Working under short timelines, the Mesquite City Council approved a five-person committee to work on a new city charter at their meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 13. David Ballweg and Mike Benham, both council election candidates, along with George Gault, CEO of Mesquite Regional Business Inc., and Karen Beardsley volunteered to work on the charter that must be completed by mid-November in order to submit it to the Nevada State Legislature for its 2017 session. Aaron Baker, city liaison officer, will serve on the committee as ex-officio for the council while city attorney Bob Sweetin will provide legal counsel.

The council had four options to choose from when determining how to form a citizen committee. The first three would have been very time consuming and delay action on the charter, Sweetin told the council. First, four council members could have appointed one person while the mayor and mayor pro tem could have two appointments. The city manager would have been allowed to appoint one person.

The second option would have been a general call to the public to submit applications from which the council would have selected people to serve on the committee. The third option was a hybrid of the first two.

The four people appointed were present at the meeting and all volunteered to serve making easy work for the council to form the committee. The appointments were approved on a 4-0 vote with councilman Kraig Hafen absent from that portion of the meeting.

The committee can bring other citizens into the mix if they choose.

Councilman Geno Withelder affirmed that changing to a charter form of government from the present general law government will not affect any current operations including licenses, fees, or agreements already in place.

Sweetin reiterated that the general public will see very little effect in operations should the charter ultimately be approved by the state legislature.

Under other business Tuesday night, the council unanimously approved on 4-0 votes several actions that will allow construction of a gas station and convenience store at the southwest corner of I-15 Exit 120 and South Falcon Ridge Parkway. Councilman Hafen excused himself from the actions since he has familial interests in the business.

The 11-acre site is already zoned for Hotel Tourist Commercial (HT) allowing for a Resort Hotel and Casino and is already surrounded by commercial uses and large tracts of open space.

The council approved creating a 1.5 acre lot upon which a 5,400 square foot convenience store and Sinclair gas station with four islands will be built. The carve-out will allow other commercial buildings in the future.

Initially the site will have one point of access from South Falcon Ridge Parkway at an existing commercial driveway that was constructed last year. Traffic studies did not identify any unsafe congestion or significant traffic issues in the area.

According to the background documents, the proposed building will face south, away from I-15 with its side facing Falcon Ridge Parkway. It will have 2,650 square feet of retail space, 585 square feet of restroom space and approximately 2,165 square feet of ‘back of house’ areas including a utility room, cooler, beer cave, office, kitchen, freezer and custodian closet. There will also be outdoor tables, a patio, and pergolas along the east side facing South Falcon Ridge Parkway.

City Development Services Director Richard Secrist reiterated that the facility will not be a truck stop type operation. He also said that the owners will still need to obtain final approval from the city before construction can begin.

The council also formally changed the name of the segment of Falcon Ridge Parkway south of Mesquite Boulevard to South Falcon Ridge Parkway, ending where the street intersects with Leavitt Lane.