Nearly $3 million in marijuana business license fees will be used to support housing for young people experiencing homelessness in Clark County.
The commission agreed on Tuesday to provide the funds to three organizations, with each expected to help pay for 30 beds for homeless youth between the ages of 18 and 24, according to the county.
HELP of Southern Nevada will receive about $1 million; Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth will get nearly $1 million; and St. Jude’s Ranch for Children will receive close to $900,000, county documents show.
The funding for providing transitional housing includes rental and financial assistance, case management and supportive services.
The county has been using marijuana business license fees to address homelessness since January 2019.
King receives high praise from commissioners
County Manager Yolanda King on Tuesday underscored how difficult it has been this year to respond to a pandemic while keeping the county’s day-to-day operations on track.
But county lawmakers were unabashedly certain that she had performed well as the leader of an organization employing nearly 10,000 workers between 38 departments.
“You’re probably the best county manager in the country,” Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick said. “Steady hand, with not a lot of emotion because it keeps us going.”
Other commissioners delivered similar praise for King, the top administrator in the county since December 2016, who was due for an annual review on Tuesday. Unlike last year, when King received a 6 percent bonus, the compliments were not accompanied by any financial reward.
“To say that 2020 has been a challenging year is quite frankly an understatement,” King said, but later added: “During this time I have witnessed the best of public service, more so than I ever have witnessed in my (32-year) career here with Clark County.”
King offered credit to the senior management team and employees for being creative, flexible and problem-solvers. She said the focus moving forward will continue to be on providing services to the most vulnerable — particularly those affected by pandemic — and supporting small businesses and business in general.
County, wireless carriers find common ground
A lengthy battle between the county and wireless carriers over fees deemed too exorbitant came to an end on Tuesday, when the commission amended its ordinance that governs roll out of the next-generation 5G technology.
New fees for small cell sites — the infrastructure needed to build out 5G service — range from $565 to $2,960 per site per year — a decrease from prior costs of $700 to $3,960.
“There is no part of this where there are extra fees,” said Assistant County Manager Randy Tarr, noting that the charges simply allow the county to recover costs.
Costs were a major issue between the county and wireless providers in a rift that pitted local control against federal authority and raised the prospect that the hurdle could prevent full coverage for customers.
The amended ordinance also shortens the distance between certain wireless communications facilities, increases the maximum amount of electrical power that licensees may use and allows the county to temporarily power down licensee equipment for maintenance activities, according to the county.
“It’s been a long time coming but we’re happy to be moving forward today,” said Omar Saucedo, the director of external affairs for AT&T in Southern Nevada.
Justin Terry, the senior counsel of regulatory affairs for ExteNet, told the commission “we felt like our voice was heard.”
Contact Shea Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.