Text of Mayor Roy Edgington’s State of the City Address
1 STATE OF THE CITY, FEBRUARY 2, 2022
Good evening City Council, staff, and Fernley residents. My name is Roy Edgington and I am pleased to present the State of the City for 2021. I have had the privilege to serve as your Mayor for seven years, and I am currently serving in my second term as Mayor. Over the last ten years Council and staff have been working hard to plan for Fernley’s future. In 2021 we have strived to meet the goals established in the Strategic Plan and continue to move forward to make Fernley a great place to live, work, and play. As a councilman, we focused on stabilizing the City’s budget and its our mission to represent the citizens of Fernley and serve in the best interest of all citizens in the City of Fernley.
Fernley has come a long way in the last ten years. It was not long ago in 2012, the City was recovering from the Great Recession and long-term planning was not applied or prioritized. Back then, we had only 51 City employees with a population of 19,368 residents and our General Fund Revenue stream was $4.4 million. Today, we have 71 City employees serving 23,064 Fernley residents. Our current General Fund revenue stream is $12.8 million, a 190% increase from levels ten years ago. The General Fund provides general government services and is separate from the Water and Sewer Enterprise Funds. The City has proven and continues to be financially responsible. The pandemic has changed the way the world operates, and the city has adjusted to address the challenges. Even with the pandemic, the city continues to grow. Development is occurring, and the city is changing. We must look toward the future and establish plans and regulations to ensure long-term sustainability. 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.
As Fernley continues to transform from a rural area to an urban community, I have seen a turn around on how we do business and our community’s priorities. I have seen our organization develop master plans and use them to make sound financial decisions. These long-term plans will help our elected and appointed officials make decisions for the future and ensure we stay on the right path. As you can see on the slide, the City has been focusing on many following plans. Some of the plans include
• Capital Improvement Plan
• City’s Master Plan (Comprehensive Plan)
• Community Center Conceptual Design
• Transportation Master Plan
• Water Conservation Plan
Collaboration is critical, especially in times of the pandemic. The City has developed and maintained great working partnerships over the past few years, which have resulted in very positive actions. 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’s Arts & Culture Task Force partnered with the Fernley Library and Senior Center for rotating art displays through the three facilities. The Task Force also partnered with local artists to initiate the Signal Box Painting Project to transform utility structures into pieces of art. The City partnered with local businesses on Main Street and the Fernley Chamber of Commerce to hold it’s first Main Street Poker Walk in June. The poker walk was the official unveiling of the Main Street Beautification project. The event was a great success with a great turnout of donations, merchants, vendors, and participants.
The City partnered with Lyon County Sheriff’s Office to co-host the first Fernley’s National Night Out in August. The purpose of the event was to enhance the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. The city partnered with Lyon County Human Services to organize the first annual Fernley Community Connections Expo in September. Over 50 local service organizations attended to help residents get connected with local resources.
The City partnered with the Fernley Chamber of Commerce to establish Fernley’s Nevada Main Street Program. This revitalization effort will focus on Transformation Strategies, known as the Four Points: they include Economic Vitality, Design, Organization, and Promotion. This effort is just beginning and the City is excited to move forward.
The City has partnered with the Lyon County School District, the Fernley Community Foundation, JOIN Inc., and the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows to develop the program and services that will be housed in the Community Response & Resource Center. Once constructed, these organizations and agencies will help the community address the negative health and economic impacts of the over the last few years.
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. In 2021, the City completed the installation of custom metal banners on Main Street, along with the construction of the City’s clock plaza that includes benches, trash receptacles, 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.
The City continues to meet regularly with Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, the School District, and the Fire District to share important information that affect their respective jurisdiction.
The City holds public meetings and hosts events to connect and engage the residents of Fernley. Because of the pandemic, some of these 5 events and meetings took on a different and virtual appearance. The City is currently hosting the Citizen’s Leadership Academy in person and virtually.
In July, the City Council established the City of Fernley Senior Citizens Advisory Committee. The Committee’s purpose is to develop citizen input to the City Council related to the quality of life of the senior citizens living in Fernley. The dynamic Committee is already meeting and have adopted their By-Laws. The City is excited see this Committee moving forward.
In May, City Council adopted the budget for Fiscal year 2021/2022. The $49 million budget provides for ongoing operations in the General Fund, Water Enterprise Fund, Sewer Enterprise Fund, and capital projects. In July, the City Treasurer’s Office, paid off the General Fund Debt for City Hall in the amount of $1.7 million. The City Treasurer’s Office also updated several policies including the Grants Management Policy and Procedures and the Small Tools Policies and Procedures. The City Clerk’s office issued 228 new business licenses and currently manages a total of 1,608 business licenses, 37 liquor licenses, and 81 franchise fee accounts. The Clerk’s Office was also very busy processing 509 passport applications in 2021. The Clerk’s Office generated $2.5 million in revenue for the City.
The City Attorney’s Office successfully resolved four lawsuits favorable to the city or did not harm the city. They continue to provide legal services to the City and is an important function of the Municipal Court. The Municipal Court was very busy in 2021. They conducted 40 weeks of Virtual Court, implemented the Valdez-Himenez Supreme Court Ruling, implemented a Pre-Trial Risk Assessment, and developed a Municipal Court Strategic Plan.
