Silver City residents back home again

It was home, sweet home Tuesday as the Silver City Advisory Council held its first meeting in the new Schoolhouse community center.

After thanking those who participated in the rebirth of the building that burned on July 7, 2004, board chairman Erich Obermayr and the town got down to business, picking May 17 for the grand opening party.

Prints and photos were donated to the building and there was discussion about where the library should go.

Lyon County Commissioner Bob Milz was on hand and told the group they were responsible for the center finally being opened.

"Who made this possible was you folks," he said. "Without you pushing it forward, it would not have happened."

But Obermayr gave Milz credit as well.

"There was a point in the process of building this building, they had the choice to do the right thing or wait for the insurance to come through," he said, adding that Milz did the right thing by insisting on building the center that burned down July 7, 2004, after a county worker's welding torch left some insulation smoldering while installing air conditioning.

Milz said the insurance company and the county were still at a stalemate and didn't know if the matter would eventually go to arbitration.

"They decided they were going to put in so much and based that on residential costs, and this is not a residential building," he said.

Donations are coming in - of furniture, equipment, and more.

One thing the residents are not sure about is where to put the library.

Artist Jean Legrassick said she would like to see the large meeting room be left empty, without the library, "like a blank canvas we can make into whatever we want," she said.

But others said the smaller multipurpose room was not big enough, the building was utilitarian in nature and access to the library was important.

"This is where we live," said board member Larry Wahrenbrock. "It reflects what's important to us, kids, books, education. The library needs to be accessible."

The issue will be placed on the next meeting agenda for action.

Another issue put off for the next meeting is whether to approve the Comstock Cemetery Foundation taking over the Silver City Cemetery.

Cal Dillon, a volunteer for the foundation, said it would be easier for the foundation to obtain grant money for restoration of the cemetery, because they have a track record of maintaining the Virginia City and Gold Hill cemeteries effectively.

Lyon County wants to avoid a problem that happened in the past from recurring; when a group of youthful offenders cleaned the cemetery as part of their community service and unintentionally damaged old graves in the process.

Susan Stornetta, who is on the town's cemetery committee, wanted more specific details on the foundation's offer, so a decision on the issue was postponed.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 881-7351.


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