City approves contribution to long-range shooting bays at shooting park

Long before hunting season starts, outdoorsmen from all over northern Nevada utilize the Humboldt County Shooting Park to sight-in their weapons and practice with targets. Others use the pistol bays for practice and sport,  and now, with a recent decision by local officials, long-range bays will be added to the park's offerings.  

The Winnemucca City Council approved its annual budgeted contribution request to the Humboldt County Shooting Park which will be used for long -range shooting bays. The decision came during the council's regular meeting Sept. 5 with all members present. 

Recently, the Bureau of Land Management conveyed a 240 acre parcel of U.S. Government owned land to Humboldt County, a process that has been in the works for many years, and Humboldt County Shooting Park Project Coordinator Kent Arrien stated in his request to the Council that the goal is to get started on the long range bays as soon as possible. 

The total cost for the six new bays, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, and 1,000 yards, will be about $8,500 and the contribution from the City would help make a significant dent in the total. 

The long range bays will be just one of the recent improvements made to the park in the past year, including an inlet box and culvert under the road to the park, a five-foot ramp and retaining wall in the pistol bay to accommodate physically impaired shooters, a brass donation box at the pistol bay, a new shade canopy set to be installed soon, and new fire new fire extinguishers at the shooting bays. 

Councilman Vince Mendiola said that any money contributed to the park “is money well spent,” and the other Council members agreed. 

In other Council news:

• A request to re-designate a peace officer position to a critical needs status, allowing a retired Winnemucca Police Department (WPD) officer to continue to work full-time as the Rural School Resource Officer, was unanimously approved by the Council. 

Pursuant to Nevada Revised Statute 286.523, the Council can designate the officer to the position for two years, re-designating every two years, to allow the position to be filled as long as it meets the NRS criteria. 

According to City Manager Alicia Heiser, the position does require a great deal of experience and the WPD cannot assign an inexperienced officer to the position. Along with a lack of expressed desire from other officers to take on the position, the position has been historically hard to fill. 

Mayor Rich Stone said that after speaking with the officer he knows that he enjoys the position and will happily continue to serve the rural schools. 

• A request by Lithium Nevada for a water and sewer will-serve statement to build temporary workforce housing in East Winnemucca was approved by the Council with certain stipulations regarding the capacity of the City’s systems. 

Lithium Nevada is currently working to construct workforce housing to meet the needs of the construction workforce of about 2,000 people that will be working on their mine site in Orovada, NV during peak construction. 

The housing will be temporary, constructed and then deconstructed at the end of the mine construction process, but will have an impact on the City’s sewer and water systems in East Winnemucca on a gradually increasing basis. 

According to Heiser, the demand for the sewer system will be within the capacity of the system if projected numbers provided by Lithium Nevada are correct and peak usage times stay within the anticipated ranges, but there is concern if the numbers increase. 

The water demands for the housing will also be supported by two different well systems in East Winnemucca, with the main well able to accommodate the extra users, but the secondary unable to accommodate all of the users if the primary goes down. The systems, according to Heiser, support many of the high water users in that area of town including the Winnemucca Municipal Golf Course and Lowry High School. 

Heiser said that the completion of a third well, which has been under consideration but not a priority until recently, will be critical to Lithium’s project and critical to maintaining water services to homes and other water users on the systems and that Lithium has volunteered to do the design work on the well which will help with cost and time. 

Councilman Mendiola, who made the motion for approval, included stipulations that Lithium Nevada must continually work with the City in order to monitor the flow rates and accommodate for increasing rates of output with a flow meter and a water holding tank if necessary in order to maintain integrity of the City’s systems.