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April 19, 2014

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Clark County Commission:

Sales tax plan, proposed recycling changes on tap for discussion Tuesday

Image

Steve Marcus

Recyclables are sorted at the Republic Services recycling plant.

After a month's absence, the More Cops sales tax debate returns Tuesday to the Clark County Commission, although the initiative’s chances haven’t improved since commissioners voted down a pair of competing proposals in October.

The commission also will revisit single-stream recycling when it meets at 9 a.m. at the Clark County Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway.

More Cops

A third version of the More Cops proposal to increase sales taxes to hire more police officers will be discussed and possibly voted on by commissioners.

The latest proposal, being pushed by Commissioner Tom Collins, would split the .15 percent increase authorized in June by the Legislature across two steps. The first .10 percent would take effect in April, with the remaining .05 percent starting in July.

Collins’ plan isn’t substantively different from a similar proposal that failed to win passage in October. The failed proposal would have authorized the full .15 percent increase at once. A separate competing proposal that would have increased the sales tax by .075 percent also failed to garner the supermajority of five votes needed to pass in October, with Collins casting the deciding vote against.

Commissioners still appear divided on the tax proposal, with some favoring no increase, others a .075 percent increase and others the full .15 percent. None seemed to have changed their position since October’s vote, meaning Collins’ proposal faces tough odds of passing Tuesday.

Single-stream recycling report

The commission passed an ordinance in February allowing the county’s refuse collection contractor, Republic Services, to switch customers in unincorporated parts of the county to a single-stream recycling program.

Under the approved program, customers would trade in their red, white and blue recycling bins in favor of a single cart for all recyclables, but in the process they would lose one day of trash pickup per week.

Commissioners chose not to amend the franchise agreement in February until several questions were answered, preventing Republic Services from actually launching the program.

The company has since completed an independent customer survey, had an outside company take a look at its current rate structure and had county staff audit recycling statistics.

Those findings will be presented Tuesday, after which commissioners will vote on whether to amend the franchise agreement and allow Republic Services to move forward with single-stream recycling.

At least one commissioner, Chris Giunchigliani, has questioned the findings presented in the report. Giunchigliani specifically was concerned with the sample size of 400 customers in the survey and with what she called a lack of detail that made it unclear how some figures were calculated. The survey showed an 85 percent satisfaction with single-stream recycling.

New shopping center, lobby for Tropicana

The Tropicana is planning to build a shopping center on the northwest corner of its property, requiring a relocation of the casino’s lobby and porte-cochère, according to documents filed with the county.

The plans will be up for approval Wednesday when county commissioners sit as the County Zoning Commission.

The planned shopping center would cover 311,756 square feet over three floors, with access from Las Vegas Boulevard, Tropicana Avenue and from inside the casino. Its tenants could include a pharmacy, a convenience store, restaurants and other retail shops, according to planning documents.

The casino’s lobby and porte-cochère will be relocated to the northeast side of the property, which will also be renovated.

One concern raised by county planners is a lack of parking to support the new shopping center. Staff recommended denial of a waiver that would allow the project to have below the minimum requirement for parking spaces. The recommendation won’t necessarily prevent the project from winning approval.

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