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Old 03-04-2009, 11:43 AM
 
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Boulder City doesn't seem to get asa many positive reviews as other Nevada cities such as Minden, Pahrump or Elko. What is the real scoop on Boulder? It seems to be a very fine little town. Although, I suspect you need to go to Vegas for the jobs which is usually the case.
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Trails View Post
What is the real scoop on Boulder? It seems to be a very fine little town.
Technically, Boulder is the largest city in Nevada . . based on the 200+ square mile corporate limits (http://www.bcnv.org/maps/City%20Corporate%20Limits%20Map.pdf - broken link). Unfortunately the citizens have suffered very poor fiscal management . . Boulder Creek Golf Course.
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tortoise View Post
Technically, Boulder is the largest city in Nevada . . based on the 200+ square mile corporate limits (http://www.bcnv.org/maps/City%20Corporate%20Limits%20Map.pdf - broken link). Unfortunately the citizens have suffered very poor fiscal management . . Boulder Creek Golf Course.
That is a shame as it is a nice looking city. There is quite a bit of fiscal mismanagement going around these days.
Was there a reason for the 200 square mile limits? Trying to capture all the property tax revenue they could get?
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:26 AM
 
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When did Minden, Pahrump and Elko start getting "positive reviews"? Positive for what????
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Old 03-06-2009, 02:29 PM
 
Location: NW Las Vegas - Lone Mountain
15,756 posts, read 33,422,179 times
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I would note simply that BC is a very nice place but quite expensive. To some degree it is a nice example of what happens when you run tight limits on growth.

I disagree with Tortoise on fiscal management. The golf course is a mess but that is really a minor flaw in the overall city. And BC can easily afford such a screw up.

I would also note that Minden, Gardnerville and Mesquite are all relatively expensive. Only Pahrump has buys as good as Las Vegas for housing.

I too find the reviews of Elko and Pahrump at best mixed.

So go for BC but expect to pay for the privilege.
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Old 03-08-2009, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Sheridan, WY
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Default OK, here's the scoop on Boulder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Trails View Post
Boulder City doesn't seem to get asa many positive reviews as other Nevada cities such as Minden, Pahrump or Elko. What is the real scoop on Boulder? It seems to be a very fine little town. Although, I suspect you need to go to Vegas for the jobs which is usually the case.
a) it is hotter than Hades in the summer,
b) the town is populated by people who love regulations, and who will make sure that you love regulations too...
c) it isn't well managed from a fiscal standpoint
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Old 03-08-2009, 08:12 PM
 
Location: NW Las Vegas - Lone Mountain
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Originally Posted by NVDave View Post
a) it is hotter than Hades in the summer,
b) the town is populated by people who love regulations, and who will make sure that you love regulations too...
c) it isn't well managed from a fiscal standpoint

I will buy your a..

Let us see some data on b. and c.
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Sheridan, WY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olecapt View Post
I will buy your a..

Let us see some data on b. and c.
I'd point to the following:

- you need to get a garage sale permit to hold a garage sale. That's rather over-the-top for a town of 15K.

- you need to license both your dogs and cats, and they have different license fees depending on whether or not they're spayed.


I could go into the laundry list of things the city declares a "public nuisance," but that would be overkill. And I could go on about how anal retentive they are about parking regulations, but then that would be shooting a dead horse already in the ground.

Here's something I once found on the way to looking up other things: The National Electrical Code (NEC) isn't good enough for Boulder City. No, they require that your grounding lead be of #4 AWG copper, connected to the city's power system ground (?? That's very odd) with a minimum #4 AWG conductor, whereas #6 AWG copper to a copper grounding rod or buried cold water pipe of metal is good enough for everyone else. Why? I don't know. That's about the point where I reckoned they're just regulation-happy in Boulder City.

Their land-use planning and regulation is pretty well known even outside NV. I'd say that their zoning/land-use planning ranks up there with much larger cities like Portland, OR for the way in which they want to control who does what with their land.

Edit: Forgot to include the URL for the city financial report:

http://www.bcnv.org/Finance/mediavault/CAFR%202008.pdf

If you plow through that report, you'll see that they're losing money on their golf course. One of the red flags I use about municipal finances is "is the city/town/county operating a golf course?" They're money pits. By that definition, Sheridan here is also frittering away money. They had a loss of over $1 mil on the city golf stuff in Boulder last year, and as we go further into recession, that's just going to go up.

If you look down to p. 21, you see that they have an imbalance of revenues vs. expenditures to the tune of $3 mil. The first thing that leaps out at me is the "public safety" budget of over $10 mil for a town of 15 to 16K. That's one heck of a lot of outlay for public safety.

But back to the golf course. Yes, I have an jihad against golf courses owned by municipalities, but here's why: Look at p. 24, under "non-recurrent liabilities." Look at the line "Bonds payable, net of current portion." The community went into debt to build a golf course that isn't paying its own way and needs money transferred in from elsewhere in the budget.

If you look later on in the budget, you'll see that this golf course will cost the city over $1 mil a year, even if they shut it down -- because that's the principle+interest on the bond they floated to finance this thing.

Down to p. 25, we get to the imbalance in the golf course income vs. expenses. Over a $1 mil in expenses above and beyond the revenue it generates, and that isn't being sunk into salaries - the lion's share is in operating expenses, which are probably things like groundskeeping and irrigation water for the landscaping. I grew 5+ tons of hay in Nevada on 3 acre feet of water. Every (*&*&^T golf course I've seen in NV sucks down at least 4 to 5 feet of water per year, and I'll bet in Boulder, it has to be at the high end of that range. As water becomes more expensive in NV, the costs of operating this course will only go up.

That's the big red flag for me - always. I just have a jihad against municipal golf courses. They're money pits, soaking up tax monies for the benefit of a very few people.

Oh, and one more thing: I'm sure that people will wonder "Why do you know so much about Boulder and their finances, Dave? Don't you have anything better to do with your time?"

Well, I buy muni bonds as investments. Not muni bond mutual funds, I buy the bonds directly, and hold them to maturity. When I do, I look at the state/city/town/etc budget and what they're using the money for. I'll buy bonds for things like schools, utility systems, rails or mass transit, roads and improvements. I'm one of those people who help finance your public improvements, schools, roads, etc. What I look for is sound fiscal management, because I don't like it when someone defaults on a bond. And thanks to the sub-prime mortgage melt-down, the companies that used to insure muni bonds against default are now about as useless as nipples on a bull, so I look very carefully at the issuer's budgets now.

Towns with golf courses? Don't want anything to do with them.

Last edited by NVDave; 03-09-2009 at 08:58 PM..
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:24 PM
 
Location: NW Las Vegas - Lone Mountain
15,756 posts, read 33,422,179 times
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Well I will agree to garage sale permits and licensing cats being a little over...but not outrageous.

The electrical code one probably has to do with the roots of the town. Those power plant engineers like everything tied down tight. I would suspect that the case for # 4 is actually better than the case for #6 but it costs more.

I am aware of the golf course problem. But I would also point out that the municipality has huge quantities of land that can be used in a number of ways to offset any loses of golf courses. Seems to me they are picking up a couple of million a year off the solar power stuff. That really trumps a golf course.
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Old 03-31-2009, 03:33 PM
 
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It appears that Boulder City has a better water situation than LV. That said i assume a large thristy lawn is out of the question in most of southern Nevada. Do the cities have water police as as they do in Arizona?
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