Churchill County Manager Jim Barbee took time to review highlights of 2019 and some big projects in the coming year at his annual State of the County address given before the 60 attendees at the Churchill Economic Development Authority business council breakfast yesterday.
Barbee started his presentation by reviewing county demographics:
- Population 24,877; including 8,606 in the City of Fallon
- Median age: 39
- More than 18,000 are 18+, or of working age
- There is a high percentage of veterans living in Churchill County
- Median household income is $46,991
- Per capita income is $41,322
- Unemployment rate is very good at just 3.8%
- There is economic stability in our three main industries of agriculture, government/U.S. Navy and geothermal
Accomplishments in 2019
Barbee outlined five major accomplishments in the county last year including:
- Recovery of the last of the 2017 flood mitigation funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency which enables the county to re-install Wild Goose Bridge over the V-line canal at Diversion Dam
- Partnering with the City of Fallon to break ground on a new youth club facility west of the City-County Gym on Venturacci Lane
- Successfully restoring Payment in Lieu of Taxes funding from CC Communications at the end of the legislative session
- Launching a new county website with an updated look and better functionality
- Purchasing property to provide affordable housing
Looking ahead, Barbee cited the Governor’s Office of Economic Development which predicts an expected growth rate of 12.61 percent by 2035 in Churchill County.
He touched on the county’s efforts to get infrastructure into the Churchill Hazen Industrial Park, or CHIP, by seeking out federal grants and using other resources the county already has access to in order to spur that project along.
Barbee said the county is generally looking northwest for growth to compliment the westward growth from Reno and Fernley. One of his biggest priorities is to address the lack of affordable housing and to that end, the county purchased about 30 acres on Coleman Road and is looking to partner with non-profit groups to develop that land.
Navy Range Expansion
Barbee said county leadership continues to work closely with the Navy as the final environmental impact study on NAS Fallon’s range modernization effort is released this month. As part of that effort, he said the county is working to offset some of the economic development impacts of the Navy’s request for more land by looking at a lands bill that could free of some of the federal land elsewhere in the county for growth.
Master Plan Update
The county is currently updating its master plan and seeks to public’s input on matters that may be of interest to them. A series of monthly meetings is being held from February through July to address specific chapters in the master plan. Upcoming meetings are Feb. 25, March 24 and April 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the County Administration Building, 155 N. Taylor Street.
Barbee wrapped up his presentation discussing this year’s census and how important it is that every person in Churchill County be counted in order to have accurate representation in Congress and get the county’s fair share of federal resources available. He noted that for every person not counted in the census, the county loses $2,000 a year for 10 years from those federal resources.