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Letters to the Editor

Easy to spend taxpayers’ money

Two articles in the May 11 issue of Boulder City Review dealt with our city budget. The first reports on the city spending $500,000 for new “AMI type” meters to “improve staff efficiency.” This new “not smart” meter allows a meter reader to read electric consumption from the sidewalk instead of at the house. Smart meters allow reading at the utility office.

So, are we spending $500,000 to save a few steps from the sidewalk to the house? Residents will be charged a monthly service charge of $10 for the new meter but $25 for an old meter effective July 1, 2018. Is this the current residential electric base charge of $10? Or is the monthly service charge a new charge to pay for the $500,000 expenditure?

The second article is about recent city job recruitment. The city had budgeted $75,000 for a management analyst position responsible for writing grants but decided to upgrade the job internally by reassigning (Brok) Armantrout, the $114,715 a year community development director to the new special project director job because he has had previous grant-writing experience.

The city is now looking for a new community development director for $97,758 a year. So, we went from $114,715 plus $75,000 a year budgeted to $114,715 plus $$97,758 a year.

If we do our household budget the way the council does the city budget, we’ll surely need a very generous rich aunt or uncle indeed.

Wanda Durick

Rapid development will likely lower home values in city

Most of the comments about a proposed 1,600-home development in Boulder City haven’t pointed out the relative size of that. It’s about a third of the existing town size.

A third. That’s massive for any town to grow by one third.

We really don’t have to wonder what will happen to the town if that sort of rapid development is allowed. It already happened to North Las Vegas, Las Vegas and Henderson. As new homes flood the market, existing older homes lose value.

As values fall, owners try to sell at whatever they can get to avoid even lower values. Many of the older homes are bought by the working poor at a discounted price. Others are bought by investors who rent the houses to low-income families. Conditions in those neighborhoods deteriorate.

That’s not a guess, it’s historical fact. If you doubt it, just take a short drive over the hill to the older sections of the nearby cities.

Rapid growth will be very bad for anyone owning one of the older homes in Boulder City.

Lindy Casey

Question 1 would benefit city’s residents, not change ordinance

The people of Boulder City voted in recent years to sell certain parcels of land for residential development in order to allow some modest growth and obtain revenue for the city. The existing limit of 30 units per development per year has resulted in no bids on the Boulder Creek tract.

It has also resulted in the city being required to allow the only bidder on the Bristlecone property to build its 128 houses in three phases, which (a) ties up the land for at least three years while the developer still has the right to back out; (b) delays payment of the sales price to the city on the second and third phases; (c) delays the city’s ability to receive property tax revenues on the second and third phases; and (d) stretches construction and its negative impacts on nearby neighborhoods out over many more years than if the developer could have acquired all of the allotments at once, including traffic obstructions on Adam Boulevard and Bristlecone Drive that we motorists will have to deal with.

Only the developer benefits at the expense of the citizens and taxpayers of Boulder City. At the end of the project, the same number of new houses will have been built, but the city will have received far less money, and our citizens will have suffered the construction impacts over a much longer period. How does that benefit anyone?

Passing Question 1 won’t change the essential growth control laws requiring voter approval of city land sales and capping total units at 120 per year. Plus 50 of those 120 allotments happily will be reserved for owner-builders and small developments.

We should support Question 1 to carry out the voter-mandates sales in a way that truly benefits Boulder City.

Bruce Woodbury

Thanks to council for putting power line project on hold

Our city leaders have decided to put this project on hold for at least one year while alternative solutions are being evaluated. The Hemenway Valley Coalition Group would like to thank our mayor, Rod Woodbury, and Councilman Cam Walker for their efforts.

Councilman Walker presented ideas, followed up on questions and took action to bring all the interested parties to the table. Mayor Woodbury provided guidance, direction and leadership to ensure all ideas were properly vetted.

Although the final decision on this project has not been made, we are confident that these elected leaders will keep the best interest of Boulder City forefront in their decisions.

Have a flawless day.

Tom Perkins and Cokie Booth

Nevada’s natural resources deserve protection

For the past five years, I’ve been packing up my truck every spring and driving to eastern Nevada to enjoy one of the least densely populated areas of the United States.

The broad valleys and limestone mountains never fail to amaze. Springs and creeks flowing from the hills support rich riparian zones and bring in birds and other wildlife from miles around. This region is lush and beautiful.

It’s also under threat. Across eastern Nevada, the Southern Nevada Water Authority seeks to build dozens of massive groundwater wells and pump almost every drop of water south to feed Las Vegas developments.

Another major threat is felling pinyon pine and juniper forests across the entire intermountain west. Ranchers have been doing this for decades to remove pesky trees getting in the way of their grass and, more importantly, their profit. As overgrazing continues to plague Nevada, removing trees allows ranchers to maintain the illusion that overstocking can continue indefinitely.

Countless people, including myself, are mobilizing to protect this land. I’d like to invite you to join myself and other community members for the fifth annual Sacred Water, Sacred Forests Camp.

The camp takes place over Memorial Day weekend, May 27-29, near Ely and Great Basin National Park. If you’re interested in attending, just search for “Sacred Water Sacred Forests 2017” using any search engine, and contact info will show up.

Max Wilbert

(Wilbert is a community organizer based in western Oregon who considers Nevada a second home.)

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Air traffic control towers save lives

I commend the City Council for its interest in the construction of an air traffic control tower at the Boulder City airport, a move that will enhance safety and could even save lives.

Bishop’s ordination filled the soul

Hundreds of devout souls came out Friday to celebrate one of Boulder City’s own, the Rev. Gregory Gordon, who was ordained as the first auxiliary bishop for the Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas.

Consult pilots about need for air control tower

Did you know that there are over 15,000 public and private airports in the United States, and only 300 or so are served by the airlines? There are only 648 airport control towers in the entire nation. Therefore, there are approximately 14,000 airports without control towers. So, the question is: Does our tiny airport need a control tower?

Extend warm welcome to new council members

Tuesday, the city welcomed its two new council members, Matt Fox and Sherri Jorgensen. I wish them all the best as they begin this new chapter in their lives.

Some information bears repeating — often

So often we say or write something and the intended audience takes it in a completely different way from what you planned or ignores it totally. What do you do?

Does city desire family housing?

Many issues seem to be a perpetual part of Boulder City politics. One of those that always seems to arise during an election is how does Boulder City continue to keep our schools filled with children? Over half the population of Boulder City is older than 50.

Commentary: Water conservation remains key to sustainable future

The last time Lake Mead was at 35 percent capacity, it was being filled in the 1930s. While ongoing drought and climate change have created an uncomfortable reality and stressed water supplies, the Southern Nevada Water Authority has been preparing for this for almost 20 years. Now, with a federal shortage declaration just weeks away, our community’s commitment to conserving our limited water resources takes on a new urgency as we strive to protect the vibrancy of the place that more than two million of us call home.

Public utility commission needed for social media

Holding and reading a newspaper is old school these days. However, Facebook, and other social media platforms, have given us the power of instant feedback. I said in a previous column that all feedback is good, even when it is negative.

Enjoy July’s many gifts

Today is July 1 and it marks the beginning of one of my favorite months of the year.

New leaders will bring fresh perspective to city

The recent municipal election resulted in two new council members being elected. I congratulate Sherri Jorgensen and Matt Fox on their elections and welcome their input on City Council.