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Council discusses several ballot questions

City Council discussed several ballot questions for the upcoming November election at its meeting Tuesday.

Council unanimously approved having staff bring back more information about aligning Boulder City’s elections with the state and national elections on even numbered years. Staff was instructed to look at how much the change would cost the city as well as how it would affect the terms of its current elected officials.

Councilman Kiernan McManus encouraged staff to research the process the city of Mesquite went through several years to make that change.

He said that Boulder City would not have to reinvent the wheel.

In a vote of 4-1, council approved having the city attorney draft a ballot question about allowing $750,000 of the capital fund to be spent on a new fire engine, as the fire department’s backup engine cannot currently pass a pump test.

Fire Chief Kevin Nicholson said that engine is from 1999, and rather than spending the money to fix it, it may be a better investment to replace it.

The council cannot use capital funds without voter approval, according to Mayor Rod Woodbury.

City Clerk Lorene Krumm said that the question would just allow the council to spend the money. If another source of income to purchase the engine is found, council is not obligated to spend the funds even if the expenditure has been approved by voters.

McManus voted against drafting the question because he felt there were other financial options for the purchase.

He also voted against drafting a ballot question about selling two parcels of land. One is the site of the old water hydration property at 300 Railroad Ave., and the other is the old airport hangar at 1401 Boulder City Parkway. He objected as to why those two pieces of property were being sold over others in the land management plan.

At the beginning of the meeting, Alan Goya, vice chairman of the historic preservation committee, said that he supported the sale of the two parcels and hoped that they could be adaptively reused.

Resident Sharon Newby said that she would rather see both properties be turned into museums or something else to draw more people into Boulder City.

Council approved having the city attorney draft that question in a vote of 4-1. In another vote of 4-1, council approved having staff bring back more information about amending the city code to allow for council members to represent wards rather than to serve at large.

Councilman Warren Harhay said that having the council seats represent wards instead of at large could sow the seeds of division, and serving at large allows the members to represent the city equally.

“Boulder City being a small town, we don’t need to make it more parochial than it already is,” he said.

Councilman Rich Shuman voted against it.

Currently, the city’s charter commission is working on a recommendation for the proposed ballot question to amend the charter in terms of how enterprise funds are spent and bringing it into compliance with state law.

The proposed ballot question allowing the city to refinance debt to save money is currently being worked on by Acting City Attorney Steve Morris, who said that he intends to reach out to the city’s bond council and draft it.

On Tuesday, council also:

• Heard an update from Jackie Schams of RPS Homes about obtaining secondary access off Madrone Street to The Cottages subdivision. Schams said that the process is moving along and they are just waiting for the paperwork that shows a change in ownership. She said that she expects to have it in February.

• Held a Redevelopment Agency meeting and approved a $5,000 grant for the Dam Short Film Society to use for marketing the 2018 festival.

• Announced that Councilwoman Peggy Leavitt will hold a town hall meeting about tourism at 6 p.m. March 1 at the Senior Center of Boulder City, 813 Arizona St.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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