Engineering company to take over administration and management of Lyon County Community Development Department

PRESS RELEASE

DATE/TIME:             June 9, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

CONTACT:               Jeff Page, Lyon County Manager

(775) 463-6531 or (775) 577-5037 (Office)

(775) 302-7088 (Cell)

REFERENCE:            Reorganization of Community Development Department

Yerington, NV – County Manager Jeff Page announced that he will be presenting a contract for services with Farr West Engineering to take over the administration and management of the Community Development Department to the Board of Commissioners on June 16, 2016.Page explained that the scope of work will be:

Planning Department

Farr West will provide a professional who will act as the Planning Director and will report directly to the County Manager. This individual will fill the role of the Director and will assume the responsibilities typically assigned to that role. One of the key objectives of this assignment is to change the vision of the Community Development Department from enforcement to compliance, and to be more accommodating to new businesses.

The following is a list of services to be provided by Farr West:

  • Assist with editing, adopting and implementing Title 15
  • Update and implement the master plan and community plans
  • Provide reports to the County Manager
  • Provide direction and support to Planning Department staff
  • Review applications for development
  • Attend developer round tables, Planning Commission and County Commission meetings.
  • Assist with floodplain issues.
  • Coordinate with the County Engineer and other County departments.
  • Other duties as assigned by the County Manager.

Building Department

Farr West is proposing to partially privatize the Building Department. Farr West will manage the department and its staff. The Planning Director appointed by Farr West will also act as the Building Director, filling a dual role. The two building inspectors currently working in the building department will become employees of Farr West, and the management assistant will remain a County employee.

Lyon County has a fifteen year relationship with Farr West and they currently function as the County Engineer & Surveyor. Farr West has been working with County Public Works in the area of utility engineering, GIS and road engineering.

County Manager Jeff Page explained that Lyon County has been searching for a qualified Building Official for more than 18 months and that the recent retirement of the Community Development Director provided an opportunity for change. The anticipated growth in population will place demands on Lyon County that the County could not meet with existing staffing. This partnership will provide Lyon County with access to resources that it does not have in-house.

If the Board of Commissioners approve the agreement on June 16, 2016 then Page will schedule town hall meetings to introduce the Farr West Team and listen to concerns, complaints and ideas from the public, contractors and developers. Page said the goal is to develop efficient processes to expedite the permitting of projects, maintain public safety and enhance customer service. Page explained that this agreement will provide Lyon County with the “one stop shop” that has been desperately needed for years.

The cost of the agreement will save Lyon County $30,000.00 in the FY17 budget. The agreement, if approved, would be effective in July.

 


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8 comments on “Engineering company to take over administration and management of Lyon County Community Development Department
  1. Tom Heck says:

    Can you send this to your friends

    Heller’s Unfavorable rating 48%

    Renominate “Heller”: 31%

    Nominate “Someone Else”: 51%

    Web Sites

    https://youtu.be/2aMiwbE-N9g

    https://tomheck.org/tv

    https://tomheck.org/polling/

  2. Laura Tennant says:

    I was surprised when I heard about this just before the Lyon County Commissioners’ were meeting. The public workshops should have been held before this decision was made at at a Lyon County Commissioners meeting and I believe our County Commissioners should have demanded this as our representatives. I have no idea if it is good or bad at this point but it seems as if it takes public preview and the voice of the citizens out of the loop and, if so, that is not open government.

  3. Gayle Sherman says:

    Don’t they have to send this out to bid?

  4. Robert Elston says:

    Yes, I forgot to ask in my comment, how was Farr West chosen – competitive bid? Do they have experience in running a county planning Department? What about references or endorsements? Have they been sued?

  5. Robert Elston says:

    We just heard about this plan in our town meeting last night. It seems like a fait accompli by Page since it is already scheduled to take effect in a few days even though it has not been discussed by the Lyon County public it purports to serve. Consultants put another layer of bureaucracy between the government and citizens. Why has such a big change not been aired and discussed by county citizens who will feel the effects? How will the consultants be accountable to anyone but Mr. Page? To whom is Mr. Page accountable? What other counties in Nevada use outside consultants for planning and how has that served everyone in the county? Have there been problems, such as consultants not being responsive to citizens, or favoritism toward politicians or certain businesses?

  6. Jean Javier says:

    It seems odd to me that the county will hear public comments and concerns AFTER Far West is approved by the commissioners on June 16. Also, if hiring Far West will save the county $30,000.00 in 2017, why not use that money and budget for a compliance officer, if only part time. This would help the whole county as a clean, pleasant county is where a business would want to be.

    • Robert Elston says:

      Yes, I forgot to ask in my comment, how was Farr West chosen – competitive bid? Do they have experience in running a county planning Department? What about references or endorsements? Have they been sued?

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