Building dedication honors former Lyon commissioner
Appeal Staff Writer
SILVER SPRINGS – A building was dedicated in Silver Springs to honor one of the people most responsible for the town’s existence.
The Silver Springs Community Center, adjacent to the Silver Springs Senior Center, was dedicated as Hillyard Hall in honor of former Lyon County Commissioner Chet Hillyard, who was a major force behind the construction of both facilities.
Hillyard served four terms as county commissioner for District 2. During those 16 years, he worked to create the Silver Springs wastewater treatment project and general improvement district, organized the county business license office and the county government substation office in Dayton.
He worked on issues related to the sheriff’s office and library system, and served on the Nevada Commission to Reconstruct the V&T Railway.
But the accomplishment he got the most credit for was the new senior citizens and community center in Silver Springs.
Four of the five county commissioners, County Manager Dennis Stark, former County Manager Donna Kristaponis and county manager candidate Chuck Roberts were among the 30 or so people who turned out for the ribbon-cutting.
Hillyard, who is battling cancer, brought along his trademark deadpan self-deprecating sense of humor for the occasion. After listening to others praise him and tell stories about him, he said he didn’t do that much to raise the center.
“The name indicates I did a lot,” he said. “I didn’t do too much. I got other people to do it, all the way down the line.”
He credited staff and county employees, and especially Kristaponis.
“She convinced the board and did the follow-up to make the building a reality,” he said. “We wouldn’t have this building without her. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”
However, Kristaponis said that although she was flattered by the comments, she said the board had already voted unanimously to make the center a priority, she just did the work necessary.
The idea to name the building after Hillyard came from another cancer survivor, Tom Blomquist, who said he considers the former commissioner to be “a great man,” and said how chagrined he was that Hillyard had put through the law that kept him from moving a 1959 trailer from Churchill County to Lyon County.
McPherson, who defeated Hillyard for the District 2 commission seat, also paid tribute.
“I first ran against him in 1991 and it took me 15 years to beat him,” he said. “That’s what kind of a man he is.”
• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 881-7351.