weather icon Clear

UICN to county: Please don’t intervene in Willow Creek permit

TONOPAH — Numerous dockets are before the Nevada Public Utilities Commission in which Nye County may want to intervene, but the request for a permit to rehabilitate the ponds at the Willow Creek golf course isn’t one of them, Utilities Inc. of Central Nevada President Wendy Barnett urged county commissioners Tuesday.

Barnett, in a statement read by UICN Water Conservation Coordinator Judy Gilmore, acknowledged they encouraged Nye County to file for intervener status in the docket filing on their integrated resource plan, a three-year capital improvement plan.

But she added, “given the importance to this community of completing the necessary remediation at Willow Creek, UICN asks that you work cooperatively with us through any concerns that you might have and identify them up front to avoid unnecessary delay.”

UICN has asked for a Utility Environmental Protection Act permit to rehabilitate and enlarge an existing receiving pond at the Willow Creek property, add a second overflow pond, rehabilitate two pump houses and install two rapid infiltration basins. UICN will also replace and relocate 810 feet of pump house discharge pipe and 190 feet of Lakeview Golf Course pump house discharge pipe.

Barnett said the company is asking to build improvements Nye County testified they wanted. It is part of the remediation of environmental issues and health threats created by past owners of the golf course, which Barnett said went neglected by Jim Scott, president of the former owner Caldera P and G. She said the Fifth Judicial District Court declared the storage pond was a clear and present danger to the Pahrump community.

“As the commission is well aware, this project has been needlessly delayed multiple times and we are finally at a point where not only could the environmental hazards be remediated, we could start to turn this property into something beneficial to the community,” Barnett said. “UICN asks for your help in supporting this very needed and overdue remediation so it can happen as quickly as possible, without legal intervention which will only cause further delays and legal fees.”

Utilities Inc. said the plans for the Willow Creek remediation have already been approved by the PUC and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, the UEPA permit will allow the company to construct the improvements and ensure they don’t harm the environment.

Barnett’s request went unheeded as county commissioners voted to intervene in the docket and appointed Nye County Planning Director Darrell Lacy to represent them.

Lacy said county staff recommended intervening in the permit request instead of just submitting comments to have a seat at the table. It’s a docket that will be looking at the Willow Creek golf course sewer plant, receiving ponds for the recycled effluent and rapid infiltration ponds, he said.

UICN will have to get a permit from Nye County for the land improvements and the county will have to approve their request for a Nevada Division of Environmental Protection permit, Lacy said.

“This is really the opportunity to make it known if you have any expectations for a different way of addressing the problem at the Willow Creek Golf Course. As everyone is well aware, there’s a lot of land sitting there in various states of disrepair. If they’re going to be the owners, with owners come responsibility and I feel it’s the board’s priority to make their opinions known on this,” Lacy said.

Commissioner Dan Schinhofen noted Scott was thrown in jail for disregarding a court order on the Willow Creek clean-up. He wanted to know the holdup in the clean-up. UICN was given ownership of 15 of the 16 parcels during a bankruptcy proceeding last summer but has yet to take possession.

District Attorney Brian Kunzi said there’s been no documents recorded yet with the county transferring ownership from the bankruptcy estate. He said the county has to be careful as it proceeds.

“What the commission has to understand, any wastewater treatment facility is ultimately your responsibility. If the utility goes under, you have to assume responsibilities for that system. So I think it’s very important for you to be an intervener and have a seat at the table,” Kunzi said.

Pahrump Town Board Vice-chairman Bill Dolan complained the county already spent thousands and thousands of taxpayer dollars fighting UICN. Kunzi disputed claims the county was causing a war with UICN and said the intervention was only to allow Nye County to have a seat at the table and understand the plans.

“To act like this is a contracted legal battle misunderstands the whole function of these types of dockets and intervention. I’m not even suggesting there’s not going to be cooperation,” Kunzi said.

Landscape Tour will highlight local yards

The Pahrump Valley Garden Club is all set to hold its 16th Annual Landscape Tour and anyone with an interest in gardening, plants or yard art will not want to miss out. This year’s event features six local yards, all hand-picked by the Garden Club members to give attendees a wide variety of landscape types to peruse.

GALLERY: Celebrating the lives of lost loved ones

Butterflies are a symbol of transformation and one of the most transformative things a person can experience is the death of someone they love.

Local families invited to Community Baby Shower

Raising a child can be hard. That’s something the members of Pahrump Mothers Corner understand all too well. In an effort to ease the challenges of parenthood, particularly for new and expecting families, this group of local moms banded together to host a Community Baby Shower and the event proved to be very popular, leading to its return for the third year running.

Tonopah to be home to experimental hypersonic testing facility

Ambitious. It’s an apt word to describe Michael Grace’s vision for the future of his company, Longshot Space Technology Corporation, which, if all goes to plan, will build what he calls the world’s largest potato gun.

Pahrump man arrested for elder abuse

A Pahrump man wanted by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of elder abuse was arrested while attempting to purchase multiple vehicles at a Las Vegas car dealership, according to authorities.

Nye sheriff explains why you shouldn’t flee from the law

A man suspected of driving a stolen vehicle out of Las Vegas led Nye County Sheriff’s Office deputies on a high-speed pursuit into Pahrump on Monday morning, April 15.

Amargosa veterans honored with their own Quilts of Valor ceremony

The Nye County Valor Quilters are on a mission — to cover local veterans in the comfort of healing Quilts of Valor to honor the service and sacrifices they’ve made in the name of freedom – and now, these talented artists have started to expand their reach outside of the Pahrump Valley.

Vehicle in garage destroyed by fire

No serious injuries were reported after fire gutted a vehicle inside the garage of a home along the 2400 block of Zuni Avenue on Wednesday, April 10.