Sherriff’s message, week of August 27th
Whether we like it or not, we are living in a changing world. Population growth and technologies are forcing change. It is quite ironic listening to individuals wanting to go back to the good ole days. This summer’s heat wave is a constant reminder of those good ole days without air-conditioned vehicles or central air conditioning in our homes. We choose to either embrace and manage those changes through long-term planning; or we can put our heads in the sand and live with unintended consequences.
The USA Parkway, or as Gov. Sandoval dubbed it as Infinity Highway was dedicated this week and is scheduled to open to the public next week. We can probably use the verbiage of how the road is referred to in determining how long the person has been in the area. This road is a catalyst to Lyon County growth by striking at its heart. Commercial and residential construction will be seen from Silver Springs to Moundhouse and in Fernley; while Yerington will see increased commercial truck traffic through the 4-way stop at McDonalds.
There will be increases in traffic complaints and accidents on Highways 50 and 95A. We will try to leverage NHP at increasing their presence on these roads. Residents will become frustrated with traffic delays due to congestion as they try to get to Carson City through the Moundhouse “choke point” or around Yerington. We are already asking NDOT to create a regional traffic plan that includes connecting Dayton Valley to Carson’s I-580 and a truck route that by passes Yerington. Those projects, if approved, will not see construction for many more years to come.
While everything seems dreary about the USA Parkway, there are benefits. The LCSO and ambulance crews in central Lyon and Mason Valley will be back in service an hour earlier after transporting to Reno area hospitals, mental health and detox centers. If responsible and managed growth continues, we will see goods and services eventually come into Lyon County. More importantly, our children and grandchildren will not have to leave the region in search of quality employment.
Our Communication Center finally upgraded its 911 telephone system. The old system was over a decade out of compliance with industry standards. As such, our dispatcher did not even have caller ID. If we lost a call and didn’t immediately write the number down, we could not call them back. Adding to the frustration is when callers automatically assumed our dispatchers had their information and became annoyed at them when asked for their name and telephone number instead of information about their emergency.
Payment for the system upgrade was made possible by the 25-cent monthly surcharge on each phone number with a Lyon County billing address. This surcharge was approved by the commissioners approximately five years ago. This money is restricted in use for communication infrastructure and continued telecommunication support for public safety responses. We have used this fund to purchase our patrol vehicle computers that has reduced response times, and are currently using it to upgrade mountain top repeaters sites and for GIS mapping to support fire department responses.
And finally, my grandchildren always like to ride in “Papa’s olden truck” when they visit. A completely stock 1956 Chevrolet without seatbelts, turn signals, air conditioning, radio, electric windows, and has tubed tires. While I still remanence about life before growth and technology, I also ask the question “How did we survive?”
As always, keep the faith