Nye County responds on Highway 160 and Homestead issue

As a result of a story in the Friday, March 9 edition of the Pahrump Valley Times, Nye County Commission Chairman John Koenig called for an explanation on what had occurred in relation to Highway 160 and Homestead Road.

That’s where a main break within the Great Basin Water Company system caused a cone zone to be established four months ago.

Great Basin Water Company, when reached for comment, stated that the utility had hoped to return the road to its original state following the main break, which occurred in November 2017.

However, utility president Wendy Barnett stated that the county had explained that the utility would need to submit engineering plans before construction to fix the roadway could commence.

Attempts to secure comment from Nye County went unanswered last week, prompting Koenig to ask for details from Nye County Acting Public Works Director Tim Dahl during the commission’s Monday, March 12 meeting.

Dahl, who is sitting in for public works director Tim Carlo following Carlo’s arrest in December 2017, said he had explained the utility’s responsibilities in the matter and that the ball was essentially now in Great Basin Water Company’s court.

“In the beginning, I took an opportunity to go in and talk to Great Basin Water Company, with Bill Coats and James Eason on the phone… to try to eliminate any confusion that they might have on what they needed to submit to public works to get that job moving forward,” Dahl told commissioners that morning. “And essentially my answer to them was, ‘Repair it back to the way it was.’”

However, it was then determined that returning the site to its original condition was not going to suffice.

“There is going to be some additional work necessary because the damage that water leak did to the surrounding area, whether it is downstream of the leak or concentric rings that have started around the specific location of the leak,” Dahl stated.

“But my point is just that I tried in late January, Jan. 26, on a Friday, to answer any of their questions, eliminate any confusion they had. I met with them the following Monday in the field with their engineer and again with Bill Coats and our consultant, Charles Abbott and Associates,” he continued. “We went over, here is where the problem initiated, here are some concentric rings, here’s the extent of the damage, submit us a plan… through an encroachment permit and we can get this thing moving along.”

Dahl said his department wanted nothing more than to see the project move forward in a smooth manner. “And I continue to this day to work with them and anything they need. They have not submitted anything to us yet,” he concluded.

“You answered my question,” Koenig replied. “I just wish it could have gotten in the paper in time for the article.”

In the same vein, during the March 12 meeting, Nye County Commissioner Dan Schinhofen requested a future agenda item to address utility road work.

“I would like to ask staff to bring forward… code changes to make utilities respond to road repairs in a timely fashion,” Schinhofen directed. “Giving them possibly one week from the time their repairs are done to turn into public works the required documents and have (road) repairs done within a month of public works’ sign-off. Whatever works. If that week needs to be two weeks or two months, whatever works within the confines of the law so we don’t have to wait so long to get roads repaired.”

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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