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Town board sets aside funding for bocce ball upgrade

It didn’t take much time for Pahrump Town Board members to conduct their business on Tuesday evening.

Just two action agenda items were considered during the 90-minute proceedings.

The board gave their approval for the purchase of materials to make improvements to the bocce ball courts not to exceed $20,000.

Jim Soltz, Special Olympics area director for Nye County, said the organization uses the bocce ball courts at Ian Deutch Memorial Park to practice and compete with other area Special Olympics teams.

Soltz said the surface condition of the court is long overdue for renovations, due mainly to misuse by a few park visitors.

“There’s the constant digging in the courts by children and the riding of bicycles across the courts causes that condition,” he said. “Then there are those who think they are horseshoe pits and they pound metal stakes into the courts.”

As a result, Soltz noted that practicing and competing on the courts creates unanticipated challenges for the players.

“The conditions make playing the game of bocce almost impossible without hours of preparation before the courts are usable,” Soltz told the board. “The sport of bocce requires a flat, level surface for the ball to roll upon. The surface conditions of poof dirt and infield material, have deteriorated to the point that they cannot withstand the impact of a two-pound bocce ball landing on the court’s surface because the soft conditions causes the ball to follow the contours that currently exist.”

Board member Amy Riches recently visited the courts last weekend and spoke of the less-than-favorable conditions of the facility.

“Those courts have been there for several years and I’m aware it’s for the Special Olympics,” Riches said. “I have been inundated with calls by people who say they never see anybody use them and they thought it was a complete waste of money.”

The issue of installing signage at the park, indicating the site is reserved for bocce ball was discussed by Town Manager Susan Holecheck.

“I think the signs will help,” Holecheck said. “Bocce ball is very, very popular, but people probably haven’t tried it because they don’t know what the heck it is. I think once it’s done right, more people will use it. When you have our youth and adults who are challenged, to afford the opportunity to engage in sports and recreation, to me, it touches my heart.”

Dr. Tom Waters also threw his support behind the item.

“The fact that’s it’s the Special Olympics, I think we should move on this,” he said.

Pahrump Parks and Recreation Advisory Board member Diane Southworth was equally supportive.

“If it’s for the kids, do it,” she said.

Following further discussion, and despite Riches’ initial reservations about the proposal, board members voted unanimously to approve the item.

Board members also approved the purchase of replacement commercial refrigerators at four Town facilities mandatedby the State of Nevada Health Division, at an amount not to exceed $24,000.

That item also passed unanimously.

There are just two more town board meetings until the Pahrump Town Board is dissolved next year.

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