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Council approves playground funding
by Garrett Valenzuela
Oct 08, 2012 | 2752 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela - A triangle handlebar, wrapped with tape for a smoother grip, and other playground equipment will be replaced at Les Hicks Park.
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela - A triangle handlebar, wrapped with tape for a smoother grip, and other playground equipment will be replaced at Les Hicks Park.
Sparks City Council members’ lunch break was likely longer than Monday’s City Council meeting. It was adjourned after just about 20 minutes of discussion and decisions. In its swiftness, the council approved a more than $189,000 improvement to playground equipment at Les Hicks Park in Sparks.

The park is host to two pieces of equipment, one for children ages 2-5 and the other for ages 5 and older. The fixtures are 15 years old according to city documents and “require replacement to allow for safe play.” New equipment will cover a sizeable amount of unused space once installed.

The City of Sparks’ agreed to a contract with Great Western Park and Playground, which will supply and install the equipment, with the ages 2-5 structure costing about $77,000 and the other about $81,000. Installation of the fixtures will cost $46,000 and is expected to be completed eight weeks after the arrival of the equipment.

The council also approved the rental of four generators for $80,000 from Cashman Power Solutions for the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility (TMWRF) use. The generators will help TMWRF eliminate potential problems with its current power sources.

According to TMWRF Acting Plant Manager Kim Laber, the facility uses two 25,000-volt sources for incoming power and it is required to have both power sources as part of its permit with the state.

The plant discovered a “faulty and unsafe” 2,400 volt, 3,000 amp breaker and buss during $3 million upgrades currently being made, reducing the plant to one incoming power source.

“Our permit requires two power sources coming in and in order to take some of the load off of the remaining breaker, we are currently using generators,” Laber said.

Laber acknowledged the high amount of money needed, but stressed to the board the devastation that could occur if the plant was ever without power.

“We have anywhere from six to 10 hours that we could be without power and at that point we could see it coming out of manholes,” he said. “It depends on the time of the year, if we have an event going on and the time of the day.”

Laber said the need for the generators was “mission-critical” and that an emergency generator purpose had already been made with the help of the city.

“Obviously, $80,000 is a major amount of money but it is also a tremendous requirement (for power),” Councilman Ed Lawson said.

Laber said these are specialty generators that are able to handle some of the bigger equipment. Without them, there is violation of the permit with the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection.

Other agenda items approved/discussed

— Commendation for Robert White

City of Sparks Information Technologist Robert White received commendation from the city council for being recognized with a GMIS International Outstanding Professional Award. The award is given to Information Technology specialists whose “meritorious performance is representative of service delivery excellence in the public sector,” according to Sparks Mayor Geno Martini.

White’s 33-year career has been dedicated to the City of Sparks and he is one of two IT specialists from Nevada to win the award. The other, Sherri Flynn, was also on hand to commend White and also works for the City of Sparks.

White said his career is approaching the 34-year mark and that the award feels more like a “lifetime achievement award.”

— Approval of 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant

The council approved a more than $46,000 grant to provide service personnel to five elementary schools which received the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant. The grant provides enrichment activities for the schools during all school days and Monday’s approval continues through April 26, 2013.

The Sparks elementary schools that have received the grant are Lincoln Park, Agnes Risley, Alice Maxwell, Robert Mitchell and Kate Smith. The grant will fund part-time positions at the schools to continue providing activities such as art, dance, sports, self-esteem boosters and extra homework help.
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