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“Irregularities” halt Pahrump Medical Center auction

Following months of discussion regarding the possible sale of the Pahrump Medical Center and weeks of advertising its intent to do so by public auction, the Nye County Commission appeared all ready to proceed with the matter this week but at the last minute, the item was pulled from the agenda due to undisclosed issues with the auction process.

The Pahrump Medical Center is a large, county-owned medical facility located at 1501 and 1503 E. Calvada Blvd. Once leased by Healthcare Partners of Nevada, the building was vacated by the company in 2017 when it opened its new facility on Loop Road, just off of Highway 160, which is now owned and operated by Intermountain Health. In the intervening years, the county has not had much luck leasing the building to another entity and currently, there is only one tenant, First Choice Pregnancy Center.

With this in mind, commissioner Leo Blundo brought the concept of selling the facility to the table earlier this year and the majority of his fellow commissioners were amenable to at least looking into the idea. The county then sought out a fair-market-value appraisal of the property, which estimated the building’s worth at $1.8 million and three and a half months later, commissioners adopted a resolution setting the date for the public auction as Tuesday, Dec. 7. With just under $100,000 in lighting retrofits and building envelope improvements recently completed, the minimum bid was set at $1,902,976.

However, in the middle of the Dec. 7 meeting, Nye County Manager Tim Sutton interjected between two agenda items to ask that item three, approval of the agenda, be reopened. He remarked that he had received some correspondence from the Nye County district attorney’s office and as such, the commission would need to have a closed session to discuss certain emails that were received by Sutton during the meeting.

Not long afterward, commission chair Debra Strickland made to open the agenda item pertaining to the Pahrump Medical Center auction but Sutton interrupted to explain that particular item was what the closed session would be about, prompting the board to turn to another item instead. Once the general road report was complete, commissioners went into their closed session for roughly 45 minutes, after which they briefly returned to the regular meeting.

Strickland then reopened item three once again and Sutton explained that the auction would not be held that afternoon.

“After consultation with the DA’s office, it has been determined that there were irregularities in our auction process and therefore, we will not be proceeding with item 21, which is the PMC (Pahrump Medical Center) bid item,” Sutton stated. “Any registered bidders will have their money refunded today and the item will be reagendized at a future meeting.”

No further explanation was provided as to why the auction was halted. When asked to provide details on what irregularities elicited the cancellation, Sutton told the Pahrump Valley Times that he was unable to divulge that information at this time.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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