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Nearly $80M will go to Clark County park projects

Updated August 15, 2017 - 10:25 pm

Clark County commissioners, who pledged $150 million to undetermined parks projects this month, loosened their purse strings again Tuesday to improve and construct local green spaces.

However, unlike the previous promise, the new commitment of $77.4 million came with stipulations: Large portions of the funding will target unincorporated communities in the southwestern regions of the Las Vegas Valley.

Those projects include a western-themed park next to Fine Elementary School, four baseball fields in the Mountain’s Edge community and a 16-field youth soccer complex at the Southwest Regional Sports Park, near Cimarron and Robindale roads.

“We have new developments that have come all along the southwest, so we have the increased need for parks,” said Commissioner Susan Brager, whose District F is receiving about $16 million.

About half of the funding doled out on Tuesday must be spent near the neighborhoods where construction tax dollars — collected by the county almost every time a home or business is built — are derived. The other half is capital.

Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak, who represents District A, is funding $8.5 million of his district’s Southwest Regional Sports Park with a mixture of the construction funds and capital. He said the facility will be lighted, have natural grass and be open by spring 2019.

“It’s going to be used by everybody in Southern Nevada,” he said. “They’ll be traveling from all over as their team is booked in a tournament that will be played down there.”

Other projects include improvements to the Hollywood Regional Park in Sunrise Manor, an expansion of the Martin Luther King Jr. Senior Center in North Las Vegas and covering for the Flamingo Arena at Horseman’s Park equestrian center.

More money coming

Tuesday’s allocations come as the county prepares to issue $150 million in park bonds next year, the first such bonds since 1999. Commissioners will begin discussing how to spend that money after the completion of an analysis of where parks are most needed.

Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani said she wants a bigger portion of the funding for District E than the $8.9 million allocated on Tuesday.

“My hope is to still work with staff to make sure I get more money out of the bonding component, so that I can actually fix the older parks of town,” she said.

Commissioner Larry Brown, whose district was awarded $2.6 million on Tuesday, was more at peace with the outcome.

“District C is unique because 96 percent of my constituency (are) city of Las Vegas residents, so I don’t even have the area or capacity to build the parks that some of my colleagues do,” he said. “It’s not so much you take the pot of money and divide it evenly. … It’s where the parks are most needed.”

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Contact Michael Scott Davidson at sdavidson@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861. Follow @davidsonlvrj on Twitter.

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