County of Lyon reconsiders ARPA allocations and continues discussions through May 23

Plans to create a community center, long hoped for by Mound House citizens including Melinda Cash, finally seemed possible last month when the Lyon County Commission awarded $1 million of its funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to build its own facility.
Cash was thrilled on April 14 to hear that her community’s vision could start moving forward. But on April 15, she shared with her Mound House Community Advisory Board members and local residents, she received a phone call from County Comptroller Josh Foli who said her funds should be canceled. The allocation is expected to be redirected after further discussions with the board to build a court complex in Dayton for which the county is federally mandated to conduct jury trials and state government business. .
Receiving the news the day after obtaining the commission’s blessing was difficult, Cash told CAB and community members present in the small kitchen of the fire station at Mound House, the usual meeting place, on Tuesday. of the CAB.
“We have people who have worked for this, people who have volunteered for the fire district, for the last 30 to 40 years who are trying to push this ahead of us,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean this battle is dead.”
The battle continued at the commission meeting on Thursday with a review of the board’s April 14 workshop when it prioritized its $6.1 million federal funding for utility needs. , parks and capital projects.
In presenting the paper on Thursday, Foli expressed his challenge to keep “every penny” for the Fernley and Dayton courts, which are both slated for completion within the next three years, while providing the new ARPA allocations the council has nominated for new projects in April. 14.
“For the first time in 18 years, I can’t move forward,” he told the board. “What do I do? … We have a $10 million project, just over $5 million in funding, and hopefully the economy will stay good longer to generate sales taxes to pay for a government complex The other issue is the Dayton government complex that would take care of serious issues in Dayton.
Foli said he is expected to readjust initial allocations last month to $400,000 for Fernley Court, $30,000 for Dressler Park tennis court replacement, $500,000 for Mound House Community Center, $30,000 $ for Lyon County Fair and Rodeo Board asphalt replacement and $30,000. for the purchase of bucking chutes and backyard enclosures from the Fair and Rodeo Board for a total of approximately $990,000 to fill an approximately $1 million hole for these mandated yard projects.
Part of the struggle is the project’s own re-emergence on the county’s capital needs list, and it’s had a difficult history coming to fruition.
A citizens’ group, formed in 1988, originally set out to gather information about the establishment of a community center. An application for a 10-acre parcel on Linehan Road past the railway at Mound House was submitted to the Bureau of Land Management, which took six months to approve, and the county budgeted the amount, Cash told AFP. call.
According to a news article published by the Mason Valley News in July 1990, the project was to be considered the best project in the county for 1991 with an estimate of $150,000 with an additional $50,000 for site development. In the meantime, board members reviewed conceptual designs, including structural and floor plans, for a potential building. The process was eventually blocked as the county of Lyons experienced financial difficulties.
But plans had also been submitted and approved to develop a 2-acre parcel adjacent to the Mound House fire station on Hematite and Red Rock roads. The property was deeded by Julius Bunkowski, a county real estate developer and grandfather of Phil Cowee, executive director of the Northern Nevada Development Authority.
The plot, however, is now in need of a rezoning due to concerns over documents called Conditions and Covenant Restrictions, commonly referred to as CCRs, or legal rules and ownership limitations governing the use of real property or associated developments. Cash said at Tuesday’s CAB meeting that the parcel is currently zoned for single-family residential use and the CCRs for the 2-acre parcel were not filed until 1993. The CCR documents have changed hands. several times at the time.
“I am at the mercy of the planning department filing a case to change the zoning,” she told residents on Tuesday. “I don’t know where he is. What I do know is that it makes no sense to deprive us of the money we have received.
Commissioner Dave Hockaday, representing District 5, told Mound House residents he felt it was important to help fulfill a promise made in 1991.
“Our hearts are in the right place, and we’re going to do everything we can for you, but we’re looking at the legal parameters, and that’s what Josh (Foli) is doing for you as well,” Hockaday said Tuesday.
Commissioner Wes Henderson, representing District 1, also present at Tuesday’s meeting, said he would instruct staff to begin paperwork on rezoning the 2-acre property.
Director of Community Development Andrew Haskin and Page confirmed Thursday that staff and planning commission members have begun processing documents to begin rezoning and ensure they meet federal and state requirements, Page said on the call.
Meanwhile, the commission’s debate on funding priorities varied on providing equitable support across Lyon communities geographically and meeting ARPA funding requirements and timelines.
Commissioners also asked if a scaled-down version of the Mound House project could be done, closer to 1,200 square feet instead. Cash said she promoted 1,500 square feet as the preferred size to help Foli and staff with recommendations.
Cash said Tuesday that a 1,500 square foot facility would be adequate space, large enough for two restrooms, a janitorial closet and a small kitchen that can be rented out to local groups for community events.
“I couldn’t see where we could afford anything other than a metal building, which would be in that price range, and they’ll plate it up and it’ll be fireproof,” she said. “We can see the 4H, the summer programs. Children need something. We really believe that if we have the building, we can start providing services to our citizens. »
County Executive Jeff Page on Thursday acknowledged the council’s tough decision, but said he doesn’t think the county should supplant a district with special funding.
“Operations-wise, I have to do something in Dayton and Fernley before we start litigation, and I prefer to do it on our schedule,” he said. “It’s a tough decision. There is no easy way to do this.
The board has scheduled another workshop to continue the discussion on its ARPA allocation for May 23.

James V. Hayes