County officials in Lincoln County aren’t the only ones concerned about how the event, planned for Sept. 20-22, could impact residents.
Speaking on behalf of Rachel residents, Joerg Arnu presented a long list of concerns at the county commission meeting Aug. 19.
He said, “We need to make serious provisions to protect Rachel. Any sales in Rachel will have to be cash only.”
He requested that commissioners not issue a special-use permit for the Alien Stock event near the Little A’Le’Inn “because there has not been sufficient time remaining to plan properly and know what we are doing.”
He pointed out, “There is no gas at Rachel, not enough food, water or sanitation facilities, even waste disposal dumpsters for 30,000 people, or more who might come. Even the gas station at Alamo and Ash Springs may run dry.”
But Commission Chair Varlin Higbee said a special-use permit didn’t really matter, because “the people are going to come anyway.”
In the list Arnu read, he noted “the microwave link that provides cell-phone service in the Rachel area will break down. Elderly people will not be able to call for help. It will bring crime to Rachel, pickpockets and burglaries to the homes of residents, occupied or not.”
He asked that a special-use permit, if issued, require “more than just emergency communication be provided for Rachel residents that does not depend on the cell-phone system or data of any sort. Residents must have a way to call for help without leaving their property unprotected.”
He added, “It is likely that some of our property will get damaged, which might then evolve into lengthy lawsuits.”
Arnu said that Rachel residents want the county to provide law enforcement roadblocks in the residential area of the community. “We do not want any concert or event guests in the residential parts.”
He also brought up a serious concern related to the possibility of a mass shooting which he felt must be properly addressed.
Most of the people attending the event, Arnu said, are not familiar with SR375’s open range. Therefore, “cows on the highway and accidents are to be expected; maybe even vehicle collisions because it is a two-lane highway not designed for the amount of traffic anticipated. Who will be liable if traffic accidents do happen? Is the town? Is the county?”
He asked that Rachel be kept informed by county officials on plans.
Another Rachel resident at the meeting said if some people do try to rush toward Area 51 in the middle of the night, they may get bitten by snakes. “And who is going to care for them in the middle of the desert?”
Area 51 is about 26 miles south of SR375.