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Resolution of issues on Amargosa property may be close

The long, drawn out issue regarding waste buildup between an Amargosa Valley land owner and Nye County dragged on this week, but a resolution may soon be in sight.

At Tuesday’s Nye County Commission meeting, the subject of what to do with the pig farm located on land owned by Stephen Settlemyer on East Cook Road was discussed.

The issue has been brought up several times over the past few months, as there is an ongoing issue of waste buildup and issues that it’s causing at the site.

A complaint made in March suggested an unknown “white substance” which was believed to be milk or milk substances, being pumped onto green waste or compost piles.

The complaint also alleges that the farm operation does not have the “appropriate controls in place to be protective of human health and the environment,” and that the operator does not have the necessary permits for a “composting operation.”

The board continued an abatement on the property that was issued last month, and went over possible actions and ways to pay for what would be a costly cleanup at the site.

“The only way we recoup our losses from abatement, from sending people in there to clean it up… is that lien is the only way we realize monies back from it is if the property sells, or if they tried to mortgage it.” Commissioner Lorinda Wichman said.

Settlemyer, who showed up after the commissioners’ meeting adjourned, said he could soon move the operation out of the town entirely after issues with compost piles.

“I don’t think it’s going to work out there for us,” he said. “We’re thinking about moving the operation. But it’s OK, Amargosa has its problems.”

Settlemyer questioned the complaint, as he explained the property isn’t near anyone who could be annoyed with anything on the site.

“I’ve lived in this property for 10 years, and I have never seen a person,” he said. “And we’re a nuisance?”

With the continuing issue, Settlemyer said he plans to compost the waste in question, but was having mechanical issues with his machine.

“We’re going to grind everything,” he said. “It was sitting there for month. We were going to grind it and make mulch.

“One of our machines had broke down and we told them we had a problem with the grinder and he (unnamed county commissioner) was very pleasant. They said to give them a water sample of something they were after.”

The commissioners are going to look into what exactly needs to do be done to resolve the issue and put the item on a future agenda in order to finalize their decision.

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