By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick addressed concerns of local residents in a question and answer session held on Wednesday, July 26, at the Overton Community Center.
The first issue discussed was upcoming changes to the Senior Center. Kirkpatrick has been working closely with the United Seniors. She stressed that senior programming is not going away, and that the building is only going to get better as it is being significantly underutilized at the present.
“There are so many rumors going around,” Kirkpatrick said. “We don’t hate the seniors. We are certainly not going to take away the senior food program. It’s a great program and very necessary. We have sat down with United Seniors and worked closely with them to make sure their needs will continue to be met.”
However, Kirkpatrick said that even with those programs in place, the building can be used for so much more. The community is in desperate need of a place for community programs, she said. A new building would cost around $35 million to build. Even with a voluntary increase in local taxes, it would take at least 15 years to build up that budget, she said.
“It just makes good fiscal sense to look at the facilities we already have and add on to existing buildings to make them work for everyone,” Kirkpatrick said.
Kirkpatrick’s plan is to use funds from an upcoming Parks and Rec bond to modify the existing building to better serve the needs of both seniors and the community. She invited the community to weigh-in on what programming would be preferred in such a facility.
“When it gets close enough, we will have a meeting and the community can vote on what they want in the building,” Kirkpatrick said. “We are trying to implement programs that will last. We need to have supervised family programming in there in addition to senior programs.”
On another topic, Kirkpatrick explained that she is working on a number of improvements at the Overton community center. They include a new parking lot, installing video conferencing equipment, providing projectors, and getting new microphones for the town board.
In addition, Kirkpatrick wants to further address road conditions in the community. She sadi that she had received funding to pave seven such streets and those improvements have finished, coming in enough under budget that county crews will be able to pave six more streets.
On the topic of flood control, Kirkpatrick said that she was doing all she could to solve problems. County crews have cleaned out the river channel near Lewis Street, removing two old cars, a backhoe, and several couches that were blocking the flow of water through the river, she said.
Further plans to address flood control along the river were awaiting implementation, she said. But those plans involve working with residents who are reluctant to give up right-of-way along the river, she said
The commissioner concluded the meeting by saying, “I appreciate you all and the fact that you came out today. You just heard what we’re working on and what we’re doing. Feel free to let us know about other things you care about that we can help with. We’re just a phone call away.”