Our Opinion: Prison closure leaves hole in our community | NevadaAppeal.com

Our Opinion: Prison closure leaves hole in our community

If a private company announced it was shutting its doors and moving 193 jobs out of Carson City, that would be a pretty big deal. Recently, the Nevada Legislature agreed to the closure of the historic Nevada State Prison in April 2012 to the tune of 193 jobs.

It sounds like most of those folks will find work at other state prisons in other parts of the state.

But Carson City will be lighter those jobs, which paid pretty well, and allowed those working for the prison to shop in our stores, eat in our restaurants and participate in our community.

Make no mistake, Carson City is a company town, whose chief product is state government.

An estimated one in four Carson City residents work for the state, according to the Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation.

If someone hadn’t seen Eagle Valley’s potential when Nevada became a territory, Carson would have been relegated to a wide spot in the road, a nearer cousin to Gardnerville than to Reno.

There has been more than one effort in Nevada history to have the capital moved to a different community in the state in recognition of the boon that would be.

If the Legislature ever decided it would rather move the capital than commute to Carson City it would be the ruin of our community. Meanwhile, we have to figure out what to do with a 149-year-old ex-prison.