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September 19, 2014

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With nod to economy, NLV pares five-year plan for capital improvements

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Christopher DeVargas

The new North Las Vegas City Hall, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011.

North Las Vegas is refocusing its priorities in its latest plan for capital improvements.

After all, the city continues to struggle with ongoing economic struggles and a federal funding drought.

Proposed projects such as building a new police headquarters or redesigning Cheyenne Sports Park have been postponed for a future date, when the economic storm clouds have passed and the sun is shining.

So this year the city is taking a frugal approach, focusing only on those projects needed to keep the city humming, like a new technology server room. During a meeting Wednesday, the North Las Vegas Council unanimously approved the lowest budgeted capital improvements plan of the past 10 years.

“Departments make requests for capital improvements, and those requests are looked at,” said Randy DeVaul, deputy director of public works for North Las Vegas. “Just like everybody else, we have to have money in the budget to pay for it.”

Each year, the city asks each of its departments what is need in terms of large capital improvements – those exceeding $25,000 – and puts together a five-year outlook. Most of the projects in the plan are supported by city tax revenue and federal funds.

The plan approved Wednesday totaled approximately $244 million, about $50 million less than last year’s five-year plan. DeVaul said because federal funds have dwindled and the city has been struggling economically, it was necessary to cut back on capital projects.

DeVaul said the dip also could be attributed to completion of large projects such as the City Hall and a phase of the North Fifth Street construction, which had accounted for a significant portion of the capital improvements budget.

“We’re being frugal with our money,” DeVaul said. “A lot of money sources are drying up.”

The majority of resources in this year’s capital improvement budget are focused on improvements in transportation, parks and recreation and sewage. Those projects include the opening of Craig Ranch Park, the next phase in the North Fifth Street arterial project and sewer main rehabilitations.

Many of those projects are supported by grants and funds.

DeVaul said no projects that had been under construction were canceled or postponed for future years.

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