MVTAB Discusses Floods, Community Improvement Grants

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In a Moapa Valley Town Advisory Board (MVTAB) meeting held on Sept. 10, the board discussed recent valley flooding and the possibility for a Community Development Block Grant.

County representatives explained that North Shore Road was open for trucks delivering fuel and food to the Moapa Valley and to Mesquite.
It was explained that an assessment team for flood damage would be visiting and that a phone number would be set up for residents to report damages in need of an assessment.
Board Member Judy Metz said that the team is trying to find everything they can including utilities. She encouraged those with flood damage to call and report it.

Board Member Allen Johnson mentioned the need to watch out for children getting to and from school as traffic is being diverted through town. He suggested to the board and all in attendance at the meeting that children need to be taught to be good witnesses who keep their eyes out for anything out of the ordinary.
“We live in a beautiful valley with a low crime rate,” he said, “We still need to look out for our kids.”

The need for a community emergency awareness system was discussed. One resident requested that a siren be sounded in case of any emergency. Metro Sergeant Bret Empy agreed that the siren does communicate “something” but that it doesn’t specify what the emergency is. He added that social media sites such as Facebook are open to miscommunication and rumor rather than factual information for residents use.
“We don’t have a system or mechanism for people to check in emergency situations,” he said. “We’re working on it.”

On the meeting agenda was a discussion regarding an application for a Community Development Block Grant. The discussion included Moapa Valley Revitalization Project (MVRP) President Mary Kay Washburn. MVTAB Chair Gene Houston explained that the grant is for low income or underprivileged communities/community members. Not-for-profit organizations are required to apply for the grant.

Houston is part of the 30 person Community Development Block Grant Committee that would hear the presentation which is being prepared by the MVRP and make a recommendations to the County Commission.
Washburn explained to the board that the revitalization project is intended to “re-brand” Moapa Valley and that a streetscape is necessary to draw tourists to the community that will help boost the economy.
She acknowledged that similar efforts have been made in the past and expressed a desire for increased community involvement to “help the downtown area thrive and provide more prosperity.”

Houston emphasized that, in requesting consideration for the grant, a presentation will be given to the board.
“It’s a dog and pony show getting grants,” he said.
He added that unfortunately those with the best “show” get the grant. He also suggested to Washburn that a pamphlet or brochure be assembled.
“They’ll want to see pictures, what your plan is…maybe even a cost estimate,” he said, adding that a not-for-profit organization needs to put a lot of effort into the presentation.

Houston explained that applicants will be lucky to get half of the amount they request.
“Be generous in funding because you’re never going to get what you want,” he said, adding that a lot of good things have been built by this fund.
“Why not get our share if we can?” he said.

In public comment Moapa Valley Water District General Manager Joe Davis reported that water sample testing done in the community had come back clean.
“Our system is whole, everything is good,” he said.
Davis explained that with a loss of pressure the district is required to test for various bacteria in the water. Two sets of samples are tested in a 24 hour process. He said that 25 residents had been issued a precautionary boil but that the first sample returned clean.

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