Ending a legal battle between the two municipalities and bringing a promise of relief from swarms of bugs that have plagued local residents, Clark County commissioners and the North Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a deal to build a five-mile pipeline along the Sloan Channel, carrying discharge from the North Las Vegas wastewater treatment plant on the grounds of Nellis Air Force Base to the Las Vegas Wash.
Under the deal, the city will spend $8 million on pipeline construction and $1.5 million on roadway and other improvements, including landscaping at Betty Lane and Carey Avenue.
The county will spend $7 million, with a promise of repayment by North Las Vegas over the next decade. Officials estimate the project will take 18 months or longer to complete.
The county had sued the city over discharge of the wastewater into the concrete flood channel.
North Las Vegas Mayor Shari Buck still argues the city had a right to discharge treated effluent into the channel, but explains, “We didn’t need to be spending taxpayer money to be fighting this out in court.”
The back story here involves whether building the treatment plant was really a wise financial move for a city that now finds itself financially strapped by plummeting property tax revenues, as well as inter-governmental jealousies about who should receive the revenue for providing wastewater treatment to the Air Force base.
But that’s history. The North Las Vegas treatment plant is in operation. Leaving aside questions of how easily North Las Vegas will be able to pay back its $7 million share – all fingers are crossed – this is a good deal for taxpayers and for residents along the flood channel, alike, and officials on both sides are to be congratulated for setting aside their differences and getting it done.
As North Las Vegas Councilman Wade Wagner concludes, “It helps the city. It helps everybody.”