Happy new year, Boulder City! As we enter the new decade, I would like to remind the residents of our great town that we will be celebrating a birthday on Jan. 4. It is the 60th anniversary of the incorporation of Boulder City as a municipality.
The Boulder City Chamber of Commerce is hosting the event, which takes place between 6 and 8 p.m. at the city recreation center, 900 Arizona St. Many thanks to Jill Lagan and her staff at the chamber as well as longtime resident Bill Rackey for keeping this important date for our community in our memory.
There were many important dates and milestones in the establishment of Boulder City as the community that it is now. From the original act of Congress in 1928 for the Boulder Canyon project and the completion of Hoover Dam in 1935, our city has had an interesting path.
There were attempts following the completion of Hoover Dam to end control of the city by the federal government and allow the residents to form their own city government. A majority of residents preferred the benefits the government already provided and the enforcement of laws against gambling, alcohol and prostitution. Las Vegas was already pursuing the marketing that would make it the entertainment capital of the world.
But the time came when Congress signed the Boulder City bill in September 1958. The final documents were signed on Jan. 4, 1960, and Boulder City became self-governing for the first time in its history.
The central discussion among residents has always seemed to remain the same: pursue growth or maintain the small-town qualities gifted to Boulder City in 1960. The first 20 years of self-governing for the town had it double or more in size. By 1979, citizens passed the first of the initiatives that would become known as controlled growth.
While residents had put off self-governing for many years following the completion of Hoover Dam, the majority of people have taken the responsibility for determining the direction of the city very seriously since that time. There have been many challenges to maintaining the direction the majority of residents prefer. But the benefits that were constructed with Hoover Dam have allowed this community to prosper in ways that do not require large-scale residential growth.
The growth of renewable energy projects has provided a steady source of revenue for this community. Additional projects are under construction or in the final planning stages. These projects are directly related to the transmission lines and corridors that were established during the construction of the dam. The financial outlook for the city is strong if we understand that growth does not always have to mean housing and commercial development.
Of course, there are opportunities to see changes in our city that will be positive for the community. We already enjoy a wide range of activities here, including the ability to take a leisurely stroll.
We are currently experiencing the building of more homes over a period of about three years than we have seen in more than the past 20 years. We have seen several local businesses invest in remodeling projects and a couple of new businesses start up here recently. A second grocery store remains a challenge because of the downsizing in the grocery business. There has been some interest, and this will be pursued.
The impact of the Interstate 11 bypass was a real concern for many businesses and residents. Some businesses did have a loss of revenue. The overall impact has not been as dire as some feared. Now that information for the past year is in the books, we can begin to determine how best to make up for the losses and pursue the successes.
We have much to look forward to in the coming year as a community. I hope we all keep in mind the significant efforts made by so many in making this a great place to live. We ask a great deal from our community. There are many who have contributed so much to make that possible. Let’s all remember to give as good as we get. See you Saturday.
Kiernan McManus is the mayor of Boulder City. He is a native of Boulder City first elected to the City Council in 2017.