Nevada behind schedule in spending stimulus funds

Nevada has some catching up to do if it hopes to make full use of millions in federal stimulus dollars aimed at making homes more energy efficient and creating green jobs.

Of the $18.6 million in Recovery Act funds available to Nevada for residential weatherization projects, only $607,000 had been spent retrofitting about a hundred homes by the end of last month.

The slow start is a consequence of earlier disputes at the national and state level over distribution of weatherization grants.

But Hilary Lopez, chief of federal programs for the Nevada Housing Division, said she is optimistic that the state will still meet its goal of improving energy efficiency in about 1,850 homes by the middle of next year.

If the state falls short of that mark, it risks losing the next $18.6 million allocated by the Department of Energy for weatherization.

“We’re very confident that our subgrantees will be able to meet their program goals by June 30,” Lopez said. “We anticipate things are going to start moving very quickly now.”

Albert Weiss, weatherization program manager at HELP of Southern Nevada, one of five nonprofit recipients of Housing Division weatherization grants, said crews hired by his agency are ready to get to work.

Weiss said his group has overseen the weatherization of only about 25 homes, but that another 400 projects are in the works. He estimates his contractors have added 40 new positions to help with the expected volume of work.

Households with incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for assistance in cutting their utility bills. That means a household of five with an annual income under $51,580 could participate in the stimulus program, which involves insulating homes and installing energy-efficient appliances for $7,500 or less.

Nevada Energy estimates that residents see an average of $1.39 in savings for every $1 invested in weatherization.

But several obstacles have prevented greater numbers of people from experiencing that benefit.

As in other parts of the country, Nevada officials waited for the government to come up with prevailing wage rates for weatherization jobs.

Then, over the summer, the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee voted to delay release of weatherization funds until it got assurance the Housing Division would comply with a new law requiring that stimulus funds help train workers for weatherization projects.

In late August, about two months behind schedule, the funds were distributed to five agencies — two each in Clark and Washoe counties and one in White Pine County — that are hiring weatherization contractors.

And the Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation earlier this month entered into $1.75 million worth of contracts with four nonprofit entities that plan to supervise the training of 300 new weatherization workers by the end of June 2010.

The training is scheduled to start early next year.

Groups that won the training contracts are the Sierra Nevada Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors Inc., CHR Inc., Easter Seals Southern Nevada, and Truckee Meadows Community College.

The state’s “green jobs” law mandates that half of all weatherization jobs be filled by workers who complete their programs. But the state issued waivers that allowed companies to start weatherizing homes before the training programs were in place.

It remains to be seen how contractors will deal with an influx of newly trained weatherization laborers.

“Our understanding is our contractors feel they have enough employees in place to do the work,” said Doug Kuntz, who supervises the weatherization program of Henderson Neighborhood Services, another of the Housing Division’s grant recipients.

But Weiss said he thinks there will be plenty of work to go around.

Some contractors working with stimulus money are new to residential weatherization.

One of them, Thor Construction, was at the home of Las Vegas resident William Goodier earlier this week assessing the needs of his house.

Goodier, an unemployed carpenter, has gone without hot water for six months, and the thermostat in his living room read 52 degrees. Goodier said he was grateful for the help.

“I didn’t know where I was going to turn, to be honest with you,” he said as workers inspected his 55-year-old home near Charleston and Valley View boulevards. “I’m out of work and trying to do what I can to just keep things running.”

A short time later, Goodier got some bad news: His house needed more than a few nips and tucks that would bring down his utility bills. The one-story home has major structural damage that would require extensive repair before weatherization work could happen.

Later that day, Goodier was put in touch with Rebuilding Together, a group that plans to help him with his home repairs. The weatherization crew hopes to return to his home in the spring.

Contact reporter Alan Maimon at or 702-383-0404.

