The following are highlights from today’s Washoe County Board of County Commissioners meeting:  

1.  Commissioners approved budget amendments for Immunizations COVID-19 Compliance Grant: The Washoe County Health District benefits from a subgrant from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, specifically for planning and implementing COVID-19 vaccination services. The Board of County Commissioners is required to approve budget amendments, and approved an increase of $3.9 million in both revenue and expense for this subgrant for a period of July 1, 2020, through June 20, 2022. The grant will cover the cost of vaccination clinic and strike team clinics to reach target populations and to educate the community on the importance and safety of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

2. Board approved the purchase of robot platform for DNA extraction: The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office will apply grant funds to purchase Hamilton AutoLys STAR robot and accompanying validation services of Thermo Fisher. The robot and services will assist the WCSO Forensic Science Division to extract DNA in forensic casework samples. The instrument can extract 48 sexual assault kit samples at one time, which will tremendously speed up the DNA analysis process impacting the backlog of sexual assault kits in Washoe County. The platform and services will cost just under $367,000, which will be paid with the 2020 Capacity Enhancement Backlog Reduction DNA Grant. Hamilton Company is headquartered in Reno. 

3. Board approved special district allocations: Each fiscal year, commissioners can spend up to $20,000 on special projects for their districts. Today, they approved allocations for District 5, represented by Commissioner Jeanne Herman, and for District 3, represented by Commissioner Kitty Jung.

District 5 will receive $10,000 for the Gerlach Fire Protection District; $2,000 for the Palomino Valley Volunteer Program; $2,000 for the Rancho Haven Volunteer Fire Department; and $2,000 for the Silver Lake Volunteer Fire Department. 

District 3 funds in the amount of $20,000 will go to The Generator, a community art creation space, to support its move to a new facility at Oddie and Silverada boulevards. 

I wish that, when I was younger and a fanciful artist, that there was a place like The Generator to practice my craft. It’s a wonderful place and it will prove to be quite the mecca for other businesses,” Commissioner Vaughn Hartung said. So thank you, Commissioner Jung, for supporting that.”

4. Judith Simon appointed to TRPA Advisory Planning Commission: The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Advisory Planning Commission sought a lay member to represent Washoe County District 1, which includes parts of Reno and the Incline Village/Crystal Bay area of Lake Tahoe. Judith Simon was appointed to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term, which expires July 31, 2022.  

Simon has lived in the region for two decades has an expressed interest in the clarify of Lake Tahoe, responsible development and transportation.