Lyon commissioners to keep working on jail |

Lyon commissioners to keep working on jail

Karen Woodmansee
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer

Lyon County staff can keep working on the location for a new jail, but the commissioners decided not to spend any more money on the project until the economy improves.

Commission chairman Don Tibbals, with the support of Commissioner Phyllis Hunewill, suggested the board halt all actions on the jail until after next year.

“I think under present circumstances we should discontinue all activities on the jail until the first quarter of next year so we don’t obligate the taxpayers for millions in debt,” he said. “We don’t know how much we have or where it’s coming from.”

Hunewill said the commissioners should be aware of what they will have from a quarter-cent sales tax that went into effect in July, before any more action on the jail is taken.

“We have to know what our receipts will be from this tax,” she said, adding that they won’t know what to expect until the end of December.

She also said the county will not know what its share of state consolidated taxes will be until the first Monday in January, and since 3,422 properties in Dayton and

Fernley were in foreclosure, with many businesses filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the county should wait awhile before making any decisions.

Although Commissioner LeRoy Goodman warned that the state may try to take funds from the counties in the form of the indigent medical funds, he opposed cutting off action on the jail if no money was spent.

The commission voted last week to continuing jail action so long as funds were not spent.

Commissioner Bob Milz reminded the board that the Yerington jail was not in compliance with federal law, and must be addressed.

“We do have an economic problem,” he said, adding that three businesses have responded to requests for qualifications and requests for proposals from the county.

“Those folks spent a lot of time and money putting that thing together. We need to select that team and at least take care of the Yerington jail, because we are out of compliance.”

He also approved accumulating funds from the quarter-cent sales tax, rather than halting collection as Goodman suggested, so the county could see what the tax could generate.

Milz also suggested that the county didn’t have to build the whole thing right away.

They could start with a 50-bed facility and design it in such a way that more beds could be added later.

“Just to stop everything doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “To stop spending money now does make sense.”

The commissioners also supported accepting land in Mark Twain currently owned by the Borda family north of Highway 50 near the Chaves Road intersection.

John Gavin, representing the family, said they were not in a hurry for a decision, but would like to have the matter settled as to whether or not the county would like the property.

Milz suggested that instead of renovating the Bluestone Building in Old Town Dayton, the commissioners could build a new Dayton court facility on this property, and add the jail later.

Sheriff Allen Veil said he would prefer the Dayton site, because it was near medical facilities, with an urgent care center in the area and a hospital being planned, as well as a grocery store and pharmacy.

However, Fernley city councilman Curt Chaffin supported putting the jail on land George Peek of Silver Springs has offered to donate, saying Dayton was just about as far from Fernley as Yerington.

The commissioners put off making a decision on the Dayton land, but planned to look at the issue again in the future.

– Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or call 881-7351.