Demolition leaves another empty gap on Main Street

Heidi Bunch
The long standing Patriot’s Plaza was torn down Monday after being flagged by county commissioners as a property in blight. The old main street gas station has been boarded up for years and was a popular spot for teens to park and hangout.

The old gas station and awning located in 800 Block of E Street was torn down on Monday, Jan. 28 after being flagged by Mineral County Commissioners as a property in blight.

As part of a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the old gas station, now known as Patriot’s Plaza as well as the old Sierra Pacific Power Company building (located across the street from Hawthorne Utilities) was first identified by former county commissioner Cliff Cichowlaz as blight in the community of Hawthorne.

The old gas station building has most recently been used to store Christmas decorations for a local organization and has been a favored hang out for the youth. The old Sierra Pacific Power Company building had once been used by Mineral County to store documents but as time began to break down the building, the records were moved to more secure storage facilities.

Under the supervision of Johnson Enterprise, the demolition began on the old gas station a little after noon and everything but the awning was down before 5 p.m. on Monday.

County Clerk Chris Nepper explained to the Independent-News that the old Sierra Pacific Power Company will also be reduced to rubble before the end of the week.

The demolition of the awning at Patriot’s Plaza has not come without conflict. Many in the community have hopes that it would remain for a sun shade to be used for functions. Unfortunately, the stipulations of the CDBG are clear. The lot must be vacated in its entirety and is to remain vacant for five years before development can begin.

The Patriot’s Plaza comes with stipulations when it was turned over to the county in 2004. Transferred from Redman Petroleum Corporation, the gift deed clearly states that the property is to be used to “foster growth of Mineral County, Nevada and to provide for the citizens of Mineral County, Nevada a public park.” In the deed, it also states that Mineral County is to agree to name the property “Patricia V. McDowell Park” in honor of the donor.

Mineral County has drawings on file, for possible ideas, for the new park in the clerk’s office. Residents have asked why Hawthorne will need another park in the mile-square town.