With the state facing a budget shortfall, Gov. Brian Sandoval has proposed transferring responsibility for staffing the Mount Charleston fire stations to Clark County in the next 18 months.
The county already covers the majority of the costs of running the state’s two stations in Kyle and Lee canyons. Last year the county paid lmost $890,000, using a mixture of money from a Mount Charleston taxing district and the county’s general operating fund.
But the costs could jump to more than $3 million a year if the county has to run its own station, because the number of firefighters would double or triple. To meet codes, the county probably would have to build a new station, at a cost of several million dollars.
With the county struggling to balance its budget, some residents and state firefighters worry that county leaders might choose to let Mount Charleston go without a full-time station.
The area is home to several hundred people and an estimated 2.1 million people visit the area annually.