Las Vegas Sun

August 30, 2015

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Clark County:

Commissioners to consider purging newsracks from Strip’s sidewalks

Several proposals meant to improve the pedestrian experience along the Las Vegas Strip will be up for approval by county commissioners at their regularly scheduled meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Commissioners also will consider several grant allocations and requests Tuesday before meeting Wednesday as the zoning commission.

Competing proposals for newsracks on Strip

More than 500 X-rated newsracks lining the Las Vegas Strip could be done away with by commissioners in the coming months.

Commissioners will consider two competing proposals Tuesday. One is an ordinance replacing the current newsracks, which are independently owned and come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with new uniform racks that would be owned by the county.

The second, which has the backing of County Manager Don Burnette, would do away with all newsracks along the Strip as part of a broader cleanup of pedestrian obstructions that also would include removing or relocating trash cans, fire hydrants and traffic signs.

“As a result of our analysis of the pedestrian study, staff will be recommending that no action be taken on the proposed newsrack ordinance. Instead, staff will be recommending that the board move forward with the prohibition of newsracks on the Strip,” Burnette said in an email to commissioners.

To ban the newsracks, a separate ordinance would need to be introduced and a public hearing held at a later commission meeting before changes could be made.

The competing proposals come after two separate reports presented to the commissioners in the past year highlighted needed improvements along the Strip. One report from the Strip Corridor Working Group made 32 recommendations to clean up and improve safety in the area.

A second pedestrian study, done by an outside consultant, identified 17 spots along the Strip that experienced excessive congestion.

Nonprofit support

More than 50 local nonprofit agencies will get a boost from the county when the commission approves its annual outside grant funding, which this year is expected to total $2.6 million.

The agencies, which include homeless shelters, food banks and arts organizations, will receive grants ranging from a few thousand dollars up to $144,000.

County staffers have reviewed the applications and will present a list of recommended recipients to commissioners Tuesday.

The county also will be asked to approve a list of projects to be included in a $4.3 million federal and state grant request. If the grant is approved, the funding would be used for affordable housing projects throughout the valley.

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