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November 22, 2017

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County: North Las Vegas can’t use wash for treatment plant wastewater

Clark County commissioners Tuesday denied North Las Vegas’ request to use a wash to discharge treated wastewater from the city’s new sewage treatment plant.

The 6-1 vote to deny the request, with Commissioner Mary Beth Scow voting alone in support of the proposal, came after more than a month of debate and numerous complaints from commissioners that the city wasn’t being cooperative.

North Las Vegas has spent millions of dollars building its own treatment plant so it no longer has to rely on Las Vegas’ plant, but the city’s plan was for the treated water to flow through the Sloan Channel to Lake Mead.

Since the channel is in the unincorporated county, the city proposed an agreement that would allow the new facility to access the county’s channel. Under the proposal, the city would pay the county $50,000 each year for maintenance of the channel.

But county commissioners expressed frustration that the city didn’t get permission to use the county’s channel before the plant was built.

In a previous meeting, commissioners asked the city to notify residents along the channel about the plan. North Las Vegas recently sent out letters to 10,000 residents, North Las Vegas City Councilwoman Anita Wood told commissioners Tuesday.

But Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani said the notice was hidden in a newsletter and most residents probably didn’t notice it.

Commissioner Steve Sisolak also pointed out that the city’s agreement with Nellis Air Force Base calls for the base to switch its sewage treatment service from the county to North Las Vegas.

Serving Nellis currently generates $1.25 million in revenue for the county each year, Commissioner Larry Brown said.

North Las Vegas officials said the city has the right to use the channel regardless of whether the county approves the agreement, but the county’s legal counsel disagreed.

Commissioner Tom Collins, who represents much of North Las Vegas, moved to oppose the agreement, saying the city failed to work with the county on its concerns.

“Cooperation has been almost nonexistent, and it’s a shame,” he said. “I really thought things were improving over there.”

Collins said the city is welcome to return with another plan, but he said he didn’t see how the current discussions were going to work out.

Commission Chairwoman Susan Brager called it an “unfortunate situation,” saying she didn’t want to kill the project, but she didn’t know about the Nellis component and felt the city wasn’t forthcoming with information.

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