BULLHEAD CITY — Council members placed an addition into their proclamation supporting the environmental assessment for Golden Vertex’s plan to expand Moss Mine onto federal land, stipulating that flying dust be better controlled, then unanimously approved it.
During Tuesday’s council meeting, Mayor Tom Brady brought up the dust with Joseph Bardswich, president of Golden Vertex, Inc., who was at the meeting to answer any questions.
Bardswich pointed out that the company has invested a lot of money into restoring the mine. About 125 people work there and many have made Bullhead City their home by buying homes. The company also pays “a lot of taxes” to various levels of government in the United States.
“We’d like to keep operating as efficiently as possible,” he said.
Bardswich said Golden Vertex expects to curb some of the dust coming off the dirt road leading to and from the property by switching from oil to electric power.
There’s no electricity at the mine itself, which is on 254 acres of private land about 5 miles east of the city in the foothills of the Black Mountains.
Golden Vertex is working with Mohave Electric Cooperative to obtain a low-interest loan to help pay for an electric hook-up, which ended up not being within the mine
construction budget. That would cut down the number of oil delivery trucks traveling to and from the mine, Bardswich said.
Brady asked about another source of dust: Big trucks owned by local businesses picking up barren rock, a mining byproduct, for use in construction.
Controlling dust coming from that road “shouldn’t be the city’s responsibility,” but instead that of the mine and U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Brady said.
Bardswich told Brady that the Angie Johnson, interim head of the city Public Works Department, is working on a solution.
“It’s a temporary solution,” Brady replied. “It’s an issue we have to resolve.”
A couple of people also expressed concern about the Moss Mine expansion.
James Barber asked why the company wasn’t doing something about the dust because it will be operating the mine for decades.
“Somehow paving that road ought to be part of their cost of operations,” Barber said.
And a Desert Hills resident bothered by the dust, who also described himself as an all-terrain vehicle enthusiast, asked how the expansion would affect their access to the BLM land they enjoy traveling around on now.
After hearing about the dust problem, Council Member Steve D’Amico also said he wanted to see the matter addressed. He was participating in the meeting by telephone.
“Otherwise, I’m going to have to be a ‘no’ vote,” said D’Amico.
So Brady added into the resolution that the road needs to be paved “to improve air quality.”
The council then passed the resolution without dissent.
Museum expansion OK’d
The council also unanimously approved a 1,500-square-foot expansion plan that would add a wing to the Colorado River Historical Society Museum at Community Park.
A library, office space and more room for displays and the gift shop would result after Phase 2 is completed, said Elsie Needles, president of the historical society.
It will allow the museum to show items from its collection that have been stored in the former location on Highway 68, the old Catholic Church at Davis Camp.
Needles thanked Vada Mercer for donating the money to build the addition to the new museum building that opened last fall.
Mercer and her late husband, Larry Mercer, donated money toward the original construction of the new museum building, which has 2,100 square feet of interior space.
“This is a big piece of Bullhead City’s future,” Needles said about the Historical Society’s efforts to preserve the history of not only Bullhead City but also Laughlin and Needles.
The Parks and Recreation Commission approved the plan during its August meeting.
The plan is to complete the expansion by the end of this year.
Information meeting about Prop. 415
There will be a presentation next week to help residents see what they likely would pay for water if the city successfully acquires the local water system from EPCOR Water Arizona.
Voters will consider the proposal this fall with Proposition 415, an all-mail ballot going out in October that must be returned by Nov. 5.
Information presented will come from Raftelis Financial Consultants, Inc, the city’s contractor for the acquisition.
It’s at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the City Council Chamber, 1255 Marina Blvd.
In other business:
- The city accepted a check from the Morning Kiwanis Club for $10,940 to pay for children from economically disadvantaged families to receive swimming lessons.
- A proclamation declares Saturday as “Awareness and Information Day for Integrated Health Care” for a symposium at Mohave Community College from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. This free event will have guest speakers from law enforcement, government, health care and addiction specialists. Focus will be on helping residents understand the importance of addressing physical and mental health as well as substance abuse disorders. Register at www.eventbrite.com/e/integrated-healthcare-symposium-tickets-64335045854.
- Another proclamation declares Sept. 14 as “Recovery in the Park Celebration Day.” That event will be at Community Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This family event is free and recognizes National Recovery Month. MAPPED is hosting the celebration for those who are in recovery from drug, alcohol, physical, mental and other life challenges. There will be information booths and activities for the family.