City is looking at water proposals

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By The Staff

The city is examining proposals for the purchase of wells and groundwater rights to expand local water supplies, officials said.

The city had issued a request for proposals, and the proposals were due Feb. 2.

“We are constantly looking into ways to increase the water supply for our residents,” Las Vegas Mayor Tony E. Marquez Jr. said. “The proposals look like they will help us bring additional water to the city.”

Staff from the legal and utility departments are currently looking into all proposals and their benefit to Las Vegas. The staff will provide Marquez with the recommendations. From there, the mayor will recommend the next action regarding the proposals to the City Council during a future meeting.

“I look forward to hearing the staff’s recommendations to help remedy the water issue that has plagued Las Vegas for years,” Mayor Marquez said. “These proposals will hopefully help us with attaining additional water.”

Revenue from a one-fourth of 1 percent sales tax will provide the funding for possible future water rights acquisitions from the proposals, officials said.

Currently, there is about $1.3 million available to provide for the water rights purchase if approved by the City Council. This money was collected following an election in 2006 and was approved by Las Vegas voters. None of the money from that tax has been spent yet.

A couple of years ago, the city issued another request for proposals for water rights. Area rancher Alexander Milliken replied, offering to lease his wells southwest of the city.

He pulled that proposal late last year, saying he was disappointed that the city hadn’t given him an adequate response.