Text of Mayor Roy Edgington’s State of the City Address, Feb. 3

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Feb-3-2021-State-of-the-City

STATE OF THE CITY, FEBRUARY 3, 2021
Welcome and thank you for taking time to attend the State of the City for 2020. My name is Roy Edgington. I have had the privilege to serve as your Mayor for six years, and I am currently serving in my second term as Mayor. I was elected first to the City Council in 2010 for Ward 3. Our community was struggling at that time with the recession and no building.

As a councilman, we focused on stabilizing the City’s budget. Keeping the lights on and making sure basic services were being delivered was our only task. Over the last six years the Council and staff have been working hard to plan for Fernley’s future. I have seen a turn around on how we do business and our community’s priorities. Over this last year our community, like the rest of the world, has been
tested with a pandemic that shut down businesses and public systems. This has placed a hardship on our country that no one could have imagined. It has tested people financially, emotionally, and physically. This has been a long, hard year, and we are still fighting it. However, this year has also brought us together, with great collaboration. Local agencies have worked together to support the efforts of the community. These include the City of Fernley, Lyon County, Lyon County School District, North Lyon County Fire Protection District, and local businesses. Coordination and collaboration are critical to ensure everyone works together to provide services and support to the community.

I have seen our organization develop master plans and use them to make sound financial decisions. We have a good start on developing
long range plans. These will help our elected and appointed officials make decisions for the future. It is critical to balance growth with the
community’s values and look forward to how that growth will impact the City’s resources and infrastructure. We must look toward the
future and establish plans and regulations to ensure long-term sustainability. As you can see on the slide the City has been focusing on the following plans:
• ADA Transition Plan Infrastructure Survey and Inventory
• Asset Management Plan
• Capital Improvement Plan
• City’s Master Plan (Comprehensive Plan)
• Communications Plan
• Community Center Conceptual Design
• Parks Master Plan
• Redevelopment Plan
• Sewer Master Plan
• 2021 – 2026 Strategic Plan and Action Plan
• Transportation Master Plan
• Water Master Plan
• Water Resource Plan
• Storm Drain Master Plan
As a result of the pandemic, CARES Act funding was distributed through the State of Nevada, and the City of Fernley received $3.9 Million dollars. The City established a plan to apply these funds as they were designated for health and safety measures including safety glass,
automatic doors, and remodeling to ensure social distancing guidelines could be met in City Hall. In addition to the safety measures that were implemented in City Hall, the City is proud to have distributed funds to the community.

The City distributed $250,000 through small business grants; another $250,000 for the local Boys and Girls Club Distance Learning Center; $250,000 for community support through Lyon County Human Services; $278,324 to the North Lyon County Fire Protection District for a new ambulance; and funds were also provided to the local food bank to support the community.
Here is a list of local businesses the City was proud to provide CARES Act funding to through small business grants. This funding went
directly to these businesses to help offset the financial impacts brought on by the pandemic.

Collaboration is critical, especially in times of the pandemic. The City has developed partnerships over the past year, which have resulted in very positive results. We are proud to collaborate with many governmental agencies and non-profit organizations. These are just a few whom we have worked with over the last year. The City worked closely with Lyon County on the new Fernley Senior Center Project. The City purchased 8.3 acres by the Depot and worked with the County to do a land swap for the development of the new Senior Center, which was completed in November 2020.

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The City has a fantastic working partnership with Lyon County School District. City staff meets with the school district quarterly to share
information about various projects. As the City grows, it will remain critical for the City and the school district to share information that may have a potential impact on both jurisdictions.

The City has a close working partnership with the Fernley Community Foundation. The Fernley Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was established as a fundraising arm to help garner resources to build the future Community Center.

The City of Fernley receives grant funding through the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), which promotes and
facilitates Community Development in rural Nevada. The state receives CDBG funds from the federal government and uses those funds to provide grants to local governments.

The City of Fernley successfully completed and closed out $440,907 in CDBG grants as of October 31, 2020.

