News Feature | April 28, 2014

Big Layoffs At Nevada Water Companies

By Sara Jerome
@sarmje

Money-reg

Deep layoffs are hitting water providers in Nevada. 

"More than 100 public employees are losing their jobs as part of ongoing restructuring at the valley’s two largest water agencies," the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. The layoffs will affect the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), a wholesale water supplier, as well as its largest member utility, the Las Vegas Valley Water District (LVVWD).

"Another 54 vacant positions will be permanently eliminated. The agencies have about 1,350 employees," KRNV reported

The organizations are shifting their focus from growth to maintenance of current infrastructure. Engineering staff and other workers devoted to growth projects are likely to be hit the hardest, the Las Vegas Sun reported. The engineering staffs at the two entities will merge into a single, smaller group, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. 

"About two-thirds of those being laid off are managers or professionals being paid between $70,000 and $154,000 a year," the Review-Journal report said. 

The tough economic climate was cited as a reason for the cuts. "The layoffs are part of an organizational overhaul to become economically sustainable after the recession," the report said. The move is expected to save SNWA around $14 million, KLAS reported

The authority said in an official statement, per KSNV: "This difficult but necessary action today will streamline [organizational structure], placing both LVVWD and SNWA on a sustainable financial path."

The authority has made other efforts in recent years to rein in costs, according to the statement: "These included the elimination of non-permanent and contractor staff positions, the deferment of $801 million in major construction projects and savings of $109 million through refinancing existing capital obligations." 

The statement continued: "The economic downturn that hit our community beginning in 2008 dramatically impacted important sources of revenue that were used to pay for our community’s $3 billion water treatment and distribution system."

Image credit: "Money," © 2012 Tax Credits, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

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