Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
June 5, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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June 5, 1997

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"Commissioners finalize budget NTS readies itsel r for subcritical experiments byAndyHoitmann C, aze Staff The Nevada Test Site hosted a media day May 30. Members of the press were invited to view an underground facility where experiments designed to maintain a nuclear stockpile are sched- uled to be conducted later this summer. The site, located 85 miles northwest of Las Vegas, has arich history in the nuclear field. In the 1950s and 60s, above ground nuclear tests were conducted. Between the late 60s and the early 90s, most of the nuclear tests were conducted underground in controlled facilities. alr Today, the Federal Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, a treaty :.= oetween Russia and the United States designed to stop nuclear tests in which self-ustaining nuclear fission chain reactions occur, is in place. This treaty limits what sort of experiments are allowed to take place on the test site grounds. NTS has taken the role of continuing low level experiments which provide vital information to existing nuclear weapons. These experiments called "subcritical experiments" are de- signed specifically to maintain readiness in the event that nuclear testing and the nt of weapons should be needed again. Opponents of the experiments filed a lawsuit May 1 seeking to delay the projects until a more thorough environmental impact statement has been drafted for the public. Department of Energy spokeswoman Carmen MacDougall stated that no further progress will take place until after June 27, 10 days after a scheduled hearing on the issue. "There are some that question whether this is really a safety or a design issue and there are some who feel that we should Please seepages 12,and 26 by Mary Ann McNeill Gazette Staff TONOPAH With two Nye County commissioners ab- sent and listening in by telephone, the commission approved a 1997-98 fiscal year budget totalling $18,191,861 in the general fund at Tuesday's meeting. They sliced $500,000 off the top of the sheriffs depart- ment budget, leaving a total of $6,190,490. According to Geneva Neuhauser. budget director, each of the following departments had to sacrifice one employee; the clerk's office, the auditor/recorder's office, treasurer's of- rice, assessor's office, district attorney's office. Solid Waste Management and Senior Services offices. Administration had to sacrifice two employees and the Road Department, seven employees. Sheriff Wade Lieseke says he is "optimistic" about the budget. "There is still a lot of room for negotiation. During the next few weeks there is room for very fruitful negotiations that could result in maintaining county services, in particular, the protective services for Nye County," he said. "Eighty-eight percent of my budget is for wages. Twelve percent is to run the county substations. Just to maintain them. There's no place else to cut. We're at thebare bones," he said. "But we have a lot of options that can be reached." Neuhauser said that $500,000 equals about 10 sheriffs employees, if that is where the cuts must come from. But Lieseke was not thinking in those terms. He lost 12 employees in 1988 due to cuts, and he doesn't want to lose more now. The written budget document will be available by the end of the week, according to Neuhauser. Bob Revert, Nye County vice-chairman, had a bout with the flu but participated by phone on the budget question. "For about five years the county budget has been in trouble," Revert said. "The ship was laying on its sidewhen I took office this year. Now, we have it upright in the water. We need to get it moving forward," he said. Revert noted that all county departments were asked to make concessions to help in balancing the budget, but "the two unions refused to do it." "Everybody else decided to help shoulder this burden, except the two unions," he said. The Nye County Employees Associaion and the Nye County Law Enforcement Association are the two unions that did not want to accept wage freezes and could still be involved with negotiating with the county. In other commission business, Sam Ruma, interim admin- istrator for Nye Regional Hospital in Tonopah, reported that the hospital still has enough money to pay its bills. The hospital has talked to about four physicians who are interested in coming to Nye Regional to work. The commission will hold its second meeting of the month in Pahnimp June 17.