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Planning for future recreational needs in Lyon

Nancy Dallas, Appeal Staff Writer

DAYTON — Lyon County park officials are taking the first step in what they hope will lead to development of a countywide plan to meet future park and recreational needs.

Parks Director Jannette Hoffert is encouraging all interested residents, especially young people, to attend the first master plan workshop at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Dayton Community Center.

“This is going to be way cool. It will let everyone become involved. When we are done, we will have a useable plan for all of our parks,” Hoffert said. “The process will be great fun. We look forward to having our children participate. It is a great chance for them to have a say in what they want in the parks they will be using.”

Public Works Director Chuck Swanson said, “We want wide input from residents on what they think our needs ought to be. It is an opportunity to express their ideas.

“We need to look at our existing facilities, community centers included, and decide what facilities and programs need to be added. Then we can come up with a wish list of where we ought to go,” Swanson said of the first-ever countywide park planning effort. “Are we doing the right things, are the parks and facilities in the right places?”

Swanson said he wants to get away from the “us against them” attitude that has often prevailed among residents of the diverse and widely spread communities throughout the county.

“Our goal is to achieve a collective approach. Until we get a master plan in place, we can’t look for the grants and other outside funding that will be necessary to meet our future needs.”

He said he is coming in with no preconceived ideas of what should be done and the countywide effort does not mean he is looking to create a standardized plan for each of the communities involved.

Parks outside the incorporated cities of Fernley and Yerington are under the county’s jurisdiction. Their maintenance is funded through the general fund. Capital improvements are done separately, either through the Capital Improvement Fund or donated/volunteer efforts.

“We have a lot of work to do. A lot is happening with very few people,” Swanson said, referring to the limited funding and staff available to help meet the park and recreational needs of the rapidly growing county.

The 10 parks within the Mound House, Dayton, Stagecoach and Silver Springs communities are overseen through the Central Lyon County Park and Recreation Board. Smith Valley and Silver City have their own park boards.

Swanson would like all parks in unincorporated communities to be part of a Lyon County Park and Recreational system.

Anyone who wishes to contribute ideas but cannot attend the meeting is asked to call Swanson at 577-5029 (Dayton/Silver Springs) or 463-6551 (Yerington/Smith Valley).