Lawmakers give up on Clear Creek
Legislative money committees voted Friday to finally give up on the old Clear Creek Youth Center.
They will use the $1.4 million appropriated two years ago for repairs at the center below the Spooner Summit highway at Carson City’s southern border to demolish the badly deteriorated buildings.
Clear Creek was built in the 1960s by the federal government as a Job Corps Camp. Gov. Mike O’Callaghan got the center transferred to state control in 1970. It became state property in 1988.
For years, the state used it as meeting space for community groups and organizations such as the Boy Scouts, Boys State, Girls State and even religious retreats. It was also used for fire crew training by the Nevada Division of Forestry.
Deputy Public Works Manager Evan Dale said costs ranged from $4 million to $11 million to rehabilitate it. He said it wouldn’t have made sense to do that.
“Even if you fix those buildings, they’re not good for anything the state does unless we want to get into the camp business,” he said.
He said the demolition contract calls for complete removal of all the buildings as well as the sewage treatment plant, abandonment of utilities, removal of the road and grading to make the area safe. He said then some irrigation will be installed to keep the dust down.
That will also protect the state’s water rights on the land.
When completed, it will free up some of the most valuable state-owned land in Nevada, said former General Services Director Terry Sullivan.
“It’s beautiful up there,” said State Lands Manager Pam Wilcox.
At Clear Creek, she said, the state owns an “L” shaped 120 acre piece of land, 80 south of the freeway and 40 north of it.
Buildings and Grounds Manager Cindy Edwards said there are 27 buildings on the property including the gym, classrooms, several dormitories and utility buildings.
Among the last groups to make use of the camp was Rite of Passage. Edwards said the last group to use Clear Creek was Girls State in 2003, but they had to be moved to Stewart because of a wildfire in the area.
Sullivan said the problem was the camp never received funding for maintenance and repair. Over the years, the buildings deteriorated badly.
Lawmakers put $1.6 million in the budget for repairs in 2005, but only a small amount of that was spent after it was determined the costs to repair the buildings at Clear Creek would be much greater.
The issue came up again this year after Gov. Jim Gibbons suggested using the center for the Nevada National Guard’s Project challenge program for teens. Legislative analysts said that program was withdrawn because of the cost of repairing the buildings.
Director of Administration Andrew Clinger and Public Works Director Gus Nuñez converted the remaining repair funding to a demolition contract. The joint Assembly Ways and Means/Senate Finance subcommittee approved the $1.4 million in the budget to demolish the structures at Clear Creek, remove underground storage tanks and dispose of any hazardous materials.
• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.
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