Self-government effort on hold in Dayton | NevadaAppeal.com
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Self-government effort on hold in Dayton

by Kurt Hildebrand

DAYTON – Residents asked Lyon County commissioners to hold off asking voters whether Dayton should be an unincorporated town until they complete their research.

Carl Swain of the West Lyon County Alliance for Self Government thanked commissioners for thinking about placing the unincorporated town issue on the ballot but asked that they not vote on it Thursday.

“We believe this resolution should come from us,” Swain said. “If we were ready to go we would come to you in a heartbeat.”

Swain said the alliance is investigating three possibilities for the town of Dayton – to incorporate, become an improvement district or be an unincorporated city.

“We’ve formed a committee and we are trying to acquire information to determine the best economic and political form of self-government,” he said.

The future community would consist of Mound House, Dayton, Mark Twain and Silver City under the present plan, Swain said.

The difficulty of the alliance’s endeavor will be determined by its final goal.

A general improvement district, like those in Douglas County’s Indian Hills and Gardnerville Ranchos, requires approval only of the county commission.

Unincorporation requires a vote of residents within the proposed town’s boundaries, and can be placed on the ballot by commissioners.

Incorporation is a more involved process that requires a petition signed by a percentage of residents within the boundary.

Commissioner LeRoy Goodman, of Fernley, said he put the issue on the agenda to get a feel from residents.

He said forming an unincorporated town would allow for an elected town board that could deal with issues except planning and zoning.

Goodman pointed out that being an unincorporated town might give Dayton residents a chance to work out the mechanics of incorporation.

“I think that eventually Dayton will be a city,” he said. “It will be up to the people of Dayton to make that decision at the ballot box.”

Commissioners would have to submit an unincorporated town question by July in order to make the November ballot.

Fernley required eight months to complete its charter work. Once the charter is done, a notice to incorporate must be filed with the county clerk. Proponents then have at least 90 days to gather signatures of at least one-third of the voters in the area up for incorporation, according to Nevada Law.

Once signatures are gathered and confirmed, the issue is placed on the ballot and residents get a chance to vote.