Three projects submit requests for block grants

With Nye County finances running dry, three entities threw their hats into the ring for the National Community Development Block Grant that would help to replace their dilapidated infrastructure.

On Tuesday, several applicants presented their projects for funding under the next fiscal year’s State Community Development Block Grant program in front of Nye County commissioners.

Timaree Koscik, co-program director for the Tonopah-based Nye County Senior Nutrition Program, submitted an application for two long-distance medical trip vehicles totaling $60,000.

“We currently have five vehicles in our fleet that we use for these trips, they all have 200,000 (miles) plus, we even have one that has almost 400,000 miles,” Koscik told commissioners.

After the closure of Nye Regional Medical Center in Tonopah, Koscik said the organization has seen a slight increase in the number of requests for transportation.

“We are just now beginning to receive calls daily from new clients, inquiring about our services because of the closure of the hospital and needing to go out of town for their routine medical care,” she said.

The vehicles used in the program are maintained by the county and transport senior citizens and Medicaid clients to such places as Bishop, Carson City, Fallon, Hawthorne, Las Vegas, Pahrump, Reno and Sparks.

The funds are available on a competitive basis to Nevada’s 26 non-entitlement cities and counties with a population less than 200,000 people under a range of requirements.

According to the grant requirements, 70 percent of the projects funded must benefit communities and neighborhoods where at least 51 percent of the residents have annual household incomes of 80 percent or less of the median income for their respective counties.

Eligible activities consist of housing rehabilitation programs, public facility and public improvement projects, public service programs, planning studies, economic development business assistance and microenterprise activities.

Eligible activities also must meet one or more of the three national objectives listed in the CDBG federal statutes, such as benefit to low-income households or persons; eliminate slums and blight or meet urgent community development need.

Vance Payne, director of Nye County Emergency Management, also applied for a grant that would cover the Nye County ambulance replacement program that includes a fleet of vehicles servicing Beatty Ambulance, located at 317 West Hoyt Street in Beatty.

The total cost for this ambulance replacement is $165,000 and Payne said he wants to replace a 10-year-old high-maintenance fleet with new vehicles. The grant would help a fleet maintenance project that supports the needs for five stations and fourteen ambulances, he said.

Aside from Beatty, Nye County Ambulance also serves Amargosa Valley, Tonopah, Big Smoky Valley and Gabbs.

“The opportunity for breakdowns is high with this equipment that we have and we are trying to eliminate that. This particular rig that we are talking about has failed five times this year,” he said.

Additionally, Nye County submitted an application that would cover a complex water tank located west of Highway 160 between Boothill Drive and Basin Avenue in Pahrump.

The total estimated cost for the project is approximately $322,000 of which $292,000 would be requested from CDBG with a $30,000 county match, consisting of administrative costs of the grant and demolition, officials said.

During the meeting, commissioners Frank Carbone and Dan Schinhofen also suggested submitting applications for the skate park, Calvada Eye and utilities at the fairgrounds.

The projects are yet to be approved and Nye County commissioners are still accepting applications and asking for public input on possible activities that could be included in an application.

A final hearing where commissioners will discuss, approve and rank applications prior to submittal to the state will take place on Dec.15, 2015.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at On Twitter: @dariasokolova77