Increase in vandalism sparks new ordinance closing all parks from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

An ordinance proposal that would close the Winnemucca City parks between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. due to the increase in vandalism was unanimously approved by Winnemucca City Council during its Sept. 6 meeting. A resident from the neighborhood across the street from Highland Park was present to voice his support of the ordinance. He explained that he has had to call the police many times when people at the park light off fireworks or race in the streets late at night. Another neighbor wrote a letter in support of the ordinance and voiced similar concerns. The trashing of bathrooms, litter, and disregard for adjacent neighborhoods were all main concerns amongst the Council. The ordinance could take effect by the beginning of November, according to City Attorney, Kent Maher. 

In other news from the Winnemucca City Council meeting:

• A request to approve a zone change from a single-family lot to a multi-family at 1955 S. Bridge Street in order for a duplex to be built was unanimously approved by the Council. Concerned residents from nearby streets voiced opposition to the zone change in regards to strainage of the water and sewage systems and cultural integrity of the neighborhood. City Manager, Alicia Heiser, assured that the water and sewage systems could support the new duplex and pointed out that the neighborhood is already home to other duplexes. An adjacent neighbor wrote a letter of approval for the build and the Humboldt County Regional Planning Department recommended approval of the zone change. The Council voiced this as an opportunity to address the lack of housing in Winnemucca and ultimately approved the request. 

• The Winnemucca City Council proclaimed Sept. 11 Observance Day and called on Winnemucca residents to display the American Flag at half-mast or with black ribbon from sunrise to sunset to memorialize the victims and heroes of 9/11.

• City Council proclaimed Sept. 16 Prisoner of War/ Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Day in remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and the War Against Terror. Stark black and white flags will be flown in recognition of POW/MIA Day. 

• Winnemucca Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD) Chief, Joe Dendary, and Mayor Rich Stone presented Firefighters Steve Hemp, Andrew Hillyer, Chad Farstveet), with awards for 20 years in service at the WVFD. 

• Jacque Snyder was not present at the meeting but was honored for five years of service with the City of Winnemucca. 

• The Sixth Judicial District Court Community Improvement Council presented a report regarding the state of the child welfare system in Humboldt County and Winnemucca to the Council. According to the Court Community Improvement Council, there are only three foster homes in Humboldt County, all of which are completely full, and one having just been approved Sept. 2. Children in need of temporary or long-term foster care have to be housed hundreds of miles away. Foster homes and families are desperately needed. To learn more about how to become a foster parent visit 

• A request to close parking spaces in front of Financial Horizons Credit Union on Bridge Street for their member appreciation day on Sept. 9 was approved by the Council. 

• A request by the Winnemucca Police Department to enter into a purchasing agreement with Axon Enterprise Inc. for video enhancement software services was unanimously approved. According to officials from the police department, the agreement is a formality because their previous provider was purchased by Axon.

• City Manager Heiser updated the council on current applications of the American Rescue Act Plan funds. According to Heiser there has been steady progress on the projects. 

• There were no significant updates in regards to a new aquatics center to replace the Bode Howard Memorial Pool. 

• Minutes from previous meetings and warrants and expenses were approved by the Council.