The City of Fallon has launched a campaign called "Closer Than You Think." Fallon is located an hour from Reno and 40 minutes from the growing Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center.

While it's no secret that home and rent prices in the Reno-Sparks area have skyrocketed in recent years, this campaign aims to show both developers and aspiring homeowners alike, that Fallon is full of opportunities, including an incentive program. 

Mayor Ken Tedford explains, "You don't have to pay your building permit fees up front, when you get done building your house and you close--then you can pay your building fees and loan when you're done." Tedford adds that this applies to developers, too. They do not have to pay building permit fees up front, only when the house has been sold. 

Tedford says there are currently 300 vacant lots in Fallon, ready for future development, just waiting for developers to build upon them. In the more rural areas of Churchill County, the mayor says Housing Development Authority can give aspiring homeowners grants of up to 5 percent for their down payment.

Fallon's current population sits at about nine thousand people, but the mayor is hopeful this campaign will help the city see a steady increase, which has the potential to bring in economic development, employment opportunities and innovation. The mayor says, "We encourage people from anywhere to bring themselves and their ideas and their history, those are wonderful things. So we encourage that from anywhere."

When asked about any possible concerns with a population increase, the mayor says the city is always planning ahead and is ready for it. He's confident the school system can also plan along with that growth. 

We spoke with several current Fallon residents about their opinions on the campaign, and there was some mixed feedback. It seemed like they generally liked the idea of the campaign, but some did have their concerns. Residents like Susan Thompson, who says, "You want it to have enough people to where we can have businesses here to do business with, but we don't want to get so crowded that we lose that small town feeling."

Thompson has lived in Fallon for 17 years and says she has seen its continued growth, including new neighbors who just moved to town last week. She says when she first moved here, there were quite a few vacancies on the housing market to choose from, but now people have scooped them up. 

Thompson added that development can be a good thing for the area, especially in regards to economic development, but also says she doesn't want to see traffic congestion with that growth. 

Others, like Richard Gilchrist. like the idea of the campaign. Gilchrist moved back to Fallon after living in Reno for a while.  He touted Fallon's proximity to larger cities and the cost of living when compared to places like Reno, which is currently seeing an affordable housing shortage.  He says he encourages people to check out the more relaxed pace of life in the small town setting. 

If you'd like to learn more about the "Closer Than You Think" campaign, you can visit the City of Fallon's website, here