With the recent announcement that Tesla Motors would build a plant at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center (TRIC) within the next three years, the head of the state’s Department of Business and Industry said Wednesday that Fernley — and especially the Truckee Meadows — will experience more growth.
Bruce Breslow, though, said Churchill County could see some benefits from other companies interested in taking advantage of Nevada’s tax structure and wanting to build in a community in which the former Sparks mayor said is a slice of Americana.
As for Fernley, Breslow said much depends on the city’s government.
“Fernley will be the next growth center,” Breslow told local business leaders at the monthly Churchill Economic Development Authority breakfast meeting.
Breslow said families accompanying both construction workers and then Tesla’s permanent workforce will be looking for both a home and community in which to reside.
“Looks like Fernley could be built out,” Breslow said of possible growth. “But growth depends on the city. There will be more requirements for roads, services and shops.”
As for Fallon, Breslow was not specific in which type of business growth the county would experience because of Tesla, but he encouraged local government leaders to do an image makeover by creating uniform signs, for example,
“The image would look and feel good and make a town more attractive,” Breslow said.
With Churchill County and surrounding areas affected by the drought and lack of water, Breslow said local government should look at applying for effluent (wastewater) that could be piped into Churchill County and used by growers. He said both the drought and lack of water have become a defining moment for the area.
The regional governing board will vote later this year on sending effluent water to TRIC, and Breslow said this may also help Churchill County if commissioners were interested.
“For farmers in this area, talk to the Sparks Public Works and see what is available” Breslow encouraged.
Although many residents may remember Breslow as a television sportscaster for KTVN (Channel 2) and KOLO (Channel 8) in the late 1970s and early 80s, he later served as Sparks mayor from 1991-1999. When Gov. Brian Sandoval won election in 2010, he appointed Breslow as director of the Department of Motor Vehicles, and because of Breslow’s wealth of business knowledge, the first-term governor moved Breslow to his current assignment at DBI.
Breslow said his agency assists existing businesses with their growth needs and to keep them from relocating out of state.
“In the past DBI put out fires and answered complaints,” Breslow said. “Under Gov. Sandoval it’s economic development.”
Once he assumed his new duties, Breslow went to work, and his staff eliminated at least 1,000 regulations that hurt businesses. He said the regulations stood in the way of how firms could conduct their day-to-day operations.
He also discussed the New Market Tax Credit programs and how they are an effective tool used by the federal government and 11 states to attract private capital investment in areas in need of job growth and economic development.
Breslow said Community Development Entities, which have been allocated federal New Market Tax Credits for Nevada, are provided to investors that invest the funds established by a CDE for projects in the Silver State.
“We implement and manage the program,” he said, “and companies give us information on how many jobs they create.”