Heller opposes BLM fire station | NevadaAppeal.com

Heller opposes BLM fire station

Dave Frank
dfrank@nevadaappeal.com

Rep. Dean Heller backs the Carson City Board of Supervisors’ opposition to a proposed U.S. Bureau of Land Management fire station complex on the city’s south side, according to the congressman’s spokesman.

Stewart Bybee said Heller, R-Nev., is looking at ways to stop the complex. Action could range from a letter of opposition to legislation, he said.

“Congressman Heller supports the board’s decision and is currently looking at a resolution to the situation that is beneficial to the community and the Bureau of Land Management,” Bybee said.

Heller has been watching the situation since BLM proposed the complex in February, he said.

Supervisors passed a resolution opposing the complex Thursday. Residents and supervisors say the complex would limit access to open space lands and doesn’t belong near a neighborhood of about 300 homes.

BLM wants to build four buildings on seven to eight acres of its land at the base of the Prison Hill open space area, east of the intersection of South Edmonds Drive and Koontz Lane. The bureau would use the complex with the U.S. Forest Service for operations to fight seasonal wildfires in Northern Nevada.

Public comment on the proposed location ends June 29. BLM will make a final decision whether to build the complex after that. The city has no legal authority to stop BLM from building the complex. It would be on BLM-owned land and does not violate city zoning codes.

If BLM decides to build the complex, the city could try to stop it through a congressional bill or through an appeal to the U.S. Department of the Interior, which oversees BLM.

Mark Struble, a BLM representative, said he was “disappointed” by the board of supervisors’ resolution. The board should have waited to decide on a resolution until BLM finished collecting comments and made a final decision, he said.

Supervisors know BLM has the right to build a complex at the location and that the land’s zoning allows it, Struble said.

“Are they just responding to emotional people?” he said.

Supervisor Pete Livermore, who wrote the board’s resolution, said he’ll look at congressional action and a government appeal if BLM decides to build the complex.

A representative for Nevada Sen. Harry Reid said he hasn’t heard from Carson City on the issue. Represen-

tatives for Nevada Sen. John Ensign could not be reached for comment Friday.