Elko Mines Cause Ongoing Economic Boom


By Jay Michaels

Elko, Nevada ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Right now, Elko, Nevada is a boom town. And thanks to some city managers who looked ahead ten years ago, Elko's in pretty good shape.

Newmont and Barrick are the two big mining companies in Elko, Nevada. Thanks to them, the population of Elko and nearby Spring Creek has grown to a total of almost 30,000 people.

Elko City Manager Curtis Calder says, "Since about 2009, we've seen our growth on the upward trend. Anywhere from 1 to 2 percent, to even 2 to 4 percent. I'd say we're averaging about 3 percent growth right now."

The City of Elko has seen definite growth reflected in its sales tax figures, as well as increased employment in mining and mining related industries, which are all growing right now. But most of the infrastructure was laid down by planners who looked ahead.

Elko Mayor Chris Johnson says, "The sewer plant is still only at about half capacity. So there's a lot more volume that can be sent there, a lot more volume that can be sent there, which is great. So that's a big advantage that the city has on that side. Then also too, on the water side, the city's drilled some new wells. So that's really increased the production and gotten out ahead of that demand."

The biggest shortage in the last three or four years has been a lack of multi-family housing, which is gradually being filled. The housing units that are under construction or nearing completion in Elko add up to about 175 new units.

The mines near Elko are the city's economic bread and butter. Thousands of people work in the mines and related businesses.

Calder says, "Because we did that, we planned ahead, we planned for the growth, that's really helped. Certainly we're probably short right now in the public service arena, the public safety arena. Police, fire, they're being taxed about as much as they can be."

Mar. 28, 2013.

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