NAS Fallon range expansion: Area’s second top story of 2016
Today, the Lahontan Valley News looks at the top news stories of 2016 as determined by the editorial staff, readers’ input during the last year and community or area impact.
2. RANGE EXPANSION
Naval Air Station Fallon’s Range Training Complex expansion is in the Environmental Impact Study phase that included public and Churchill County Commission comment submission.
The U.S. Navy is proposing to modernize the complex, including land range expansion through additional land withdrawal and land acquisition as well as airspace modifications.
The proposal is due to warfare technology outpacing the current ranges that hinder realistic aviation and ground training.
Commissioner Carl Erquiaga said after talking to constituents, he can tell everyone loves the Navy and supports it — but the project is a “bitter pill” to swallow.
The county hired Resource Concepts Inc. to work with the public and commission for feedback, and both entities held open meetings along with the Navy.
The EIS and comments are covering how various ranges would be affected and address concerns about taxes, restrictions, recreation and wildlife.
3. NEW FACILITIES
Churchill County has been working on two major construction projects, the new senior citizen center and law enforcement detention facility.
City and county leaders as well as Ray Ferguson Construction and architect Frank Woodliff III broke ground in March for the $4.3 million, 15,000-square foot William N. Pennington Life Center on South Maine Street.
Churchill County Comptroller Alan Kalt estimated the new detention facility’s cost at about $17 million.
Sletten Construction in cooperation with Arrington Watkins Architects is working on the 39,000-square foot facility, located at 180 W. A St.
Started in July 2016, it’s expected to be done in October 2017 and will initially house 120 beds, medical cells and other amenities.
The $2 million William N. Pennington Foundation grant received for the senior center is matched by contributions from the city, county and Coalition of Senior Citizens.
Detention facility funding comes from a 32-year loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture of Rural Development at an interest rate of 2.75 percent.
Billionaire businessman Donald Trump continued to dominate the Republican selection process at the February 2016 caucus as he recorded huge wins in both Nevada and Churchill County, where he outdistanced second-place Florida Senator Marco Rubio in Nevada’s “First in the West” caucus.
A near split of county caucus-goers gave former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a narrow two-point win over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, 211-209.
After the 2016 election, Churchill County reported 83 percent of registered voters, or about 10,955 residents, had voted with record-breaking early voting numbers (Oct. 22-Nov. 4) — 7,033 in person and 700 absentee (4,728 Republican, 1,544 Democrat and 1,461 Independent ballots were cast).
Assembly 38 candidates — Democrat George Dini and Republican Dr. Robin Titus — spoke with the Lahontan Valley News.
Yerington mayor Dini and the eventually re-elected Titus discussed education, land, state ballot questions and more.
The LVN also spoke with Democrat Chip Evans, who ran against the re-elected Republican, Rep. Mark Amodei.
From the Fallon Food Hub to the local newspaper to Fallon Ford-Toyota, the city, county and its businesses have been working hard to continually improve Fallon including the Maine Street corridor and beyond.
The Churchill Economic Development Authority said its vision is to create a gathering place for trade and enjoyment in the heart of historic downtown.
CEDA kicked this off by helping provide a market for local farmers.
The grant-funded hub on Center Street offers produce, meat, dairy, bread, honey, a coffee bar and retail products; a website for food orders; and a seasonal farmers market.
For the past two years, the downtown corridor is seeing fewer vacancies.
The LVN returned to its downtown roots and relocated in August to 37 S. Maine St., just north of the Fallon Theatres.
Fallon Ford-Toyota’s two-year expansion project and face-lift gave customers and employees a roomier, more updated facility.
The large-scale remodel features a new showroom, service drive-in and reception area, all reflecting current branding and interior design blending history with modern style.