Las Vegas Sun

November 27, 2014

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Clark County Commission:

Metro budget, Brooks’ replacement, fairgrounds on the Strip on county’s radar

Clark County’s new budget must be finalized in the coming months, leaving commissioners with some tough decisions about what to fund in the fiscal year that begins in July.

At their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, they’ll discuss what to do about Metro Police’s budget, which faces a $46 million deficit in fiscal 2014.

Commissioners will gather again Wednesday for a Zoning Commission meeting, where they’re scheduled to hear plans for a Strip fairground and music venue in a parking lot across the street from the Luxor.

Here’s a look at some of the issues they’ll take on this week:

Budget battle

Metro Police already plans to eliminate 117 vacant commissioned officer positions from its ranks as part of its $502 million budget for the next fiscal year. But to prevent further losses, the agency is requesting an additional $27 million in combined funding from the county and the city of Las Vegas.

Sheriff Doug Gillespie will have to make his best sales pitch when he presents the budget request to the commissioners on Tuesday. During a meeting last week on Metro’s budget, Commissioners Steve Sisolak and Larry Brown expressed concern that increasing the agency’s funding would mean making cuts to other services.

Replacement for Brooks

After Steven Brooks was expelled from the Legislature last week, Commissioner Tom Collins pushed to appoint a replacement to the seat during Tuesday’s meeting but was rebuffed by county staff and Sisolak, the commission’s chairman.

The commission will solicit applications for the seat before choosing a replacement, meaning it will likely be a week or more before a final decision is made.

Although the item is not on Tuesday’s agenda, expect commissioners to discuss the vacant seat and how soon a replacement can be found.

Strip development

A parking lot across the street from the Luxor casino could be turned into fairgrounds that would have concerts, sporting events and other activities, according to plans that will be presented Wednesday to the Zoning Commission.

The proposed site would cover 15 acres on the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard and could accommodate between 14,000 and 64,000 people, depending on the type of event, according to planning documents.

The project, which is being brought forward by MGM Resorts International subsidiary Circus Circus Enterprises, would need several approvals from the Zoning Commission to reduce parking and to allow live entertainment and alcohol sales at the site.

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