View Neighborhood Newspapers takes a look ahead at what the year has in store for Centennial Hills.
Long-awaited legislation to protect thousands of Ice Age fossils north of Tule Springs took a major first step on Capitol Hill last month, one that could see the bill pass a Senate floor vote by the end of January.
The bill, first introduced in July, aims to designate a Tule Springs Fossil Bed National Monument on 22,650 acres between the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe reservation and the Desert National Wildlife Refuge.
A Dec. 19 Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee vote passed the legislation on to the full Senate, where it’s slated for a floor vote this month.
A companion version of the legislation has languished in a House of Representatives subcommittee since May.
Both versions make room for a Clark County sand dune park, a hoped-for UNLV satellite campus and a renewable energy powerline corridor through the expansive fossil monument area.
The legislation would also set aside a few economic development sweeteners for city leaders with a stake in the project, including about 660 acres the city of Las Vegas expects to turn into an industrial park and 645 acres North Las Vegas hopes to leverage into a proposed Southern Nevada medical school.
“Once again, stakeholders at every level were able to come together to achieve three critical needs for the Las Vegas Valley: conservation, economic development, and recreational opportunities,” Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., told the Las Vegas Review-Journal last month.
The national monument legislation’s recent progress also counts as a big win for Las Vegas-based conservationists at the Protectors of Tule Springs, some of whom have worked for decades to see the proposal’s passage.
“There’s no way anybody can guarantee it will pass, but we’ve got the (Las Vegas Metro) Chamber of Commerce and the whole Nevada delegation on our side,” group president Jill DeStefano said in November. “I’m 85 to 90 percent sure it’ll go through. I can’t see why anybody would stand in the way.”
Groundbreaking on a new 9,000-home development near Grand Teton Drive is still a ways off, but the finishing touches at Providence — Centennial Hills’ last approved master-planned community — are already underway.
Developers at Focus Property Group joined city leaders and homeowners association representatives to break ground on Providence’s Huckleberry Park late last month, the third park opened at the 1,200-acre development in as many years.
“It’s great to be celebrating yet another milestone in the development of this fantastic community and the benefits a park brings to its residents,” Ward 6 Councilman Steve Ross told the Review-Journal at the Dec. 23 groundbreaking. “Open space and parks are important to our quality of life, and Providence residents are fortunate that Focus Property Group understands this, as it continues to add amenities to the community.
“Considering the economic downturn we’re beginning to emerge from, building this park takes on even more significance.”
The $2 million park, at the southwest corner of Farm Road and Egan Crest Way, is set to feature dog parks, a multi-use events field, a full basketball court, swings, picnic areas and an outdoor stage. Developers hope to open the park in phases this year.
“Parks like this illustrate why residents love living here and homebuyers continue to purchase homes here, placing Providence among the fastest-selling master-planned communities in the country,” Focus Property Group CEO John Ritter said. “The addition of Huckleberry Park, our third park, is a continuation of our vision for Providence and its small-town America ambiance with many outdoor, lifestyle, fitness and recreational amenities for all ages.
“They enrich the quality of life, and the park provides another venue for both homeowners and community events.”
For more information on the park, contact the Providence information center at 702-433-5084 or visit providencelv.com.
City leaders looked to embark on a new experiment in October, announcing a six-month shared services study that could see the city of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas share everything from library to animal control services by the end of May.
Officials on both sides of the agreement said they will dig up efficiency measures and cost savings for each city, citing city court, traffic and economic development services as possible jumping-off points for a longer-term shared services deal.
Eight other departments, including finance, business licensing and redevelopment, also made their way onto officials’ short list of 11 shared services targets.
North Las Vegas already pays a fee to share jail services with its neighbor to the south, though representatives from both cities agreed they won’t be looking to join police or fire department forces anytime soon.
It’s an arrangement Ward 6 City Councilman Steve Ross is proud to say he supported from the get-go.
“We don’t want the state to have to come in and take over (North Las Vegas); we want to help,” Ross said a month before the shared service deal’s Oct. 10 announcement. “I’ve always told them we’re behind them, that we support them.”
Contact Centennial and North Las Vegas View reporter James DeHaven at email@example.com or 702-477-3839.