The White House has included in its dead-on-arrival budget a proposal by the EPA to build a laboratory and research facilities — currently housed in leased space on the UNLV campus — at the 122-acre UNLV Harry Reid Research & Technology Park at Sunset Road and Durango Boulevard just off the I-215 beltway, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
According to the park’s website, the land for the park was conveyed to the UNLV Research Foundation by Congress with the support of Sen. Reid on June 22, 2005, because Reid saw the benefit of UNLV having a “technology research center” to support both UNLV’s research and Nevada’s economic growth. “In recognition of Senator Reid’s support for UNLV, the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) and the Park’s conveyance to the UNLV Research Foundation, NSHE Regents made the decision to include Senator Reid as an important part of the Park’s name,” the website states.
Entry to research park named for Harry Reid.
Paying no heed whatsoever to the NSHE’s “Procedures & Guidelines Manual” that categorically states:
The naming of a building, room, part of building, or public space shall not be considered
under the following conditions, if it is to be named after a person or persons:
i. The person is currently employed by the NSHE.
ii. The person is currently serving on the Board of Regents.
iii. The person is an elected public official.
(Hat tip to alert reader Ron who says the Environmental Studies building and Desert Research Institute’s auditorium are also named for Reid despite the manual’s prohibition.) Harry doesn’t follow the rules. He rewrites them as he sees fit, whenever he sees fit.
For nearly nine years the research park has stood empty behind fancy signs and well-maintained desert landscape, sucking tax money every year.
The UNLV Research Foundation contracted with the Commercial Development and Management Corp., a nonprofit, to handle subleasing, marketing, infrastructure construction and management services.
Harry presents a check for $2 million for park named after him.
According to a Las Vegas Sun story in 2009 the Foundation had already burned through all but about $890,000 of a $5 million award. There was nothing to show for it then or now, even though Harry Reid presented the Foundation with a check for $2 million in October 2008.
According to its IRS form 990, Commercial Development and Management by the end of 2012, the latest data available, had $8,840 in assets, though it paid its executive director Ronald Brooks a salary of $89,160.
Still waiting for solutions.
Belts are a little tighter now, because back in 2009 the company paid its two principles — Bud Pittinger, listed as executive director at UNLV Research Foundation, and Jennifer Wikler, listed as director of marketing at Commercial Development and Management Corp. — $227,960 and $79,662, respectively. The address listed on the park website, one across the street, is now occupied by Red Falcon Equity.
The UNLV Research Foundation on the other hand, as of the end of 2011, the latest IRS 990 on file, had $3.76 million in assets and paid its executive director Nancy Strouse more than $200,000 that year.
The Research Foundation should just sell this money loser and pocket the cash.