West Wendover is preparing to expand as a major land transfer that has been ongoing for around 25 years enters the final stages.
The Bureau of Land Management announced July 15 that the environmental assessment of West Wendover Land Conveyance has been completed and a 30-day public review and comment period has begun.
The US Air Force owns approximately 14,595 acres near West Wendover that could eventually be transferred, with much of the land going to the town and some going to Tooele County in Utah for runway protection areas around the area. Wendover Airport. The first phase of this transfer is brewing, with 6,366 acres of land going free to West Wendover and Tooele County.
“The property attracted interest in the 1990s, with the Air Force indicating that they no longer needed to use this property, which was part of the former Wendover Bombing and Gunnery Range,” said West Wendover Town Manager Chris Melville. “Because it’s obviously too close to the community. So it’s really not used as part of the Utah Test and Training Range, which is the remnant of what was the Wendover Bombing and Gunnery Range of World War II.
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“So the city started this process about 25 years ago. It took that long to get to this point.
Melville said the ground transportation of nearly 15,000 acres was divided into phases because about a decade ago the Air Force said it wanted to keep some of the land at least for a while. for drone testing and development.
The 6,366 acres about to be transferred represent nearly 10 square miles.
WEST WENDOVER — Mayor Daniel Corona has announced he plans to step down from his post effective August 2.
“That’s a lot of ownership,” Melville said. “Relative to the city limits today, that’s more than double the size of West Wendover. Which is a good thing. Because even though we have about seven square miles of land inside the current city limits, almost half of that is BLM land – it’s federal property within the city limits. That’s why it’s important.
“I’m glad to see us get to this point because it seemed like it would never happen,” Melville said. “We’ve done a lot of work to get here.”
The Air Force has done tremendous work preparing for ground transportation, Melville said. Lawmakers who have helped push the transfer forward over the years include Rep. Jim Gibbons, Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Jim Hansen of Utah.
West Wendover is surrounded by many open spaces, but it has always been landlocked because the surrounding land has been BLM and Air Force land. The upcoming land transfer sets up West Wendover for the long haul, Melville said, giving the town the potential to grow into the next century.
Last year the City of West Wendover purchased just over 84 acres from the BLM for $840,000 for development of an area on the west end of town near City Hall and the Great Cow -boy neon Wendover Will.
Infrastructure will be installed to encourage businesses to set up in the new city centre. This will be a no-play zone, although hotels may be built there.
“Right now we have about three different businesses that have expressed an interest in moving into the downtown area once it’s completed,” Melville said.
He said it was a “build it and they will come” scenario, since companies won’t fully engage until the infrastructure is in place.
The city hoped that the downtown infrastructure would be completed by spring of this year, but the process took longer than that.
In June, West Wendover City Council awarded the town center infrastructure project to Great Basin Engineering Contractors at Elko. Melville said the city hopes the infrastructure will be under construction in August and be completed in 2023.
Various businesses have settled in the 30-acre industrial park area of West Wendover, near US Highway 93A and the Union Pacific Railroad mainline. Businesses in the industrial park include FedEx, a towing company, and a cannabis dispensary Deep Roots Harvest. Three companies plan to build greenhouses in the industrial park for the cultivation of cannabis: Deep Roots Harvest, Vertical Horizon and Wendovera.
With all these businesses moving into the industrial park area of the city, there are only about five acres left available at this point.
“There’s really no other place to go for industrial-type development,” Melville said.
He said that’s another reason why it’s good that the transfer of land from the Air Force to the city is finally about to go ahead.
“We would have liked this a long time ago,” Melville said, “but for this to happen now is a good thing, because we’ll have other projects coming up, and that will give us the ownership we need. “
West Wendover is a member of the Northeast Nevada Regional Development Authority, and Melville said the city is working closely with NNRDA Executive Director Sheldon Mudd to talk with businesses interested in coming north. -eastern Nevada.
“So this property is part of this whole equation,” he said.
Melville also noted that West Wendover is currently doing quite well with its housing situation.
“For a long time we struggled, like a lot of places, with not having housing,” Melville said. “And then, about three years ago, a new builder came into the community and invested, and they’re still building houses today. … They’re not building whole 50-unit subdivisions at a time, but they’re building two or three houses at a time. And that’s enough for now, and it gives them a good foundation for what’s to come.