In addition, the City is working on installation of custom metal banners along Main Street, along with the creation of mini plazas that will include benches, trash receptacles, bicycle racks, a city clock and a custom fire globe – all along Main Street. The items were all funded through a $218,000 CDBG grant for Main Street beautification efforts.

Regarding the lining of the canal, a draft EIS was published in 2020 and public meetings were scheduled for March 24 and 25, 2020. Because of the pandemic, the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) was forced to cancel the public meetings and held public comment through a virtual website. The City of Fernley filed a lawsuit to delay the initial study until more public input could be provided, however, we did not prevail, and BOR moved forward with the process. The City is monitoring this closely and will determine potential next steps.

Surface Water – Process of doing the engineering and waiting for final BOR review and approval. This will provide the City with the ability to utilize surface water to diversify the municipal water system.

COVID-19 certainly had an impact on events in 2020. Many events were cancelled or postponed.

The Fourth of July Committee completed a safety plan, which was approved, and Fireworks were held for viewing from vehicles to ensure social distancing guidelines were followed. Unfortunately, there was no parade or activities held at the Out of Town Park.

Spooktacular took on a new look in 2020. Due to social distancing requirements, many volunteers assisted in sorting candy and preparing premade candy bags. A drive thru Spooktacular was held and many residents drove through to get candy for the kids. It was a successful event.

Even with the pandemic, development is moving forward in the City. Several permits were issued, and several city projects were completed. We continue to see interest from developers wanting to move forward with industrial and housing developments.

During 2020, the Building Department continued to work throughout the pandemic. The Building Industry was considered an essential service and never stopped operations during the Governors Stay at Home Order. Our community continued construction projects with very little stoppages. Although our staff continued to be open for questions, submittals, revisions, and inspections, our team collectively drafted and defined our procedures and policies for Building and Code Enforcement operations.

The Building Department received, reviewed, and issued just over 550 building permits, of which 117 of those were for single-family homes (177 permits were issued in 2019).

Three new commercial starts began as well, totaling just over 1.25 million square feet of warehouse or industrial space; along with a new event center and additional office structures at the Inglewood Development.

The Fremont Street Apartment project is currently underway set to add 216 units of 1-and 2-bedroom apartments.

Additional completed projects include the The Fernley Senior Center and Human Services Building, and the Trex Logistical Building.

The total of the projects value for the year is just over $156,510,372.

The Building Department staff integrated the Fernley Public Portal and online permitting software which allows the public to go online with permit information and submittals. This is currently limited to smaller projects that do not require a review. This portal allows for citizens to apply, pay, and print information. A citizen can get property or permit information online as a convenient alternative to coming to City Hall.

The field staff observed strict COVID-19 conditions but continued to work as essential employees, conducting 8,3,77 building inspections.
As COVID requires a number of different safety protocols, the time allowed for the normal process in the field had to be doubled or even tripled, and the team investigated 403 citizen complaints.

There were five after-hours damage assessments of structures requested by the Fire Authority.

Field staff also tagged 175 vehicles (citizen complaints) of which 74 of those were towed.

As part of a continued effort to remove blight, City Code Enforcement provided 288 free trash vouchers to citizens. These vouchers allowed up to 1,100 cubic yards of trash to be removed from private property.

I apologize we were not able to do the Mayor’s Annual Clean Up last year due to the pandemic; our hope is to be to provide this event this fall depending on pandemic restrictions.

The City Engineer accomplished 12 major projects in our Capital Project List over the last year. These include:
• the creation and adoption of a Transportation Master Plan
• Began work on the City’s Water Master Plan
• Completion of the 2019-2020 slurry seal project
• Awarded contracts and progressed design for the Cottonwood Lane Reconstruction Project

During 2020, the Planning Department successfully executed the adoption of the development code.

The Planning department exceeded projected revenues and achieved a 48.7% cost recovery for FY 19/20.

Processed 48 planning applications.

The Public Works Department has had a very busy year.

Each division within the Public Works Department has completed many accomplishments as you can see on the following slides.

