BLM Updates

Terri Knutsen updated the commissioners. She stated that her office had received some threatening phone calls in light of the Oregon situation, but stated, “We are used to that.”

The Bi-State Sage Grouse notice ended Jan. 29. The Lands With Wilderness Characteristics with the Resource Management Plan is now in the state office and the last of their comments are coming in. It will go to Washington on Feb. 8.

She stated she has nothing more to report on the Walker Lake boat ramp.

Public Comment

Will Jones gave public comment on human chemicals and rape.


Deputy Clerk Bonnie DeMars read into record a letter from Nevada Association of Counties regarding a fee increase. Commissioner Jerrie Tipton explained that some counties went up merely a percentage whereas Mineral County went up 27 percent. She would like the item agendized and is based on the audited revenue reported.

DeMars would read into record a letter from Kathy Trujillo who resigned from the Mineral County Park and Recreation Board. Tipton asked that the item, too, be put on the agenda.

Financial Reporting

Recorder/Auditor Christine Hoferer discussed with the commissioners the shortage in the ambulance funding. Stated she spoke with Fire Chief T.C. Knight and it has been worked out. Medicare/Medicaid will process outstanding claims from one-year prior. She discussed a transfer.

Cooperative Extension, Walker Lake Town, General Indigent also received transfers.

Business License

The business licenses for Amber Royle at Glamour at Main and Nancy Rutherford, Wicker and Wonder were approved.

OTS Sheriff’s Office Grant

Sheriff Randy Adams found grant money to obtain an OTS Grant for additional programming which would allow BRAZOS to interface Spillman. After submitting the agenda item, he heard from the state that there may be funds available to purchase the OTS, but has not yet been informed.

Tipton made a motion that if the grant is necessary, the chairman is allowed to sign for it. If not, she requests that the item be placed back on the agenda.

Card Reader Door

Adams requested that an RF card reader be installed for monitoring the door lock to the sheriff’s office evidence vault. He stated that the vault should be more secure than it is.

Adams believes he has the money in his budget to cover these items. The board approved him to get this finished, within his budget.

Hawthorne Senior Center floor

Cherrie George gave a follow-up on the Hawthorne Senior Center. A structural engineer was requested by POOL/PACT.

The engineer had been on vacation. There is no official report but he has been asked back to check the kitchen floor. He had only examined the dining room flooring.

Bell-Four will be coming out to reseal the flooring. The heavy equipment was moved back onto the flooring prior to allowing it to cure.

She is hoping to have the engineer report by next commissioner’s meeting.

Vacancy on Library Board

Schyler Hagen was appointed to the Mineral County Library Board of Trustees.

National Radon Action Month

Patty Click with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension asked that the commissioners make a proclamation for “National Radon Action Month” in January 2016.

Commissioner Cliff Cichowlaz asked if Mineral County buildings had been tested for radon.

Commissioner Paul MacBeth asked what to do to mitigate for radon.

Click discussed radon and said it is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

The proclamation was read into record by Clerk Chris Nepper.

The resolution was adopted as read.

Walker Lake Fire Station re-keying

Sheri Samson and Tim Doyle with the Walker Lake Advisory Group met with the commissioners to discuss the rekeying of the Walker Lake Fire Station building.

She informed the commissioners that they need to coordinate with Mike Trujillo and Larry Grant to allow the Mineral County School District locksmith to come and rekey the building.

Trujillo asked that Fire Chief Knight also be kept in the picture.

MacBeth asked that a sign out sheet be assigned to the keys. Samson stated there will be.

She told the commissioners that the board had not had any response from Robin Foster or Debbie LaCroix requesting building keys, documents, past minutes, banking. At the request of the chairman a second letter will be sent.

District Attorney Sean Rowe told Samson that is why he advised the Walker Lake Advisory Group to work with the prior members.

Adam Greenfield, new fire chief at Walker Lake, has provided a complete training schedule.

Doyle stated that Walker Lake now has 11 fire fighters and has completed over 100 hours of training. The residents are giving up their weekends.

He explained that Walker Lake EMT, Cheri Handte, has not been released by the county to practice. Doyle stated, “We are getting a road block every single time.”

Another concern was turnouts (protective gear for training). Doyle stated that Hawthorne does not have any whereas Greenfield has hit his personal stock.

There are no fire extinguishers on any of the fire trucks.

