New rural Northern Nevada economic development authority approved

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The Humboldt Development Authority on May 19 unanimously approved and recommended the formation of the Nevada I-80 Regional Development Authority — which includes Humboldt County, City of Winnemucca, Pershing County and the City of Lovelock — tentatively set to launch July 1.

The request for proposal is scheduled to be signed by all participating municipalities and submitted to the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development for approval.

The authority would be created under a two-year term that would automatically renew for two-year terms by adoption of a resolution by a majority of members in the agreement. The new body may also be terminated by the majority.

“We are at the threshold of substantial economic diversity and growth that affects both Pershing and Humboldt Counties. It is beneficial that we combine our economic development efforts on a regional level,” said HDA President J. Patrick Gray in a letter to GOED. “Cooperation between the two counties, cities and economic development authorities has a long history. We share common market resources, issues, market areas (i.e. Northern Nevada Sierra Pacific Megapolotin Cluster), business ties, history, and family heritage. County and city boundaries are a pale background to our government and business activities.”

The new authority will discuss regional economic development activities, proposals, challenges and other matters of interest and concern to the residents of both counties and make recommendations concerning economic development and improvement to local governing bodies, with the economic development officers of each county to be the central liaisons.

In the draft proposal, a lack of housing is noted as directly impacting the ability of companies to expand and replace workers who leave in the region.

One of the main anticipated focuses is to “nurture development of a full range of housing options as a primary focus to accomplish the retention and expansion of businesses,” according to the proposal, by working with real estate brokers, property owners and builders involved in the housing sector.

The group also plans to work with GOED Rural Entrepreneurship and Main Street programs to support new businesses, as well as support and partner with the Western Nevada Development District (WNDD) on infrastructures, business support, research, funding and other activities as available.

Humboldt County and the City of Winnemucca were formerly a part of the Northeastern Nevada Rural Development Authority (NNRDA) before leaving the agreement earlier this year to focus on local development efforts.

The new authority’s purpose includes attracting appropriate business interests and supporting existing business interests that contribute directly to economic growth of its jurisdiction, including promoting community capacity building, industrial parks, downtown revitalization and construction of public facilities such as water, sewer, streets, power and broadband connectivity.

The authority may leverage public and private funds for greater economic impact, particularly with programs, incentives and opportunities available through GOED, and conduct local and regional economic development planning, studies and projects.

GOED promotes, coordinates, supports and oversees all economic development programs, activities and efforts across the state, contracting RDAs to provide services to aid, promote and encourage economic development in Nevada.

An RDA as defined by Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 231.009 is an organization for economic development that is designated by the executive director of GOED and is a local entity, two or more local government entities, a private non-profit entity or any combination thereof.


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