The Town Mount Charleston is located about 45 minutes north and west of the City of Las Vegas. It's a very beautiful area of Clark County, with wildlife like deer, wild horses and smaller critters like birds, chipmunks and a squirrel or two. The area has beauftiful vegatation- trees flowers and bushes that would never survive in a desert area. The weather is fantastic- it may hit 80 in the summer and rarely goes below zero in the winter. It gets a lot of snow, sometimes more than 10 feet of snow in a season.
The people who live there live in a mixed sizes of homes- mansions to houses with less that 800 square feet but no mobile homes allowed. The houses are much more expensive up in Mount Charleston, for the most part, than in the Valley.
That's the upside.
Now the downside. The Town of Mount Charleston provides very little services to it's residents and visitors. It has a small volunteer fire department and provides first responders in case of illness or injury (if they bother to show up to the call). It has no ambulance on the Mountain. The Nevada Division of Forestry acts as the main fire department and first responder in the Mount Charleston area. They staff 1 station 24 hours a day all year round and a second station part time during the Spring, Summer and Fall. The police responsibilities is divided up between Metro, NHP and the BLM/National Parks. It has a library and an elementary school. The County and the State, I believe, provide the road maintenance for the Town area.
So, in other words, the Town of Mount Charleston provides little services to it's residents and visitors and depend on the State, County and the Fed's to provide it's services. The residents on the Mountain just send in their tax payments and let everyone else provide the services.
Now, comes the story that Clark County is going pick up the tab for NDF to provide fire department services to the mountain.
From the Reno Gaxette-Journal: Clark, Elko and Eureka counties have agreed to pick up the cost for the state Division of Forestry to provide emergency response services.
The services include handling medical emergencies and auto accidents in outlying areas.
Gov. Brian Sandoval had recommended transferring the responsibility to the counties.
The counties, however, offered to fund the services, a gesture that was welcomed Tuesday by members of the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means committees.
Counties already pay the full cost of staffing and operations for the posts. In the upcoming year, they also will pay 35 percent of administrative expenses. They will cover the entire tab from 2013 through 2015 when the agreement expires.
I think it is high time that the residents of Mount Charleston start taking responsibility for services in their own community and incorporate into a village or city. They need to operate their own fire and ambulance department, fund their own police department and fund their own public works department instead of having all of Clark County chip in. Not only will they be more independent as they don't have the different jurisdictions telling them what to do, they may also provide better services for their citizens if they run it. They won't have to rely on some bureaucrat down in the Valley or Carson City to ok a project. A village can also plan better for the future, attract more businesses if it likes and have home rule.
So, maybe it's time for Mount Charleston to become it's own village and stop depending on the County, State and Fed's for it's services.
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