A Community Partnership
A Community Partnership
Laughlin Economic Development Corporation
P.O. Box 33702
Laughlin, Nevada 89028
April 20, 2020
The Honorable Elaine Chao
Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Re: Needles Highway Project Segment 1B
Dear Secretary Chao:
The Laughlin Economic Development Corporation supports the application of the City of Needles to the United States Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD 2020) competitive grant program for the Needles Highway Project Segment 1B.
The project will request funds to completely remove and replace a 2.6- mile segment of Needles Highway within City limits. Desperately needed improvements include a stronger roadbed, road widening, new shoulders, protection from washing out, and biological protections. This section of road is dangerous because of its state of disrepair and deficient geometry including its single, narrow lanes each direction and minimal or missing shoulders. The project is necessary to return this important Tri-state regional connector to a state of good repair and thus improve economic competitiveness in both Nevada, Arizona, and California. Currently, the road’s condition has been cited by businesses as a primary reason they chose not to relocate or establish a new branch in the region. The road is even causing negative consequences to the quality of life of people in the region due to its state of disrepair and unreliability, which forces people to choose to avoid the area entirely or suffer the consequences of driving the road.
This segment of Needles Highway also has negative impacts on environmental sustainability. The unfavorable vertical geometry of the road means the road washes out in many storms not only closing the road but also polluting the area’s precious and sparse annual stormwater. Innovative improvements to the roadbed and cut off walls at low points of the road are needed to prevent the road from washing out, thus minimizing pollution or disruptions to the area’s overall hydrology.
We recognize the importance of this project in improving the safety and long-term condition of the Needles Highway because of its strategic connectivity for the city and the State of California. The reconstruction of the highway will guarantee a state-of-good repair for decades to come supporting the economic growth the area is experiencing and expecting over the next decade.
Laughlin, Nevada is directly north of Needles, California along the Colorado River. The Needles Highway is the major direct link to Laughlin with Interstate 40. Local residents and visitors use Needles Highway regularly and the safety and reliability of this road is very important to the economic development and well-being of Laughlin.
The Laughlin Economic Development Corporation advocates for the Laughlin, Nevada economic development and growth. Supporting the City of Needles in the repair of the Needles Highway is an important step in the economic development of this region.
The Laughlin residents and the many people whom travel to Laughlin are looking forward to the repair and improvement of the Needles Highway.
Martin Knauss - President
Laughlin Economic Development Corporation
The Laughlin Community Development Advisory Committee, led by members Robert Bilbray and Cheryl Crow, received good news that their effort to secure a Community Block Development Grant was successful (pending final approval). The grant of $4,670,399, through the Capital Improvement Plan Application process in Clark County, is for a multi-generational center at the Spirit Mountain Activity Center located at Mountain View Park in Laughlin.
Cheryl Crow is a Director of the Laughlin Economic Development Corporation, and Robert Bilbray is the Strategic Development Advisor for the Laughlin Economic Development Corporation.
An article in a 2-21-20 Laughlin Nevada Times article contains additional details about the CBD grant and plans.
Statement to the Laughlin Town Advisory Board on 2-11-2020
The Laughlin Economic Development Corporation mission is to create and implement a collaborative venture among civic and business leaders in the town of Laughlin; to promote the health, welfare and quality of life for the residents of Laughlin through economic development.
In that light, we ask the Laughlin Town Advisory Board to request the Board of Commissioners of Clark County to amend the National Parks Conservation Association proposed Awa Kwa Ame Spirit Mountain National Monument boundary in Laughlin Township as proposed in the latest draft.
One of Laughlin’s future opportunities for economic development is clean-green solar-generated electric power and transmission in the western section of Laughlin township. That will require leaving the valleys open to development. As you will see in the NPCA’s latest proposal, the “Blue Peninsula” along the California border to the edge of the existing 8-Minute Energy solar lease decapitates that open area just as the original boundaries would have. Therefore, this proposal, as it stands, would prohibit much of Laughlin’s efforts to diversify its economy.
