ELKO – Elko City Council will hold a public hearing at 5:30 Tuesday on the proposed ordinance amendment that prohibits medical marijuana and recreational marijuana stores inside city limits.
This will be the second reading of the ordinance that the council passed last month after hearing public comment and nixing a compromise offered by Councilman John Patrick Rice, who said a four-year moratorium “would satisfy every single concern you have for the next four years.”
The council can adopt the ordinance Tuesday after the second reading.
Rice had proposed the moratorium on marijuana sales in lieu of an amended zoning ordinance, and he was the only council member to vote against the proposed ordinance on first reading at the Jan. 23 meeting.
The council originally sent the proposed zoning changes to the Elko Planning Commission, which returned it with a don’t-pass recommendation because the commission felt the city’s regulations for business licenses would prevent marijuana sales.
The requirements for business licenses say that businesses can’t break federal laws, and marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, although legal in Nevada.
The agenda for the council meeting that begins at 4 p.m. Tuesday is packed, with a variety of action items beyond the marijuana ordinance, including consideration of whether to award or reject bids for the Elko Sports Complex Project.
The council also will consider a proposal to restructure bid specifications and go out for bid again for the sports complex work.
According to the agenda, the council authorized city staff at its Nov. 14, 2017, meeting to solicit bids, and the staff reduced the scope of the project in hopes of having enough funds for a base bid. The base bid included site grading, wetland construction, utility installation, three playing fields, plaza development, parking lot development, construction of a sound wall and landscaping.
The city received three bids for the project, but they are all well above the budget available for the sports complex.
The agenda states that the apparent lowest bidder is Granite Construction with a total bid of a little more than $12 million. Staff-recommended additions to the project would then put the bid proposal at a little more than $12.3 million. The budgeted amount for the work outlined is a little less than $8.79 million.
The proposal for seeking new bids instead would cover site grading, installation of electrical utilities, except omitting a few items, wetland mitigation, water sources to wetlands, storm drainage infrastructure, field lighting and the sound wall, according to the agenda. Left out are playing fields, parking lot and plaza development.
“While the example in the agenda envisions a possible 2018 project, followed by a subsequent 2019 project, that is just one of many options available,” Elko City Manager Curtis Calder said in an email Friday. “We will be discussing the pros and cons of each option during Tuesday’s council meeting.”
He said if a “two-bid concept is pursued, then the initial bid could be awarded this spring, and a second bid package could be solicited in the fall for 2019 construction.”
Calder said even if the council awards the entire project this year, utilities wouldn’t be installed at the site until September because they need to cross the Humboldt River, so the landscaping probably wouldn’t be started until the spring of 2019 and the fields wouldn’t be ready for ball games until the fall of 2019.
The sports complex is to be built on part of an 80-acre city-owned site lined by Bullion Road on the south side of the Humboldt River west of Errecart Boulevard.
The council also will have first reading on two ordinances to annex property into the city, including one from Surebec Holdings LLC to annex 62.03 acres northeast of Statice Street and Delaware Avenue. The Elko Planning Commission voted Feb. 6 to recommend the annexation and approved rezoning the site from general agriculture to industrial commercial.
City Planner Cathy Laughlin told the planning panel the land in question was part of state-owned property that was traded, and development of the property would be an economic boost to the city.
The other annexation ordinance slated for first reading would cover a three-acre parcel on the north side of West Idaho Street and just east of Interstate 80 exit 298 for Swire Coca-Cola. The planning commission voted Feb. 6 to recommend approval of the annexation.
The planners also approved on Feb. 6 rezoning the three acres from general agriculture to light industrial.
The company plans to expand its warehouse, and it also wants the annexation for a future Sheep Creek Trail water line extension, according to reports at the planning commission meeting.