Agendas & Minutes

November 19, 2010 Special Meeting of the Town Board

FRIDAY – 9:00 A.M.
NOVEMBER 19, 2010



1.    Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance.
2.    Discussion and Possible Decision: on approving of a lease/option to purchase agreement between the Town of Pahrump and Growponics Nevada LLC, a Nevada limited liability company, for up to 60 acres of property and appurtenant water rights (assessor’s parcel numbers 045-191-15 and 045-191-16 commonly referred to as Kellogg Park Property) for the development of a series of hydroponic green houses and related facilities. (Action)

3.    Public Comment: Action may not be taken on matters considered during this period until            
          specifically included on an agenda as an action item – NRS241.020 (2) (c) (3). (Non-Action)

4.    Adjournment.

A quorum of Advisory Board members may be present at any Town Board meeting but they will not take any formal action.

Any member of the public, who wishes to speak during public comment or on an agenda item, at the appropriate time, will be limited to three (03) minutes.  

Any member of the public who is disabled and requires accommodations or assistance at this meeting is requested to notify the Pahrump Town Office in writing, or call (775) 727-5107 prior to the meeting.  Assisted listening devices are available at Town Board Meetings upon request.

This notice and agenda has been posted on or before 9:00 a.m. on the third working day before the meeting at the following locations;





    Nicole Shupp
    Bill Dolan
    Vicky Parker
    Frank Maurizio
    Mike Darby
1.    Call to order and pledge of allegiance.

Chairman Nicole Shupp called the meeting to order and led in the pledge of allegiance.

2.    Discussion and possible decision on approving of a lease/option to purchase agreement between the Town of Pahrump and Growponics Nevada, LLC, a Nevada limited liability company, for up to 60 acres of property and appurtenant water rights (assessor’s parcel numbers 045-191-15 and 045-191-16 commonly referred to as Kellogg Park Property) for the development of a series of hydroponic green houses and related facilities.  (Action)

Jack Kashani, managing partner of Growponics Nevada, LLC, presented the proposed project.

Mr. Darby questioned whether Growponics had other greenhouses in the United States and where their LLC was formed.  

Mr. Kashani said there were greenhouses planned for Oklahoma and Texas, but that Canada, Israel and UK had many of them.  He added that his attorney was presently filing the LLC.

Mr. Maurizio questioned whether traffic studies had been conducted and how the appraiser was selected.

Mr. Kohbarger stated that Growponics would be the responsible party for fulfilling County and State requirements, such as traffic studies.  He said the appraiser was recommended by a Las Vegas firm and he had a letter of appointment by a judge, as required by NRS 269.125.

Mr. Dolan asked the attorney what the contractual protections were for the Town if Growponics failed.

Seaton Curran said Growponics is limited to leasing 5 acres and 30 ac’ of water until they met the timelines and commitments set by contract; but that if they went insolvent or did not make a rent payment, the Town could re-take the land, terminate the lease, or rent the property out and pursue Growponics for the difference.  Mr. Seaton added that there was a Restrictive Covenant in the agreement stating that if Growponics purchases the property, it must be used to grow fruits and vegetables in greenhouses and if they lease it to a third party, it still must be used to grow fruits and vegetables in greenhouses.

Mrs. Parker questioned why an EIS was not done; if water rights were “created” by the Town for this deal; and if the Growponics project would use more water than a park would use.

Mr. Kohbarger stated he did not believe an EIS was required; that the State assigns the number of water rights for the valley; and that if additional water rights were needed, Growponics would be responsible to obtain them.

Mr. Darby said the “significant finding” requirements, primarily “D” had not been met because the Town was only getting ¾ appraised value for the water rights.

Mr. Kohbarger replied that the NRS allows for “comparable economic benefits” which will be realized by job creation and by adding Growponics to the tax rolls.

Mr. Balloqui responded to an earlier question by stating that Growponics will use 25% less water than a park in that location would.  He added that Mr. Kashani has also offered the use of their conference room, once completed.

Bill Dolan moved to approve the lease option/purchase agreement as written and to make a significant finding that sales/lease of the water rights contained within the agreement meet standards set forth in NRS 533.330.

Mrs. Parker seconded.

Public comments were heard from Stephanie Boseck, Dave Stevens, Karen Latourna, Tom Smith, Sandra Darby, Norma Jean Opatik, Andy Alberti, John Pawlak, Lee Baldwin, John Koenig, Richard Foster, Isabel Isherwood, Harley Kulkin, Laurayne Murray, Gary Vavzycki, Phil Huff, Terry Ivins, Bruce Caulley, Lou Komarosky, Marilyn Maddox, Tim McCall, Alan Bigelow, Joan Hackley, Donna Cox and Richard Fenton.

Responding to a question raised during Public Comment, Mr. Darby said he personally notified residents in that vicinity of the Growponics’ project and slightly over half of the responders were opposed to the idea.

Mr. Maurizio read the Quit Claim Deed for the property in question, stating that the property was “for public purpose, to have and to hold forever”.  He questioned the Town’s ability to enter into an agreement on the land.

Mrs. Shupp moved to amend the motion to accept the document for consideration.

Mrs. Parker seconded.

Mrs. Parker asked questions of staff and counsel that were raised under public comment, and  received confirmation that there was a lease tax in lieu of property taxes; that Mr. Kashani was responsible to comply with County regulations and to carry liability insurance; and that the appraised value of the water rights was $6,000, based on recent valley floor water rights sales.  She also confirmed that all Town Board members were invited to informational meetings on Growponics; that the produce would be available for sale locally; and that the proposed wage scale started at $30,000 among the first fifteen employees.  

Additionally, Mr. Kashani responded that a letter of interest would be insufficient because he was applying for financing; Mr. Balloqui stated that the terminology in the appraisal report was incorrect because Pahrump had both valley floor and alluvial water rights and that BLM was willing to deed land to replace the park; Mr. Dolan received confirmation from the attorney that the Quit Claim Deed did not restrict the Town from selling or leasing the property;  Mrs. Shupp confirmed this was the only Town-owned property that met Growponics’ needs; and Mr. Darby was assured that other businesses moving in were eligible for similar incentives.

Mr. Dolan clarified that if there was a deed restriction on selling the property, the land would only be leased and would not be sold.

Motion passed, 3-2 with Mr. Darby and Mr. Maurizio voting nay.

3.    Public Comment

Unidentified speaker said PAVED finances were in better shape.

4.    Adjournment

Meeting was adjourned at approximately 12:00 noon.

Respectfully submitted,

Vicky Parker, Clerk
Pahrump Town Board                             



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PDF Backup Agenda November 19, 2010 659KB