County receives good news |

County receives good news

Slowly, the Churchill County economy is recovering … perhaps not at a faster pace than most of us would like, but we’re definitely seeing some encouraging signs.

The Fallon Community Theater committee is making progress in improving the downtown cinema through donations and gifts, and last week, the first digital showing of a movie wowed theater goers to one of the area’s most historic buildings in the state designed by famous architect Frederic Joseph DeLongchamps. Not only did DeLongchamps draw up the plans for the Fallon Theaters, but he also designed Fallon City Hall and Oats Park Grammar School.

Both the city and Churchill Economic Development Authority have been making gradual process on transforming the former Kent’s Grocery Store into a centralized food hub, a project that may take upward to two years to complete.

And if that isn’t good news, more good news on Monday announced the future construction of the Department of Energy’s new Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal (FORGE) laboratory, phase one, in Churchill County. Although more questions need to be explored about the economic impact to the county, both the feds and Governor’s Office of Energy say it could be big.

Divided into three phases, the first phase will receive $2.1 million for construction at five locations including Fallon. According to a media release from Sen. Harry Reid’s office, and subject to any future restrictions in appropriation bills, this geothermal research laboratory could receive up to $30 million in funding from the DOE and perhaps tens of millions more for phases two and three. Sites for the final two phases have not been announced.

This type of award and this type of future construction for such a project will definitely make Churchill County the geothermal capital of the United States, a distinction currently held by Lake County, Calif., northeast of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Rachel Dahl, executive director of CEDA, explained this is a collaborative effort among local and state governments and with the DOE and Naval Air Station Fallon, which was a supportive partner.

No word has been released on when phase one will commence.

Yet, the first phase may move along quickly. Years ago, Ormat drilled wells on land neighboring the air station but never constructed geothermal plants. According to the Governor’s Office of Energy, “The federal government has taken the first step in phasing in a project of this magnitude.”

The nation has been full of too much bad news. It’s nice to pass on great news that will be a plus for Churchill County.

Editorials written by the LVN Editorial Board appear on Wednesdays.