Mineral County Commission News

From the latest Mineral County Commission meeting

Public Comment

Richard Bryant spoke in regards to Mineral County Economic Development records request on May 3. He stated that this had to do with Green Energy Nevada and listed the dates comment was requested. He stated that he was offended by the request. He stated, “Looks like someone is picking a fight and I’m ready for a good fight.”

Commissioner Garth Price presented Mineral County Museum Director Kathy Kachelries with a bolo tie from Storey County Commissioner Jack McGuffy. The bolo tie was presented to McGuffy’s father while working at Candelaria Mine for 30 years.

Sheri Samson made a statement that her items were moved from a prior agenda to today and one item regarding a conflict of interest between commissioners was left off. District Attorney Sean Rowe stated he would speak to Samson outside of the meeting.

Reports and Correspondence

Deputy Clerk Heidi Johnson read a letter from Nevada Aging Division from Nevada Association of Counties.

Business License

The following business licenses were approved: Lewis’ Yard Work (Dana Ray Lewis) and Tess Day Care (Ma-Teresa Barnett). Fire Chief T.C. Knight explained the State of Nevada Fire Chief’s findings. Due to those findings, Tess Day Care can have up to six children in their care. The business is located at 112 E Street in Hawthorne.

Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development

Samson agenized this item for correction and possibly readdress March 15, 2017 letter to Steve Hill at the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Developments as end of second paragraph is an incorrect statement. Agenda request reads, “If transparency is the issue this should be restated to Mr. Hill.”

Samson read a statement to the board of commissioners.

Commissioner Chris Hegg explained that the Independent-News was incorrect in the findings of Samson. He stated that he would stay out of the Mineral County Economic Development Authority temporarily.

Commissioner Price explained that Hill is aware of why Commissioner Hegg is no longer sitting on the board.

Samson asked the commissioners why this issue was not handled locally. The commissioners explained that they have no authority over the economic development board.

Discussion ensued on what the county needs to help economics in the county.

Bryant asked who wrote the letter to the economic development board and at what meeting. Bryant would like to know at what point the commissioners chose to write the letter and questioned who made the motion as to who will write the letter and present it for approval.

Discussion of $35,000 borrow from Mineral County between Bryant and Commissioner Tipton.

Appointment to solid waste board

The following people appointed to the Mineral County Solid Waste Review Board. Their names were read into record by Ana Fitzgerald: Robert Swift of Hawthorne, Pat McKay of Walker Lake, Dennis Blazewick of Luning, Barbara Lancaster of Mina also serving on the board is Sean Rowe. The item was approved.

Exempt labor status

The commissioner chose to postpone this item. The agenda item was listed as, “For consideration and possible action relative to removal of County exempt labor status for Manager/Department Heads and Supervisors in part or in whole as determined by the board. Designation of new position title changes from exempt position to hourly position status and determination of new department assignments, if any. All wage adjustments considered for change to hourly status.

Commissioner Tipton asked to explain this prior dismissing the item for a further date. She explained that when the national overtime rule was going to be passed, the previous commissioner board asked department heads to keep track of their overtime.

Commissioner Tipton testified against this on the “hill” and that the previous bill was kicked-out but it will be back up for discussion.

Recorder-Auditor Christine Hoferer explained that the employees “listed in red” could be dealt with in the new overtime rule. She explained this with POOL/PACT. The item was moved to May 17.

Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month

Assistant Fire Chief Adam Greenfield asked for a Mineral County Proclamation to support Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month. He discussed that residents in Mineral County need to prepare themselves just in case a wildfire were to hit Mineral County. He discussed the options. Clerk Chris Nepper read the proclamation into record. The proclamation was accepted and adopted. Greenfield explained that fire stations will have information. The commissioner’s and audience received “swag bags” to help prepare.

Land & Water Conservation Grant

Public Works Director Eric Hamrey discussed this grant. It had been proposed by prior park manager Barbara Owens.

Hamrey explained the match grant information. The grant will give the softball field new turf, benches, sprinklers, trash cans, field lighting and signage. Lions swimming pool will get a new covers, anchors, filtration, heating systems, two lifeguard chairs and platforms. Lions Park will receive new barbeques, light poles and fixtures, signage.

Discussion of 50/50 grant match and labor.

A motion was made to go forward with this grant and accepted.

Recorder-Auditor Hoferer explained that Mineral County had to contribute $15,000 on the prior grant and that it had been a red flag on the county audit.

“Safety Sensitive” listing

Recorder-Auditor Hoferer submitted the agenda item reading, “For consideration and possible action relative to update the “Safety Sensitive” listing for Mineral County.” District Attorney Rowe explained what “safety sensitive” employee means.

Recorder-Auditor Hoferer explained that local government can define what positions are “safety sensitive”.

One person labels as “safety sensitive” would be anyone driving a county vehicle. They would be subject to pre-employment drug screening as well as random screening afterwards.

Recorder-Auditor Hoferer explained that the three new positions have came up as possible “safety sensitive”. Those being the office managers of the public works department and of Hawthorne Utilities. The public guardian position was also discussed.

Recorder-Auditor Hoferer recommended to the board that all three positions be added to the list of “safety sensitive”.

Discussion on the drug policy being updated for the county.

This matter was approved.

Community Health Services Assessment Contract

Commissioner Tipton explained that Mineral County budgeted the same amount as last year but it is more this year. The Mineral County’s Community Health Services Assessment Contract for fiscal year 2017-18. The cost is $42,796 an increase of over $9,000.

Health Nurse Wanda Nixon stated this is funding for health services for the county. The board approved to this increase.

Nixon gave a mental health update for Hawthorne. She explained that Nancy Rutherford has been hired to help with mental health. Brenda Wilson will be manning the desk. She discussed telecommunications and therapists.

Public nuisance

A public nuisance complaint was made for 685 Frontage Road, Walker Lake. The parcel number is 008-012-06. Building inspector Mike Fontaine discussed the loose roofing items and the condition of the property.

He stated that the home is being worked on and items that were reported on are being corrected. Don Brooks, owner of the property, discussed that him and his neighbor are having a “squabble”.

Fontaine will get the commissioner’s photo closer to the next hearing of the property.

Closed Session

The board went into closed session. There was nothing to report.

Discussion of Emergency Manager position

Emergency Manager / Safety Officer / Fire Inspector Patrick Hughes asked for discussion of duties, relocation, budget and salary of his position and he presented his quarterly report.

There is room in the old Tri-County building. Commissioners discussed the building and lay-out.

Hughes was asked to get numbers for phone/internet to Recorder-Auditor before finalization of budget hearings.

Hughes went over his budget with the commissioners.

The commissioners went over Hughes’ job description.

Hughes gave his quarterly report.

2017 Fire Show West Conference

Hughes stated this is a forgiveness grant. SERC changed grant due dates and Hughes stated that the whole State of Nevada missed the due date. He already submitted this. This is for eight participants to attend the HazMat track of the 2017 Fire Show West Conference in Reno.

United We Stand Grant

Hughes explained that this is for Local Emergency Planning Commission for further updates on the EOC office and cameras for Hawthorne Utilities. He explained they are $991 over the grant funding. The funding was for $25,000.

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