weather icon Clear

Raceway proposes water mitigation

The Nye County Water Board Monday voted to recommend approval of the development agreement with Spring Mountain raceway, providing Utilities Inc. issues a letter approving a new water and sewer utility within their service territory and an engineer issues a pro forma statement for the cost of operating it if Nye County takes it over.

Spring Mountain owners have offered to dedicate the $4.5 million water and sewer plant to the county if they will operate the utility. The development agreement calls for the sewer plant to be built on the Pahrump fairgrounds site across the highway where effluent could be used to water the ball fields.

Builder Russ Meads, owner of Double M Construction, said the Spring Mountain owners can’t get a permit themselves to operate the plants necessary to service the 80-lot subdivision and commercial development themselves. If the county chooses not to accept the offer, he will give the facilities to Utilities Inc. of Central Nevada.

Meads outlined mitigation measures in the development agreement. He said raceway owners already spent $550,000 to dig four holes on the alluvial fan for a retention basin, they finished four days before the big rain storm in late July that deluged Pahrump Valley. The large hole 25 feet deep filled up with water in two hours, he said.

“That’s nearly 23 million gallons of water that was in that hole that day that was acquired within two hours,” Meads said. “That water all went back to the fan in five days.”

Racetrack owners will remove natural grass already on the property and there will be conditions, covenants and restrictions (CC&Rs) on owners in the subdivision, who would have to use low-water, xeriscape landscaping.

“You can see that they have actually given us more water on site than they’re using by doing storm water retention, by putting the water back into the ground, through their RIB (rapid infiltration basin) systems,” Meads said. They will build the sewer plant and donate the effluent to the county, he said. “It’s not a pipe dream, it’s real.”

Water board member John Bosta said the town was given the fairgrounds property for public use and park land, not for a sewer plant. His motion to support the development agreement if the sewer plant was on racetrack land died for lack of a second. But Spring Mountain Motorsports could proceed without it. Pahrump was deeded the 427-acre fairgrounds property by a congressional act in 1997.

“We can build this entire facility on site. We have the ability to do that. It meets all the criteria and all the codes and all that or we have the possibility to build it at our expense and donate it to the town or the county, or to whoever may need it, to be able to be built and put on their property if they so choose,” Meads replied.

“As a builder it would be much, much easier honestly to just build it on site. I don’t need special permission, I don’t have to go to any more meetings, listen to someone who doesn’t want anything,” Meads said. “We have to decide in this community if it’s going to be built and given to us and finally to expand and have some of these things in our community, instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on theories that don’t come true. We would be amiss, and I believe we would be extremely irresponsible to not accept this and do all we can to embrace them.”

Without the recycled effluent Meads said he doesn’t think the fairgrounds project will ever develop.

Nye County drilled a 700-foot deep municipal well on the fairgrounds property in September 2012 as a $198,400 U.S. Housing and Urban Development grant was about to expire. Nye County Water District General Manager Darrell Lacy said the well water would be mixed with effluent to water the ball fields; he added the fairgrounds property still needs a sewer system for bathrooms. A question over how the town of Pahrump used $1.1 million from Nye County to purchase water rights for the fairgrounds was one of the factors leading to the ballot question in 2012 to revert the Pahrump Town Board to advisory status. Town Finance Director Michael Sullivan eventually said the money was used instead to purchase water rights for the proposed Kellogg Road Park and Ian Deutch Park.

“There are two people who could operate the utilities on the racetrack property itself or on the fairgrounds property and those are the same for either one. Either Utilities Inc. would own and operate it after it’s built and given to them or it would be given to the county who is the other legal entity who can operate a utility,” Meads said. When questioned, he said both would be interested in operating it.

Board member Michael Lach didn’t think the Nye County Water District was set up to run the water and sewer utility, nor would they be able to run it at a profit. Bosta said the water board was created specifically to operate water and sewer systems.

There were questions about the water park. Meads said it would bring in tourism, adding the benefits would outweigh the negatives. Meads said they currently own 30 acre feet of water rights on the commercial property from a well, they have commitments from water rights holders willing to sell more water rights. The racetrack presently uses commercial septic systems for sewage.

Lach was interested in the possibility of future development in that area. Meads said the water lines and water tanks will be built large enough to serve other developments down Highway 160. Lach asked if UICN took over the system they would dedicate water rights to build up Calvada Unit 9 or any of the surrounding area, a portion of the Spring Mountain raceway is in their service territory.

“There are issues with some of the water rights in that part of the valley. If UICN was to take over this system and operate the system they would have the ability to service areas in that part of the valley that have not had service for all these years. We are designing it correctly so if that were possible, it would be possible without ripping out the infrastructure we installed,” Meads said. “If the county took it, it would be the same scenario. I just don’t know what the (utility service) territory would be. UICN’s territory is very clear on the maps when you look it up.”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Little League strikes back after county action

Pahrump Valley Little League plays its games at Ian Deutch Memorial Park. In fact, its address is listed as 1600 Honeysuckle Street, the park’s address. This is not a secret.

Nye County Treasurer’s trust auction set

Those with a bit of extra cash to invest who are looking to find themselves a good deal on some land in Nye County have just a few days left to prepare for the upcoming Nye County Treasurer’s Trust Property Tax Sale, which is set to take place next weekend.

3 family members die in US 95 crash

An Arizona man is facing numerous felony charges for his alleged role in a two-vehicle, head-on collision that killed three Victor, Idaho residents who were all family members.

Nevada seeking poets for laureate position

Art takes many forms, including the written and the verbal, and those with a passion for language, for the rhythm and rhyme of words, for the cadence of speech, often seek to express that passion in the form of poetry.

Hiker dies in Death Valley

An Arizona congressional staffer has died after he and a female companion went on a hiking excursion in Death Valley National Park.

Going back to school: Tips on how to pay for it

Going back to school can help you advance in your job, re-enter the Pahrump workforce, or support a second act as you chart a completely new career. But what are the right strategies adults should keep in mind to help manage education expenses?

Temporary reduction for businesses

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced guidance under the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Relief Act of 2020, which gives breaks to businesses for certain expenses.

Nevada named top mining destination

Nevada has been named as “the world’s top mining destination,” according to the 2020 survey of resource and exploration companies released by the Fraser Institute.

Cegavske, state Republican Party duel over censure resolution

The Nevada Republican Party defended its Saturday vote to censure Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske over her handling of fraud allegations in the 2020 election.