 million/year in years 11-30.
If for some reason the arrangement with The Cordish Companies and Findlay Sports & Entertainment is broken, the city will own the stadium and the site, and can take steps to recoup the funding to pay back the bonds, such as attracting a new team, provide a venue for other events, etc.
As it relates to the STAR bonds, the city plans to create a Tourism Improvement District which is estimated to generate $3 million in sales tax revenue over a 20-year period. The annual revenue from the city’s portion of the sales tax would cover 100 percent of the annual debt payment.
So while the city is borrowing the money, the proposed agreement calls for Cordish-Findlay to replay the lion’s share of the debt.
Finally, there’s a huge incentive for the private partnership to make the deal successful. Cordish-Findlay are putting out over $44 million toward the stadium, and about a $100 million to secure a team with the MLS. That investment of nearly $145 million will make it unlikely that they would simply “walk way” and leave the city responsible for the remaining debt. Additionally, the city is only paying for a portion of the stadium, which the city will own. All costs to attract and pay for an MLS team will come from Cordish-Findlay. And if they are unable to get an MLS franchise, the entire stadium deal ceases.
This will be heard before the City Council on Wednesday, September 3. You can watch live on KCLV Channel 2 or follow #lvcouncil on Twitter for live updates.
The city of Las Vegas, The Cordish Companies and Findlay Sports & Entertainment announce a term sheet that outlines key deal points for bringing the first professional sports team to the downtown. The plan includes the construction of a state-of-the-art stadium designed specifically for Major League Soccer (MLS). The new MLS stadium would be home to a Las Vegas-based MLS franchise and located in the city of Las Vegas’s expanding downtown Symphony Park area, north of the Smith Center for Performing Arts. The stadium would accommodate up to 24,000 fans and include state-of-the-art concession and fan entertainment experiences. The venue would also be used for other community purposes and could host a variety of events.
The combination of the stadium and team is projected to total in excess of a $300 million investment in downtown Las Vegas. An independent analysis shows the stadium is estimated to generate over $9 million in annual tax revenue for the state, county, city of Las Vegas and other local entities and is projected to generate over 1,200 jobs, including 525 construction jobs and 700 permanent jobs.
The total project cost for the team and stadium including interest on bonds over the next thirty years is $410 million. Of this amount, 69 percent would be privately funded and 31 percent from public sources. The Findlay-Cordish partnership will be responsible for all costs associated with the MLS team. For the stadium, compared to public revenue sources contributed, 59 percent of these project costs would be privately financed. The proposed deal does not rely on new tax revenues from local residents or businesses. Private involvement is significantly higher than most MLS stadium and team deals. Revenues used by the city to fund its portion of the city-owned stadium are primarily derived from projected taxes collected from tourists and from public infrastructure funds.
The proposed deal would mitigate much of the city’s risk. The new stadium will not move forward unless the Findlay-Cordish partnership is awarded an MLS team. This private partnership would be responsible for any cost overruns associated with the design and construction of the city-owned stadium. Once the stadium is open and operating, the Findlay-Cordish partnership would cover any operating losses during the next thirty years. The plan is also for the team to enter into a long-term lease (30 years) and agree to stay in the city for the same period of time.
“The time to bring professional sports to Las Vegas is now,” said Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman. The deal negotiated with Findlay Sports & Entertainment and The Cordish Companies will be a win-win for the city of Las Vegas and its residents. I love that both our partners are family-owned companies with great reputations.”
The partnership between Findlay Sports and Entertainment and The Cordish Companies is 50/50 with respect to the stadium and the team. Findlay Sports & Entertainment is a locally owned company headed by Justin Findlay and principals of Findlay Automotive Group, a well-known automotive group with dealerships in Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Idaho. The company was founded expressly to bring Major League Soccer to Southern Nevada. The company’s leadership plays a significant role within Findlay Automotive Group, the largest automotive retailer in Nevada and a top 20 private dealership group in the United States.
The Cordish Companies is one of the largest and most respected real estate development companies in the country. The Cordish Companies has developed the leading sports anchored districts in the country and is proud to have partnered with many of the leading brands in the world including the St. Louis Cardinals, Comcast Spectacor, Philadelphia Flyers, NASCAR and NBC Sports. The Cordish Companies has been awarded an unprecedented seven Urban Land Institute Awards for Excellence for public-private developments that are of unique significance to the cities in which they are located.
“The Cordish Companies is excited to be a part of the downtown’s historic revitalization efforts,” said Blake Cordish, Vice President of The Cordish Companies. “Las Vegas deserves and will absolutely support professional sports. Time and again, downtown sports venues are a proven catalyst for broader urban revitalization.”
“We are very excited for the opportunity to bring Major League Soccer to Las Vegas,” said Justin Findlay, Managing Partner of Findlay Sports & Entertainment. “We’ve been working hard with the city of Las Vegas and the MLS to make this a reality. It will be extremely exciting for us and our community to have its first major professional sports team.”
At its next meeting on September 3, 2014, the Las Vegas City Council will vote on a non-binding term sheet. Under the terms of the existing exclusive negotiating agreement between the city, Findlay Sports & Entertainment and The Cordish Companies, the approval of a non-binding term sheet is the next step toward securing an MLS team and constructing the stadium. The non-binding term sheet outlines the proposed scope and financing strategy for the new city-owned stadium. If approved, the city and the Findlay-Cordish partnership would draft and present a binding development agreement to the City Council in December 2014.
