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Nye County Commission to consider overturning parcel fee hike on Jan. 14

Nye County Commissioner Debra Strickland has confirmed that the Nye County Commission has changed the date on which it will address an item to potentially overturn the per-parcel fee increase on Pahrump properties.

The commission will now discuss that item at a special meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

The highly contested per parcel fee increase was approved by the Nye County Water District Governing Board in December 2019 and calls for raising the fee for Pahrump properties from $5 per year to $35 per year for a minimum of three years, an increase of 600 percent per year.

The $30 increase would be earmarked for funding a deep carbonate aquifer exploration project intended to determine if there is water available in Pahrump Basin #162’s deep carbonate aquifer that could be used to sustain continued development in the valley.

The water board’s decision incited many in the community, including Strickland, who said at the time that the news had her “fit to be tied.” She immediately started an effort to bring that increase before the Nye County Commission, which has the power to overturn any decision made by the water board so long as an appeal is filed within 30 days.

Members of the Private Well Owners Cooperative went before the commission on Dec. 17, 2019 to formally request that appeal, placing a written request to that effect into the record as well. This met the deadline for an appeal to be filed, Strickland stated, and gives the commission its opportunity to reverse the water board’s decision.

“We are having a special meeting on the 14th and Robert Coche, 36 years with DWR (Nevada Division of Water Resources) will be our expert witness,” Strickland told the Pahrump Valley Times on Saturday, Jan. 4.

She noted that Coche is an expert in hydrology and would be able to provide a professional overview of water issues as a whole. She said he would also be detailing a separate deep carbonate aquifer project that she said had proved to be unsuccessful in the past.

When asked why the meeting date had been moved to Jan. 14, Strickland explained that the commission “needs to stick to just this one topic,” rather than addressing the item during its regular meeting on Jan. 22 when many, many other items would also be up for discussion.

The special meeting will begin at 10 a.m. on Jan. 14 in the Nye County Commissioners’ Chambers, 2100 E. Walt Williams Drive in Pahrump.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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