$100K Donation To Clean Up Virginia Lake Still Pending

Nov 10, 2015

Credit Chris Vega / ThisisReno.com

After some heated back and forth, a local developer with properties near Virginia Lake is once again offering the City of Reno a hefty donation to help clean up that water, which has been plagued with issues for decades. Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss takes us through the play-by-play of what's been happening. 

At last week’s city council meeting, council members were clearly frustrated when they got word that a check for more than $100,000 would not be coming through. Bob Conrad with our local media partner ThisisReno was there.

"It was brought to the attention of the council that the donation was not going to be forthcoming," Conrad says. "It seemed to me there was some confusion about why that was, but when I talked to the developer J. Carter Witt, he said basically there was no agreement because the city had defaulted as of June 30th because construction on the water quality project had not begun."

Council member Naomi Duerr disagrees with the developer and says he actually defaulted on the agreement. Along with that area of confusion, Witt, the developer, has also been voicing frustration over a labor ordinance being considered by council that could be costly for his business by increasing license requirements for electricians and plumbers.

Bob Conrad, with ThisisReno, says that did not sit well with council:

"The city then, in turn, basically accused him of a quid pro quo, saying that unless they change this labor ordinance, he's not going to donate this money to the water quality project."

Witt is now dropping his argument over the potential labor ordinance and says he'll offer the donation once again, if council will accept it. That money would help pay for the Virginia Lake Water Quality Improvement project, which is just getting underway.