Groundwater problem in Henderson? Believe it


Life is really a series of problems.

You woke up late and barely have enough time to get to work? Skip breakfast.

Your car is broken and you can’t afford a repairman until payday? Take the bus.

These are perfectly acceptable solutions. But sometimes, there is no good solution, just a duct-taped-together screwdriver, a rusty pair of pliers and a crooked picture hanging from your wall.

You wonder sometimes how you got to a place where you rarely notice the picture’s crooked anymore.

Here’s how.

Darlene wrote in with a problem and her concern about where it could lead.

She said a spot on Arroyo Grande Boulevard near Green Valley High School seems to always have water running across it.

She worried maybe it would eventually become a sink hole.

Kathleen Richards with the city of Henderson said it’s something officials there have been concerned about for some time.

She said what Darlene saw was nuisance water caused by shallow groundwater seeping to the surface.

This is a pretty common thing around that part of town, though it’s exacerbated by people who overwater their lawns, wash their cars and whatnot.

She said the city’s utility services department was so concerned about that area a few years ago that they dug it up. They didn’t find any leaks in the water system.

When they filled in the hole again, they put a bunch of drain rock inside to help the natural water drain away.

It didn’t stop the water from rising up, though. So they’re “keeping an eye on it.”

Jared wrote in with another one.

“I work in the area of Rancho Drive and Bonanza Road, and there is an ongoing situation there that requires your assistance,” he wrote.

He wondered why, when you’re heading east on Bonanza at Rancho, the light never, ever turns green.

There’s even a sign letting you know that the light will never turn green. You have to turn right.

I’d always wondered about this, too. Because, every now and then, you’ll see some poor sap just sitting there, maybe not noticing the sign or the concrete median that gently directs cars to the right.

Why is there a traffic signal at all?

Or, if there must be one, why not make it a flashing red light or something like that?

I checked in with Diana Paul, a city of Las Vegas spokeswoman.

“This location has had a bit of history,” she said in an email.

She said the city did a traffic study there a few years ago and found that not too many people were heading east on Bonanza there, or turning left onto Rancho.

So why bother stopping the heavy traffic at the other three lights for so very few people, went the thinking.

Plus, if you really do want to get to eastbound Bonanza or northbound Rancho, you can head through the parking lot a couple of dozen yards up and catch the light at Ernest Mae Lane by the Wells Fargo bank.

So, the city made it so you have to turn right there. They’ve made a few changes over the years, added signs and the concrete curbing, to make it more obvious.

They looked into the flashing red light idea, but, alas, federal regulations won’t allow it.

She noted the complaint about people who don’t seem to get it, and said the city will send some people out there to take a look and make sure it’s all working properly.

While we were talking about intractable problems, I ran this one by Paul: What happens if you don’t pay your parking tickets?

You go to jail.

Kidding!

This is a problem, though. From 2007 through 2012, the city issued 398,330 parking tickets. Nearly 16 percent, or 63,154, still haven’t been paid.

Here’s what the city does to try to collect the fines. It’s better than duct tape.

■ They place a hold on the DMV registration for that vehicle, which stays in place for two years and is then purged.

■ After 9 months, all unpaid parking tickets go to a collections agency.

■ After another year, they go to a second-tier collections agency.

■ If the unpaid balance reaches $500 or more, the city can immobilize the vehicle until the fine is paid off.

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