Tuesday night’s regular City Council meeting was another long one, as 40 people, both local residents and several out-of-town visitors, spoke against any changes in the existing Resolutions 649 and 669 for more than 90 minutes.
The new Resolution, 867 was motioned by Councilman George Rapson, seconded by Councilman Kraig Hafen, that would support an National Conservation Area designation for the Gold Butte area with no additional Wilderness areas and that temporary closures of roads due to an ‘Act of God’ are reopened within seven working days. Mayor Al Litman voiced his opposition to the language in the Resolution before a motion was made, stating that the language was too ambiguous, much like Senate Bill 199, and in regards to terms of road closures and access for mechanized vehicles.
“Frankly these are not monumental issues here,” stated Rapson. “This is a Resolution, it is not a legal document. It’s simply a statement of position (by the City). We could over-engineer this thing and have a 40 page legal document.”
The revised resolution also had an exception that would allow the Virgin Valley Water District to have access to existing water rights in the area and be able to build and construct necessary facilities.
Rapson’s motion was approved with three votes for it made by Rapson, Hafen and Councilman Geno Withelder. Councilman Rich Green and Councilwoman Cindi Delaney voted against it. Comments in the final public comment portion of the meeting had several people calling for the Mayor to veto the decision. Litman spoke with the MLN Wednesday morning stating that he would let the Resolution stand as council had voted.
Other items covered in the meeting Tuesday night included approval for the week of May 17-23, 2015 as “National Public Works Week”, accepting of a presentation from the Colorado River Commission regarding the City receiving power from Hoover Dam and approving the Operation Location Agreement with the Nevada Institute of Autonomous Systems, which would operate drone testing on City property near Exit 112.
Council also voted unanimously to keep the current candidate filing fee of $25 per applicant instead of raising the fee to $100.