It’s a difficult balancing act for North Las Vegas city officials who are budgeting for major capital projects while cutting city jobs in an economy where every dollar counts.
At a special budget meeting at 4:30 p.m. today , the City Council is scheduled to approve a five-year, $504 million capital improvement program. The proposal is 45 percent less than the five-year plan approved last year.
Last week officials of the financially strapped city slashed 204 positions to save the $33.4 million it needs to make it through the next fiscal year. Layoffs will hit most city departments and will be completed by mid-June.
“To those who will receive layoff notices in places where we’re busy with services and our residents will suffer because services are being cut, that’s difficult for me to handle,” Mayor Shari Buck said at last week’s meeting. “For those who will be laid off, that is not in any way a reflection of the work that you’ve done for the city throughout the years.”
But only 1 percent of the money for capital improvement projects comes from the city’s general fund. The projects are funded by grants, bonds, redevelopment money and entities such as the Clark County Regional Flood Control District, the Regional Transportation Commission and the Bureau of Land Management.
Several projects and special improvement districts will be financed with $167 million in bonds. City officials said there will be no tax increases. The bonds will be serviced with existing revenue.
Today the council considers its smallest capital improvements plan since 2005. The plan calls for $309 million in capital projects in the 2011 fiscal year and decreases spending to less than $10 million in 2015.
The biggest projects include a wastewater reclamation facility, new City Hall campus, Craig Ranch Regional Park, SkyView Multigenerational Center and flood control improvements. Some projects have been reduced and others, such as a new shooting range and a new command center for police, have been put on the back burner.More info at cityofnorthlasvegas.com