Rodeo grounds for takeover

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DAYTON -- Lyon County will look into the feasibility of taking over management of the Dayton rodeo grounds.

Representatives of two groups at odds over operations at the grounds support the move.

In March 1999, the county entered into an agreement leasing the property to the nonprofit Dayton Valley Youth Center. The Youth Center Executive Board then created a Rodeo Committee to raise funds for improvements to the property. Tiring of the extensive efforts needed to put on events, the Rodeo Committee disbanded. Those wishing to continue with roping and rodeo events formed the Tri-county Rodeo Events Association.

Despite repeated efforts by county officials over the past two years to mediate differences, the Youth Center board and Rodeo Events Association have remained at odds over arena management and policies.

Youth Center President Joe Bruno, involved with the facility since the beginning efforts approximately 11 years ago, said he did not have a problem with the county taking it over providing they acknowledge the Youth Center did nothing wrong to violate its lease with the county.

"We were trying to run the facility like the county would run the facility (Lyon County Fairgrounds) in Yerington. That caused some problems when some buildings were illegally erected (by others)," he told commissioners on Thursday. "We ask you show on record that we have done nothing to violate the lease."

He also recommended, if the county determines to establish another board, that no one from either of the current boards be appointed, "So we don't go back to having this problem again. The facility was built for the community; that's why we would like to see the county make it better."

Bill Holley, Tri-county member and local rancher, stated in a letter to the commissioners, "I have seen the facility from its inception. There has been a history of controversy and disagreement from day one. With the county being the lessee from the BLM, I think it would be in the best interests of the county, the community of Dayton and the facility itself for Lyon County to administer the operation."

All improvements have been made with event revenue, sponsor donations and volunteer efforts. No county funds have been involved. Bruno said the Youth Center currently has approximately $4,000 that would be given to the county if they take it over.

Commissioner Bob Milz made the motion to request staff to bring additional information to the board.

"Originally I felt I wanted to keep it in the community, but we have proven we can't do it. We can't get along."

He agreed the new board should not include members of either of the existing groups.


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