Are we able to make a difference in the threat that the COVID-19 virus presents? I believe we can make a big difference in lessening that threat. In fact, we are making a difference.
The number of people testing positive for the virus continues to increase in Clark County and Boulder City. The number of positive tests in Boulder City has exceeded 120 as I write this on July 30. However, the rate of new cases is slowing.
What I believe is making that difference is the thoughtfulness I see people around town giving to others by wearing a face covering or mask. When Gov. Steve Sisolak began the reopening process I know many of us became less cautious.
The stay at home guidelines were difficult, to say the least. But, by staying home, the rate the infection was spreading decreased significantly. The same was true of the number of people being hospitalized and those who lost their lives.
When reopening began, so did the increase in the rate of people becoming sick. As there was more person-to-person contact, the rate increased more quickly. Now the rate is slowing and I believe the attention people are giving to wearing a face mask or covering is helping significantly.
I do understand the masks can be a bother. Wearing one when it is 110 degrees is uncomfortable. But I am seeing many more people wearing masks and the rate of infections is slowing.
We need to remember, the masks help to protect others from those that may be infected and may not know it. We should respect others by taking the responsibility seriously. We should be doing the other things the medical experts also recommend with frequent hand washing, social distancing, avoiding large gatherings and limiting person-to-person contact when possible.
The city continues to offer free testing for people who believe they may have been in contact with someone who is infected or is having symptoms. More information is available for an appointment at https://www.bcnv.org/COVID-19 or by calling 702-293-9329.
We must use the best available methods to slow the spread of the virus until our medical experts and scientists solve this pandemic. Let’s keep working to keep each other safe.
I want to address another issue that was brought up recently regarding the wastewater Boulder City produces. The Southern Nevada Water Authority may be considering a project to build a pipeline from Henderson through Railroad Pass to our wastewater facility. Allegedly, this is to reclaim the water. Much of the water is currently discharged to the desert after being treated. The city sells some of the treated water to the solar energy projects in Eldorado Valley. The city has received approximately $750,000 over the past couple of years from these sales.
If the true purpose of the SNWA was to reclaim the water, there are cheaper ways of doing so. I have been told on one hand that the water is already treated sufficiently to be returned to the Colorado River. One the other hand, I have been told that additional treatment is needed. It is never a good sign when opposite answers from supposed experts are received.
I do know the water is treated well enough to spray around for dust control on solar projects and the Interstate 11 construction because that is happening.
What is also known is that the construction of the wastewater line from Henderson would easily be used to facilitate dense development in Eldorado Valley below Railroad Pass. All at the expense of the ratepayers like us.
When I see the following recommendation to be considered along with this pipeline proposal, I become extremely concerned: Require out-of-valley development to return wastewater to Lake Mead and embed the principles of the SNWA’s out-of-valley water use policy within municipal codes and Las Vegas Valley Water District service rules.
Please read that statement again. The SNWA wants the ability to change our city code by “embedding” their idea of growth. I believe such a statement would be the death knell for our conservative growth policies. An agency should never have the power to dictate our policies regarding growth.
Kiernan McManus is mayor of Boulder City. He is a native of Boulder City first elected to City Council in 2017.