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Pahrump’s Kellogg Park finally set to see construction

For over a decade, residents of the south side of Pahrump have been waiting for the development of Kellogg Park, a project which has experience repeated delays and stumbling blocks over the years but now appears to finally be seeing some momentum to carry it forward.

At its Tuesday, April 2 meeting, the Nye County Commission, sitting as the governing body for the unincorporated town of Pahrump, voted to award a $549,585 contract to Wulfenstein Construction Company to being the process of grubbing, grading and clearing the land that has been dedicated for Kellogg Park.

Wulfenstein Construction was the sole bid submitted after the contract opportunity was advertised both in Las Vegas and Pahrump newspapers.

Before the item came to a vote, Nye County Commissioner Leo Blundo, one of the newest members of the board, turned to Nye County finance staff member Danielle McKee to ask, “When did the board approve this to go out to bid?”

“We initially went out to bid for this in 2017,” McKee responded. “For the Kellogg Park project, the board approved, I believe it was $1.6 million for the overall project. So we originally went out to bid in 2017 but the bid came in over $2 million so we rejected the bid.”

McKee further clarified, “This (current item) is a different bid. Because the original bid came in so high we decided to scope it out. This is just the first phase of the project.”

McKee also noted that the park is being partially funded by a grant from Nevada land and water conservation fund, the amount of which was previously reported at $211,519.

Blundo questioned whether prevailing wage applies to the project, to which McKee confirmed, “Prevailing wages are paid on this project,” she explained.

“That’s what we have found out. The initial bid came in so much higher than we had anticipated because the original engineer’s estimate did not account for prevailing wages.

“Once we figured out that they needed to add prevailing wages, we got that added in and we were able to figure out with the help of the engineering firm that this amount, the $549,000, is in line with the scope of work once you include the prevailing wages.”

Blundo noted that the public should keep in mind that there is currently an Assembly Bill, AB136, that aims to lower the threshold for prevailing wage projects from $250,000 to just $100,000, which could have a major financial impact, not just in Nye County but throughout the entire state.

“It’s not just sticker shock, ladies and gentlemen. It’s extortion almost,” Blundo said.

Nye County Commissioner Lorinda Wichman chimed in, “If they (prevailing wage bills) all pass we can just take them the keys to the county,” prompting murmurs of ironic agreement from the audience.

The motion to award the contract passed unanimously.

Kellogg Park has a total of 80 acres dedicated toward its development, located on land bordered by Squaw Valley Road, Bridger Street and Kellogg Road, with construction planned to take place in multiple phases.

In January 2015, it looked as if the park would be moving forward after years of delay, with the town hosting a series of public meetings, inviting the community to share their ideas on what the park should include.

One of the signs announcing that meeting is still in place four years later, highlighting just how longstanding this project has been.

From those 2015 meetings, it was determined that the park should include parking, a restroom, a walking path, a large grassy area, separate dog parks for various sizes of canines, and more.

Pahrump Buildings and Grounds Director Matt Luis emphasized that the work approved on April 2 was more than simple grading and clearing and would in fact include the laying of the essential groundwork for the overall layout of the park.

“What we’ve got to do is make sure that people understand, they (Wulfenstein) aren’t just going out there and flattening the ground and clearing trees and then walking away.

“They are cutting, like in the renderings that show the fine lines close together, those lines are showing the elevations and work crews are going to cut the all the elevations for the walking trail, the dog areas, everything. When they get done then we can go in and actually start piece-mealing it, getting those features installed.”

Luis also noted that there will be a groundbreaking ceremony hosted at some point in the coming weeks and that would be announced as soon as the details and final dates for commencement of construction are determined.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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