Concerned neighbors seek answers on redevelopment of Three Kids Mine site

Published: Apr. 5, 2023 at 2:31 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The site of an old mine could soon become thousands of new homes near Lake Las Vegas. The Three Kids Mine was operational from 1917 to 1961. The land is now contaminated with arsenic, lead, and manganese.

Tuesday, Lake Las Vegas neighbors came together at the Henderson City Council meeting. They say they want their voices to be heard and answers about how the land will be cleaned up and then turned into housing.

“We are not opposed to the development, what we want to do is see that it is done as safely as possible,” said Chaya Hendrick, founder of a group calling themselves East Henderson Public Health and Welfare Committee. Formed just over three weeks ago, more than 100 members met over the weekend to go over the latest with the Three Kids Mine site project that many are just learning about.

“There are certain questions that haven’t been fully answered and this process has moved along very quickly,” argued Dr. Kenneth Weitzman who came to share his concerns.

“What I am going to ask is to consider having our group play an active role with the developer,” Hendrick asked the council.

The concerned neighbors also say they want to be informed of the decisions made by the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection when it comes to the cleanup and the city of Henderson on redevelopment.

Hendrick believes the toxic site needs to be cleaned up but worries doing so and disturbing the soil means a new set of challenges.

“I don’t know if the studies have really clarified how much dust will be moving out from the immediate area of the development into the surrounding neighborhoods,” Dr. Weitzman said.

The mine site is currently owned by private developers and the federal government. The federal portion of the land is slated to be transferred to the City of Henderson so it can be sold to developers but that has not yet happened.

“There is a Memorandum of Agreement in place that outlines what could be possible, but it has to be formalized in another agreement,” Henderson Mayor Michelle Romero explained.

Though the city does not yet own the land, Romero still addressed the group’s concerns about being heard in the process.

“The city is willing to reach out to NDEP to request that they come out. They have been out numerous times to answer some of these questions. I recognize that you all didn’t get the opportunity to ask questions. We can request those meetings,” Romero offered.

The City of Henderson clarified they have no role when it comes to clean-up methods or decisions, that is up to the federal government and the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection.

FOX5 met with NDEP last week at the site to go over their plans. You can find that full report here.