By Mark Waite
A master plan for development of the rest of the Calvada Eye began with talk by Commissioner Dan Schinhofen Tuesday of moving the farmer’s market from Highway 160 to near the duck ponds near the entrance to the commissioner’s chambers.
County Geographic Information Systems analyst Ken Plewe drew out a primitive map of a Calvada Eye master plan as it stands now.
“They’re really excited about having a place to have a market right here by the lake. If the property does get built out, which it will, we’ve identified some lines, water and sewer lines, so that we don’t have to keep going back and trying to find out where they were last time,” Schinhofen said.
The county razed the old buildings that housed the sales offices for Preferred Equities, the office of Central Nevada Utilities Corp. and a small library. The new commissioners’ chambers opened on the Calvada Eye in July 2010.
They then built a new health and human services building at the site of where there were a set of apartments on the east side of the Calvada Eye. It was completed last year.
In 2011 commissioners awarded a $69,900 contract to Alliance Landscaping to reline the duck ponds and a $16,800 addition for the waterfall and rock feature.
They plan to move the planning and public works department from Highway 160 to the Calvada Eye, after authorizing $850,000 earlier this month to purchase two buildings from the Yucca Mountain site and transport them as part of a ‘One-Stop Shop’.
Now commissioners are trying to determine how to plan the rest of the 33-acre property the county acquired in 2004 for $3 million.
“We spent a lot of money on this property as everybody knows. We did some projects. We did the health and human services, now we’re going to do the next planning/public works one-stop shop. I thought it’d be a good idea to know what this property might be used for,” Schinhofen said.
Besides the farmer’s market, an area near the duck ponds could be used for other events, he said. The United Way used to host events at the Calvada Eye during ethnic festivals like Oktoberfest and St. Patrick’s Day before they were moved to Honeysuckle Park. Art and Sol used to be held at the Calvada Eye.
Schinhofen hopes to secure private grants and maybe some public funds to build improvements like a bandstand, shaded area and parking. The county identified some water and sewer lines that could service that area, he said.
The Pahrump Arts Council and the Rotary Club were granted a three-acre slice of the Calvada Eye for a visual and performing arts center in 2007. But Commissioner Peter Liakopoulos made that agreement expire after five years if no development occurred. It would’ve included a 500-seat theater, 1,000-seat outside amphitheater, art gallery and classrooms for students to study the fine arts.
Commissioner Butch Borasky wants to continue pursuing grants to install walking trails.
“I’m working on grants for that walking trail and one way or another before I leave office I believe I can be successful in finding the grants to do that. There are a lot of people who are walking this property,” Borasky said.
In March 2010 the commission voted to request a $200,000 grant to develop walking trails and xeriscaping on the Calvada Eye under the Nevada Recreational Trails Program, but they weren’t successful. The county did get grant money to put up some park benches and picnic tables around the duck ponds.
Commissioner Lorinda Wichman said former Commissioner Gary Hollis wanted an irrigation well sunk on the Calvada Eye as an alternative to paying for potable water. District Attorney Brian Kunzi advised against that unless they get advice on the issues with Utilities Inc. of Central Nevada.
“I’ve had discussions with UICN and we’re kind of at a stalemate. There’s a lot of money that we supposedly owe on the water. We’re resisting that because we’re saying we don’t owe it,” Kunzi said. “We’re not giving them any water rights until we get this resolved, but we’re not getting the rate we’re requesting.”
Schinhofen said a drainage study will be required before they develop the Calvada Eye. He hopes to bring back the master plan for more discussion in a month.
Borasky said the Calvada Eye has a gopher problem that will have to be solved.