Commissioner Cichowlaz asked if these concerns had been brought forward to Mineral County Fire Chief Knight or was the advisory group coming to the commissioners and asking them to take action.

Both Samson and Doyle explained that they had spoke numerous times to either Knight or his staff.

Knight told the board that just that morning, he has spoken with Greenfield about all of the issues and it was his impression that after the phone call, “It was all under control and I’m taken back with some of these comments.”

Doyle said his talking points were delivered to him by Greenfield as of last night.

Cichowlaz explained to Doyle to go to “the lower level first and if not solved, then come to us.”

“If you want us to solve the problem right at this moment, you may not like what you hear,” Cichowlaz said.

Doyle said that Greenfield was more about getting these issues on the record.

Samson told the commissioners that she had submitted the agenda item to the clerk’s office a week ago and that those within their organization had went to the fire house many times to try to solve the issues.

Cichowlaz brought forth that the advisory board should have taken the time to speak with Knight prior to airing these concerns when Knight had already spoken to their chief.

Doyle explained that he had gotten a text from Greenfield and that Greenfield wanted these issues put on the record.

Samson explained that while Knight was gone, there was no liaison left in charge.

Cichowlaz explained that indeed, Knight had left someone in charge of the fire department.

“I understand the frustration but you need to understand that our fire chief was out by no means of his own,” Tipton said. “But hold your horses.”

Doyle said, “Hawthorne has the lowest number of firemen that they have had in years and they (the fire house) is not releasing the equipment.”

Ben Miller, chairman of the Walker Lake Advisory Board, stated that the best is for the advisory board to meet with Knight and hash out their issues.

“We were told (by one of Knight’s employees) to go to the Dollar Store and get our reflective vests,” Miller said, addressing the commissioners about the lack of equipment.

“If we get no cooperation, we will be back,” Miller said.

Hawthorne Speedway Bleachers

Shelley Hartmann spoke on behalf of Scott Moderson in regards to the consideration and possible action to supporting Scott Moderson for the Mineral County Economic Development Nevada Commission on Tourism grant proposal. Hartmann explained that this is the first time that money has been available “in town” to help rebuild the bleachers, signage, etc.

Cichowlaz explained that the grant was already turned in.

Hartmann told the commissioners that Moderson asked for $40,000 through the grant and knows that he is responsible for 100 percent of the grant and must have insurance.

Mina Municipal building

At the request of Jeff Burrow, who was unable to attend the meeting, Trujillo met with the commissioners in regards to the maintenance of the Mina Municipal building.

Trujillo submitted pictures of a two to three inch ceiling crack.

In speaking with Fontaine, it was decided to board it up.

Discussion about where Southern Methodist University can set up their equipment was discussed.

Rowe explained that Southern Methodist’s lease was up two years ago and is now on a thirty day to day term.

Tipton explained that the old furnishings in the Mina Courthouse came from the old Mineral County Courthouse as well as furnishings from the jail, which came from the old Rawhide jail.

Rowe will compose a letter to Southern Methodist University.

Public Administrator status report

Beth Cichowlaz gave the commissioners a report. She explained she has acquired four new estates and has closed out seven.

The public administrator account is at $6,000 plus. $5,000 of it must stay at Financial Horizons Credit Union one year before being transferred to her account.

She explained that two motorhomes are in the impound yard. One will be sold in February. Another was “willed” to the person.

Naming State Beach

Glenn Bunch with Walker Lake Working Group was tasked with naming State Beach. He stated that they only received 26 names for the beach. At their meeting, they put out a ballot and had the people vote for three. All three tied.

The three names were Walker Beach, Walker Lake Beach and Monument Beach.

The commissioners did a secret ballot on naming the beach. Bunch read the ballots and in a vote of two to one, Monument Beach became the new name of State Beach.

Samson asked why there is “Enter at your own risk” signs at the beach.

Tipton explained the procedure of how the beach came to Mineral County.

Walker Lake State Recreation Area

Tipton explained that there was a change in the term of agreement on the amendment to the cooperative agreement for Mineral County to manage and maintain Walker Lake State Recreation area (now Monument Beach).

The agreement goes from one to ten years.

Chapter 17 of Mineral County Code

The commissioners proposed the chapter 17, an ordinance to amend Mineral County Code to establish and revise zoning regulations, standards and regulations.

The ordinance was read by title only.

A hearing will be made at a later commissioner meeting.