Questions arise over curb and gutter project

Dave Maxwell
A street in upper Pioche is where a curb and gutter project is being planned to help alleviate flooding problems during times of heavy rainfall.

Rain has long been a problem for the residents of Pioche along upper Main Street, even businesses along the street suffer during heavy rainfall.

County commissioners considered a proposed curb and gutter project agreement with Greenfield Environmental Trust LLC.

However, after a time, they decided to not act on the funding agreement item on the agenda because chairman Paul Donohue, a Pioche resident, was not present at the meeting.

Vice-chair Varlin Higbee thought it better to table the item and bring in up again at the Aug. 7 commission meeting.

County Planning and Building Director Cory Lytle said while he likes the agreement with Greenfield, “the issue lies with post-agreement with what the county will do and what the trust will do.”

Lytle explained the desire the put curb and gutter in that area is to keep contaminants from going onto people’s property.

Rain storms in the mountains above Pioche will often send debris, water, mud and silt down the mountain onto the gravel road that connects with Main Street. Even rocks the size of grapefruit have been known to be washed down as well.

Lytle said the problem lies with working through the county road department to do a public works project where it is required to be put out to bid and needs multiple layers for a scope of work plan. Road Department Supervisor Shane Cheeney has told Lytle he “does not have the money to put out a contract of work like that. It’s a huge undertaking.”

Also, Lytle said the trust is only going to be able to pay for or reimburse certain things approved by the trust. “Reimburse is the key word on that,” he said, “for the scope of work they are looking at.”

If the road department or the Pioche Public Utilities have an idea about something on the ground that perhaps the trust does not want to do, Lytle said, “They are not going to pay for it, and we would be on the hook for those costs verses the ones the trust is going to pay for.”

Commissioners took his recommendation table the item to Aug. 7 when Donohue could be present to give his input.

Cheeney said, “At first they (Greenfield) were going to finance everything. But then it changed to where the road department would finance the project, and Greenfield would try to reimburse what they thought should be reimbursed. But I don’t have the money to gamble with to what they might reimburse and what they might not reimburse.”

Cheeney said Donohue also did not think the project should be funded in that manner.

Lytle said, “Another hook in the agreement is that maintenance is going to be on Lincoln County and PPU,” and all the details of the long term maintenance needs have not been fully worked out.

 

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Comments

  1. Ken Meyer says:

    Historic Pioche is worth protecting and maintaining. The goal of adding the curb and gutter is to reduce mine toxins washing down from being deposited in historical living areas of Pioche. Funding to protect and remove mine toxins from the land behind the curb is included in comprehensive plan presented by the Greenfield trust. The project is more than curbs. The location of existing underground utility lines was completed in spring. This work is lost due to recent rains. Contracting out large this large public improvement will protect the road department budget.

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