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Letters to the Editor

Losing piece of history may be impetus for change

An agenda item for the June 24 meeting of the Boulder City Historic Preservation Committee was to review a proposal to demolish the old hospital building at 701 Park Place and a caretaker home at 700 Arizona St. I attended this meeting and voiced my feelings as a concerned citizen that demolishing this landmark would be a tragedy.

I found out at the meeting that the sale of the property to developer Randy Schams is pending in escrow and supposed to close in August. Plans include demolishing the 1930s structures and building residential units.

One of the reasons I chose to reside in Boulder City was because the town is on the National Register of Historic Places. But I’m finding out that the city isn’t living up to the designation. Our city does not look into funding opportunities to save properties/assist in restorations or provide information for others to look into.

Boulder City has no department, money, staff, energy or apparent desire to create resource information on such funding.

In follow-up research, I discovered the Six Cos. Hospital is a contributing resource in the Boulder City National Historic District, however neither listing in the National Register or the Nevada State Register imposes any legal restrictions on privately funded projects on private property.

I was advised to contact nonprofit groups including Preserve Nevada, Nevada Preservation Foundation and Assemblywoman Hilary Swank. Other research indicated that a local business person had approached the city to change the property from residential to commercial so they could restore the building and create a small bed and breakfast hotel. Reportedly the city believed the neighbors would not want this to happen. I wonder if the neighbors would prefer a bed and breakfast over demolition of the landmark with multiple residential units on the site.

When I Am Free Inc. bought the property to help rehabilitate people with drug problems. It only created problems for the neighbors. The facility closed down and the property defaulted back to the (Sisters of Charity) orthodox church.

I know there are many differing views on this property. I am not a historian or well-versed in preservation issues. I don’t know any millionaires who might buy and restore this landmark. I do want Boulder City residents to know what is happening and urge them to voice their opinions on the Historic Six Cos. Hospital. This landmark might not be able to be saved but maybe the sad event of losing this piece of Boulder City history will be a catalyst for change.

Valerie J. McNay, Ph.D.

There are better uses for money spent on survey

After reading the article about the economic study, I could not believe that it took five months and $55,000 dollars of taxpayers money. Of the approximately 10,000 adults who live in Boulder City, the City Council could not find six adult volunteers to come up with how we can attract tourism to the city.

The $27,500 the city (spent) could have gone a long way to crack seal or fog seal our city streets, which is badly needed.

I have contacted several City Council members and our chamber of commerce about attracting tourists to Boulder City. We have several assets in town to attract tourists: Hemenway Park, Nevada State Railroad Museum, a restaurant that received national media attention and a historical district.

Regarding the study’s recommendations for:

■ Lower speed limit: If I am correct, the Nevada Department of Transportation controls Nevada Highway and lowering the speed limit would cause backup and more smog emissions. Most residents have experienced the average driver on Nevada Highway exceeding the present speed limit.

■ Outdoor amphitheater: We have one at the library and it’s hardly ever used. When used, it gets a good showing from the community. …The $20,000 suggested for economic development should be given to the residents to use for summer programs at the outdoor amphitheater.

■ Movie theater: Within 15 miles we have several megaplex theaters and many consumers are using Netflix, Instant Video, iTunes, Google Play and more. Theater attendance has plummeted to the lowest it’s been in 19 years, according to an article by Steven Tweedie in 2015.

■ New aquatic center: I cannot imagine tourists coming to use this when you have Lake Mead and Cowabunga Bay Water Park, which is only 15.8 miles from Boulder City. It had an $18 million price tag the last time I heard. Yes, I am aware our pool is over 37 years old, but do we need to go into debt when our city streets and electrical system need repair?

■ Nevada State Railroad Museum: Has been overlooked for many years and now there are whispers it will extend to Henderson. … Over the holidays check out its parking lot, which it had to expand. There are many railroad buffs who would stop if they knew about it and if the Nevada State Railroad Museum expanded its display area.

I could go on and I am an average taxpayer. I know this city has wiser and more experienced residents than me who could serve on a committee. I have traveled to 34 countries and all but four states and I have seen how communities attract tourists.

Venues outside the use the international information symbol where, if you are a tourist, you head for to see what the town or city has to offer. It has been documented that using the international information symbol has helped increase tourism.

My suggestion has fallen on deaf ears here in Boulder City, but slowly but surely U.S. communities are using this symbol to attract and assist tourists. …

On almost every Tuesday I walk in the old town section and I cannot tell you how many times I hear a visitor speaking a foreign language. They need a handout from the chamber of commerce telling them about the city and where Hemenway Park, Nevada State Railroad Museum, the historical district and Bootleg Canyon are located.

I do not know how many times I have heard people wished they had bought their house here in our community. … Now the challenge is to maintain the community.

Jesús Velásquez

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