Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve gave her third State of the City address on Thursday, Jan. 18, where she talked about the issues Reno is battling every day and her plans for improvement.
She focused on Reno’s housing shortage, as well as the shortage of police officers and Reno’s continuing growth in the arts community.
Schieve said that the city has 4,000 apartments planned with many in construction — including a tower on Sierra Street with 52 lofts and 40 new apartments on Park Street.
She also mentioned plans for more affordable housing projects. She said that she is in the works to fast-track these projects through the planning process.
She also talked about the city’s lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, which cites these companies are the root cause of homelessness.
“I am optimistic as a community that we can make a change when it comes to caring for our homeless population,” she said. “I am proud to announce that we stayed dedicated by making the pharmaceutical companies accountable for their actions by becoming one of over 200 cities in the nation to see them in court.”
Schieve also talked about the city’s lack of police officers and firefighters but applauded the current responders for their work over the last year.
“Doing more with less is a challenge our first responders combat on a daily basis,” Shieve said.
It has been a busy year for the responders as the fire department responded to a record 42,000 calls. The police department gave a full-time detective to the state’s sex trafficking task force. It has also created a motel improvement team to protect against dangerous living conditions for low-income residents.
Schieve said that by 2020, there would be an additional 30 police officers added to the 330 current officers on the police force.
Reno has been a hotspot for not only the arts but also for technology over the last year.
Schieve mentioned the art’s participation in revamping the downtown area, along with other initiatives that are in the works.
The city is trying to create a maintenance organization for Downtown, which will be funded by property owners in Downtown and run by a private board. This organization will provide cleaning services, marketing and help prevent crime in Downtown. It will also help the homeless population connect with services that can help them.
Schieve’s address came a day after a new Apple store broke ground in Downtown — an event that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook was there to commemorate.
“Today, we can now call Reno the Biggest Little Apple. Eat your heart out New York!” Schieve said about the event.
Schieve remained optimistic about the city’s ability to complete these new improvements.
Madeline Purdue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @madelinepurdue.