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Master Plans include descriptions of the proposed flood control facilities, cost estimates and suggested phasing. Typical facilities are detention basins, channels, bridges and storm drains. Master Plans for all areas of Clark County are updated every five years. A master plan update for the outlying areas in Clark County was adopted in April 2014. In the next fiscal year, a master plan update is planned for the Muddy River and Tributaries. Over the past year, the Board approved master plan amendments in the Georgia Buchanan Watershed and North Railroad Watershed in Boulder City..
The Southern Nevada Strategic Planning Authority (SNSPA) was created by the Nevada Legislature during its 69th Session in 1997. Senate Bill 383 established the SNSPA and identified three tasks for SNSPA to accomplish: 1) to identify and evaluate the needs of Clark County relating to its growth; 2) to prioritize the objectives and strategies relating to the growth of Clark County; and 3) to recommend to the 70th Session of the Nevada Legislature strategies for meeting the growth needs and objectives of Clark County. The twenty-one member board was composed of: elected representatives from Southern Nevada City Councils and the Clark County Board of County Commissioners; Southern Nevada business leaders; and residents.
SNSPA held meetings in during 1997 and 1998 to examine the issues and impacts on our growing community. The scope of work included SNSPA examining the following: Economy/Economic Development; Schools/Education; Air Quality and the Environment; Housing; Land Use and Growth Strategies; Parks & Recreation; Public Safety; Transportation; Water Supply/Distribution; Water Quality/Waste Water; Flood Control; and Health Care.
In a findings report issued in June 1999, the SNSPA, encouraged the District to look at five areas in addressing flood control in Clark County: 1) that the District review ways to accelerate construction of flood control facilities; 2) local entities (that are not part of the District's regional Master Plan for Flood Control Facilities) need to look at ways to develop flood control plans which better link with the District's Master Plan; 3) to recognize the multi-use opportunities for existing and future facilities identified in the District's Master Plan; 4) that the District review ways to improve facility maintenance; and 5) study methods to improve storm water quality in the Las Vegas Wash.
The District's Board of Directors and General Manager/Chief Engineer have been reviewing and assessing the SNSPA recommendations to determine the best way to address their recommendations. It should be noted that the five recommendations have been and will continue to be aggressively pursued by the Board of Directors and staff. The District issued $150 million in General Obligation Flood Control Bonds in September 1998 to expedite the construction of flood control facilities. A Funding Options Model was created and delivered to the District by our financial advisors in April 1999, so that strategies can be explored and developed to fund future flood control facilities identified on the Master Plan and to evaluate ways to compress the timeline for completion of Master Plan facilities. For several years now, the District's Citizens Advisory Committee has undertaken the task of addressing local drainage issues and the maintenance of facilities with the entities in Clark County. They will continue to address these areas in the future. District staff continues to work with entity Parks & Recreation staff to identify and implement multi-use facilities. Staff continues to be involved in the Las Vegas Wash Coordination Committee that is developing a comprehensive adaptive management plan (including water quality) for the Las Vegas Wash.
Utilizing the Flood Control Master Plan and projected revenues, the District develops a ten-year construction program and updates that program each year. Projects are prioritized according to a procedure detailed in the District's Policies and Procedures Manual. In general, highest priority is given to projects which provide the greatest protection against the threat to life and property. From this prioritized list, projects are chosen for funding in phases: pre-design, design, right-of-way, and construction. Our interactive map application can be used to view the ten-year construction program.
The Board has adopted an Operations and Maintenance Manual to establish performance standards and guidelines for the maintenance of flood control facilities located within the District’s service area. Each of the separate entities in Clark County is provided funds by the District to maintain the regional flood control facilities within their respective jurisdictions. The District worked with the entities to develop the fiscal year 2015-16 Maintenance Work Plans and Budgets, which were approved by the Board on June 11, 2015, in the amount of $12,307,350.
Flood control facility maintenance was performed using a combination of private contractors and entity maintenance staff. During this year, approximately 600 miles of channels and underground storm drains were inspected and/or maintained throughout the service area of the District, along with 90 detention basins.
Throughout its history, the District has nurtured its relationships with the Bureau of Land Management, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other resource management agencies. The District continues to assist local governments in their efforts to obtain rights-of-way and environmental permits from regulatory agencies.
The Clean Water Act requires a federal permit for the deposition of fill material in “waters of the United States.” Fill material includes channel armoring (e.g., concrete and riprap) as well as detention basin embankment materials. Permits for projects which include these types of activities often require some form of mitigation to compensate for adverse impacts to the “waters of the United States.” Identifying acceptable mitigation projects is one of the biggest challenges currently facing the District. We continue to work with the regulatory and permitting agencies to identify mitigation projects and sites so that construction of drainage facilities, that protect life and property, can move forward without delays.
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