A new jail along with a possible public safety complex additionally comprised of police and justice courts will eventually be located in Stagecoach or Silver Springs.
The Lyon County commissioners voted 3-2 to set the location in the one of the two rural Central Lyon communities and to direct staff to begin looking for available land. Commissioners Phyllis Hunewill and Don Tibbals were opposed.
Saying it can take years to obtain land for a new public building, Commissioner Bob Milz said it was necessary to begin now.
Commissioner Leroy Goodman agreed, saying population shifts made the Stagecoach-Silver Springs area the preferred option.
"Over 77 percent of the people live in North or Central Lyon County and in four or five years it could be up to 80 percent," he said. "All we're looking at is a general location for a jail."
Sheriff Allen Veil declined to support choosing a jail location unless the commissioners first determine what kind of facility they want.
"I don't have an objection to that location, but unless we address the issue of what this facility will be, it doesn't make a lot of sense to decide on a location," he said. "If it's just going to be a jail, it isn't feasible to separate dispatch and record keeping. I can't make a judgment until I know what the facility will be first."
Veil also said they needed to consider whether health care, dental and mental health services and fire services were sufficient before they set a location, but Commissioner Larry McPherson said Silver Springs has all of those services.
Milz said that discussions of the Criminal Justice Advisory Council, on which he and Hunewill sit, centered on a multiuse complex that included the jail, police services and justice courts.
Hunewill and Tibbals supported waiting until a group of seven county officials return from a seminar by the National Institute of Corrections' Planning of New Institutions program, also called PONI, in Longmont, Colo., on March 27-29.
Tibbals, McPherson, Veil, County Manager Donna Kristaponis, Comptroller Josh Foli, County Engineer Dick Faber and jail manager Kathy Heston will attend the program.
"When they come back from Colorado, that will be the opportune time to discuss this," she said.
But Goodman and Milz thought the planning needed to begin now.
"Let's be looking for land in the meantime," Goodman said.
• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 882-2111 ext. 351.