KayLynn Roberts-McMurray
The Ely City Council approved a motion to allow mobile home parks the ability to house construction workers.

During the Ely City Council meeting, the regular city council meeting was recessed for a meeting of the redevelopment ageny for the City of Ely. 

Councilman Jim Alworth asked the redevelopment agency for its approval on Resoluation 2020-6 to expend up to $100,000 of Redevelopment Fund in Fiscal Year 2021.  

“This redevelopment was put together in 2004, this is the first time anything has been done with it.  Through a period of time, there is a map that shows where the redevelopment district is, and basically there’s some funds out there.  

“So we looked at this dollar amount of $100,000. We have to go through the city treasurer, and we needed to get authorization to use money out of the redevelopment fund.” 

With approval of the resolution, Alworth explained this would give enough time for department heads and members of the public to come forward and give their input. 

Some of the ideas expressed were street lights. Installing the more efficient LED lights would help in the long term. Some of the funds could be used for matching funds in the area between Ruby and Crawford on Orson, where the sewer line crosses a private residential property. Street and gutter repairs, were given as an example as well. 

“We could finish the fencing project around the cemetery that’s been probably 15-20 years or more since they started that on Campton street.” Alworth said.   

In addition, the funding could be used in parks, playgrounds and landscaping.  

Mayor Pro Tem Michelle Beecher asked if these funds were readily available? 

Alworth said, “Yes, we are sitting close to $300,000 in that fund right now, but we want to keep it cushioned. It can help with the main street project that’s being pushed along as well.” 

Alworth explained that the general fund, and road fund, were currently having to take money out of their budgets for street light replacements and stop signs.  

“I spoke with the road department today, you would not believe how many Ely street signs have been stolen, high street that’s another popular one,”  he said. 

Once the resolution is approved, it has to be approved through the redevelopment agency. Thes resolution is to ensure that not more than $100,000 is utlized.

A motion was made, and item was approved unanimously. 

Another agenda item that has been in the works for several meetings is the Resolution 2002-5 that establishes requirements of  a Conditional Special Use Permit to allow existing mobile home parks within the City of Ely to have RV trailers and motor homes parked within their confines for temporary construction workers. 

Councilman Kirk Carson abstained from the item, since his father owns a mobile home park. 

With the boom of construction in Ely, such as the NDOT project along with the continuation on the Mt. Wheeler’ building, the Charter School and other constructions sites, Alworth was asked to look at doing something fast with the housing crunch that currently exists. 

“Housing is for construction workers, it was not a crunch for school teachers, nurses or doctors, any short term type employment and there is going to be a lot of people, but this is a short term deal for two years,” Alworth said. 

Beecher asked for the reasoning of just construction workers having this housing opportunity. Alworth explained that this was the only push that came forward. 

“The contractors can’t put them in hotels, they sent some to Baker, Eureka, and their packed with miners,” she said. “I would just really like to see this, and maybe it’s for a future meeting, I would like this to cover everyone. 

“I have a brother who just moved to town who is one of the professional staff at the hospital, and I just happened to have an empty house and if I didn’t, I don’t know where he would be, he and his family of six. I think this community is in sore need of housing for everybody not just…”

Alworth interrupted Beecher by saying, “I agree, the thing is, we still have five months, I have no problem with it, just as long as what happens if your nurses your doctors, your correctional officers, not saying they are any better any worse, they take available spaces…and the intent was for contractors coming in for this and there’s nothing left.”  

Beecher said, “It’s just a community wide situation, and maybe even not having a temporary measure, I’ve seen some of these new RV’s, that are a lot better than some of these single wides out there on properties. This looks good to me as a start.”

The item was approved unanimously.