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Clark County shares more federal money with cities

The Clark County Commission on Tuesday agreed to provide $57 million in federal coronavirus relief funding to four Southern Nevada cities.

By doing so, the county is significantly increasing its $9 million contribution to Henderson, North Las Vegas and two other cities which did not receive a direct allocation of CARES Act money.

The sub-grants, also offered to the cities of Boulder City and Mesquite, will be made possible by the county reducing costs in areas such as personal protective equipment, emergency medical care, coordinated test sites and economic recovery programs.

Following a federal plan, Gov. Steve Sisolak’s office distributed $148.5 million in federal dollars to cities and counties across the state last month, but smaller cities didn’t get any funding because the county had already received $295 million, in part to cover regional services for jurisdictions within the county.

“We have needs that go beyond what is being done on the regional level by the county commission,” David Cherry, a lobbyist with the city of Henderson, said on Tuesday.

Cherry, North Las Vegas City Manager Ryann Juden and others said they appreciated the county’s move to send more funding to their cities, including $29.6 million to Henderson and $23.8 million to North Las Vegas.

But county officials also urged cities to join them in seeking additional funding from the state and required that they submit monthly reports that account for their spending.

“These are hard-fought dollars that our federal delegation got and they were directed to the county,” Commissioner Michael Naft said. “So I’m happy to help our cities, I think we all need to share in the responsibility. But I think the more accountability, the better.”

Polling plan

The commission also signed off on a plan by county Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria to have 35 early voting sites for two weeks leading up to the general election.

Gloria previously said 20 sites will be hosted in county and city government facilities where health and safety protocols could be imposed, and he told commissioners Tuesday that he had secured assistance from Las Vegas Valley cities.

He has also said he wants to send mail ballots to all registered voters, which would be coupled with touch-screen machines during early voting and on Election Day, in anticipation of challenges caused by coronavirus and a heavy turnout. The plan, while supported by county lawmakers, must also be approved by the state.

Assembly member appointed

Kasina Douglass-Boone, a social worker for the Clark County School District, was unanimously appointed by the commission to fill the Assembly District 17 seat left vacant by Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson, who died suddenly after falling ill in May 2019.

“It’s definitely bittersweet,” she said. “However, I’m willing to take this opportunity to support and to continue the work of the late great Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson, my mentor.”

New office hours

County offices will officially move to a four-day week to align with labor agreements reached with most county workers to temporarily cut hours by 5 percent in order to save about $33 million.

The new office hours will be 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with the exception of holidays, until July 2021. Hours had been 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The county said that the following offices will continue to operate five days a week, and some on the weekend, despite the rollback: the Department of Family Services, Juvenile Justice Services, Animal Control, code enforcement, the recorder’s office and building inspections.

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

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