[Hpn] Reno Nevada Will Build A $ 7.5 Million 150 Person Homeless Shelter

William C. Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Thu, 20 Jan 2005 18:15:11 -0500


January 20, 2005

Reno Council OKs $7.5 million for homeless complex

Reno Council OKs $7.5 million for homeless complex RENO, Nev. (AP) - The
Reno City Council awarded a $7.5 million contract to begin construction of a
shelter and dining complex for the homeless in the works for nearly 20
The council on Wednesday unanimously approved using several sources to pay
for three buildings in the homeless shelter complex east of downtown,
including federal Community Development Block Grants.
The $7.5 million contract was awarded to Reno-based West Coast Contractors
of Nevada Inc. to build St. Vincent's Dining Room, the Reno-Sparks Gospel
Mission and a 150-bed men's shelter at Record and Fourth streets.
The council voted to sell bonds for up to 15 years leveraged by future CDBGs
to raise the money to build all three structures.
"We waited 20 years to get to this point and I think we need to just move
forward and get it done," said Councilman Dwight Dortch, whose Ward 4
includes the shelter property.
Block grants are made by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development to promote urban renewal and affordable housing. Reno receives
about $2.4 million each year. The plan will commit using $400,000 of the
grants each year to pay off the bonds.
Mayor Bob Cashell wanted to delay construction of the homeless shelter while
he sought private funds and talked to Washoe County officials about
contributing financially and reluctantly voted in favor of the funding. He
said hell still look for more private contributions.
"I'm not sure how we're going to pay for the Mapes Plaza, and I'm not sure
how were going to make the Virginia Street improvements," Cashell said.
Tearing down the existing buildings and putting up the new ones is expected
to cost $8.7 million. Along with the federal grants, the city will tap
private contributions, state funds, room taxes and the revenue from property
Council members decided the cost of the homeless shelter would increase if
the project was delayed.
"Maybe I've been here too long," said Councilman Pierre Hascheff. "There was
always a reason, good or bad, not to do it, and here we are 20 years later."
Cashell said construction will begin within 45 days.
Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal,  http://www.rgj.com
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