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HOA takeover rumor addressed by board

Rumors, lies and innuendo within the community strangely enough got top billing during this week’s Pahrump Town Board meeting after the board voted to pull several major agenda items and revisit them later this month.

Consequently, Board Chairman Harley Kulkin addressed concerns aired by resident Teri Rogers about the town’s alleged actions in regards to the southside Artesia neighborhood.

Rogers queried the board about a rumor on the social media website “Topix” that suggests the Town of Pahrump has annexed Artesia’s Homeowners Association (HOA) and is doing it illegally

The purpose Rogers said was to have homeowners and even renters within the entire town conform to the association’s standards.

“I want to know if it’s true that our new town manager Susan Holecheck recently sanctioned Artesia HOA to annex parts of town it deems the need of fixing up. The way not to be annexed is to sign a document for the town to incorporate. There are a lot of comments on there with some saying it’s true and some questioning it. I happen to be in an area that has CC&R’s (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions) and HOA. However, it’s illegal because I’m familiar with how the rules come about. The question is, is there any truth to this rumor?” she asked the board.

The blog Rogers was referring to stated the following:

“Our new town manager has given the okay on this, and will be letting them include any area they feel needs an HOA, or is ‘run down.’ You will get a notice in the mail saying your area is now part of the Artesia Homeowners Association, and it will give you a monthly amount to pay for ‘dues.’ While much lower than what is paid in Artesia, it will still be a hefty monthly fee, and will include only the enforcement of rules and CC&Rs.”

Kulkin wasted no time in explaining to Rogers what is fact and was is fiction as far as what the town’s responsibilities are.

His explanation was quite thorough.

“The answer is real simple. The town of Pahrump only has authority over our cemetery, our parks, our fire department and our ambulance. That’s the only jurisdiction that we have. We can’t annex anything or get involved with HOAs. You will find out that if you spend time on those blogs, there are certain elements in our community that enjoy spreading rumors and totally fabricating things that have no real basis in reality whatsoever. That is just how they entertain themselves. Personally, I don’t even bother with those blogs because I learned a long time ago that the last thing any of those people want is the truth, which is why they don’t use their real names. It’s just entertainment for them,” he said.

Board member Amy Riches said she too saw the blog and also questioned its accuracy.

It was one of the few times that she and Kulkin actually agreed on something related to the town.

“I had gone on Pahrump Topix just to look and see what’s going on. There were 56 opinions on it. Some of them were just crap opinions but it never happened. It never existed. The town board does not have that kind of authority. I went on it twice and told the people that I didn’t know anything about that or its origin. Someone just made up a rumor. That’s all that I can say about it,” she said.

After further discussions, Rogers appeared both relieved and satisfied with the town’s response on the matter.

In regards to the four agenda items that were pulled for review later this month, Holecheck said more time was required to allow additional research.

Those items pertained to the town manager’s goals and objectives, weekly financial reports, and a financial feasibility study for the proposed Pahrump General Aviation Airport.

“I can probably have some better staff recommendations for those items. Additionally, I would like the board to know that it would allow us more time to revise our action item requests to be a little bit more transparent to provide more information for the sake of the board and for the sake of the residents. I would ask the board to consider a motion to move items eight through 11 to a date certain; that being August 27, 2013,” she said.

Postponement aside, Holecheck said she believes that the airport project is conceivable but cautioned it will not happen overnight.

“We still have a lot of studies to go through. The town has received a lot of grant monies from the federal government so the town itself hasn’t expended a lot of money yet. I think as long as we are on a path where the town isn’t spending a lot of money on it, it’s a matter of determining whether we can support this,” she said.

Holecheck also said both the town and county need to collaborate more on the matter in order for the airport project to actually take flight.

“We have a co-sponsor because we have Nye County that hopefully will be with us on this and that is what this financial feasibility study is for. It basically says you can support and pay for a general aviation airport. The whole goal of the feasibility study is determining where the funds are going to come from and how will it be paid for? Some cities and towns may apportion some of their room tax revenues towards that kind of project. They may also set up reserves so they can start putting money away. There’s a lot of different options available for funding an airport including airport related businesses if allowable,” she said.

Early this year the project lost altitude after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pulled funding for the airport project due to inaction.

At the time, Town Manager Bill Kohbarger laid the blame on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for their apparent foot dragging on several issues relating to the project.

The apparent inaction by the federal agency cost the town $600,000 in grant money.

During a previous meeting, the board voted to allow Kohbarger to continue working on the project following his resignation as town manager last month.

Board members eventually voted 5-0 to revisit the airport agenda item during the final board meeting of the month.