Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011 | 7:10 p.m.
- Commissioner: North Las Vegas headed toward state takeover (8-4-11)
- North Las Vegas Fire Department begins brownouts (7-17-2011)
- Citizens weigh in on state of affairs in North Las Vegas (7-17-2011)
- Brownouts could cut fire union overtime (12-13-2009)
- Might NLV need to lean on Las Vegas for help? (7-20-2011)
- As state eyes takeover, 5 reasons North Las Vegas is in financial trouble (7-12-2011)
- Fire service could suffer from latest cuts (6-28-2009)
In the midst of a budget deficit and talks of laying off more city employees, North Las Vegas announced a bit of good news Tuesday: It has received more than $700,000 in grants for using solar energy in its new city hall.
Two years after breaking ground, the city plans to move into the $142 million city hall and civic plaza center, 2250 Las Vegas Blvd. North, in early December. It had planned to occupy the building this fall.
NV Energy awarded the city $149,200 for using renewable resources in the new building as part of the utility’s SolarGenerations Incentive Program. The city also accepted a Federal Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant in the amount of $612,000. The grant finances construction of solar panels on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified building that will account for an estimated 12.5 percent of its energy.
By moving into the nine-story, 210,000-square-foot building — which city officials hope will make downtown North Las Vegas more attractive — the city will be able to consolidate its various departments.
Terri Sheridan, city economic development administrator, said traffic to the new city hall will restore the old downtown.
“The new city hall is going to be a catalyst for downtown development,” said Sheridan, who also noted her excitement at the potential for community events at the new facility that the old city hall couldn’t handle.
City spokeswoman Juliet Casey said new projects, such as El Super food market in downtown, have increased traffic and commerce in neighboring businesses.
City officials project they will save $250,000 a year at the new city hall compared with energy costs in the current building. The building houses a 300-seat council chambers that is 70 percent larger than the present one. It will have a 3,000-square-foot Development Services Center designed for residents and contractors seeking permits.
The news isn’t all sunny: After almost 200 layoffs of city employees this year, the city estimates the city hall’s occupancy will be slightly less than 50 percent. The City Council has not yet decided what it will do with the old building after the move.
Mayor Shari Buck said the city can lease offices on the ground floor of the new city hall, possibly to small food vendors or a day care service, and hopes the city can fill the space once the economy picks up. Buck said the city is conducting a study to see if North Las Vegas Police can move into the old building.
The city faces a $4.9 million gap in its budget and will discuss a possible reduction in staff at Wednesday’s meeting.