The progress of recovery from the COVID-19 virus continues, albeit slowly. Over the past year the city has partnered with local businesses and nonprofits to distribute funds from the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act signed into law by President (Donald) Trump. More than half a million dollars was provided as grants to businesses, support for the Senior Center (of Boulder City) and funding for Emergency Aid (of Boulder City).
Local businesses also received hundreds of thousands of dollars through the Paycheck Protection Program.
CARES funded our local fire department to provide free testing and vaccines. Chief (Will) Gray and the firefighters put in an enormous effort providing these services at no cost. Many residents also volunteered huge amounts of their time and skills helping our neighbors and families.
As the funding from the CARES Act expired in June, funding from the American Rescue Plan signed into law by President (Joe) Biden was being distributed. These funds continue support for small businesses and help with mortgages and rent.
Free vaccines are now readily available. This week the fire department is providing free mobile vaccine clinics at several locations and various times for the convenience of residents, with no appointment needed. Boulder City Hospital and local pharmacies continue to provide vaccines by appointment at no cost and no insurance required.
The ARPA legislation also provides funding for city infrastructure and other projects. The city is eligible for more than $21 million over the next two years.
Recently appointed City Manager Taylour Tedder will begin his position next week. Town hall meetings will begin soon asking for your input on the projects that will bring the most benefit to our community.
Congresswoman Susie Lee obtained an additional $1 million in funding for needed maintenance work at the city wastewater treatment plant.
The (Clark County) School District held a meeting this week to hear from residents on ARPA funding being provided for improving schools and education in Nevada.
Among these positive projects and efforts, a sour note was sounded in the explanation of a bill in the State Legislature, AB320. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Glen Leavitt and co-sponsored by State Sen. Joe Hardy. Both represent districts that include Boulder City.
Leavitt provided a less-than-illuminating explanation of the bill in a column in this paper last month following the end of the State Legislature session. The bill concerns the use of off-highway vehicles on city streets.
An existing law already provides for cities the size of Boulder City to allow the use of OHVs on city streets. Two years ago, a ballot question asked voters here whether to allow the vehicles. A majority of voters rejected the use. The bill Leavitt introduced originally only made a small change in the definition of OHVs.
The Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association filed a letter opposing the use of these vehicles on public roads. The ROHVA is accredited for setting standards for these vehicles.
Leavitt later amended the bill to require cities the size of Boulder City to allow the use of OHVs unless the City Council specifically repealed the use. Once knowledge of the ballot question defeat here became known to other legislators, Leavitt withdrew the amendment forcing the use of the vehicles onto Boulder City. The bill then passed with the negligible change in definition Leavitt had initially introduced.
Whether you are in favor of or opposed to the use of OHVs on city streets, I find it troubling that such a change was attempted when voters had already rejected the idea.
I have heard threats in the past few years how developers would force the repeal of our conservative growth laws by using influence at the state Legislature. We should ask the voters here how our town should operate. There are more important things for our state legislators to have spent time on rather than reversing the will of the voters.
A “fast fact” in closing this month: the state of Vermont now has almost 85 percent of all adults vaccinated. The number of COVID patients hospitalized last week in the entire state was three. Please get the facts on the vaccine from your health care provider. We need to make the virus a bad memory and not a continuing reality.
The opinions expressed above belong solely to the author and do not represent the views of the Boulder City Review. They have been edited solely for grammar, spelling and style, and have not been checked for accuracy of the viewpoints.
Kiernan McManus is mayor of Boulder City. He is a native of Boulder City first elected to City Council in 2017.