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Right of way needed for Homestead upgrade

The Regional Transportation Commission voted Tuesday to ask a property owner of a long, one-block section on the west side of Homestead Road between Jeane Avenue and Manse Road across from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, to donate right of way to continue widening and improving the road south.

Public Works Director Dave Fanning said he’s waiting on the district attorney to give advice on how to proceed. He said there’s no money in the budget to acquire the 40 feet of right of way needed to properly align the project.

“We actually have the right to maintain and redo that section of roadway in its configuration if that’s what the board would like to do. We can also condemn the property. That’s never been done,” Fanning said.

Homestead Road is near the top of the list of road improvements, behind the repaving of Manse Road between Homestead Road and Hafen Ranch Road, a project estimated to cost $900,000 from impact fee money scheduled later this year and rebuilding one block of Calvada Boulevard with curb, gutter and sidewalk from Highway 160 to Mount Charleston Drive for which the county will advertise for bids Friday.

RTC member Cameron McRae recalled years ago when Nye County appeared before former Fifth District Judge the late John Davis over a condemnation issue on Leslie Street between Highway 372 and Charleston Park Avenue.

“With the significance of Homestead, I think if we’re going to put money into improving Homestead to any significance, we should get the right of way so we can have it aligned and have a correct map and not take the same path of butting it up and moving it all on the 40 foot side that we have, McRae said.

McRae, a former county commissioner, said in the past the county has sent letters to property owners asking them to sign over right of way.

“There is no funding now to buy out that right of way. So until I get legal opinion I can’t offer something the board has not ruled on,” Fanning said.

“It wouldn’t cost anything to ask him if he would give it to us,” RTC member Dan Schinhofen asked, after which Fanning chuckled slightly. “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”

When McRae made the motion to request the property owner donate the right of way, he said, “if that answer is no,” and he paused, “we can’t even go out for an appraisal.”

Fanning said the assessor’s office could help out with the appraisal.

The public works director said County Commissioner Butch Borasky wants the alignment straightened out at the junction of Homestead Road and Manse Road, which also needs to be considered with this project.

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