A Proposal From Milo Hurst – Boulder City Farms, LLC

Milo's Cellar and Inn in Boulder City, Nevada

This is an idea that the owner of Milo’s Cellar & Inn has proposed regarding the need to recycle our wastewater. The below is an open letter to the Boulder City Council he has asked us to share:

March 2, 2023

Mayor Joe Hardy and Boulder City Council,

We are writing to urge the council to consider a new use (desert farming) for the water (1.2 million gallons) that runs off into the desert south of Boulder City‘s evaporation ponds. Several Boulder City residents understand the issue and make a living with agricultural operations. Our proposal should be given fair consideration along with the Southern Nevada Water Authority options and the one proposed by city staff.
We propose to “desert farm” the land with water flowing out into the desert. Southern Nevada has several examples in its history of farming:

  1. The Mormon farm in Moapa Valley
  2. Tomiyasu Farms was founded in 1914 (sold fresh fruits and vegetables to Boulder City‘s Six companies during the construction of Hoover Dam)
  3. Gilcrease Orchard
  4. Pahrump, Nevada – Alfalfa and former Cotton Commercial Operations
  5. Local Harvest Quail Hollow Farm in Overton, NV

From Ajo, Arizona, to the Middle East, “desert sustainable agricultural” operations are currently succeeding. Please google “desert farming” to see how many new methods in farming and watering techniques are taking place worldwide. Many of these operations are using effluent water to grow their products.
Boulder City has several residents that have the expertise and the funds to create a farm at no expense to the city. The city would supply land and wastewater to a private company, Boulder City Farms, LLC. For the land and the wastewater, the city would receive a percentage of the profits of Boulder City Farms’ operation.

Before you vote on any proposal regarding this water, we ask that you consider the long-term benefits of our proposal and that there be an informed public debate on our wastewater issue. Our goals are:

  1. Protect our water from Las Vegas’ growth. Boulder City is the only town in Southern Nevada with a growth ordinance. Las Vegas’ growth is estimated to be 50,000 people per year. Those additional people each year will use 5,000,000 gallons a day forever. Las Vegas and Boulder City are on extremely different paths in the very near future regarding water management.
  2. Secure Boulder City’s food supply. Farm-to-table is a real solution. The cost of transportation and food supply is critical for Boulder City’s future.
  3. As desert farming techniques improve, additional land would be required to maximize profits for both the city and Boulder City Farm, LLC.
  4. Boulder City‘s “Clean – Green – Friendly” motto should be a legacy for everyone here. Our children will benefit from the knowledge about farming. A farm will create a business with citizens caring for one another.
  5. The pandemic has given us all a reality check that our supermarkets can have empty shelves. We have an opportunity to secure the future of Boulder City by investing in growing our own food supply Locally. For example, we can grow herbs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, chicken, and eggs. The common goal of a farm will make us “family”. The best benefit of all.

Any resident of Boulder City would have the right to buy shares in Boulder City Farms, LLC. The day-to-day operation of the LLC would be run by a manager and a board elected by the shareholders.

After talking with Utility Advisory Committee members regarding this issue, it seems that SNWA has provided very little information on which to base a wastewater decision.
They will control the water. The costs are uncertain and spiraling into the fifty-million- dollar range and more. It is unclear who will pay for this. Will Boulder City receive credit for that water in the future? There is no design, no engineering, no bids, and nothing regarding the maintenance and operation of the complete system. Who will pay for any cost above $26 million? Who will pay for the maintenance and operation of the system? When will all cities under the Southern Nevada water authority have a growth ordinance? In other words, what is the real cost to Boulder City. These questions need answers before you vote.

We believe that Boulder City Farm, LLC, can create a plan to use the water more efficiently. We have reached out to Master Gardener volunteers of Southern Nevada Cooperative Extension of the University of Nevada, the United States Farm Bureau, and worldwide research programs. Together we can create a plan to use the water and make Boulder City an example of a clean, green, friendly city far into the future. This option should be included in any serious discussion.

We kindly ask you to consider our proposal in your deliberations this month. We believe an informed public debate should occur before a final decision is made.

Thank you,

Boulder City Farms, LLC,
Milo Hurst
534 Nevada Way

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