There was a lot of idle talk at the Beatty Town Advisory Board’s Sept. 27 meeting. More precisely, it was talk concerning what to do about the noise of diesel trucks idling at night in residential areas.
Chairman Randy Reed brought the matter before the board, saying he had received complaints about trucks idling all night, specifically along a section of First Street.
Reed pointed out that the county had put “No Parking” signs up behind the Exchange Club Motel, and suggested that “No Parking” or “No Idling” signs could be put up in the area of concern.
County Public Works Dirctor Tim Dahl said that the main problem that had motivated the placing of the signs behind the motel was that exhaust fumes were being sucked into guest rooms by air conditioning units, not just the noise of idling.
Dahl said that, without an enforcement ordinance behind them, signs might act as a deterrent, but lacked “teeth.” He suggested that the board approach the Board of County Commissioners with a request to establish a no idling ordinance for Beatty.
He also suggested that the town might approach the state about the possibility of installing rest areas at one or both ends of town.
Mitigating the problem of truck noise turned out to be a more complicated matter than it would seem at first thought.
For one thing, the town welcomes the business of the drivers who buy fuel, eat in restaurants, and rent motel or hotel rooms to get a good night’s sleep and take a shower. Prohibiting parking or moving them to out-of-town rest stops would hurt business.
Commissioner Bruce Jabbour, who attended the meeting via telephone, said, “We want them to stop and shop in Beatty. We don’t want to alienate them. But we don’t want them idling their trucks all night.”
BTAB member Perry Forsyth informed the board that the trucks may have reefers or auxiliary power units that are actually louder than idling engines.
Resident Frank Jarvis said he did not favor putting up signs that were unenforceable and calling on deputies to respond to things they had no authority to do anything about. He also said that the people who complained should show up at meetings when their matter was being discussed.
Beatty currently has two parking areas for trucks: near the Stagecoach Casino and next to the Rebel station. Idling has not been seen as a problem there.
An ordinance could take all factors into account.
Although Dahl said he was willing to put up whatever signs the town wanted and was willing to pay for, the proposal for signs died for lack of a motion.
The board did, however, vote 4-1 to “direct staff to work with Nye County in the creation of a resolution to adopt a policy about no idling on residential streets and in proximity of all overnight lodging establishments that pay room taxes, who do not have a designated commercial vehicle parking located in Beatty.” Kelly Carroll voice the lone “nay” vote.
Commissioner Jabbour advised, “Do as much research as possible to get it right. We don’t want to offend anyone.”
Regarding the only other action item on the meeting agenda, the board voted to “request the Solar Project Subcommittee to work on a community comment letter regarding the Greenlink West Project, electric transmission lines and facilities.”
The Nature Conservancy had some objections to the proposed route of the transmission lines and suggested a route through the Bullfrog Hills.
Karl Olson strenuously objected to routing through the Bullfrog Hills saying it would destroy the off-road trail system that has been developed.
Several people thanked the board for its part in bringing about the cleanup effort currently underway in Beatty. Among other things, some 50 junked or abandoned cars have been removed, with the help of Beatty Disposal.
Board member Melody Koivu said, “It wouldn’t have happened if the community hadn’t been communicating. We need to continue reaching out to people. Keep spreading the word. It’s not done yet.”
“More things are coming,” added town executive coordinator Carrie Radomski.
Dahl also told the board that the county has been making improvements at the Beatty airport, including a new handicap ramp and refurbishing the pilots’ lounge. He said the next project will be getting water service.
Richard Stephens is a freelance reporter living in Beatty.