To the Editor:

I am writing regarding your article of May 5th, City, County discuss service consolidation. There are several errors in the story that I would like to correct. First, the agreement is not a consolidation. The word consolidation has two definition. 1)  the action or process of making something stronger or more solid, and 2) the action or process of combining several things into a single more effective or coherent whole.

The agreement does fit the first definition, it does make the City of Ely stronger, but it is at the expense of the County Fire District. In the article, it states that the agreement helps the City cut $241,000 from its budget. The County Finance Director, working with the Fire District Chief worked out the numbers for the County. The agreement would cost the County an additional $30,000 a year with a number of severe cuts. The County would be paying more for a less effective Fire District.

The agreement does not even come close to meet the second definition. There would still be two fire/EMS departments. In the article, it states that I said:  Perea continued to voice his reservations of the agreement. In the beginning he said he is in support of the city and county combining fire departments, but then he is contradicting by saying, “I’m not sure it will work.”. There is no contradiction because this agreement does not consolidate the two entities and does not get us on the road to consolidation. In fact, it creates more boundaries. In the agreement, it designates the boundaries as:

City of Ely Fire and EMS Automatic Aid Response Area. The area in which the City of Ely shall be dispatched at the same time as any Fire District Fire Department or County Fire Department personnel shall be as follows:

All of the incorporated City of Ely.

All of the populated area and roads from the City of Ely west up to and including Robinson Mine, which includes the town of Ruth.

All populated area from the City of Ely north to include Cross Timbers, Hercules Gap and the Ely State Prison.

All populated area starting at the bench road at Hercules Gap on the west side of the valley which turns east and merges into the Larsen Road/Pole Line Road (and the houses, farms and ranches immediately adjacent thereto) eastward encompassing the area known as Club 50 to the base of the mountain on the eastern side of the valley, then south along the base of the mountain to the road which dissects the Three C’s Ranch, then west to the Coke Ovens then north along the base of Ward Mountain back to the City of Ely city limits.  See Ex. A.

The service area shall also include the Ely Conservation Camp, Cave Lake and Cummings Lake.

And in addition, it states for motor vehicle accidents the designated area would be:

City of Ely Fire and EMS Automatic Aid Response Area for Traffic Accidents.  The area in which the City of Ely shall be dispatched at the same time as any Fire District/County Fire Department personnel for purposes of traffic accidents shall be as follows:

Highway 93 North to Club 50 crossing, approximately mile marker 62 WPC Hwy 93;

Highway 50 East to the top of Sacramento Pass, approximately mile marker 83 WPC Hwy 50;

Highway 93 South to Geyser Ranch, approximately mile marker 178 WPC Hwy 93;

Highway 50 West to Pancake Summit, approximately mile marker 12 WPC Hwy 50; and

The Junction of Highway 6 and 318 known as Blackjack, approximately mile marker 13 WPC Hwy 6.  See Ex. B.

This is just one example of how ridiculous this agreement is. How can the County Dispatchers be expected to know who to call when there is an emergency? We need to eliminate the boundaries and have a real consolidation of the Fire/EMS departments.

Gary Perea

White Pine County Commissioner

To the Editor:

Have you visited Ely’s Art Bank?  Ridden the train at the Nevada Northern Railway?  Immersed yourself in history at the White Pine Public Museum?  Participated in the Ely Shoshone Pow Wow?  Shared a story at the Sheepherders Gathering at the Border Inn? Been relieved to find a restroom at Duckwater’s Big Warm Spring?

All these projects have been made possible through the dedication and hard work of Ely Times readers like yourself with support from the Great Basin Heritage Area Partnership’s grant program. This program operates as a public-private partnership in which federal funds are matched with non-federal funds and in-kind contributions.

You may ask, “What is the Great Basin National Heritage Area (GBNHA) and what does it do?”  Designated by Congress in 2006, GBNHA includes White Pine County, Nevada and Millard County, Utah as well as the Ely Shoshone, Duckwater Shoshone, Goshute, and Kanosh Paiute nations.  The Heritage Area works with partners to preserve, interpret, and promote this special place with its wide-open spaces, star filled night skies, and enduring pioneer spirit.

The Great Basin Heritage Area Partnership (GBHAP) is a private, non-profit organization and is the official coordinating entity for the Great Basin National Heritage Area. GBHAP does not own or administer land, nor does it have any “jurisdiction” over any property in the Heritage Area.  Instead, we fund local grassroots projects through our grants program.  For every dollar that GBHAP has granted out, our partners have matched those funds with $4.61 of their own resources making this use of federal funds incredibly efficient with a direct local impact.

Unfortunately, funding for National Heritage Areas—and thus the local projects they support—is under threat. The President’s 2018 budget (available for download on www.whitehouse.gov) proposes to eliminate all federal funding to National Heritage Areas. This has compelled us to suspend the Great Basin Heritage Area Partnership’s Grant Program, as we cannot award grants from funds we do not have.

If you support projects such as those listed above, please reach out today to your elected officials in Washington D.C. Let them know that you value the National Heritage Program and ask that the budget be restored.

With your efforts, we can continue to preserve White Pine County’s unique heritage in a way that is central to a vibrant and sustainable economy.

Respectfully,

Great Basin Heritage Area Partnership