Construction bid for detention center awarded

The Churchill County Commissioners pose for a photo with several county employees honored for their years of service  on Wednesday. From the left: Commissioner Bus Scharmann, Geoff Stark, Naomi McArthur, Lisa Nord, Tim Turner, Commissioner Pete Olsen, Ben Shawcroft, District Attorney Arthur E. Mallory and Sherriff Ben Trotter of the Churchill County Sherriff's Office.

The Churchill County Commissioners pose for a photo with several county employees honored for their years of service on Wednesday. From the left: Commissioner Bus Scharmann, Geoff Stark, Naomi McArthur, Lisa Nord, Tim Turner, Commissioner Pete Olsen, Ben Shawcroft, District Attorney Arthur E. Mallory and Sherriff Ben Trotter of the Churchill County Sherriff's Office.

The Churchill County Commissioners set the guaranteed maximum price for the construction contract of the new Detention Center at $15,245,911 at their second monthly meeting last week.

The contract awarded to Sletten Construction was a huge undertaking according to Chairman Pete Olsen, who said it would likely be the most money he ever spends as a county commissioner.

Building Official Cliff Van Woert and Tony Ewalt from Sletten Construction were present at the meeting and gave information before the bid was awarded. The project is expected to be completed by December 2017 at which time the center will be fully functional and feature more than 120 beds.

During this meeting, Pershing County Commissioner Pat Irwin came forward asking for a letter of support. In response to an unused 335,010 acres of checkerboard land, the Pershing County commissioners have been asked to use 160,000 acres of land to create a wilderness area for wildlife, hoping to sell $150,000 as brokers, not owners, of the land.

Irwin added that the three-phase land spill will, according to his information, boost economic development in several facets for Pershing County, likely contributing to the already overwhelming 95 percent support for the plan Irwin said comes from Pershing County locals.

Residents in Pershing County have supposedly expressed concerns similar to those expressed at the meeting during public comment where resident Jim Faulk pointed out the lockouts and restrictions of wilderness areas, particularly in light of the number of wilderness study areas already in Pershing County which Irwin said present even more restrictions.

Resident Bob Clifford also went on record and said he would rather see the land go in an opposite direction than becoming a wilderness area. Though Olsen said to Clifford he would honestly prefer the same, he also said it’s simply not going to happen despite obvious wishes. The commissioners then voted unanimously for a letter in support of Pershing County.

The commissioners also recognized several Churchill County employees for their years of service. Tim Turner and Lisa Nordman from the Parks and Recreation Department and the District Attorney’s Office were respectively recognized for five years of service. Ben Shawcroft, also from the DA’s office, was recognized for 10 years of service as was Deputy Tod Keller from the Churchill County Sheriff’s Office. Naomi McArthur from the Churchill County District Attorney Child Support Division was recognized for 15 years of service. Human Resources director Geoff Stark was among those recognized for 20 years of service.

Commissioners also took action on the following items:

Approved the renewal proposal for the Nevada Public Agency Insurance Pool (MPAIP) including additional builder’s risk coverage for the construction of the adult jail facility in the amount of $21,114.

Approved a motion on USGA Rural Development’s Letter of Conditions for the Detention Facility loans, and other related actions, to finalize financing with the USDA for the Detention Center in Churchill County.

Approved a two-year extension to the existing lease agreement with the Board of Regents from the Nevada System of Higher Education on behalf of Western Nevada College for space in the Churchill County Annex Building

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