It's February and Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow - the prediction is another six weeks of winter. I hope "Phil's" prognostication includes a lot of moisture and not just cold temperatures. Hopefully he is a better weatherman than us humans.

The future of the weather may be questionable but what about our future as the city of Winnemucca.? How are we doing?

We are in the last half of our fiscal year and although the tax dollars are not accumulating as abundantly as in past years, we are still sound and within our budget. We are pretty much even with last year's income however the last few months have shown a negative trend. I do anticipate the tax income will be down approximately 20 percent at the end of the year.

We will see the spending of 50 percent of our capital improvement fund. At the beginning of last year, we transferred $2.5 million into this fund from our general fund to increase the fund to $8.5 million and be comfortable about completing the projects that were planned. Our planned projects include the new fire station, a new animal control shelter, extension of storm drains on Water Canyon Road and Highland Park, the paving of Great Basin Drive, Water Canyon Road, Museum Lane and the Cemetery Niche (columbarium) Wall.

We also allocated some funding for the Boys & Girls Club/Recreation survey and a Community Performance Center vision. It has been nice to have the cash to pay for the projects that enhance our city. This next year, however, we may not be able to transfer a large sum of money into the capital improvement fund. But for now we will have many of our wish list items completed.

We are getting closer on the completion of our sewer line expansion. This month the project will be going up Baud Street and to the final connection at Haskell Street. We want to thank all of the businesses for their cooperation. We know this has been a major inconvenience for everyone. We have had a few delays due to unmarked pipes and also some older connection lines that needed to be replaced. We have our fingers crossed that there will not be any major hurdles to fix in these last few blocks.

Haskell Street is still on our radar. We have had a long standing goal of finding a way to assist with the traffic flow on this street. As the street is a state-owned roadway, we have not had much say in how to make that happen.

Last Tuesday, the City Council decided we should see if the state is still willing to transfer Haskell Street to the city along with a cash payment of $750,000. The money would allow us to provide for the maintenance of the road for the next 15 to 20 years. The cost of a traffic signal has become too expensive. Without the state involved, however, we can look at the option of putting in defined turn lanes and possibly a four-way stop. It is not the perfect solution however we do believe that it would provide for better traffic flow.

I would like to welcome Joey Dendary as the new golf course operations pro. Rick Longhurst is remaining as our director of golf and Joey will be in charge of the pro shop, driving range and food concession. He is planning on expanding the food concession to include a good menu selection with a chef in the kitchen.

To get ready for the season, the clubhouse will be open this month on Thursday through Sunday to serve lunch (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and, weather permitting, he will also open the driving range. This should be another great year for all of our golfers. Joey is enthusiastic about our golf course and working with the public and the youth.

Communication is the key to success. I would like to keep you apprised of projects, issues and general information regarding the city and my representation as your mayor. In return I ask for your input and communication. Please feel free to call (623-6341) or email me ( I am interested in your comments and participation.