Lyon and Storey counties pass budgets

It only took 10 minutes for Lyon County commissioners to pass pretty much the same budget it tentatively approved during workshops in March.

Comptroller Josh Foli said there were a few minor changes in moving funds from one account to another, but the $39.1 million general-fund budget figure was still the same.

In Storey County, few changes were made to its tentative general-fund budget, including adding $50,000 to the road budget, which County Manager Pat Whitten said was necessary after a harsh winter and with rising gasoline and asphalt costs.

"We can't put enough money in this account," he said.

The county also added $100,000 in capital project funds to install fire sprinklers in the courthouse, Whitten said, adding it would be a tragedy to lose such an historic treasure to fire. Bids were opened Monday and the issue would be on the commission's June 3 agenda.

County Commission Chairman Greg "Bum" Hess said county officials would be very conservative this year not knowing if construction at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, which has filled county coffers, would keep the same pace.

He was also concerned about increased retirements this year due to changes in the state retirement system, and said he anticipated an increase of $75,000 in employee buyouts. He said in the long run, bringing people in to replace county retirees at lower salaries could offset the costs.

Whitten said the county has reduced its travel budget but did find two former sheriff's cars for the clerk and recorder to use.

He said $5,000 was added to the budget to find ways to protect the Lagomarsino petroglyphs, and $500 for the county's youth baseball clinics.

One entity that didn't get funding right away was Piper's Opera House, which requested $40,000 for bar equipment to get the Old Corner Bar started.

"Well, if it's for a bar, sure," Hess joked. He then said that while he didn't want to put it in this budget, it was possible the county could come up with funding later if revenue increased. He noted that several years the county didn't fund Community Chest, but later found some funding for their work.

Piper's executive director Richard Stoll told the commissioners that he sought the funds so that Piper's would have a source of income, and that grant funds that are being used to restore the bar couldn't be used for equipment.

County Administrator Marilou Walling told Stoll that the Save America's Treasures grant, which he had thought was a one-time only grant, was still available.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at kwoodmansee@nevadaappeal.com or call 881-7351.

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