Half-cent sales tax being reconsidered

Nye County commissioners will consider setting the date for a hearing on a bill to amend the Nye County Code imposing a one-half percent sales tax to fund public safety during a regular meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday at 2100 Walt Williams Dr. on the Calvada Eye.

The meeting can also be viewed on the Internet at www.nyecounty.net

A half-cent sales tax was approved by voters in November 2006 by a narrow margin of 18 votes. The Nevada Legislature in 2007 approved the measure, but commissioners voted 3-2 to reject the proposal in December 2007.

The idea has been resurrected recently, after overruns in the sheriff’s department budget totaling as much as $1.2 million in the last fiscal year. Half of the funds would go to the sheriff’s department to hire more personnel, half would go to county fire departments, under the original wording of the ballot question.

The Nevada Legislature this session passed a bill increasing the sales tax in neighboring Clark County from 8.1 percent to 8.25 percent, to fund more cops for Las Vegas Metro.

It will be a busy agenda for commissioners. One item expected to pack a crowd will be the appeal by construction company owner Rene Morales over the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission’s denial of his conditional use permit for a construction and demolition landfill at 1810, 1811 and 1941 E. Simkins Rd., set for 11 a.m.

A priority ranking list for roadways to be improved under the Streets and Highways Capital Improvement Plan is up for approval, along with an allocation of up to $900,000 to improve a three-mile segment of Manse Road from Homestead Road to Hafen Ranch Road, using impact fee money.

Commissioners will also vote on whether to direct staff to negotiate with the Nevada Department of Transportation to construct roundabouts at Highway 372 and Pahrump Valley Boulevard and Highway 372 and Blagg Road. Nye County will contribute up to $900,000 as their half of the cost of the improvements.

The acquisition of Pahrump Utility Company Inc. is on the agenda. The Hafen family of developers has proposed selling their utility to Nye County for $5.5 million. The Hafens will continue to operate the utility for a three-year transition period, during which they will be paid a management fee of $514,500 per year. The county is also expected to pay $211,300 per year for things like chemicals and electricity. Pahrump Utility Co. will put $300,000 into an escrow account to cover any shortfall in standby fees.

Commissioners will vote on resolutions to augment the 2012-13 fiscal year budget, the fiscal year ends June 30.

A request for proposals for autopsy services will be considered. Nye County has been using the services for Dr. Rexene Worrell.

Action is scheduled on implementing a $1 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to set up a Brownfields Coalition Revolving Loan Fund.

Commissioners will vote on the county manager’s selection of a new director of management information services to replace Mark Hatfield.

A representative from Nye County will be selected to serve on the new Nevada Land Management Task Force, after legislation passed in the 2013 session. The task force will study how to transfer U.S. Bureau of Land Management property to the state, their report will be considered by the 2015 Nevada Legislature.

A bill amending Nye County Code on the emergency abatement of unsafe properties will be heard again at 10:45 a.m.

Developers of a senior assisted living and independent senior housing project at 780 W. Gamebird Rd. have requested a master plan amendment, zone change and conditional use permit.

The renewal of a policy with the Nevada Public Agency Insurance Pool is up for consideration.

A memorandum of understanding with the NyE Communities Coalition for a food program is on the agenda.

Twenty professional service agreements for the closure of Yucca Mountain are up for approval.