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Sparks mayor, city council talk about pandemic recovery and housing needs during city address

Ed Lawson stands at a podium that says “City of Sparks.” Behind him there is an American flag and another sign that reads, “City of Sparks.”
Lucia Starbuck
KUNR Public Radio
Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson spoke at the State of the City Address on Sept. 13, 2022.

Elected officials in Sparks spoke about pandemic recovery and housing during the annual State of the City Address on Monday.

City Council members kicked off the event by explaining that the city spent millions of dollars in federal COVID relief to help small businesses, and provide food and rental assistance. They also touted upcoming improvements for the Sparks Police Department, including a new training facility.

Mayor Ed Lawson says the city’s housing outlook is grim.

“We need to find a way to grow, and without growing, then we die. It's just as simple as that,” Lawson said.

Lawson wants to see denser development. And he hopes lawmakers will pass a bill to allow development on nearby federal lands. But that idea has been met with pushback from environmentalists concerned about sustainability.

He’s currently running for election against former Clark County School Board Trustee Christine “Chris” Garvey.

Lucia Starbuck is a corps member with Report for America focusing on community reporting and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local community issues are her passion, including the affordable housing crisis, homelessness, a lack of access to healthcare, protests and challenges facing vulnerable communities in northern Nevada.
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