Nevada has applied for a $10 million federal grant to pay the lion’s share of what it will cost to fix the Hobart Reservoir dam.
Public Works Manager Ward Patrick said the earthen dam is in bad enough shape that it is considered a “significant risk” for failure. He said nothing around the dam meets code to protect visitors.
Patrick said his office has applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a grant and is confident they have a good chance to get the money.
This budget cycle, he said, they will be planning the project that includes fixing the spillway.
Hobart Reservoir is part of the historic Marlette water system that has provided some water to Carson City and all of Virginia City’s water for more than 100 years.
The cost of the entire project comes to $13.9 million. The state’s share will be $3.9 million.
Sen. Julia Ratti, D-Sparks, asked why Carson City and Storey County weren’t contributing to the project. Patrick said they did contribute to work on the piping, generator controls and pump replacement to get the water down the hill but that the dam as well as the Marlette Dam are state-owned assets.
He and Matthew Tuma of the Department of Administration pointed out the dam and other state properties are part of a multiple use area that isn’t just for the benefit of the ratepayers. Marlette-Hobart is a popular recreation area above Spooner Lake.
“To add them to the debt would possibly price the water out of reach for Carson and Storey,” Patrick told Ratti.
Lawmakers were also told Public Works needs $4.8 million for the exterior renovation of the state Capitol. That project was funded by the 2019 Legislature but the money was taken back because of the budget shortfall caused by the pandemic shutdown.
Patrick told lawmakers the exterior of the building hasn’t been renovated since the Capitol was reconstructed and underwent a seismic retrofit in 1979. Buildings and grounds officials have said the windows of the historic structure are leaky and need a lot of work, that the sandstone exterior needs cleaning and repointing, downspouts and gutters need work along with repainting of facia and soffits.
In addition, lawmakers were asked for $4.9 million to plan the Grant Sawyer state office building remodel. That project would not be actually funded until the 2024-25 biennium. It’s estimated cost is $93 million and it would require more than 30 state agencies to move out while the work was done.