Nye County commissioners Tuesday awarded a $98,800 contract to Great Basin Drilling for a 600-foot deep, 10-inch diameter agricultural well at the Calvada Eye, despite a lawsuit filed by Utilities Inc. of Central Nevada.
UICN filed suit against Nye County last week for withholding 17.64 acre feet per year of water rights from the Calvada Eye the county promised to remit. The suit claims the county planned to use those water rights to drill the well.
The expanded water and sewer service contract between UICN and Nye County came after county officials moved into new administrative offices on the Calvada Eye in June 2010. The county approved a $1.43 million contract with Pac-Van Inc. for installation and remodeling of the modular buildings in August 2009, they later awarded a $564,850 contract for the new Health and Human Services building in November 2010. The county is now constructing a new One Stop Shop on the Calvada Eye that will house the planning department, code enforcement as well as Pahrump Building and Safety.
The new agricultural well will irrigate the Calvada Eye, which includes the ponds. Nye County believed it would be allowed pay UICN an agricultural rate for the water, but is being charged the rate for potable water.
“As I understand it, having our own agricultural well will save us thousands of dollars a year,” county Commissioner Dan Schinhofen said in making the motion to award the contract.
County Comptroller Susan Paprocki told the Pahrump Valley Times the county paid an average of $5,740 per month over the last five months to irrigate the Calvada Eye.
County Commissioner Donna Cox questioned why only one bid was received.
Nye County Purchasing Agent Judy Dodge said two other contractors attended a pre-bid meeting but only one submitted a bid. The bid was advertised in the Pahrump Valley Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal and through the Nye County website, she said.
Nye County commissioners in November 2009, initially voted to drill a county water well and provide sewer for the entire Calvada Eye at a cost not to exceed $385,291, but changed their minds in January 2010 and signed a $30,500 contract with UICN to connect county facilities with their water and sewer system. The county had estimated the transfer of 42 acre feet of water rights would cost $208,000, they also expected saving about $10,000 annually on usage fees.