Tuesday’s Mesquite City Council meeting included many items, but the controversial rezoning of 14.4 acres of land at 520 W. Pioneer Blvd., from low density to medium density multi-family residential was pulled from the agenda at the request of the applicant.
This hot-button issue packed city hall July 27, when community members came to fight possible rezoning of the area from low- to high-density. At that time, it was decided a public hearing would instead be held to discuss medium-density housing.
Mayor Al Litman did not indicate if and when the item would reappear on the agenda.
The meeting’s typical prayer and pledge was followed by public comment and the consent agenda.
During the public comment period, Mike McGreer announced that there would be three public meetings of the Mesquite Water Alliance; Sunday, Oct. 29, Sunday, Sept. 12 and Oct. 10. Each meeting will be from 3 to 4 p.m., at the Mesquite Learning Library. The subjects of the meetings will be water availability and sustainability, water pricing and litigation and legal issues.
John Sadler, representative for USA Pickleball and instructor for PPR based out of Florida, then came forward. He said he was glad the pickleball courts were moving along, however he was concerned so much effort was put into landscaping.
“Get rid of the irrigation and plants altogether,” he said. Instead, he wants restrooms put in at the facility, and the loss of landscaping would be worth it for the comfort of people visiting and playing at the courts.
Sadler pointed out the projected growth of Mesquite alone dictates conservation of water instead of landscaping that would take water away from the area for the care of the plants.
Water was subject of other comments, and advocacy of conservation was top priority listed.
Council member Brian Wursten did ask when the pickleball courts would get started and if there was a way to pull landscaping funds to build restrooms.
City engineer Travis Anderson answered that a notice forward after passing the agenda item would be needed, then getting bonds for Trade West would take approximately ten days, allowing for the city to issue notice to proceed.
“And that will begin the project,” Anderson said.
As far as pulling funds from landscaping and putting them to build restrooms, Anderson said it would not be that easy as the money is bookmarked in the plan and bid; however, the Sept. 7 meeting could go over the issue and add restrooms to the phase 2 design.
Council members then approved the consent agenda, which included approving Trade West’s bid to build the pickle ball courts, approval for outside agency grant funds for the Mesquite Senior Center and Mesquite Recreation Center in fiscal year 2021-22, right-of-way public utility easement to Overton Power District along Canal Street and an interlocal contract with Lincoln County and the Mesquite Police Department for inmate housing.
Litman then announced proclamation of Women’s Equality Day be on Aug. 26, 2021, celebrating the 101st anniversary of the passage of the nineteenth amendment, allowing women the right to vote.
Litman announced on behalf of the Mesquite Exchange Club the annual 9/11 program to be Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m. in front of City Hall. He also announced COVID-19 testing will take place at the Jimmy Hughes Campus, 150 N. Yucca St., Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Shallow PCR nasal tests will be available and walk-ups will be welcome and free. For more information residents may call 773-983-1140.
It was announced during this time that Virgin Valley Water District’s Kevin Brown will not speak at council meetings for the near future and Congressman Steven Horsford will be in Mesquite Sept. 13, at the Table of Contents, 160 W 1st N St., from 2 to 3:30 p.m., for an ice cream social and Horsford will attend the city council meeting after.
Council then voted on the introduction of Assembly Bill 280, in a public hearing during the Sept. 14, city council meeting. Members voted to add the hearing to the agenda.
Mesquite’s Development Services Director Richard Secrist recommended the council vote on the approval of Vista Del Sol architectural and site plan review, a 220 multi-family housing development planned on 16.76 acres on Bertha Howe Avenue.
Wursten noted the lack of affordable housing is the number one issue in Mesquite and Litman agreed. Council voted unanimously to approve.
A purchase and sales agreement between the city and LC5 Rentals for 130 E. First St. Was next on the agenda. The agreement would allow more housing to be built and it will be tied to Economic Development or Redevelopment. Council approved the sale.
Discussion of agenda item 6.3, providing direction to staff on whether to hire in-house for economic development or to continue contracting for the services.
“I would like to explore contracting this out to Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance,” councilmember George Gault said. The group, in his opinion, has matured and are considering developing a proposal which would include marketing measures and business retention for Mesquite if council voted to contract out.
Litman agreed to looking at the company, while Wursten pointed out who would be contracted would be discussed later, if contracted services were approved. City Manager Andy Barton said there is $230,000 set aside for economic development services.
Residents spoke to the council, agreeing that contracted services were better than in-house, based on personal experiences; however, Gault’s recommendation may not the best option.
Council voted to direct staff to contract those services out, three members for, two against.
Council also voted to end the agreement with Bill Edmiston, BE Consultants, before moving on to consider and vote against approval of Citywide Consultants annual contract for economic development.
The next City Council meeting will be Sept. 7 at 5 p.m.