Gov. Brian Sandoval on Monday signed into law the bill reorganizing the V&T Railroad Commission.
Supporters say SB57 is intended to free up more money for the railroad itself and focus efforts on generating more tourism.
Storey County Manager Pat Whitten said during hearings on the measure it removes members representing Douglas, Washoe and Lyon counties from the board as well as the two members appointed by legislative leadership. Carson City and Storey County would keep their representatives.
Instead, the commission will have one member from the Carson City Visitors Bureau and one from the Virginia City Tourism Commission. The governor would keep his appointment to the panel, making for a five-member commission instead of the current nine members.
Whitten said the changes reduce membership to “those who have skin in the game” — those who fund the commission. He said the changes will enable the commission to take over its own marketing efforts instead of paying more than $100,000 to a contractor. He said Storey County’s comptroller will take on the financial accounting, eliminating that contract as well, and that they are looking at reducing legal services to an on-call contract.
Altogether, Storey County Commissioner Jack McGuffey said the changes should free up more than $300,000 that can be used on the train.