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Past year reflects positively on future

It’s my second holiday season in Boulder City since I became a resident in August 2021. As the end of this year approaches, I want to reflect on what I’ve appreciated experiencing, working toward and accomplishing. There are many to thank for our focus and progress in 2022, including the City Council, city employees, and residents’ feedback.

I’ve enjoyed 16 months as a part of the Boulder City community. Boulder City, being clean and green, with its atmosphere, large expansive parks, events and people, is what drew me to it. The historical value of Boulder City — the dedication, hard work and pride of the people who built Hoover Dam — is still felt today.

Despite Boulder City’s firm founding, recent times have presented new challenges. COVID created health and economic concerns, while a historic drought looms, threatening the drinking water shared by several states and potentially hampering the ability to create hydroelectric power. Nevertheless, the great news is that solutions are underway to these challenges.

Boulder City received approximately $21 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding. The City Council approved a spending plan in July of this year. The spending plan will change over time as projects and priorities shift, but it is a guiding document on how we can spend the funds by the deadline in December 2026.

Last month, the city fulfilled a request from Emergency Aid of Boulder City and provided an additional $50,000 (nearly $400,000 earmarked for assistance and facility upgrades). This funding will help our most vulnerable residents make ends meet, whether it helps get groceries or pay utilities.

The ARPA spending plan calls for investments in infrastructure that will help the city to achieve better water conservation — which includes changes to our irrigation systems — as well as wastewater projects.

The most significant wastewater project is presently in progress. Since Boulder City’s inception, the city’s wastewater has been treated and either used for dust control efforts or sent to a desert aquifer. That has not changed in decades; every day, more than a million gallons of Boulder City wastewater does not get reclaimed. We are currently working with the Southern Nevada Water Authority to address this. Two major options are being considered, and we’re striving to have a plan in the coming months.

We also recently received approval for a grant to move forward with plans to potentially become Nevada’s first International Dark Skies community. Working with our chamber of commerce and the Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation, the city received a grant of $1.9 million from the U.S. Economic Development Authority to retrofit every municipal light in the next few years.

We’ll replace several thousand outdoor bulbs and fixtures with new, energy-efficient, light-pollution-reducing fixtures. These dimmable, eco-friendly light fixtures will help protect natural ecosystems and native wildlife from critical light pollution impacts and advance sustainable dark sky recreation and tourism opportunities for families and visitors. Nearly 60 percent of residents who answered our survey about the project say they would support implementation, including voluntary measures they would take on their properties.

With multiple projects completed and in motion, I appreciate everyone who keeps our city safe, clean and on the right track. Boulder City employees do commendable work to find balance in meeting the city’s needs. We have people with years — even decades — of experience working for our community. We also have newer faces, and I can see their energy and commitment to making Boulder City the best it can be. I enjoy watching the team work together because they do so positively and innovatively, improving the quality of life for our residents, visitors and business owners.

I appreciate the former leaders who just wrapped up their elected terms: Kiernan McManus, Claudia Bridges and James Adams. I am glad to have worked with you this past year.

In the coming weeks, new faces join current council members Sherri Jorgensen and Matt Fox on the dais: Mayor Joe Hardy and council members Steve Walton and Cokie Booth. All three are excited to be in the roles and have been preparing extensively. They are eager to attain goals for the community, and I enjoy getting to know them and their priorities.

Lastly, as 2022 concludes, I want to share my appreciation for the residents of Boulder City. We always find a way to help one another, show respect for differing opinions and make our community a model for other cities. With your feedback, we will continue progressing and ensuring Boulder City remains aligned with the community’s desires.

Taylour Tedder is the city manager for Boulder City.

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