Road closures approved for bike racing

The Lander County Commission meeting discussed several items including further discussion on the Austin property realignment. The commission has approved road closures for upcoming World Human Speed Challenge held annually in the town of Battle Mountain.

Commissioner Sean Bakker was unable to attend due to an excused absence. The four other commissioners picked up the slack and immediately jumped into the discussion of the Austin property realignment.

Dee Helming of the Austin Chamber of Commerce said to commissioners, “Thank you for inviting Summit Engineering to the Austin commissioner meeting. We appreciate the opportunity for a better understanding of the Austin mapping project. The board, however, is concerned and hung up on properties owned by Robert Hughes. We hope that you will encourage them to table the Hughes property till a later date and move forward in a timely matter with the rest of the Austin mapping.”

Patsy Waits motioned to have Summit Engineering move forward with the mapping project outside of Mr. Hughes property. Tom Gallagher of Summit Engineering said, “Mr. Hughes appeared to approve of the project, but he has several issues with the water district and the cell tower.” Hughes was opposed the project due to some water bills he received because of pipes running through his property.

According to Gallager, Hughes’s issues are not with the Lander County Commission but more with the water district. Commissioner Art Clark said, “I can understand Mr. Hughes problem, getting charged for water he is not using.”

Following the Summit Engineering agenda items, the commission moved to approve road closures for the upcoming World Human Powered Speed Challenge held annually in Battle Mountain.

Road closures were unanimously approved by commissioners to close Front Street and Broad Street ending at Altenburg from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on September 16, closures on Altenburg and Weaver Street from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. by the duck ponds for bicycle drag races. Old 8A highway has approved for closure from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. up to Presidential Road daily from September 10 through the 16.

Paula Tomera said, “We are working towards having a bike parade that will end at the duck pond near the Battle Mountain High School (BMHS). The will use Old 8A as a test strip and will practice over there.”

Tomera also mentioned trying to get a couple of the bike teams to talk to students at Eleanor Junior High School and BMHS to explain how they achieve the speeds they do. Waits asked if the county has any digital signs to place on the roads to be closed to notify residents of those closures.

Burt Ramos said, “We can put the road closures up on the Civic Center digital sign, but we do not have mobile digital signs to place out there.” Art Clark suggested to ask the state for temporary digital signs and see if those signs are available for that week.

A couple of other items discussed during the County Commission meeting was the discussion to approve of a modified agreement between Lander County and Next Level Fitness for a health and wellness program for Lander County employees.

The original agreement was if 25 employees or less were to sign up for the six-month trial then the county would pay $500 a month for those services. However, if 26 employees were to sign up the county would be forced to pay a $1,000 a month. Waits felt that was a pricey jump and suggested an individual deal for each county employee.

Next Level Fitness suggested a deal where county employees pay $5 for the basic gym access or $15 for 24-hour access. The commission agreed to clarify the contract and will discuss this item later.

Commissioners also unanimously agreed to keep the Austin pool closed for the rest of the season due to being unable to train new employees in time for swimming seasons end. The pool would have only been open for a week or less.