NAACP to North Las Vegas City Council: Make room for sinking neighborhood in budget

Published: May. 17, 2023 at 10:25 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The Las Vegas chapter of the NAACP made overtures Wednesday night to the North Las Vegas City Council to include provisions for the sinking Windsor Park neighborhood in its newest budget.

City council passed the budget without those provisions.

“We’ve been through so much recently,” NAACP Las Vegas Branch President Quentin Savwoir said in his testimony Wednesday night. “And, I don’t know what could be more important than making sure these families don’t continue to be upended and destabilized...we really hope that your budget reflects the needs of the families in Windsor Park.”

The neighborhood was found to be sinking due to a process called subsidence in the early 1990s, after which residents were paid to move out with funds from a federal grant. Most took advantage, but about 90 households stayed put.

In recent months, several of the residents have told FOX5 the $100,000 they would receive form the city by moving out is simply not enough, so they’re staying in homes that have crumbling foundations next to streets with cracks that get deeper each year.

The lack of funds allocated by the city to Windsor Park in this new budget disappointed Chandler Cooks, the secretary of the NAACP’s Las Vegas Branch, especially since he lives in the community.

“We really expected the city to take accountability to understand that these families need justice,” Cooks told FOX5 after the meeting. “And they really dropped the ball.”

Cooks is hopeful that a new Nevada State Senate bill will provide help for the neighborhood, but says it should start smaller than that.

“At the end of the day, this is a community in the city of North Las Vegas,” he said. “And that council is responsible.”

After hearing testimony about the budget, Mayor Pamela Goynes-Brown said the city is still committed to helping the community.

“They’re kind of separate items,” she said about the budget and the issue surrounding the sinking neighborhood. “We will work diligently to come up with the best solution and continue to have conversations and work closely with our federal delegation about Windsor Park.”

Cooks told FOX5 he believes the city should use the leftover funds from the multi-million dollar bond it received from the federal government in the 1990s for residents of Windsor Park. The bill, which has not been put to a vote to this point, includes language allowing for that to happen.

In total, the bill would require North Las Vegas to provide $20 million for the relocation of Windsor Park residents to newly-built homes on a nearby plot of land. The state would provide an extra $10 million. In order to raise that amount of money, the bill also removes strings around general obligation bonds issued by the city.