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City accepts awards for public works projects

The Boulder City Department of Public Works received two awards from the American Public Works Association, Nevada Chapter, at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

The public works department won the association’s structures under $5 million award for its work on Whalen Baseball Field and the award for best environmental structure under $5 million for its work on Bootleg Canyon Park Nature Discovery Trail.

“I think it is safe to say that Boulder City swept the competition in this category,” Raquel Shoet, said Public Works Association representative.

The association considered a number of factors determining the awards, including the structure’s sustainability, creativity and if it was on budget.

Public Works Director Scott Hansen said they won the award for Whalen Baseball Field renovations because of strong community involvement.

“When we started renovating the baseball field we knew it was a community project,” Hansen said.

Hansen said the high school baseball team even came out, painting the brand-new dugouts to help a friend with his Eagle Scout project.

“I don’t think we would have won if we didn’t get the community involved as much as we did.”

The project also was finished under budget. The city thought renovations would cost around $180,000, but managed to keep costs to $140,000.

The city even shaved $13,000 extra off the budget because of the generosity of Las Vegas Paving, which did all the demolition work for free.

“I really appreciate Las Vegas Paving coming in here and saving us a lot of money on the project,” Hansen said. While community was the reason for winning the first award, the public works department credits creativity for winning the award for Bootleg Canyon Park Nature Discovery Trail. According to Hansen, Bootleg Canyon is a simultaneous nature trail and museum complete with interactive panels to learn about the Mojave Desert and its inhabitants via giant concrete animal statues.

“I am not surprised they won an award for Bootleg Canyon,” Councilman Cam Walker said. “It is honestly incredible to see what they did with the place and I encourage everyone to go check it out.”

Hansen said he and his team of engineers thought about the creative aspect of Bootleg Canyon to counter the loss of business in Boulder City that may come with the completion of the Interstate 11 bypass.

“With the bypass coming we need to figure out ways to get people to come to Boulder City,” Hansen said. “There are 45 million people who visit Las Vegas every year and 7 million of those people visit the Hoover Dam. We created the interactive exhibit at Bootleg because we wanted to attract those tourists.

“It was a very unique project and it would not have been possible without the engineers.”

Hansen wanted to personally thank city engineer Jim Keane and engineer Sharon Reiman.

In other actions: City Council unanimously approved a grant of easement to NV Energy, giving the company a nonexclusive right to construct, maintain or modify communications and electrical facilities on its property in Eldorado Valley.

Contact reporter Max Lancaster at mlancaster@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow him on Twitter @MLancasterBCR.

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