Lyon County is developing two options for a plan on the Mound House community center, a project the unincorporated community continues to advocate as one of its highest priorities.
The area’s Citizen Advisory Board on Sept. 6 received an update from County Manager Jeff Page on his recent presentation to the Board of Commissioners to pursue Community Development Block Grant funding coupled with American Rescue Plan Act funding.
The total $200,000 CDBG amount, if the commission chose it as a potential project, could help remodel the current Mound House fire station at 56 Red Rock Road in Carson City and service public events for about 1,600 to 2,000 people without having to build a new facility. Page said the fire station’s two apparatus bays could be adapted into one large meeting room or two smaller rooms or suited to however the community wanted.
The second option would be to use a 2.09-acre county-owned lot at 158 Garnet Circle, adjacent to the fire station and recently rezoned by the commission in July, to construct a new building. Engineering and road improvements would have to be made to meet state standards, and the placement of the lot would be near an apartment complex in Mound House, creating potential residential issues.
Commissioner Wes Henderson, representing District 1, said after Page’s presentation about pursuing the CBDG funding, he would like to see the project proceed quickly for Mound House residents.
“My initial thought is if we can get something done in 18 months as opposed to 10 to 15 years, we can look at the CDBG application to do that,” Henderson said. “The family that donated that land is not interested in having that back. I’m excited about getting something in Mound House. They deserve something.”
Commissioner Ken Gray, representing District 3, said during the Sept. 1 commission meeting he had concerns about the firehouse facility, although he embraced both options. It was more important, he added, to get the community in designing the concept should it be decided to choose the second option.
He did ask if the fire department would disassociate itself from the property on 56 Red Rock Road and said it might be the quicker way to meet the community’s needs.
“There’s still a lot of questions, and I think we should go after the CDBG for it,” Gray said.
Mound House CAB members on Sept. 6 said the original plans for a new building were designed in the 1990s and had been meant to accommodate a growing community, said board Chairwoman Melinda Cash, who has been persistent about getting the project completed.
Page advised the CAB members to consider what they want not just today but 10 to 15 years from now as Lyon’s population grows.
“This is an easy fix if we can do it now,” he said at Tuesday’s CAB meeting.
“I’m tired of fighting over this thing,” Cash said. “We have board members who will be happy here if we can get it done right. … I’ve had folks from Mound House yell at me and tell me, ‘Why don’t we have these things?’”
Page said organizations pay significant fees at $3,000 per night for events in Washoe County or even within Lyon County’s lines to host or attend events, and Yerington doesn’t offer similar amenities to Reno, Sparks or Carson City.
Cash asked about looking at other funding from national or state foundations that have provided grant funding for other Lyon County projects, such as the $3 million awarded to Fernley’s senior center from the William Pennington Foundation announced in 2017. But due to eligibility requirements with funding opportunities, the county has to be particular about the types of money it can pursue, Page said, and he “can’t be greedy.”
Cash said during the CAB meeting she appreciated county staff’s time trying to push for the community center.
“What makes this a selling point is we’re such a depressed area,” Cash said. “We have nothing to offer our citizens. When you look at things, if there is business that wants to support a needy cause, this is a needy cause.”
The item under consideration as a possible CDBG proposal will return before the commission at a later time for a formal vote.