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Beatty Advisory Board backs playground upgrades

The Beatty General Improvement District’s request for help with its playground project received more support from the Beatty Town Advisory Board at the Dec. 11 meeting than it at the previous one.

When members of the BGID board first brought their request for $30,000 to the BTAB, member Randy Reed was absent, and the remaining members split 2-2 for and against providing the money.

This time the full board was present, and the proposal to grant the money passed 4-1.

Perry Forsyth said that he had voted nay originally because he felt the BGID’s first presentation to the BTAB was inadequate, showing too little preparation. He said he felt better about their presentation this time, and that his nay vote would not be repeated.

Melody Koivu cast the only nay vote the second time, explaining that children represented only 9.5 percent of the town’s population, and that she felt that taxpayer money would be better spent on other projects with a wider benefit to the community.

During the BGID’s presentation, Stephanie Beecham said that the $30,000, which would be given in the form of reimbursements, represented “kind of a reserve fund” for contingencies in the project.

“We’ve done years of saving money for big projects,” Beecham said. “We’ve put in a lot of research.”

She said that the new play structure would be “an enormous upgrade for the park.”

“The equipment we have now is dangerous, and this needs to be done,” said resident Joannie Jarvis, and Randy Reed said, “That stuff was old when I was a kid.”

BTAB Chair Erika Gerling said that the new equipment would “bring a sense of pride to our children.”

All other items on the meeting agenda passed by unanimous vote.

The board voted to send a letter of support to the Nevada Commission on Off-Highway Vehicles in support of a grant to build a staging area for off-highway vehicles in Beatty similar to the one recently built in Tonopah.

The proposed staging area would occupy part of the disused driving range across Cottonwood Avenue from the high school. It would include solar security lighting, shade structures, an information kiosk, and security fencing with a cattle guard to keep the burros out.

They also approved sending a comment letter to the BLM on the Esmeralda 7 Environmental Impact Statement and Resource Management Plan Amendment, concerning proposed solar energy projects in the neighboring county. The letter opposed “rewriting an entire RMP to fit any proposed project,” and supported the no-action alternative, basically arguing that this would more effectively make each project have to stand on its own merit.

The board also agreed to continue its annual practice of helping with the cost of utilities for the Beatty Senior Center, approving up to $18,000. They also voted to provide $250 to the Beatty VFW to help with their free community Christmas dinner.

Early in the meeting there was a presentation by Glenn Puit, from Navarro Research and Engineering, about the Nevada Site Specific Advisory Board. The board is currently looking to recruit members from communities near the Nevada National Security Site. The volunteer members receive detailed information on environmental monitoring and clean-up and can contribute to the decision-making process by voicing local concerns.

Richard Stephens is a freelance reporter living in Beatty.

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