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Water District Governing Board projects budget surplus

The Nye County Water District Governing Board will have a budget surplus at the end of the fiscal year 2017, officials projected.

At the WDGB meeting last week, Darrell Lacy, Nye County Water District manager, presented a draft budget that said the board will have $154,942 of carryover.

“The expectation right now is that we will have expenditures of $424,900 which gives you $155,000 carryover which then starts with $271,000 of parcel fees coming forward,” Darrell Lacy said.

In fiscal year 2015, the board had $305,310 of carryover funds.

According to the document, the board will spend $17,000 on USGS Nitrate Sampling. Officials also included $20,000 for water quality baseline studies that would include RIBs, US Ecology in Beatty and fracking issues.

Oz Wichman’s contract is $60,000; legal services by George Benesch are budgeted for $20,000.

The board also budgeted $50,000 on litigation, but never spent any of it.

Next year, the board is going to be mandated to increase parcel fees.

Officials also discussed the cost of capital projects for the Basin 162 Groundwater Management Plan. Officials previously discussed segregating costs for the groundwater management plan. Lacy said other than impact fees and parcel fees, there are several types of taxation available within the district.

“The groundwater management plan needs to come up with some funding to support it. That’s one of the discussions this board needs to have,” he said.

The impact fees currently cover roads, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office and parks.

Although the district serves the whole county, some officials said the plan needs to be funded by Pahrump. Others disagreed.

“We kind of have to get away from we versus them. Or you guys down there versus you guys up there, we all in a sense pay for something that somebody else is using. … When you need to address other issues in other basins, they need to be brought up. But as far as taxes, it’s going to have to be big, fair and equitable across the board, even though we may not be getting the money we expect because of what we are paying,” Ken Searles said.

Some suggested taxing water rights as a solution. There’s no county in Nevada that taxes water rights. They are included in the value of the land.

Officials accepted the presented budget and said they will look into other sources of revenue that are more “equitable” at another time. They will discuss the budget again next month.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dsokolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

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