Bill gives mine to Henderson to redevelop

WASHINGTON -- A bill introduced Wednesday in Congress would convey 948 acres of abandoned mine property in Henderson to a city agency for cleanup and redevelopment.

The legislation would enable the Henderson Redevelopment Agency to tackle an ambitious restoration at the Three Kids Mine, which produced manganese from World War I until it closed in 1961.

Once a thriving industrial site, today the tract is a desolate wedge on Lake Mead Parkway across from Lake Las Vegas that is contaminated with lead, arsenic, asbestos and piles of tailings and trash.

The property totals 1,262 acres, counting private land within the district that Henderson has declared the redevelopment area. The federal portion is controlled by the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Reclamation.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., would transfer the federal land to the Henderson Redevelopment Agency, which has an agreement with Lakemoor Development LLC. The firm would finance the cleanup and convert the property into a residential development .

For purposes of the transfer, the legislation says the value of the property would be offset by the estimated cost to clean it up. The remediation cost probably will outweigh the initial value of the property, officials said.

"This bill creates a public/private partnership that will finally lead to the cleanup of the Three Kids Mine site at no cost to the federal government, improve safety, and create jobs in Southern Nevada," Heck said.

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., is a co-sponsor of the bill.

Michelle Romero, Henderson's re­development manager, said the goal is to convert the contaminated property into homes and businesses.

"There is a lot of remediation that would need to be done," Romero said. "It has no value to the city as it sits. It is not providing any benefit to anybody sitting out there vacant and contaminated."

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., plans to introduce a companion bill in the Senate.

"For more than 50 years, this abandoned site has been a hazard to the residents of Henderson," he said. "Without costing taxpayers a dime, this legislation will help ensure this 1,260-acre land is cleaned up and safe for our children."

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at or 202-783-1760.