letter: Pig in a poke
October 31, 2001
The “Music Man” has made an appearance in the form of Nevada Northwest’s casino project. However, instead of selling school band uniforms to the citizens of our community, NNW is selling anticipated tax revenues to the county, school and town coffers — tax revenues which NNW claims will total over $11,000,000 annually once buildout is completed — all without any substantiation.
Neither the Town of Minden nor the county board of commissioners has, to date, asked for an economic report from NNW supporting this figure or its underlying assumptions. The county has not even ordered an independent financial study on this subject. Talk about buying a pig in a poke!
Nor has NNW justified the broad powers granted to them in its specific plan – powers which allow them to change street placements up to 200 feet from center line, and planning areas up to 250 feet from the plan specifications without having to seek a plan amendment from the county. There is a code provision allowing up to a 25 percent change of the “involved” area (itself too broad of a delegation of authority), but NNW has failed to correlate what it has granted to itself with the 25 percent limitation.
Thus, what is being represented in NNW’s specific plan is not necessarily what the county (taxpayers) will get.
Was the planning commission asleep at the switch here? Along the same vein, what mitigating measures will be necessary to reduce the odors from the sewer treatment plant across Highway 395? Will the treatment plant itself have to be removed and relocated after this is finished?
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Then there remains the issue of having the casino only 350 feet from Douglas High School – not unlawful, but bad planning. Most of us here in Nevada are not opposed to gaming; however, even the Legislature recognized the detriment of having casinos located closer than 2,500 feet from schools and churches when it enacted in 1997 NRS Section 463.3086, confining its application to Clark County at this time. Since the Sept. 11 disaster, more people than ever have come to recognize that our children are always more important than $$.
Perhaps the county commissioners should have the courage to say “no” to this project because of the bad planning inherent in NNW’s proposal.
John H. Garvin