Lyon jail to stay in Yerington |

Lyon jail to stay in Yerington

Dave Frank

Lyon County plans to remodel or replace its jail in Yerington because it cannot afford the public safety complex it had hoped to build, according to county officials.

County commissioners voted Thursday to study whether to remodel the current jail or build a new one in the county seat.

Earlier this year commissioners discussed the possibility of building a public safety complex including jail, court and police services in a more central location such as Dayton Valley or Silver Springs.

But the county estimated the public safety complex would cost $37.5 million.

The county could raise up to $23.6 million for the new jail, Comptroller Josh Foli said. Lyon has $12.6 million budgeted for the new jail and can bond for additional $7.5 million to $11 million, he said.

Sheriff Allen Veil has said the current 54-bed jail is overcrowded and possibly structurally unsound.

County commissioner Phyllis Hunewill said the commission made the right decision about the jail during a hard time for the county.

“The revenues are rather short at this point,” she said. “We know we have a problem with the jail and we have to resolve it.”

The county needs to keep the jail in Yerington mainly because of the cost, Commissioner Chuck Roberts said.

“In the future, you’ll likely see a public safety complex more centrally located in the county, but currently we have to meet the needs of safety and regulation,” he said.

But Commissioner Larry McPherson said the arguments to build the jail in Yerington don’t make sense.

He said the county has needed a new jail for many years. Waiting to build a public safety complex in the center of the county is the right thing to do, he said.

“But they’ve got the votes,” he said. “That’s what it amounts to. Common sense doesn’t make a darn bit of difference.”