weather icon Clear

$500,000 approved for chip seal program

TONOPAH — Nye County Commissioner Dan Schinhofen Tuesday persuaded fellow board members to take $500,000 from the Payment Equal to Taxes capital projects endowment fund for a chip seal program.

The fund had a $5.9 million balance as of the latest comptroller’s report. It was built up from the PETT funds Nye County used to receive under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act for Yucca Mountain before the Obama administration zeroed out the funds in 2009.

The county held a roads workshop in late June to solicit comment from the public about what streets needed chip sealed. Those suggestions were matched with a list proposed by public works. The annual chip seal program has been used to pave numerous Pahrump streets, but didn’t take place last year due to budget problems. The primary purpose is to prevent a listing of Pahrump by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a non-attainment area under the Clean Air Act for fugitive dust.

Schinhofen said the two county commissioners on the Regional Transportation Commission, himself and Commissioner Frank Carbone, were both concerned about the funds available for the chip seal program and what little work could be done with it. The Nye County Public Works Department will be bringing to the RTC a list of roads to be chip sealed at their next meeting at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 20, preceding the next county commission meeting.

“This is just so they have money and then the specific roads will be brought before the board,” Schinhofen said.

In his road report, Public Works Director Dave Fanning said crews were still busy cleaning up the mess left by a rain storm July 28, which struck the central part of Pahrump Valley hard. Commissioners relayed their own calls from residents, Fanning told Commission Chairman Butch Borasky residents who can’t access their driveways will be given priority over those who can, in clearing debris.

“This flood I think people were a little more educated for some reason. We had calls, probably 40 to 50, normally we would have over 200. They were very well handled,” Fanning told Carbone.

Fanning complimented the work of Nye County Emergency Services Director Vance Payne and the Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Service for responding to emergencies.

“There were people who were stranded. They knew who to call. This was the first time it was handled in that manner,” Fanning said.

Carbone criticized the Nevada Department of Transportation, which has jurisdictions over state highways 160 and 372, over cleanup after the storm. He said NDOT was taking some of the dirt and dumping it on traffic islands.

Schinhofen said after the storm he had a change of heart about requiring more street improvements.

“I’ve always guffawed at gutters and curbing but Basin (Road) showed the need,” he said. “That’s something I think we need to really address in the future is curb and gutter for those areas and for the RTC it’s something we might want to look at.”

One area to study for curb and gutter improvements might be the Calvada Boulevard entrance to the county complex, he said.

In other county commission news, commissioners accepted a $50,724 bid from Industrial Light and Power Co., of Pahrump, to install electrical service to six street lights on Homestead Road, including the trench work, pavement cuts and wiring of the electrical conduit.

Fanning said the work was going to be done along with the improvements built on Homestead Road. The county had been working with Valley Electric Association on a solar program for the street lights, he said.

“They dropped their solar program. When the new people came in, they didn’t know anything about what the old people left behind. They’re creating for us a void with this project. We were trying to get the price down,” Fanning said of Valley Electric.

But the quote from Industrial Light and Power, the only bidder, was in the ballpark of what the county planned to spend, he said.

Fanning said residents on Elderberry Street near Homestead were concerned about the traffic, Schinhofen said he was also approached by residents on Dandelion Street.

Commissioners also voted to apply for right-of-way on about a half-mile of Quail Road between Amargosa Farm Road and Palo Verde Road in Amargosa Valley. A resident previously held the right-of-way permit with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, but it was allowed to expire. Fanning said the county had been maintaining the road, even though it didn’t have an easement with the BLM.

A $349,370 contract was awarded to Mesquite Electric for improvements at the Tonopah Airport, contingent upon approval of a $450,000 Federal Aviation Administration grant. The work will include constructing a helicopter landing pad and an access road on an existing airport apron. A segmented circle, precision approach path indicators and automatic gates will be replaced. The FAA is funding 93.75 percent of the cost, Nye County approved up to $53,562 in matching funds.

PVT staff members contributed to this report.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Exposure forces closure of Pahrump Justice Court

The Pahrump Justice Court announced Monday that it will be closed effective Tuesday, July 7 because of a COVID-19 exposure.

Tax deadline coming up on July 15

As the July 15 deadline for filing income taxes nears, the IRS is reminding taxpayers who have yet to file that IRS.gov has tools and services to help them meet their tax obligations.

Bars closed again in Nye, 6 other Nevada counties

Nye County was one of seven Nevada counties affected when the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services announced the elevated disease transmission criteria for determining whether a county must revert to Phase 1 of the state’s reopening plan for bars.

Appreciation Picnic honors Pahrump’s and Nye’s first responders

With red, white and blue decorations gracing tables, American flags and banners lining the fence and snapping in the breeze, balloons floating in the air and big smiles at the ready, area residents came together last week to honor the men and women who take on the duties of first responders for not just Pahrump but the entire county of Nye.

Pahrump pool season sinks amid lack of lifeguards

After the announcement that the 2020 Pahrump Community Pool season had been scrapped because of a lack of staffing applicants and the subsequent push to get more locals to apply for one one of the open positions that followed, the town of Pahrump was hoping that this year’s pool season would be saved.

UNR scientists make key advance in X-ray images

A team of scientists, led by University of Nevada, Reno’s Hiroshi Sawada, an associate professor of physics, demonstrated that numerical modeling accurately reproduces X-ray images using laser-produced X-rays. The images were obtained using the university’s chirped pulse amplification-based 50-terawatt Leopard laser at their Zebra Pulsed Power Lab.

Studies determine shutdown saved millions

Two separate research studies determined that shutdown orders prevented about 60 million coronavirus infections in the United States and saved about 3.1 million lives in 11 European countries.

Bicyclist dies after being struck by vehicle

A Pahrump man is dead after being struck by a vehicle while riding a bicycle Friday evening, July 3rd.

Camp Fire of 2018 leads to new wildfire research

Moved by the tragedy of the 2018 Camp Fire, a team of engineers and scientists are coming together in a new five-year project to develop a comprehensive computational, live digital platform to predict and monitor wildfire risk that can be used by wildfire managers, emergency responders and utility companies to plan for, respond to and remediate wildfires.