ADELLA HARDING Elko Daily Correspondent
ELKO – Elko County Commissioners have approved about $ 4.98 million in American Rescue Plan Act grants to six of 21 grant applicants, with the Spring Creek Association receiving the largest share – nearly $ 2 million. dollars.
Elko Lions Club receives $ 750,000, Spring Creek Ambulance Station $ 550,000, City Jackpot $ 500,000, Silver State Stampede $ 379,506 and Elko County Fair Board $ 300,000.
The grants come from the nearly $ 10.25 million in federal rescue funds allocated to Elko County.
“We received the first semester, $ 5,125,754, in 2021 and plan to receive the second semester later this year,” said Elko County Manager Amanda Osborne. “I think we will follow a similar process for the second round of funding. However, we are waiting for the receipt of funds to make formal decisions. “
The new chairman of the Elko County Commissioners Council, Delmo Andreozzi, told the council on January 5 that a task force had assessed the 21 candidates and narrowed the list to six. The commissioners choose a new president at the start of each year.
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Commissioner Rex Steninger said the commissioners were “all adamant” that the approved grants would benefit unincorporated areas of the county, as cities receive separate rescue funds. The town of Elko gets the most, $ 27.5 million.
The claims of the 21 claimants totaled $ 11.99 million.
The Spring Creek Association’s request was to support “continued recovery efforts in response to the impacts of the past year and a half,” and the request indicates that the Spring Creek community and businesses continue to experience financial difficulties.
The app said “small businesses were facing closures or lost revenue, leaving people unemployed. Distance education has been “hit and miss” for families, creating frustration and difficulty as they have to make the decision to quit their jobs to stay home with the kids and try to make ends meet.
The main part of Spring Creek’s proposal is to update the Horse Palace to increase tourism, as well as so that the Horse Palace can be designated an emergency site. “Costs have increased since our initial projection: $ 1.88 million,” says the app.
The SCA made a presentation to county commissioners last September for rescue funds which estimated the Horse Palace update at $ 1.6 million, and the proposal at the time sought nearly $ 2.82 million. total dollars in rescue funds.
The county put that application on hold and then set up the process to apply for grants from the rescue fund.
SCA’s request also states that funding for government services would include $ 204,600 for animal control and $ 57,000 for route marking over a three-year period, as well as $ 90,000 for improving the quality of animal control. marina water for downstream users.
The association’s plans outlined in its request include meeting all public health needs to counter the spread of COVID-19 through paid sick, family and medical leave for employees, $ 21,985, and purchasing personal protective equipment and disinfectant for public spaces and other facilities, $ 6,800.
The Elko Lions Club plans to use its $ 750,000 grant to continue rebuilding Camp Lamoille, stating that a “fully restored and modernized Camp Lamoille will increase tourism and travel, bringing increased prosperity and widespread appeal to the region. Elko County “.
The request reports that Camp Lamoille “suffered two devastating hits, the Range Two Fire at the end of 2018, which destroyed many buildings, including our lodge, then COVID-19”.
The club said the pandemic was having “a significant negative impact on our ability to rebuild the camp,” due to the high costs of building materials and a shortage of materials, so funds generated after the fire did not occur. were not sufficient.
“Social isolation and limited social interactions have effectively blocked our further fundraising efforts in 2020 and 2021,” Lions Club wrote, adding that benefactors saw their ability to give affected by the loss of personal income. and business due to the pandemic.
The request is for $ 400,000 for a dining area in the lodge, $ 200,000 for an additional campsite and $ 150,000 for cabins and storage.
The town of Jackpot near the Idaho border was one of the hardest-hit communities in Elko County due to COVID-19, when casinos were closed and gambling traffic stopped .
“The shortage of available housing (and housing in general) has been exacerbated by COVID-19, forcing many residents to relocate outside the community and travel to Jackpot for work. The city of Jackpot is working on public-private partnerships to meet the most immediate needs ”, specifies the summary of the candidacy.
Jackpot’s $ 500,000 grant is for affordable housing, but is less than the $ 2 million requested, according to the list of 21 requests, ranging from government like Jackpot and Spring Creek Ambulance Station to events. nonprofits, organizations such as Head Start and businesses.
The county planned to staff an ambulance in Spring Creek before the pandemic struck “to enable better service to Spring Creek and surrounding communities,” the summary said.
The $ 550,000 ambulance grant “would allow for the construction of additional space and necessary facility upgrades to house a crew and necessary supplies at the Spring Creek Fire Hall,” the explanation said.
The Silver State Stampede plans to use its grant of $ 379,506 to purchase two portable bleachers that could be used by all events at the Elko County Fairgrounds, not just the rodeo, for an estimate of $ 213,506; and for the new lighting of the new bleachers site, $ 50,000.
The funds would also be used to replace enclosures that would be lost due to the new bleachers, $ 16,000 and $ 80,000 would be used for long-term planning for economic growth, such as reaching 7,000 seats and addressing distancing issues. social. And $ 20,000 would be used to cover lost income due to the pandemic.
“A lot of the spending for the rodeo is needed long before we sell tickets to the rodeo, and the seed fund balance in our account is what makes this possible,” the request says, also indicating that the Silver State Stampede had not received any COVID-19 relief funding so far.
The Elko County Fair Board wrote that the Elko County Fair was not held in 2020 due to COVID-19, and the loss of income from not having the fair and not having horse races in 2020 was a “huge loss to the Elko County Fair, as well as the community.”
The $ 300,000 grant would allow the board of directors to raise racing purses to attract more horses, and “more horses means more races and that means a lot of spectators, local and outside.” Without the grant, the show’s board of directors wrote that it might be forced to reduce the number of races.
The Commissioners previously approved $ 250,000 each to the Elko Boys & Girls Club and the Great Basin College Monoclonal Antibody Therapy Clinic from rescue funds.