The discussion wasn't very formal, but Lyon County officials said Wednesday they talked over the possibility of building a shared city/county maintenance shop with members of the Cottonwood City Council on Tuesday night. No action was taken on the suggestion, but Lyon County Board Chairman Bob Fenske said the county would "consider all the options" in replacing a fire-damaged highway shop in Cottonwood.
The county highway shop in Cottonwood has been closed since a fire in early February, which caused thousands of dollars in damage to the shop building, equipment and county vehicles. The county highway department has been working to get replacements for trucks needed for road maintenance work and especially for next winter's snowplow season.
Fenske said county commissioners were invited to meet with the Cottonwood City Council during its regular meeting Tuesday.
"They made it very clear they would like to have Lyon County rebuild the county shop in Cottonwood," Fenske said, and also raised the possibility of having a shared shop.
The city of Cottonwood has been looking for possible ways to update municipal buildings, including the city maintenance shop, for more than a year. A proposal to bond for a maximum $1.9 million to build a new shop, fire hall and ambulance garage, city office and library failed in a public referendum last spring. Under that proposal, the Cottonwood maintenance shop would have more than doubled in area, partly to make room to park city maintenance equipment indoors.
Lyon County Administrator Loren Stomberg said county discussion of how or whether to rebuild the highway shop in Cottonwood has been "kind of in limbo" until an investigation of the fire could be completed for insurance purposes. The county has received a partial settlement for the shop building, he said, but there was also a lot of equipment inside the shop to be considered.
Stomberg said fire investigations concluded Wednesday, so there may soon be more opportunity to discuss the shop's future. Fenske said there was no action taken by either commissioners or the Cottonwood City Council on the matter, but commissioners would consider a shared city/county shop among other possibilities for the facility.
"We're going to consider all the options," he said.