These divisions include:
• General Services, Parks and Facilities
• Cemetery
• Vector Control
• Streets Department
• Water Distribution
• Water Treatment
• Wastewater Divisions

In 2020, animal control implemented the petpoint system. This system provides case management and is hosted by the Lyon County Animal Shelter. This allows the Animal Control Officer to track cases and incidents and ensure record keeping is up to date for licensing, tracking animals, and court.

While the pandemic brought many challenges, the Animal Control Division had an opportunity to review policies and procedures and conduct internal audits of various operations.

The County has a new animal shelter in Silver Springs.

We must remember that this pandemic is a public health issue. I plead to you, asking for your patience and cooperation during this difficult time. The COVID vaccination is now available for seniors 70 and older who reside in the Quad Counties. Please reach out if you are needing assistance with the vaccination scheduling process.

Nevadans must continue to be patient while limited doses are available. All Nevadans are encouraged to think of the seniors they know and ensure they have a plan and understand how to make an appointment to be vaccinated.

We understand there is a lot of frustration out there right now. Since this announcement was made by the Governor on January 12th, the Carson City Health District has been overwhelmed with an influx of calls to their hotline. In addition, their website has been overwhelmed due to the number of people trying to schedule appointments for vaccinations.

The City of Fernley is working with Lyon County and Carson City Health District to help people get registered for vaccinations. Please be patient as we work through this. The community will continue to receive information as we move forward. We understand folks are frustrated, and we want to assure you, we are doing what we can to help voice our residents’ concerns.

For questions or to make an appointment, you can call the Quad County COVID-19 Hotline at 775-434-1988. There is also a website to schedule appointments as you can see on this slide, this information is available on the City’s Facebook page and website as well. Please be advised, there is a significant delay for both the hotline and the website.

Where are the Quad-Counties are currently with vaccinations?
• Received our first vaccines the week of December 21st and held the first vaccination event on Christmas Eve
• To date, have completed 24 events across the region which expands more than 3,000 square miles; sometimes with 2 events
per day
• Events range from 100 doses to over 1,360 doses based on location and set up of either a walk-in or drive-thru event
• Events are supported by volunteers from organizations to help get this done, including the National Guard.
• As of 1/25/2021 (5 weeks) – 7,175 COVID-19 vaccines have been received, 7,041 of these doses were administered by this date
• Received 1,600 doses on 1/26/2021 – 500 are second doses and 1,100 are first doses
• PLEASE NOTE: to date, no doses have been wasted
• Each week Quad Counties is increasing the vaccination capacity as demonstrated by their first and second dose administration, subject to supply.
• We are still in the process of planning and resource needs, we are working with federal and state agencies, and our own city staff have volunteered to help assist with vaccination scheduling efforts.

As Mayor, I would like to remind everyone the health system has been in crisis and we have struggled to keep up; and when you add a pandemic to an already stretched-thin system, I believe they are doing a remarkable job given the limitations they have had.

The 2020 Election was extremely busy. We said goodbye Councilwoman Shellie Severa in Ward 2, and welcomed the new Ward 2 representative, Felicity Zoberski.

Councilman Albert Torres in Ward 4, and Councilwoman Fran McKay in Ward 5 were elected to their respective wards.

In addition, serving on the Council we have Councilman Stan Lau representing Ward 3 and Councilman Ray Lacy as the representative for
Ward 1.

Moving forward, Mayor, Council, and staff recommend continuing with the efforts to identify revenue streams and focusing on long-term planning, plan implementation, and municipal service delivery.

We will be looking at efficiencies throughout the city, which we will start with the development review process.

We will continue moving forward with the vision for the future community center, working to build public and private partnerships to make that dream a reality.

We are looking forward to seeing an increase of availability for COVID19 vaccinations for those who wish to receive one.

If you would like to see a complete list of the City’s accomplishments in 2020, please take a look at our Annual Report, available on our website at the link listed on this slide.

Looking forward to vaccinations.

And to recap, currently I wish to impress on everyone the need to stay the course and remember the following. The commitment by this Mayor, Council and staff to improve the community and the lives of its citizens remain as a driving force.

I would like to thank the City Council, Staff and the Community for your hard work, support, and effort in making Fernley a great place to live, work, and play. Thank you.

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