The Animal Control Division is busy from morning to evening. Animal Control uses social media to communicate and connect residents with lost and found animals. The Animal Control division serviced 400 calls throughout the year. 61 complaints were issued of which 15% of the cases received citations and 232 new dog licenses were issued.
Even with the pandemic, development is moving forward in the City. We continue to see interest from developers wanting to move forward with industrial and housing developments. This year, the city published the monthly community development report. This condensed report provides information regarding new zoning and development applications and projects within the city. It is a digital document on the City’s website where residents can find information about development projects within the City.
During 2021, the Building and Safety team received applications, processed, and issued 657 building permits with a valuation of $98 million. Staff completed 7,952 inspections while observing strict COVID19 requirements. 128 new single-family dwellings were constructed, which is a 11% increase from year 2020. In the last two years, 243 new single-family dwellings were constructed in Fernley. Permits were issued for 11 new commercial structures totaling over 900,000 square feet and included the 815,000 square foot Victory Logistics District building and additions to the existing Trex building of over 28,000 square feet. The city is excited to see the Fremont Street Apartment complex continue construction. The development is set to add 216 one- and two-bedroom units with a clubhouse and maintenance building and is currently accepting occupants.
The Code Enforcement Team investigated 489 citizen complaints, including tagging 151 vehicles, and towing 76 of them. Staff responded to 5 after-hours damage assessments of structures requested by the Fire District.
The City Engineer accomplished many notable projects in 2021, including:
• awarding a contract for the construction of the surface water conveyance project. This project is now underway.
• The City Engineer has also completed the Pavement Management Project
• The Wastewater Treatment Plant Waterline Extension
• The first phase of construction for the Farm District Road Lift Station Rehabilitation Project
• they completed the second phase of the Farm District Road MultiUse Path with the Nevada Department of Transportation grant.
• they executed an interlocal cooperative agreement with the Regional Transportation Commission in Washoe County for the City’s inclusion into the Northern Nevada Regional Travel Demand Model
• And completed the three-year assessment of the pavement condition index of the City’s roadway network
The City is always looking for ways to increase efficiency. This year the Development Team completed an assessment of services and organization. The assessments Action Plan was approved and staff is working on creating a smoother development process. During 2021, the Planning Department successfully processed 36 planning entitlement applications since the beginning of the calendar year. The team also processed over 500 building permits, including 57 commercial permits, 449 residential permits, and sign permits. The department has generated approximately $270,000 in revenue from January through October of 2021. Early indication is the department will achieve a cost recovery more than 80%.
The Public Works Department has had a very busy year. Several of their accomplishments include…
• The Parks Division planted 20 donated London Plane trees on Veterans Way at the Veterans Cemetery.
• The Streets crew performed culvert cleaning and rip rap on Sage Ranch drainage ditches. They installed a 40 ft. x 30-inch culvert on Seabiscuit Dr. and rip rap along the drainage ditch.
• The Fleet Division completed 521 work orders despite parts and supply shortages.
• The Water Distribution staff repaired or upgraded over 1,010 leaks and/or meter services and inspected and serviced 572 fire hydrants.
• The water distribution wells produced over 1.3 billion gallons of water since January with no significant downtime at the facility.
• The Wastewater team completed cleaning the entire city’s gravity collection system totaling 23.3 miles of mainline.
The City has been pursuing the use of its surface water rights through the Canal to diversify water resources to meet growing demands. In August, City Council approved a contract with Farr Construction for construction services for the Truckee Canal Conveyance Project. The Water Treatment Team, also, assisted CDM to conduct the surface water treatability study in preparation for the Water Treatment Plant transition to surface water treatment. This study brings the City closer to deliver and treat surface water to the water treatment plant. In July the City Council held a special Water Workshop to provide information on water rights and water resources relating to current issues, including past successes, current issues, and future challenges related to Fernley’s municipal water system. The recording of the meeting was also posted for those who could not attend. The City continues to work toward a resolution for the issue of canal lining. The Bureau of Reclamation issued a Record of Decision to line the canal. The City is monitoring this closely and will determine potential next steps as we move forward in 2022.
We have dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic with determination to move forward. Staff has used tools to continue to deliver services through Zoom meetings, practicing safe work procedures, and continued to work with our partners and the public. The city received $20.9 million from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds established by the American Rescue Plan Act. With these funds, the city was able to focus on wastewater infrastructure as well as a Community Response and Resource Center, which will provide a designated location for vaccine distribution and testing, food distribution, programs and services related to the direct impacts of COVID-19 and the negative economic harm caused including, food insecurity, childcare, educational needs, and mental health. The city is very excited to move forward with this legacy project. The City of Fernley is working with Lyon County and Carson City Health District to help people get COVID-19 vaccinations. 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.
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 continue moving forward with the vision for the future Community Response & Resource Center, working to build public and private partnerships to make that dream a reality. I would like to thank the Nevada Department of Transportation for the recent installment of traffic stop lights on Highway 50. This stop light installation at Nevada Pacific Parkway forecasts the development of this road that will eventually route to Interstate 80. I wish to impress on everyone the need to stay on the course, Believe in the Vision, and remember the following: the commitment by myself as your Mayor, Council and staff to improve the community and the lives of its citizens remains our main focus. We must put Fernley First to achieve tomorrow’s vision. As we close another year, I would like to thank the Council, staff, and our community residents for all the hard work and perseverance in navigating the problems we have faced. Thank you and God Bless the City of Fernley.