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After new Contour report, project’s fate unclear

Pahrump Town Board members voted to accept a phase II interim report on Contour Entertainment’s “Adventure Springs” project slated for the Pahrump Fairgrounds facility.

The report is the third out of four expected to be released after town board members signed a contract with Contour more than two years ago.

Contour’s President Chris Brown pulled no punches when he bluntly suggested that both town and county officials soon need to work at cooperating more with one another in order for the proposed tourist destination to become a reality.

“We understand the reality of different perceptions and priorities among the people of the town, let alone the county and there is a very vocal minority in Pahrump who are certainly within their rights to express their desires, even if these are at odds with the majority of the town’s residents,” Brown wrote in a letter attached to the agenda backup material for Tuesday’s meeting. “However, the role of the leadership in both the town and county is to help craft a vision for the future that will support the overall needs and desires to progress the community. If this growth in tourism is unattractive to a minority of residents, this does not make it a bad thing. It’s true that you cannot please all the people all the time. We live in a democratic society where the desires of the majority are supposed to be given a priority.”

A failed BDR (SB337), submitted to the state legislature early in the year, created a significant setback in terms of financial options for Adventure Springs.

As a plan “B,” Brown listed a few other options to help attract investments for the project including USDA Grants and Loans, New Market Tax Credits (NMTC), and the Nevada Governor’s Office on Economic Development (GOED).

“Most of the above programs would provide relatively small contributions with respect to the scale of the planned development. However, through our discussions, it became apparent that the next potentially significant step that the town could take would be to purchase the land. This would allow initial infrastructure work to proceed as well as initial development of certain aspects,” he wrote to the board.

Board member Dr. Tom Waters said both board and staff must now determine what the next steps are on the project.

To date Contour had been paid more than $250,000 for the first two phases in which no ground has been broken for the project.

“I read the report and he quoted me in it when I said, ‘now what?’ It’s an excellent report, it does follow up and it makes a lot of recommendations and I say let’s accept interim report number three,” he advised.

Vice Chairman Bill Dolan also recommended accepting the report but added a little reminder about how the entire project came about.

“I agree because it’s already been paid for. We didn’t spend the money; the previous town board did two years ago. We should accept it and move on from there,” he said.

Board members voted 5-0 to accept the report.

Adventure Springs will be revisited once again at an upcoming town board meeting.

In other town business, board members discussed approving funds for a bid to purchase a new tractor to be utilized by the arena.

Buildings and Grounds Supervisor Matt Luis said efforts to get a new tractor has been in the works for more than eight months.

“This project was actually started last November. We first went through state purchasing to see if we could work with them but there was nothing available and that’s when we moved forward and went out to bid. After looking at the three bids, it’s quite obvious to me and to the arena board that we’d like to move forward with the John Deere tractor,” he said.

Board member Dr. Tom Waters asked why Luis chose to go with the most expensive bid for the project which was for the John Deere tractor at $53,033.19.

The other two bids for a Mahindra and Kubota tractor totaled $52,361 and $49,300 respectively.

“Mr. Luis, I respect everything you say and I understand that you have the knowledge to give us on this but how is a bid that is $5,700 more than the lowest bid more responsible and responsive?” he queried.

Luis said he chose the tractor that would suit the needs of the town more adequately.

He added that the John Deere tractor provided more horsepower than the other two machines.

“We requested 86 horsepower and after doing a little research on maintenance and parts, the Kubota tractor comes in a little more costly in the long run than the John Deere,” he said.

Following discussions the board approved funding.

Luis said that the town’s old tractor will eventually be sold to recoup some of the costs.

Board members also approved creating a letter of support for the Pahrump VFW Post 10054 to request the Moving Vietnam Memorial Wall to be permanently displayed within the Town of Pahrump as well as the sponsorship of an event honoring the women veterans of the Town of Pahrump.

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