Artist, Community Paint Winchester Skatepark
Andrew Schoultz, a Los Angeles-based artist with an upcoming exhibit at UNLV's Barrick Museum, painted the skatepark at Winchester Cultural Center on Tuesday.
LVMPD Arrests Suspect in Sunset Park Shooting
Captain Robert Plummer held a press conference at LVMPD headquarters Thursday to provide updates on the arrest of Anthony J. Wrobel, accused of killing a Venetian executive and wounding one other in a shooting on Sunday.
Two Black Men Arrested at Starbucks Share Their Story
Two Black Men Arrested at Starbucks Share Their Story Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson sat down with ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ on Thursday and said the Starbucks manager called the police two minutes after they arrived. Donte Robinson, to 'Good Morning America' Donte Robinson, to 'Good Morning America' The men were meeting with a friend for a business meeting at the store’s location at around 3:45 pm on April 12 and declined to make any purchases. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson issued a public apology and vowed to fix the issue by closing 8,000 stores nationwide next month for training on unconscious bias. Both Nelson and Robinson were released without charges after spending hours in jail, and the manager is no longer with the company.
Hero Southwest Pilot Was One of the Navy’s First Female Fighter Pilots
Hero Southwest Pilot Was One of the Navy’s First Female Fighter Pilots Tammie Jo Shults is being called a hero after safely landing the crippled Southwest Flight 1380 in Philadelphia. According to a spokesperson, Shults began her Navy career in 1985 and was one of the first female pilots to “transition to tactical aircraft.” She served for another eight years before moving to the Naval Reserve, retiring completely in 2001 with the rank of Lt. Commander. The Southwest flight, which was headed for Dallas from New York, was forced to make an emergency landing after one of its engines blew. One passenger was killed in the explosion when shrapnel flew through a window. Seven others suffered minor injuries aboard the flight, which carried 149 people. Passenger Peggy Phillips, to NBC News Passenger Peggy Phillips, to NBC News
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
David Copperfield executive producer testifies during the magician's civil trial
A British tourist is suing illusionist David Copperfield saying he was injured during a trick. Chris Kenner, executive producer for illusionist David Copperfield, was on the witness stand all day Tuesday, April 17. Kenner testified that a business manager for the show talked to the man after he fell. Kenner testified that the tourist, Gavin Cox, said he was OK moments after the fall. Cox later told the crew: “Maybe I will have this looked at.” Copperfield is the next witness in line for Cox’s attorneys. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
CCSD Teacher Is a Living Organ Donor
June Monroe speaks about her kidney donation to her brother and advocacy work with the National Kidney Foundation.
Shadow Ridge High School teachers protest
Shadow Ridge High School teachers protest. Teachers are upset over many things, including the fact that the district is fighting an arbitration ruling for pay raises. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Clark County commissioners debate getting rid of Henderson, North Las Vegas constables
Clark County commissioners are debating whether to get rid of the Henderson and North Las Vegas constables after RJ's story pointing out questionable spending by the Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
1 Dead, 7 Injured After Southwest Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing
1 Dead, 7 Injured After Southwest Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing Dallas-bound Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 out of New York, which had 143 passengers and a crew of five onboard, landed in Philadelphia on Tuesday. According to NBC10, a female passenger was partially sucked out of a broken window, which was a result of the plane's engine ripping apart. It's not known if the female passenger was the one who died. Emergency personnel met the battered plane upon its landing. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the blown engine resulted in a smashed window and a damaged fuselage. Southwest Airlines The FAA said that the NTSB will lead the investigation into what happened.
Single vehicle crash kills man
A man died Tuesday morning in a single-vehicle crash in northeast Las Vegas. The crash occurred Tuesday morning on the 1900 block of Pasadena Boulevard, near Lake Mead Boulevard and Mt. Hood Street. Police had few details, but Metro's fatal detail was on the scene investigating.
Sunset Park Homicide (update 2)
LVMPD gives update about suspect in homicide at Sunset Park (Blake Apgar)
Sunset Park Homicide (update)
Update from LVMPD on Sunset Park homicide. Releasing suspect's name (Blake Apgar)
Sunset Park Homicide
Police give details about Sunset Park homicide on Sunday, April 15, 2018. (Blake Apgar)
Parents of autistic child talk about their experience waiting for care
Parents of autistic child talk about their experience waiting for care. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Donald Trump Calls Out James Comey After Book Details Emerge
Donald Trump Calls Out James Comey After Book Details Emerge The President took to Twitter to criticize the former FBI director as information emerges from Comey’s new book, ‘A Higher Loyalty’. According to 'The New York Times', Comey describes Trump in the book as “unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values.” James Comey, A Higher Loyalty, via The New York Times A Higher Loyalty hits stores on April 17.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
Endangered Devils Hole Pupfish numbers enough for concern, but not panic
Researchers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Death Valley National Park came together at Devils Hole, about 90 miles west of Las Vegas, for a biannual count of the Devils Hole Pupfish, an endangered species. Their count this time – 87. (Video by Patrick Connolly)
Hickey Elementary Students Put Harry Potter on Trial
Liliam Lujan Hickey Elementary School students learned how the judicial system works by putting Harry Potter on trial for the illegal use of magic.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
The Clark County Museum Turns 50 This Month
The Clark County Museum has an extensive collection, dating back to prehistoric times in Southern Nevada up through the present day. It was first established in April 1968 and has had several locations before it's current home on South Boulder Highway.
Route 91 Artifacts Will Be On Display This October
Clark County Museum Administrator Mark Hall-Patton explains what artifacts will be on display in October as part of the museums Route 91 shooting memorial exhibit called "How We Mourned."
Bullet grazes woman's head
Las Vegas police investigating calls of a shooting early Friday morning found a woman who suffered a wound to her head. A bullet grazed the woman's head while she was inside her Village Square apartment on Nellis Oasis Lane. She did not have to be hospitalized, and police said she might have been an "unintended" victim. The shooting occurred around 4 a.m. Police are looking for the shooter.
Aces Host Draft Party
The Las Vegas Aces host a WNBA draft party at the Mandalay Bay for season-ticket holders, and have the number one overall pick.
Las Vegas man stands with president at White House
President Donald Trump delivered remarks in the Rose Garden Thursday about how the GOP tax cut plan helped working families across the country. To his left stood Richard Kerzetski, president of Universal Plumbing & Heating Co. in Las Vegas. Debra J. Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Transgender Man Running for Assembly District 42
U.S. Army veteran La Don Henry is hoping to become Nevada’s first openly transgender state legislator.
Erik Weihenmayer is the First Blind Person to Summit Mount Everest
Erik Weihenmayer talks about how he first got into mountaineering in 1995 with the ascent of Denali, the tallest peak in North America, and what he loves about climbing.
New Theater Coming to Neonopolis
Ken Henderson explains his concept for Notoriety, a 57,000-square-foot theater complex on the third floor of Neonopolis intended to host comedy, music and theater acts.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
News Video
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like