Ely, Nevada is located about 250 miles North of Las Vegas, and is the seat
of White Pine County.
In 2015, the state’s legislative body proposed a bill that would
disincorporate the city and turn it into a town – something Ely’s mayor and
other officials were not very happy about.
The bill never went through, and for the upcoming legislative session,
there’s a bill to allocate $10 million to build a new courthouse in Ely.
But according to Ely's mayor, disincorporating the city of Ely may still be on some legislator's minds.
"I think it's because people are always thinking that two governments aren't as efficient as one government," VanCamp said. "And we've got money and I think a lot of people would like to see the county absorb us and that would be a shame because we're about 109 years old, so we don't want that to happen."
When she's not tending to her mayoral duties, VanCamp is running her small business - she owns an embroidery and sewing shop in Ely. Small businesses are at the heart of Ely's economy, along with government agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service and the Robinson Mine.
VanCamp wants to continue growth in tourism, and is incorporating that into an ongoing strategic plan for the city.
"It would really help if we could also jump start our tourism around here, that would help provide a few jobs and get some money flowing here," VanCamp said.
As some Nevada cities pass moratoriums on recreational marijuana, VanCamp said that it has been discussed, but the city will wait for the state to decide on regulations before they move forward with any further laws.
City officials will also closely follow the 2017 legislative session to see whether a bill passes to allow back utility bills be added to property taxes - a sum that currently reaches more than $325,000.
"That's the no. 1 thing we're watching, as soon as we know when it comes up in the legislature, we're all going to go over there and see if we can do anything to help that along," VanCamp said.
Melody VanCamp, mayor, Ely
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