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City responds to Plaza suggestions

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By David Giuliani

The city plans to take action on recommendations from a citizens advisory committee studying issues related to Plaza events and filmmaking.

The committee, which presented its recommendations a couple of months ago, had asked the city to provide public restrooms for Plaza Park and a permanent bandstand attached to the gazebo.

Elmer Martinez, the city’s community development director, told the City Council last week that the city can include those two projects in the annual infrastructure capital improvements plan.

In its report, the committee stated, “When bathroom facilities are not available and even if Porta-Potties are provided by the event, the public tends to ask merchants to use their facilities. This creates a financial impact on merchants, and if they don’t allow their use, there is a negative perception on the merchant.”

The report also noted that the city spends many hours and resources every year to construct a temporary bandstand for Fiestas de Las Vegas. The city could save such time by having a permanent structure, it said.

Martinez told the council that the bandstand could be added to the gazebo without affecting the historical nature of the structure.

“We’ll have to go through the state historical preservation (agency), but they won’t stop it. It (bandstand) has to meet design criteria for the Plaza,” he said.

The committee also urged more community members to get involved in the organization of the annual Fiestas. In response, Martinez said the Fiesta Council has confirmed that it’s short members and that it would launch a recruitment campaign.

The committee said merchants would like to know three years in advance the exact dates for Fiestas to make planning easier. Such a resolution could come before the council setting those dates, Martinez said.

As for filming, city staff may recommend that such activities be prohibited during certain parts of the year so as to reduce the effects on business in Las Vegas’ downtown areas. Martinez noted that there was filming last year during the peak of the Christmas shopping season.