Point/Counterpoint is a new weekly addition to The Ely Times. Created by John Dishong, Point/Counterpoint posts a topic pulled from recent news stories on the Ely Point Counter Point Facebook group to spur discussion. The points and counterpoints are pulled from that online discussion and printed in the newspaper each week to keep the discussion going. Each point and counterpoint came from the online discussion, though the names have been removed in the print version.

From RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL:

Congress to approve a deal that will bring 3,000 jobs to Nevada.

The centerpiece of the deal is the Yerington land transfer, which will transfer 10,400 acres of land near the Nevada Copper mine to the City of Yerington. The 3,000 jobs expected to be produced by the mining operation is not as large as the 6,500 expected at the Tesla Motors battery gigafactory near Reno. Lyon County has been the most economically depressed county in Nevada during the recession. Yerington, the Lyon County seat, has seen its economy and population shrink over the last decade.

Point — For those of you geographically challenged the Tesla project and the Yerington land transfer are close to Reno. Has anyone notice any parallels to our own city of Ely.

Counter Point — There are many people in our area who do not want growth. They want it to stay the same no matter what. There have been many proposals in past years to enhance business and tourism, but have been shot down by locals. Example, fuel storage facility by the federal government. Levi Straus Company, Cement mixer truck assembly plant, I-70 highway route through Ely then west. The head of the EDC has many good ideas, but my personal observation is his hands are being tied by at least one over-bearing now lame duck County Commissioner.

Point — I find it amusing that every time people talk about “progress” or the ” growth” of Ely the conversation always turns to big business. Ely is a unique community and desirable for many because of it’s relative abstinence from big business and it’s simple way if life. I stand by the county commissioners who intend on preserving this way of life. I think more should be done to expand recreational activities i.e. hunting, fishing and hiking and to increase businesses that would assist in this goal.

Counter Point — Where will the money come from to expand these recreational facilities? Should the City toss out building codes to allow some down town buildings to open up? Do those owners of buildings who want to become your partner rather than your landlord have rents too high for a short funded business to succeed?

Point — That is true. The rent is high, they are poorly insulated so utility costs are high. Tossing out the building code is not a viable option. I have no solutions, if the building owner prefers it sit vacant. If they have to spend a time to bring it up to code. Then charge prices so high it is not feasible for a start up business. Idea’s anyone?

Counter Point — If Ely wanted to grow, they would make it easier to open a business.

Point — You are correct. I owned a souvenir and gift shop on Aultman across from what is now Rack’s for many years. The most common comment on Ely was how unique it was. Focus on helping small business get established once again – competition is the name of the game big or small. We need to bring back Main Street.

Counter Point — A bigger company in the county would also pay taxes and so taxes shouldn’t have to be raised on the small businesses. The right kind of growth would also help the small businesses grow. Growth doesn’t mean Wal-Mart. Hopefully it would mean small businesses growing and more small businesses opening.

Point — I think the kind of business you are referring to is an “Anchor store” – a name that visitors know and will stop and while there, look at other shops. J.C. Penney was an anchor store that helped the downtown at one time, and there were dress shops up and down the street too. People like a selection to chose from and the small merchant can offer unique items the big box stores don’t carry.

Counter Point — Yes, some big business could harm our delicate balance of small business. However, others like those previously listed in the first counter point would bring only jobs, money, and people. Why not create education centers that drive innovation, inventive thinking, and manufacturing right here in Ely. Like investing, a city’s industry should be diverse.

Point — Look at the incentives the Reno area offered Tesla to locate there. The business’s mentioned in an earlier post did not move here because we refused to offer tax incentives and other places made those offers. So that is where they went. Growth is not for free and it may become a financial burden for those who will not profit from growth. The main thing we need is something that will be long term, we now depend heavily on mining and it will always be short term. I am not saying mining is bad we just need diversification.

Counter Point — You are singing an old song with all the woulda, coulda, shoulda’s. The community was able to pull together and get the prison located here. They can do something like that again. It is not up to the City Council, the County Commission or the State of Nevada.

Point: Hey now there is no bad ideas. Just suggestion. Yes we need more tourism, haunting fishing hiking. We have that. And yes we can try to gain more by advertisement. All I’m saying is we need more jobs that can pay more than minimal wages.

Counter Point: Agreed, more then minimum wages requires a more then minimum idea. I can hear the frustration coming across in the post. That’s not a bad thing. From frustration comes innovation. A much smarter man said that I am sure be for me. Maybe, encourage the expansion of the Robinson mine or another mine opening. Also I heard they are having trouble finding a place for a prison in Utah. Kiss (keep it simple stupid) stick with what we know and work on what we don’t,

Point: I believe the metals market encourages or discourages exploration and mine openings. Wall Street, not Main Street. Mining revenue is good, When you haul the first load of dirt to a leach pad, you start working your way out of a job. It is not a renewable resource. I would like to see some industry come in that is not as dependent on Wall Street.

Close: Everyone wants to see our city grow. Whats being done to encourage this way of thinking? Where is our city going and what can we do to help things along? What are our leaders doing to encourage growth and revitalization? Sometimes the right questions lead to answers.

This conversation represents several individuals and not just two points of view.

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