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North Las Vegas City Council sets plan in motion to close budget gap

Twenty-one more people are without a job in North Las Vegas.

During a two-hour meeting Aug. 17, the City Council approved the layoffs and the closing of the city's recreational centers and pools to help fill a $4.4 million shortfall in the fiscal 2012 budget. The centers could close as soon as Oct. 1 if city officials don't come to an agreement on concessions with the city's two police unions.

Pink slips will go out by next week. The layoffs include nine from parks and recreation and three each from administrative services and the city manager's office. Other layoffs will come from public works, human resources and the city attorney's office.

"We have to make a decision," Mayor Shari Buck said. "We have to honor our commitment to the state that we will balance our budget."

Groups of senior citizens and children packed City Hall, 2200 Civic Center Drive, to beg city officials to reconsider. They held up signs that read "Save Our Seniors" and "Save our parks + rec services."

Buck told the crowd to "stay tuned," saying she was hopeful of reaching an agreement with the unions. She blamed the city's financial hardships on "losing $100 million in C-Tax over the past five years." She said the city doesn't receive its fair share of consolidated tax revenues, which are distributed by the state and then asked residents to call their state representatives.

The room emptied once the council voted. Council members Anita Wood and Robert Eliason voted against the plan.

The council also approved a fire services training interlocal agreement between the city's fire department and Las Vegas Fire & Rescue. The one-year agreement allows for the joint use of firefighting and fire protection equipment and the operation of a joint training center.

The council voted to approve an information technology purchase agreement totaling $932,400 over five years that will enable the police department to replace the city's current 9-1-1 system because it won't be operable after September due to an inability to obtain parts for maintenance or repair.

The payments will be $15,540 per month and are expected to be taken from the police department's E-911 Fund for fiscal year 2011-2012. The system replacement is an approved project in the fiscal year 2012-2016 capital improvement plan.

Contact Downtown and North Las Vegas View reporter Kristi Jourdan at or 383-0492.