weather icon Partly Cloudy

Future of Nye County Water District sent to state lawmakers

The future of the Nye County Water District is now being sent to the Nevada Legislature.

After a heated discussion, Nye County commissioners on Tuesday voted to use its lone bill draft request to try to eliminate the state law that set up the water district.

The current Nye County Water District Act that was enacted in 2007 “is not being applied as it is written,” according to documents provided by the county.

“The protection of the environment of Nye County could best be served by the creation of a single governmental entity, the purpose of which is to secure and develop sustainable sources of water,” the documents said.

Commissioner Donna Cox said she will write the bill draft request.

“I expect it to pass and we will be dealing with water issues on the commission board,” she said.

Cox said she isn’t sure when the deadline for the BDR is but added that “the sooner we get it out, the better.”

“One of the reasons we are doing it, is we are looking to make the government smaller and give voice to the people,” Cox said.

The three options that were presented to commissioners included eliminating the act, rewriting the act and breaking the north out of the act, reducing the water board to a smaller entity.

The approved bill draft will be among hundreds of others bill draft requests that will be considered by the 2017 Nevada Legislature. More than 1,000 bills are typically introduced during a session, however not all of them make it to committees or are voted upon.

Cox, who pushed for the bill draft request, said that the only option is to remove the act.

“At this point, I think that the water board is pretty much costing us a lot of money,” Cox said.

Commissioner Butch Borasky said that he can’t support the Nye County Water District.

“I do not believe that the water board is actually accomplishing what we originally thought it would,” he said.

Borasky suggested taking money out of the Nye County Water District and putting it into the Central Nevada Regional Water Authority that addresses water issues in eight Nevada counties, including Nye.

Commissioner Dan Schinhofen called getting rid of the board a “knee-jerk reaction.”

“All of the systems the county now runs should be given to them to run and we, as a commission, need to allow them to function without continuing harassment, looking over the shoulders that we have done in the past,” he said.

Commissioner Frank Carbone said the board doesn’t function in accordance with the Nye County Water District Act.

“I believe the board wasn’t doing what is stated in the act,” Carbone said.

Many residents spoke against the Nye County Water District charging it as “a bone of dissension” and calling for its dissolution.

“Certainly, the water issues are not taken care of and don’t deal in this valley,” resident Kenny Bent said.

Pahrump Utilities Company, Inc. manager Greg Hafen II talked about benefits of the water district outside of Pahrump, such as outreach programs for northern Nye County, a loan to Shoshone Estates Water Co., Inc., water education in schools and water quality monitoring.

“One of the main reasons that it was put in place was actually to prevent a big importation project from Las Vegas, coming out here and stealing part of Nye County’s water,” Hafen said.

According to its website, the Nye County Water District was formed to develop sustainable sources of water vital to long-term economic development, protection of the environment and the well-being of the residents of Nye County.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dsokolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Face mask backers urge Board of Regents to make them mandatory for all

Proponents of face masks on college campuses this fall on Friday urged the Nevada Board of Regents to go beyond a mandate for employees OK’d by the Clark County Commission.

Adam Sullivan confirmed as Nevada State Engineer

After serving as “acting” Nevada state engineer and administrator of the Nevada Division of Water Resources (NDWR) for the past seven months, Adam Sullivan has now been confirmed in those positions, with his official appointment reported in a press release issued Tuesday, July 20.

Pahrump Back to School Fair set for July 31

It is once again that time of year when parents and students must turn their thoughts to the coming school term and begin preparing for another nine months of academic endeavors. With the 2021-2022 school year set to begin on Tuesday, August 10 in Nye County, in an effort to help ensure that area families are ready to send their children back to the classroom, be it virtual or in person, the NyE Communities Coalition is now gearing up for its annual Back to School Fair.

Nye County opposing NASA land proposal

In Nevada, mining is a major industry, bringing in millions of dollars in taxes every year and employing thousands of workers in high-paying positions that help support the local economy but much of the mining operations in the Silver State rely on access to federally controlled lands.

Pahrump Lions take audiences on emotional journey with “Love Letters”

It was an emotional roller-coaster ride of a weekend for audiences at Sanders Family Winery, who were treated to two nights of theatrical entertainment from the Pahrump Valley Lions Club with the A.R. Gurney play “Love Letters”.

Suspect arrested after armed standoff

At least three Nye County Sheriff’s Office deputies are recovering from minor injuries after a tense standoff with an armed suspect.

Conversations with Nevada AG Ford continues

Some of the country’s most vulnerable populations are children and the elderly and it is just these populations that will be the subject of the next segment in a series of public outreach sessions from the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, which will continue its Conversations with AG Ford initiative this coming Wednesday.

Nevada riding hot streak of record gaming numbers. But will it last?

The statewide gaming win topped $1 billion for March, April and May — with May setting an all-time monthly high as casinos brought in $1.23 billion. COVID-19, however, remains a concern.