LAUGHLIN — The Laughlin Community Development Advisory Committee, led by members Robert Bilbray and Cheryl Crow, scored a major victory in the ongoing efforts to improve Laughlin township.
The two led the drive to receive Community Block Development Grant money through the Capital Improvement Plan Application process from Clark County for a massive upgrade/addition of a multi-generational center at the Spirit Mountain Activity Center at Mountain View Park. The original request by the CDAC was for $7,564,092, which included a new gymnasium and other amenities. Their efforts yielded the highest single funded application countywide, $4,670,399, or 16.37% of the county’s total available funds of $28,500,000.
The upgrades to Spirit Mountain Activity Center will include a reception foyer, staff office, restrooms, two classrooms, game room, a large central multi-use space with 14-foot high ceilings, a break room, computer/library room, fitness room, MDF room, utility room and storage rooms. This portion of the expansion would incorporate 5,000 to 5,500 square feet of new space and also will include an additional 2,000-square-foot outdoor patio/plaza with partial covering for gatherings and activities. The project design can be expected to commence in the coming months by Clark County Parks and Recreation and will include full community input meetings.
“While voting obligations for Cheryl and I on behalf of our community are over, our efforts are not,” Bilbray said. “I intend to meet with Kristen Cooper, manager of community resource management, and county parks and recreation department to accelerate our project’s funding timeline, hopefully all in year one since our project is truly ‘shovel ready’ with all needed offsites in place.”
The meeting could accelerate the timeline for completion of the project and hasten the benefits to the residents of Laughlin.
Laughlin Town Manager Brian Paulson also played a significant role in the funding acquisition, according to Bilbray.
Bilbray and Crow were present at last week’s Town Advisory Board meeting to elaborate on what the funding means to Laughlin and how the project will proceed.
“I just really, really, really want to thank Brian Paulson for putting this forward,” Crow said. “It’s been 20 years since Laughlin and CDAC have received funds from the county and without you putting it forward, it still wouldn’t have happened. It was really, really interesting to watch all these entities wanting money. It was like four times the amount of money they were going to give out. I really appreciate your allowing me to go. It was most interesting and I enjoyed it but we finally got something from Clark County. Thank you.”
“I’d like to second Cheryl’s thoughts on this,” Bilbray said. “We received $1.5 million from Clark County back in 1995,
$1.57 million from the county for the food bank from an application back in 2005. This application wouldn’t be here without our support from our town manager, our town board and Richard DeClerqc of Parks and Recreation on the project. They did a great job. Dr. Paulson helped us orchestrate out way through on negotiating the highest score for the Laughlin budget. We requested and did get $4.67 million and that included all the parking facilities and the offsites, and the footings prepared for the gym (which is an additional $2.8 million). To give you an idea, there was $79 million requested. Laughlin was the only rural area and got the largest money of the 22 applicants. I’m very happy, the board is very happy. I don’t think our job is finished yet. I will do what I can to get the entire $4.6 million in the first year. Again it will be prepared for the gym addition and I will see if I can get private funds to assist for the $2.8 million for the gym element of the project.”