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Commissioners explore construction for new courtrooms

Steve Ranson
LVN Editor Emeritus
Commissioner feel option three was best to explore for new courtrooms and office space. It would require the demolition of the current CC Communications building on West Williams Avenue.
Steve Ranson / LVN

Churchill County commissioners voted to explore the feasibility of building a new facility to house courtrooms and offices to meet the needs of the community for the next 50 years.

Commissioners had three options to consider based on a District Court Assessment and Summary of Studies conducted by Sletten Construction, which was initially presented to the commissioners in 2018.

The commissioners’ decision now directs County Manager Jim Barbee to follow up on the third option that requires the demolition of the current CC Communication building on 55 W. Williams Ave., and the construction of courtrooms.

The third option commissioners would result in the construction of a new $11 million two-story district court building that would address future county growth. According to the study, a new building would also free up other existing county facilities that could be used for consolidation of the district attorney’s office and a future public defenders’ office. The study also states a new building would best use the capacity of the site and provide ample parking, inmate controls, public and staff access and safety.

Construction wouldn’t be able to start until after January 2022.

The first option would cost $6 million and place a new court house between the current district court and the old sheriff’s substation along Maine Street. This option included new court room construction and remodeling the first floor, which housed the old jail.

The downside of the first proposal shows it would be perceived as a shorter-term solution of 10 to 25 years and would not address the county’s future population.

The second option price tag is $8.2 million and would require a first- and second-story remodel of the existing CC Communications building. The remodeling would include destruction down to pre-existing center block internal and outer walls.

The negative aspects of option two would use “very dated and old infrastructure that has the potential to create unforeseen remodel construction expenses and future structural issues.” The current block construction would also limit the size of the new court rooms and future expansion.

The study also determined that all three options would result in a consolidated security check point for both district and justice courts; furthermore, each proposal does not include the costs to change the existing district court’s future needs or plans.

Commissioners also received an updated report on Western Nevada College’s Fallon Nursing Lab, which is located in the county’s annex building. The remodeling, which was completed in September, cost about $56,000, but with the addition of furniture, equipment, a laboratory and Interactive Video (IAV) technology, the cost came in at $107,000.

Churchill County and Banner Churchill Community Hospital funded this project with money that had previously been earmarked for the project. The Fallon nursing lab received the latest IAV technology and new network infrastructure and cabling.

According to information presented to the commissioners, “Feedback from the nursing students indicates that communication with the Carson Campus has improved with the new technology.”

The program hired a student lab assistant to keep the lab equipped and as functional as the Carson nursing lab. Currently, 11 students are in their second year and seven are in their first year.

In other action:

Received information on the 2020 Census processes and input from county leadership on best practices to reach the local county population on Census Day.

Renewed a Government Services Contract with Strategies 360, Inc. for $3,500 per month from Jan. 1, 2020 through Jan. 31, 2021; July 1, 2021 through Dec. 31, 2021; and $4,000 per month for the period Feb. 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021 covering the 2021 legislative session.

Reclassified an employee from Justice Court clerk trainee to Justice Court clerk.

Reclassified the emergency manager position from a salaried (FLSA­ exempt) position to an hourly (FLSA non­exempt) position.

Approved the addition of an office supervisor position to Churchill County Social Services, job description for the position and permission to begin the recruitment process.

Approved a funding agreement between Partnership Carson City and Churchill County Social Services in support of Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) and Forensic Assessment Triage Team (FASTT) programs in the Churchill County Jail for $23,656.34, effective Jan. 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020.

Approved an agreement with the University of Nevada Reno for Extension Carryover Funds in Churchill County.

Recognized employees for their service: Daniel Michel, Churchill County Sheriff’s Office, 10 years; Shawn Summers, Churchill County Sheriff’s Office, 25 years; and Brenda Ogden, District Attorney’s office,25 years.