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Pahrump Fairgrounds, Tonopah parking lots to benefit from block grants

For the past 39 years, Nye County has been a regular participant in the Community Development Block Grant Program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, bringing millions of federal dollars to the county to support all kinds of projects, and this year, the county will be receiving nearly a half-million dollars in grant funding from the program. That money will now go toward improvements at the Pahrump Fairgrounds, as well as a facelift for two major parking lots in the Tonopah community.

The grant awards were presented on the Nye County Commission’s Wednesday, July 7 meeting agenda and were easily passed by the board, which granted unanimous approval to accepting the federal dollars.

As detailed by the two agenda items, the first Community Development Block Grant award is in the amount of $147,225 for the purpose of installing a sewer and wastewater system at the Pahrump Fairgrounds. This award comes with a match requirement of $11,098 which will be paid for out of the county general fund.

The second award for the 2020-2021 fiscal year CDBG program is for $350,000 for the purpose of replacing and updating the existing parking lots for the Union Plaza and Convention Center in Tonopah, which requires a matching amount of $25,000. This match will also be funded by the county general fund.

The Pahrump Fairgrounds sewer and wastewater project is a continuation of the development that has been proceeding on the 427 acres of land located near Dandelion Street and Highway 160 for several years. This is far from the only fairgrounds project that has been accomplished thanks to CDBG funding, and in the past, Nye County has also received these grants dollars to help create a drainage study and flood control plan for the fairgrounds, as well as to pay for the construction of a detention basin, an environmental assessment and a water and well system, projects that are still in the “pending” stage.

The Tonopah parking lots project was one that the county sponsored on behalf of the town of Tonopah, with town administrative manager Chris Mulkerns explaining that the Union Plaza parking lot is located in the downtown area and within the town’s Main Street District, so it serves multiple purposes for both businesses and local events. The parking lot for the Tonopah Convention Center, which is also utilized as the local community center, sees plenty of use as well, serving the public for both public and private events held at the convention center. With these upgrades, Mulkerns said the town of Tonopah would be in a much better position to provide residents and tourists with a safe and inviting place to park their vehicles while in town.

At the same meeting on July 7, Nye County Grants Administrator Samantha Kramer provided the commission with a presentation on the next round of the CDBG program, the initial step required for participation in the program. For fiscal year 2021-2022, Nevada has been allotted approximately $3 million, which will be divvied up between those applying for eligible projects in the coming months.

Nye County will be able to submit two project applications for itself and sponsor an additional two applications on behalf of another entity, such as a nonprofit organization, business or housing authority. The subject projects must fall within the CDBG national objectives, which include providing a benefit to low- and moderate-income persons, aiding in the prevention of slums or blight and meeting urgent community development needs. Examples of eligible activities include affordable housing, community stabilization, public facilities and infrastructure, public services, economic development and community plan and capacity building.

This is now the time for those in the community who have a project they think might fit into the purview of the CDBG program to get their proposals together so they can present them to the Nye County Commission for consideration.

“If you have a project in mind, please contact Samantha Kramer to discuss your project for eligibility and to obtain a preliminary application for presentation at the BoCC (board of county commissioners) meetings. Meetings will be held as follows: August 3, 2021 – Tonopah BoCC presentations; August 17, 2021 – Pahrump BoCC presentations; November 16, 2021 – Prioritization of all CDBG eligible projects.”

Kramer can be reached at sakramer@co.nye.nv.us or by calling 775-751-7091.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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