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Tonight, Utilities Inc. wants residents’ input

Utilities Inc. of Central Nevada has received suggestions from 54 people for anything from soccer fields to a Frisbee golf course to an outdoor movie theater at the old Willow Creek Golf Course, UICN President Wendy Barnett said.

UICN will hold an “open mic” night at 6 p.m. today at the Mountain Falls Grill Room to gather ideas from the public on what they want at the golf course. The utility company took over 160 acres of the property in a bankruptcy court ruling last summer. The Public Utilities Commission approved a $50,000 master plan UICN is putting together for the golf course.

“That’s a lot of land in the middle of our community and what do we want to do with it as a community?” Barnett said.

Barnett said she will explain there are some restrictions on what the property can be used for. For example, PUC Chairman Alaina Burtenshaw said at a public meeting UICN can’t use it for a golf course, the utility can’t make any money off it.

“We just want to give everybody, if they have ideas, to submit them so that as we gothrough and develop this we’re doing this with the community interest at heart. The people that have come forward are very interested in this education park or different portions of it,” Barnett said.

The Great Basin Nature Club and the University of Nevada, Reno Cooperative Extension Service Master Gardeners are interested in a native plant demonstration project, she said. There is an interest in showing what type of wildlife are present in these habitats. The Red Rock Audubon Society has already agreed to provide $20,000 worth of irrigation to save trees on 20 acres.

Residents can submit entries for a contest to rename the golf course Barnett said. It has been called Willow Creek after the bankruptcy of Preferred Equities Corporation in 2003 when it was known as the Calvada Championship Golf Course. Entries can be submitted online at bewatersmart@uiwater.com or by fax to 727-7879. The winner will receive an energy efficient washing machine. Entries are due by Nov. 30.

“Willow Creek has been through so much litigation and has so many negative connotations I just thought about changing the name to be more reflective of what we want to do out there, just kind of create an open space for the community in partnership with the community,” Barnett said.

The No. 1 priority of UICN is to protect the operations of their sewage treatment plant on the golf course, she said. A tripartite agreement signed in 2000 by the previous owners requires the disposal of 425,000 gallons per day of recycled effluent from the plant to the still open Lake View Executive Golf Course and the remainder at Willow Creek.

A grant application has been submitted to Toyota for golf course improvements. Barnett said Pahrump Valley Disposal has offered to chip the 145 dead trees removed from the property and store the chip until UICN is ready to develop the open space, she said. Barnett said she has also had discussions with possible sponsors like Toro lawn mowers and CVS Pharmacies.

Barnett said she has approval from the PUC and the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (NDEP) to make the improvements, but she needs approvals from Nye County. Once the county gives permission she expects it will take five months to start remediation work on the hazards.

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