Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
The newly formed Fernley Community Foundation will be holding a public meeting Wednesday, Aug. 30 to solicit ideas about what facilities and services belong in the proposed community center.
The meeting will be held from 5 p.m.-6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall.
The city recently completed the purchase of approximately 8.5 acres of land surrounding the Fernley Depot for $950,000, using money saved from Transient Lodging Tax funds that were specifically dedicated to a project like this.
The Foundation is working toward gaining non-profit, 501(c)3 status with the IRS and setting up a bank account.
The Foundation is also working with the city to apply for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to pay for conceptual designs and drawings for the community center project. The city council approved a grant request of $80,000, and that application must be submitted in September.
The city also has received grant funding for the design and engineering for a sewer system at the Depot.
Foundation chairman Cody Wagner said the timing of the meeting is not ideal, with school starting Thursday and schools hosting open houses and teacher meet-and-greets at the same time.
“Unfortunately, with the deadline for the grant application and the hectic schedule once school does start, this is the only evening that worked for using City Hall for meeting space,” Wagner said.
Because such a community center would be more expensive than the city or any of the other entities, could build on its own, the Fernley Community Foundation was formed to bring together the various entities that could be involved in a partnership to build a multi-use, shared facility. Some of the involved entities include or could include the City of Fernley, Lyon County, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Truckee Meadows, Lyon County School District and Western Nevada College.
At the first meeting of the Fernley Community Foundation on May 23, Colleen Unterbrink, assistant to City Manager Daphne Hooper, said the idea for the center stems from the city’s need for a facility that can host large gatherings. One of the first decisions the group faced was whether to conceive of the project as a convention center or a community center. But, because of the city’s proximity to Reno/Sparks and Carson City, city officials don’t believe Fernley would be a big draw for convention-type events.
Instead, they formed the idea of community centers, similar to ones recently built in Winnemucca and Minden, that would house multiple agencies and include recreational and meeting space.
Despite the timing of the meeting, Wagner is hoping for a good turnout for Wednesday’s meeting.
“We would love to have a great audience and participation from our community in providing input for the initial design of this center,” Wagner said.