The Jan. 25, Mesquite City Council Meeting began with an invocation from Mesquite Worship Center’s Pastor Sue Taber and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Immediately following the opening ceremonies, public comment was accepted. The consent agenda was approved by a 5-0 vote.
Following the approval of the consent agenda the council was given a quarterly report on the Clark County Schools and the exciting things happening in the area schools.
J.L. Bowler Elementary has begun their tutoring program for math and literacy. The late bus schedule is transporting those students who need the extra help after hours. The funding for the late bus is a cooperative effort on the part of the City of Mesquite and the Community Educational Advisory Board (CEAB). The grant has also allowed Bowler Elementary to hire tutors to provide extra interventions for the students. J.L. Bowler has also begun the casting for “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” The new musical is a continued effort on the school and the Disney Musical in Schools Program that began several years ago under the leadership of Teri Nehrenz and Susan Schultz. With the help of Nehrenz and Schultz, Bowler Elementary teachers and staff learned the techniques and management of musical theatre productions. The Disney Musical in Schools Program is brought to Clark County Schools through the Smith Center for the Performing Arts and the Disney Musicals in School Program. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is scheduled to be performed on April 1 & 2.
Virgin Valley Elementary School has also started their ELL tutoring program.
Hughes Middle School has started, for the first year, their after-school sports program. The fall and spring sports programs are sponsored by CCSD for the first time. The school has expressed that getting the kids involved in these after school activities has helped with emotional and social wellbeing.
In a school sport update, they announced that the Girl’s Flag Football Team placed first in Division two and the Boy’s Flag Football Team placed second. They seem to be looking forward to soccer in the spring.
Virgin Valley High School has resumed their fine arts programs in the traditional manner. High school sports programs have returned to traditional competition. Many of the teams qualified and participated in post season playoffs including the football team who played for the state championship at Allegiant Stadium.
New spectator bleachers have been constructed on the south side of the field and the track has been completely excavated and asphalt has been poured. The synthetic surface is expected to be added prior to the next flag football game which is scheduled for Feb. 20. The tennis courts resurfacing should be complete in the next month. A large shade structure to cover the baseball field has been ordered and installation is expected to begin in the coming week. They hope it will be complete before the new season begins.
Superintendents thanked the teachers and staff members for stepping up during the pandemic and maintaining quality instruction for the students throughout the challenges they all faced.
The Clark County School District reached an agreement recently to award retention bonuses of $2,000 to all full-time employees. All full-time employees as of Jan. 1, 2022 received a retention bonus of $1,000 and CCSD will pay the additional $1000 on May 5. Councilman Boger asked for specification on who is considered full time; did it include all staff and those on a 10-month calendar. The answer was yes. Councilman Boger also asked for the second time to be given the information on the percentage of school employees who are fully vaccinated. He was told for the second time that the information is not available now but would be forthcoming. The is currently no mandate that employees must be vaccinated. There is no mandate that students must be vaccinated.
Mayor Littman proclaimed Feb. 5, 2022 “Make a Wish Day.” Make a Wish, Southern Nevada partnered with The City of Mesquite to host the Trailblazer’s Challenge. The Trailblazer’s Challenge is a 25-mile hike through the Valley of Fire to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation. Make a Wish grants wishes to critically ill children so that they may experience the healing power of a wish. More information about the Trailblazer Challenge can be found in the Jan. 9, Mesquite Today post at https://mesquitetoday.com/2022/01/09/attention-all-trailblazers/.
Mesquite Fire Chief Jason Andrus gave and update on dispensing approximately 9,000 covid tests to residents. The department ran out of tests quickly and do expect more to come in but have not gotten an ETA from the Clark County Office of Emergency Management or Southern Nevada Health District. They will keep the public informed via social media, the MFD website and public updates at council and tech review meetings. Chief Andrus mentioned good results coming from covidtest.com where each household can register to receive four free covid tests.
The Southern Nevada Health District reports cases in Southern Nevada are down but in Mesquite the positivity rate is about 32%; number has risen from 30% last week. There is a one-week delay in receiving that data.
Nick Montoya, Director Department of Athletics and Leisure Services, gave notice of the extreme need for blood. The city has partnered with both Vitalant and the Red Cross to provide 23 blood donation events in the city throughout the year. Check the community calendar for times and information.
Montoya has also been working with the city’s finance director to obtain from ‘Travel Nevada” a grant for a billboard advertising Go Mesquite Nevada, the city’s website, and their mobile app. The billboard will be placed along I-15 about three miles outside of Cedar City, UT.
Montoya was able to present the Mesquite Desert Stars (Mesquite’s Special Olympians) a check for $2,000 which was raised through the Ugly Sweater Run held in Dec. 2021.
6.1) Consideration for approval of the Introduction of Bill B22-001 to amend Mesquite Municipal Code by amending Title 9, Chapter 7, Section 9-7N-3, Section 9-7P-2, and 9-7P-3, to amend the permitted uses and conditional uses. 6.1 passed with a 4-1 vote. The code deals primarily with vehicle and truck rentals in a light industrial zone.
Richard Secrist, who oversees zoning issues for the city, stated that the introduction of the bill is primarily to alleviate some of the ambiguity which currently exists in the code.
Councilman Wursten offered some discussion and suggested the item be tabled until council members could grasp more solid knowledge of the situation. Councilman Wursten has some personal fears that the ‘code change’ may be targeting one particular business. Wursten was the only council member to vote no on the issue.
Both items 7.1 and 7.2 passed by unanimous vote. The vote was for the sale of two city owned parcels to be sold for economic development purposes.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 9. Mesquite Today will post the agenda when it becomes available.