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City Council seeks bids on Sports Complex

ELKO – Elko City Council has started the solicitation of bids for the Sports Complex.

The project, which will begin with four baseball fields between Bullion Road and the Humboldt River, has been in the works for the past five years. Director of Parks and Recreation James Wiley commented Tuesday that the proposal before the council had been long-awaited.

Wiley then presented a memorandum and estimated bids. He said the project would take two years to complete.

“We will be able to have a final review of the bid once the council approves the project to seek those estimates,” Wiley said. “We still have some of the criteria missing, some portions of the project are unwarranted, some delayed, and some we’re looking to have installed by staff and volunteers.”

Wiley broke down the memorandum into portions that could potentially save money, from community involvement in the landscaping and sports equipment package set up, such as the adjustable fencing for some of the fields. He also mentioned that the city plans to save half a million dollars on the project by managing several aspects in-house. This includes a savings of $80,000 on engineering costs.

Wiley estimated the costs of the project to total around $8.8 million without official bids, and considering the $5.9 million in the recreation bond for the city of Elko. Wiley also mentioned that the project plans to receive a $1 million grant and $650,000 donation from local mines.

“I just refined the numbers as of today, and the final cost will depend on the bids as we begin this process of soliciting them,” Wiley said.

City Manager Curtis Calder also reminded the council of its fundraising ability for the project through the Elko Park Fund.

“We need to put more of our efforts into these smaller types of donations and with the right momentum of fundraising, [this fund] will close the gaps in funding for the project,” Calder said.

Centennial Tower going up in downtown corridor

ELKO – The City of Elko’s Chilton Centennial Tower is scheduled to be complete by Dec. 2.

The tower is the second phase of a three-part project at the Centennial Park in downtown Elko.

“There’s still some additional ground work that will have to be done in the spring,” Assistant City Manager Scott Wilkinson said.

The tower will have letters spelling out the name “Elko” on either side, and a railroad track design on the opposite sides.

“The welding and bolting of pieces together and installing the electrical lights are what we’re doing right now,” City Engineer Bob Thibault said. “The project is currently ahead of schedule. The [letter] lights will face the corridor.

“The tower will also have four lights, one on each corner, that are programmable to change colors for seasons or events like red and green for Christmas.”

The tower’s railroad tracks and name dedication are to memorialize the actions of Mark Chilton, who was instrumental in relocating the railroad tracks from the corridor of downtown Elko to a location closer to the river, according to Wilkinson.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the tower will take place at 4 p.m. Dec. 9 during the Downtown Business Association’s Snowflake Festival. Members of the centennial committee and plaques for the donors will be recognized at the ribbon cutting. Chair Jim Conner, Councilman Reece Keener, and Mayor Chris Johnson will all be present at the ceremony.

The final phase of the project is set to occur next spring as the funding and resources for the city allow the grounds and plaza for the tower to be renovated.

“We will identify the resources we have in the city for a part of the asphalt work on Seventh Street, the park resources for seeding the grass areas around the tower, and the centennial plaza area will have additional sidewalks next to the street,” Wilkinson said.

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Downtown concert series possible with enough votes

ELKO – The Elko Downtown Business Association and Elko Art Club are currently ranked in the top 30 group for nonprofit organizations in the competition for a grant to bring a free outdoor community concerts series to downtown Elko.

“I believe the series would bring people to the new look of downtown,” DBA President Jon Karr said. “These concerts would promote the arts, and the Downtown Business Association would match the $25,000 grant to produce the series through the funds by the recreation board through the city of Elko.”

The competition is nationwide, and only the top 15 nonprofit agencies would receive a $25,000 grant to produce their own Levitt AMP outdoor community concert series.

“Initially, my husband and I heard about all the events in downtown Elko,” Rushele Melton said. “When we lived in California, we knew we could go see a concert on Friday and Saturday nights in the community. We want Elko to have a consistent basis of events for children and their families in the community. It’s a way to bring everyone downtown to experience this local culture of music.”

The Levitt AMP music series grant would allow the concert series to bring in new and upcoming bands of all genres, including jazz, blues, big band, rock n’ roll, country, bluegrass and more.

“The organization wants to spread the series west across America, but we just have to prove that we can provide an audience for it,” Karr said.

Carson City was selected as a winner last year.

“All the bands have to be specifically approved by the Levitt AMP Foundation,” Melton said. “They have to be found to work with communities in the improvement of communities and music programs.”

To make the Levitt AMP Elko Concert Series of 2018 a reality for Elko residents, the Downtown Business Association and Elko Art Club need residents to vote either online at the website, or through registering their email on the website.

Each email address registered on the website to vote counts as one vote toward the series. Voters will receive a notification that their vote was cast and an additional notification if Elko wins.

“This series is meant to remind Elko that we care that you work hard, and that it’s an opportunity for the community to come together to support one another as one culture,” Melton said. “I’ve seen the effort and involvement of the community of Elko, and I believe that if they can dream about it, that they can make it happen.”

If Elko wins, the Downtown Business Association and Elko Art Club will work together to establish an outdoor concert venue in Centennial Park, and produce a series of 10 to 12 concerts for the community.

“If Elko wins, we would produce the series of concerts on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer of 2018,” Karr said. “It would one-hundred percent bring people downtown for the excitement of the free music series.”

All votes for the series need to be cast by 5 p.m. Nov. 20.

Winners of the grant will be announced by the Levitt AMP Foundation on Jan. 2.

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Ruby Mountains under winter storm warning

ELKO — The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the Ruby Mountains from 4 p.m. Thursday through 4 p.m. Friday.

The range could receive 3-8 inches of snow, with some parts getting a foot.

“Expect strong winds leading to blowing and drifting snow,” cautioned the weather service.

Northern Elko County is under a winter weather advisory for the same time period, with 1-3 inches of snow expected in the valleys and 3-5 inches in the mountains.

Elko and the rest of southwestern Elko County are under a wind advisory through 7 p.m. Thursday. Southwest winds of 15-30 mph could gust from 35-50 mph, according to the notice.

To the west, upper elevations around Lake Tahoe could get as much as 4 feet of snow.

Heavy, wet snow and potentially damaging winds were expected to impact all of the major Sierra passes, including Donner Pass on Interstate 80 west of Truckee, California where 2 to 3 feet of snow is possible.

Rain is expected In the valleys around Reno, where 25 to 40 mph winds are expected to gust up to 70 mph.