View the fact sheet.
We are proud to announce that the Employee of the Month is Vangelina Salazar-Ceja. Vangelina is a janitor on our Operations and Maintenance Team and has only been with the city since December, but she is already making a big impression. Vengelina works at the city’s Development Services Center at 333 N. Rancho Drive. Vangelina is always smiling and has a great outlook, but it is her integrity that we really want to recognize. In March, Vangelina was outside of the Development Services Center when she noticed what appeared to be a piece of trash blowing around on the ground. Upon further inspection she realized it was actually a banking envelop and that there was $260 inside. Vangelina immediately contacted her supervisor and set the process in motion to locate the owner of the money. Wells Fargo was contacted and they were able to find the owner of the money, a local disabled man. This man was so thankful for the return of his property that he actually broke down and started to cry. What may seem like a small thing to some meant everything to this resident, and that is the kind of integrity that we love to see in our employees. Thank you Vangelina for being a great example of the city’s core values and representing the city so well with your caring attitude and honesty.
Executive Director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Tom Cochran flew all the way to Las Vegas today to help make a special presentation to the Las Vegas City Council. Tom was joined by Amelia McLear with Wal-Mart to announced the city was receiving $25,000 for winning the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Award for the city’s sustainability efforts. The funds were presented to Green Chips of Southern Nevada for new solar projects at Opportunity Village of Southern Nevada.
The city of Las Vegas is challenging itself to become the nation’s first net-zero energy, water, and waste municipality. This net zero initiative has seen the construction of more than 1 million square feet of municipal green buildings. Additionally, more than 80 percent of the city’s 50,000 streetlights have been upgraded to LEDs. The city now has more than 5.25 Megawatts of solar photovoltaic at 30 facilities. These systems have reduced city energy consumption by approximately 15 percent, saving the city more than $1 million dollars annually. Comingled recycling at all city facilities has raised recycling rates to 55 percent, up from 20 percent five years ago. The city has reduced its municipal water consumption by 27 percent since 2008, through turf conversions, xeriscaping, and equipment installations throughout city facilities.
Also, Mayor Pro Tem Stavros S. Anthony recognized the Las Vegas Neon under-17 boys soccer team. After four days of play in July in South Carolina, the Neon emerged as national champions at the 2014 United States Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup finals. The Neon was one of 40 participating teams that came from all over the country to compete for a national title.
The council also recognized Vangelina Salazar-Ceja as the Employee of the Month for returning lost money belonging to a man who is disabled.
The council also heard from Myron Martin with The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, on its accomplishments. The center recently welcomed 1 million patrons and has seen 125,000 students since it opened 2 years ago. In addition, 90% of patrons are locals.
Happy Farmers Market Week! Access to locally grown, farm fresh produce is available weekly in our city.
Visit a Farmers Market near you, not only this week but throughout the year!
Las Vegas Farmers Market
Bruce Trent Park
1600 N. Rampart Blvd
Wednesdays, 4 to 8 p.m.
Tivoli Village Farmers Market
Tivoli Village, Rampart at Alta
Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Downtown 3rd Farmers’ Market
Casino Center at Stewart Ave.
Fridays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Las Vegas Farmers Market
Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs
9100 Tule Springs Road
First and Third Saturday of each month
Mayor Goodman and the City Council recognized the Sunrise Mountain High School Aviation Club for competing in the National Aviation Design Challenge and beating out 78 other teams from 33 states to win the top prize. The team was able to design a plane in the competition, and after winning, had the opportunity to build the plane they had designed. They also recognized Raymonde Fiol as the Citizen of the Month. She has worked tirelessly to educate our youth about the Holocaust. The Public Affairs team was also recognized as the ACTION Team for their work in supporting the City Council and other city departments.
David Bowers was approved as the new Director of Public Works. Bowers has a 27-year career as a civil engineer in the areas of structural and roadway design, construction management, contracting and team management. He has been employed with the city since 2005 and in his most recent role is responsible for the management of the city’s Engineering, Architectural, Surveying, Construction Management and Special Improvement District Sections. As the new director, Bowers will be overseeing three divisions within Public Works: the City Engineering Division, the Traffic Division and the Environmental Division. In all, there are more than 250 employees within the department, which has an annual budget of $80 million.
The Government Affairs team presented on what are evolving topics of interest during the upcoming Legislative Session in Carson City which will begin in February. Twenty five legislators represent some portion of the city of Las Vegas. Our Government Affairs team stays on top of it to make sure that city interests are upheld during the session. Current topics of interest for our city include things like animal abuse, business licensing, economic development, energy conservation, film production, medical marijuana, public safety, health and medicine, transportation and more. Last year, they kept an eye on the 1,200+ bills that passed through the Legislature during the 120-day session.
Our Sustainability team also updated the Council on our efforts to go green. They offered some pretty impressive numbers:
- Three years ago, our recycling rate was 22 percent. It’s now 55 percent
- We save about $27,000 a month thanks to our recycling efforts (that’s $323,000 a year)
- All of the water that goes down a drain, whether in homes, at parks or in City Hall is reclaimed and then reused or routed back to Lake Mead
The next City Council meeting will be held on August 20.