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September 2, 2014

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County commission seeks disaster assistance from state, federal governments

Updated Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 | 12:21 p.m.

Clark County commissioners formalized a request for state and/or federal assistance to offset damage expenses related to flooding from a Sept. 10 downpour.

During Tuesday's County Commission meeting, officials said the federal government required a minimum damage amount of $6.6 million before assistance would be considered, and so far damage has been tallied at $2.6 million.

However, Fire Chief Bertal Washington said, the county only had done a preliminary assessment. The $2.6 million figure only considers government buildings, parks, drainage channels and other public facilities. Homes and businesses have yet to be assessed.

With approval of the resolution, Washington said, state and federal teams would be sent to Clark County to do a thorough investigation of damages from the September flooding.

The state's fund to aid in emergencies stands aorund $500,000, Washington said.

In other business Tuesday, the commission:

• Accepted a $10,000 settlement from Geico General Insurance, the insurer of a 21-year-old woman who caused $26,000 damage to county crash cushions in a 2010 car accident, then received free emergency medical care in the county hospital.

Commissioner Steve Sisolak had sought more from the woman, but county attorneys said a search of her assets – to the degree that they could search – turned up little for the county to go after.

Last month, after Sisolak raised questions about the case, the commission had refused to accept the payment from Geico for the 2010 car accident that caused the damage to crash cushions at Russell Road and Arville Street.

A county attorney said the driver did not own the vehicle, and the owner’s policy offered a maximum of $10,000. Rescuers took the driver to a hospital in serious condition.

The woman told police, according to an accident report, that she fell asleep because she had been up all night. She was on the way to work just before 5 a.m. when she hit the crash barrier.

The woman was cited for inattentive driving. The 1990 Toyota 4Runner was totaled.

A county attorney said police acknowledged the woman had been drinking, “but it wasn’t a factor in the accident,” so the case wasn’t forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution. The attorney did not know if a test had been done on the woman to determine how much alcohol was in her system.

• Approved a resolution asking the federal Bureau of Land Management to ensure that shale oil and tar sand development endeavors on the Colorado River are well-studied and do not contaminate the Colorado River, which Commissioner Larry Brown called "the life blood" of Southern Nevada.

• Heard an update on the state of housing in the county.

Many buyers are still interested in homes in Clark County, despite the end of the housing boom, commissioners were told.

County housing guru Mike Pawlak, in charge of purchasing and refurbishing foreclosed homes with federal dollarss, said buyers "are making offers well over the list price," which makes the county's job a little harder.

Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani said she hoped those buyers were not "flippers" – people buying to hold for a short time before selling for a profit.

Pawlak said one good aspect about properties sought by the county is that "we end up with the worst properties in the neighborhood; that's a good thing because the flippers don't want those. We take it and can do a lot of good things with them."

Check back at lasvegassun.com for more from today's county commission meeting.

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  1. Am I reading this right? The state only has $500k for emergencies ? That's all there is in the penny jar? Seriously?