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You Paid For It: North Las Vegas sewage treatment plant

You Paid For It: North Las Vegas sewage treatment plant

CREATED Mar 30, 2011

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A plan to save money in North Las Vegas could end up costing residents hundreds of millions in wasted taxpayer dollars.

The city's original plan had a $250 million pipeline near Nellis Air Force Base carrying waste to Lake Mead. When the project was cancelled, they figured they would flush stuff down the county flood channels.

But the county said no, and that's when the project got backed up.

Reporter: Why would they build the plant without a way to get rid of the waste?

"That is the sad part," says County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani.

Commissioner Giunchigliani, along with County Commissioner Tom Collins, has rejected pleas from North Las Vegas for months to use flood channels to flush into Lake Mead after a pipeline project got plugged. The Sloan Channel runs through their district.

"I'm not trying to scare people because the water will be cleaned," confirms Commissioner Giunchigliani.

But she feels those living near the Sloan Channel weren't properly notified of North Las Vegas' plan, especially those who frequent the wash despite its locked gates.

"Kids on bikes going up and down, using it as a play toy," says area resident Brittany Thomas.

Our repeated requests for an interview with the City of North Las Vegas from the mayor on down were denied. But North Las Vegas Public Information Officer Juliet Casey did release a statement saying the city is currently evaluating its options.

But these options are few after a 6-1 vote against the flood channel request by the County Commission on March 15.

Reporter: You guys are still talking but it doesn't sound to me like you or Commissioner Collins are going to change your mind.

"I'm not going to change my mind," says Commissioner Giunchigliani. "I just don't believe the facility should have been built in the first place. "

The City of North Las Vegas offered to pay the county $50,000 per year to maintain the flood channels. However, North Las Vegas also wanted to work out a deal to take over sewage treatment from Nellis Air Force Base, which pays the county more than $1 million per year.

The plant is scheduled to open in May but Commissioner Giunchigliani says North Las Vegas has to pay down the bond debt whether it opens or not.