State OKs new rural Nevada economic development authority

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Earlier this month, the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development approved formation of the “Nevada 95-80 Regional Development Authority” (RDA), which will join Humboldt and Pershing County economic development efforts and the cities of Winnemucca and Lovelock at the state level.

“This recognizes us as a regional development authority authorized by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. This is huge for a rural area. It will allow the two counties and the two cities to jointly market their region and take care of their existing businesses,” said Humboldt County Economic Development Officer Jan Morrison. “This combined effort gives us a seat at the table at the state level and amplifies the positive effect that we will be able to bring into our own communities.”

The Nevada 95-80 RDA name highlights a unique geographical transportation junction shared by both counties as Highway 95 connects to I-80 in Pershing County from Southern Nevada and then travels north from I-80 in Winnemucca, with I-80 as the bridge connecting the two counties and Highway 95.

“We believe we are truly the crossroads of Northern Nevada,” said Morrison.

According to previous reports, the Humboldt Development Authority on May 19 unanimously approved formation of the new authority, with all participating municipalities signing on to the recommendation eventually sent to GOED for approval.

The new regional development authority will allow Morrison and Pershing County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Heidi Lusby-Angvick to work in conjunction and identify state-level resources to solve regional economic challenges, as well as enhance individual county development efforts.

With the RDA approval, GOED will provide some financial support to each of the counties in an amount to be determined each biennium to enhance the program, with the first term of support beginning July 1, 2021, and carrying through to June 30, 2023.

“It has been basically a year-long effort and there’s been an awful lot of work done with teams from both county commissions, both city councils and staff, and actually the work is just beginning now,” said Morrison. “A good example of our collaborative efforts will be expanding the Winnemucca Futures event to a regional economic development forum that will be held on Oct. 28, 2021, with a new regional name to be determined.”

The individual county economic development decisions will continue to be respectively channeled through each economic development authority, Humboldt Development Authority and Pershing County Development Authority, with access to more state resources with the RDA to support both those county efforts.

“What it boils down to is that business and economic development doesn’t know territories and where county lines and neighborhoods are,” said Lusby-Angvick. “It is important to act in partnership to develop and tackle those issues together or celebrate successes together, all successes will raise us all up together to different degrees.”

One of the main overlapping concerns has been housing, which both regions are actively addressing. Another emphasis of the efforts will be on local businesses and supply chain development.

“With the two giant projects, West Coast Salmon Nevada and Lithium Nevada, the regional development authority will be working very hard to make sure our local businesses have a solid place in the supply chain for those projects,” said Morrison. “We are oriented toward strengthening our businesses.”

“Both of these businesses (lithium and salmon) will be positive impacts to our communities and counties,” Lusby-Angvick added. “It’s great that we can work together, that we are now recognized to be able to partner instead of stopping at county lines to solve problems and identify resources.”


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