Vol. 6, No. 6 January 15, 2009
Nevada's Online State News Journal-- Serving Informed Nevadans Since 2003
New Prison Planned
For Storey County
Same Company That Is
Building Pahrump Facility
The Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is asking for a zoning change and a special use permit to build a prison facility in northern Storey County in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center. CCA is the same company that once had a contract for a women’s prison in southern Nevada and is currently building a prison for federal inmates in Pahrump. According to CCA representatives, they do not have a contract with any political subdivision, local, state, or federal, for inmates for the Storey County prison. The state prison system says it has no plans to contract with the company at this time.
The Tahoe Reno Industrial Center is reportedly the largest industrial park in the world with some very large companies doing business out of the desert location, among them Wal-Mart and Pet Smart. The park is located about 12 miles east of Sparks and is near the Tracy Clark Sub-station operated by NV Energy. Most of the industrial park was once known as the 102 Ranch, and many of the wild horses that roam about the area are just a few generations from being ranch horses.
Since the industrial park began operation, Storey County now has a fire department sub station along with a sheriff’s sub station in the park. Many of the businesses operating in the industrial park have been complaining recently about poor communications, with telephone and fax lines not operating properly, and apparently no 911 service available. The Storey County Fire Department has a rescue vehicle available on scene but has not distributed placards or notices to the various businesses on how to call for emergency services.
Members of the Storey County Commission will hear the petition for zone change and special use permit, and there have been indications of a favorable attitude toward the project. Without a contract for prisoners, CCA is not able to say exactly what type of facility they are planning. There are big differences of course between medium security and high security prisons. The facility would be located in a canyon area well away from any existing businesses. The industrial park businesses are mostly distribution facilities and light manufacturing.
Located right alongside Interstate 80 and with rail service connected to Union Pacific’s main east-west line, the industrial park has drawn some big players. Hundreds of Wal-Mart trucks can be seen exiting USA Parkway onto Interstate 80 daily. Reno Tahoe International Airport is just 15 miles to the west offering air transport world wide. The industrial park is about 100,000 acres in size.
Those that work at the industrial center either live in the Fernley area or in the Reno Sparks area. There is no residential area closer than those, and currently there is no public transportation from Fernley or Reno. Storey County officials have said they will base their decision on the prison facility on safety factors and economic factors.