Martin Knauss President - LEDC
Use immediately/Contact Martin Knauss firstname.lastname@example.org 725-867-8190
LAS VEGAS – Clark County Commissioners on August 20 unanimously approved about $2 million for design of street, water, and sewer through a special improvement district for West Casino Drive in Laughlin.
“The large-diameter water and sewer pipes finally will complete the missing link of the utilities in southern Laughlin,” said Martin Knauss, president of the Laughlin Economic Development Corporation which has supported the effort.
“This will open up lots of commercial land for development along a stretch of Casino Drive that is twice as long as the famed Laughlin Strip Corridor. And it certainly will improve access for Laughlin’s main route for visitors from southern California,” Knauss added.
The vote of 5-0, with Commissioner Michael Naft not present, to award the contract to CG Wallace was part of the consent agenda which will result in bonds being paid back by 29 property owners to widen and straighten 3.9 miles of South and West Casino Drive to 4 through lanes (from 2 lanes, and increase the speed limit from 35 MPH to 45 MPH) from Needles Highway in Upper Laughlin to Harrah’s Resort in Downtown Laughlin, and about half that length for water and sewer trunk lines for 19 properties that now lack the wet utilities.
Originally $2.3 million was earmarked for the engineers to design the 3 parts of the project. The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) allocated $1.5 million for the street portion that will include turn lanes, curbs, sidewalks, and streetlights. The Clark County Commission approved the Laughlin Town Advisory Board’s request to allocate $800,000 from the Fort Mohave Valley Development Fund (FMVDF) towards design costs for the water and sewer districts, whose boards of trustees are the commissioners.
The $300,000 difference between the maximum allocation and the contract can be reallocated by the RTC Board, while all the unused water and sewer design money must be returned to the unique FMVDF which is limited to planning and construction of Laughlin infrastructure. Clark County is the community’s trustee for the 9,000 acres between developed Laughlin and the California border, only 13 miles from the BNSF Railroad’s main lines at Needles.
In an adjacent project, the LEDC in 2012 initiated the idea of an aquatic-based SID to dredge the navigation channels of the Laughlin Lagoon, in which owners of 24 properties are paying back Clark County-issued bonds for SID 162-A. In turn, it is tied into the planned Laughlin River Park between the Lagoon and Big Bend of the Colorado State Recreation Park. The Lagoon and planned 40-acre Park are adjacent to the Casino Drive SID, and tie into the LEDC support of the Laughlin Town Advisory Board drive to get the Big Bend Water District (operated by the Las Vegas Valley Water District) and the Clark County Water Reclamation District to install backbone systems in the 14 square-mile Laughlin Southland that is immediately south of the Big Bend park and reaches to the California border.
That would allow the BNSF Railroad to install a branch line to the Needles Highway in the Southland, only 13 miles from its main line in Needles.
Laughlin Solar Energy Generating and Storage Site --4,225 acres west of Needles Hwy within Laughlin's 9000 acre Fort Mohave Development Area extending to the Nevada/California state line. An "Option Agreement to Lease" at auction November 19th by 8 Minute Solar Energy, the largest private solar and storage developer in the United States.
Additional project details and timeline will be provided in upcoming Laughlin Town Advisory Board presentations by representatives of 8 Minute Solar Energy. 8 Minute Solar Energy Generation and Storage 4225 acre site Laughlin, Nevada.
View a video of the Site below or at this link.
4225 acres west of Needles Hwy within the Fort Mohave Development Area
Thru July 2019, Nevada’s average retail price for Industrial customers was 8.7% lower than the Mountain states, 55.0% lower than California, and 15.1% lower than the U.S.
Future for Laughlin!
Overhead view south to the 9000 acre Fort Mohave Development Area (FMDA) in Laughlin, Nevada.
Promoting Economic Development in Laughlin
The Laughlin Economic Development Corporation released comments
for the Bureau of Land Management's Resources Management Plan.
Our goal jobs and economic development.
Click on the link below to see and download our comments.
The LEDC is always looking for civic and business leaders to join us in our efforts of promoting economic development in Laughlin. If you are interested in getting involved please visit our Membership page for more information.
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Laughlin Economic Development Corporation. All Rights Reserved.