Fernley, Nevada

Fernley City Hall
Fernley City Hall

Until 2001, Fernley was a Census Designated Place. Then in 2001, the city incorporated as a means of dealing with rapid growth. In a location just 32 miles east of the Reno-Sparks Metropolitan Area via Interstate 80, Fernley offers reasonably affordable housing with lots of room to grow.

Back in 1904, the town of Fernley was founded as a ranching and agricultural community dependent on irrigation water supplied to the area through the Newlands Irrigation Project. As part of that project, a drainage system was also built to carry excess water and mineral salts away from the farmlands. So the water comes in from the Derby Dam on the Truckee River via the Truckee Canal, flows through Fernley and irrigates the land with some of the excess water continuing on to the Lahontan Reservoir and the irrigation overflow water flowing out to the northeast and terminating in a sink in the desert. The Truckee Canal is along the west side of Fernley and the Fernley Wildlife Management area is along the east side of town.

The Nevada Cement Company built a new plant on the north side of town back in 1965. Other than the railroad, that was the first non-agricultural business to set up shop in Fernley. After that, the population of Fernley began making a changeover from ranching and farming to industry and commuting (to Reno-Sparks). Then in 1999, built a 750,000-square-foot warehouse and order fulfillment center on the northeast side of Fernley in the industrial park. Since then Sherwin Williams Paint, Trex Inc., Quebecor Printing, MSC Industrial Supply, Johns Manville, Allied Signal, ARE Campers, Lowe's, Wal-Mart, Feldmeir Corporation and UPS Worldwide Logistics have also opened new facilities in the industrial park.

A levee along the Truckee Canal failed and water between 3 and 6 feet deep flowed into Fernley on January 5, 2008. Around 3,500 people had to be rescued and evacuated during that disaster. In the aftermath, a federal grand jury handed down several felony indictments against the manager, attorney and some employees of the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District. And because of the risk of future levee breaks, water that should be supplied to the Lahontan Reservoir is not flowing and that lake is being drawn down.

Fast Facts about Fernley, Nevada
Fernley, Lyon County, NV 89408
Incorporated: 2001
Elevation: 4,160'
Latitude: 39.5987°N
Longitude: 119.215°W
Resident Racial Breakdown:
White Non-Hispanic: 81.7%
Hispanic: 12.1%
Native American: 1.1%
Other: 2.6%
Two or More Races: 2.5%
High School or Higher: 83.1%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 10.8%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 2.5%
2009 Estimates:
Population: 12,801
Males: 6,422
Females: 6,379
Median Resident Age: 34.8 Years
Estimated Median Household Income: $49,980
Estimated Median Home Value: $161,900
Population Density: 361 People per Square Mile
2011 Cost of Living Index for Fernley: 84.8
Major Industries:
Construction, Lodging & Food Services, Educational Services, Entertainment & Recreation, Internet & Mail Order Fulfillment, Government, Truck Transportation, Waste Management Services
Unemployed: 18.7% logo
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