After the Mineral County Board of Commissioners requested that the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) look into concerns regarding Mineral County Economic Development, a letter from Steven D. Hill (dated June 23) has been received noting the concerns of the commissioners.

In the letter, it states that staff of GOED has been working with Shelley Hartmann and members of economic development here in Mineral County regarding the following: copies of MCEDA bylaws; MCEDA incorporation documents; IRS 990 filings; financial statements and board agenda and minutes.

GOED explained that economic development had complied by turning in incorporation documents, bylaws and partial financial information.

After review the bylaws, GOED suggested several possible changes to the Mineral County Economic Development bylaws with are only suggested changes. They are not mandatory. The board members can consider them at their next meeting.

GOED noted in their letter, “Of note, as MCEDA is a non-profit corporation, the organization is not subject to the state’s Open Meeting Law.” A concern brought forth by the commissioners.

It goes on to state, “The organization has the right to choose to operate in accordance with the Open Meeting Law – and it also has the right to choose not to. That status is also the case with respect to the Public Records law.”

As a non-profit corporation, it was noted that Mineral County Economic Development Authority is required to file IRS Form 990, annually. GOED made the authority aware of this requirement and stated that the 990s are public documents which may be viewed on the IRS website. The accountant for Mineral County Economic Development Authority is working to complete the required forms.

The board of commissioners asked for a review of the economic development financial statements. It is noted in the response to the commissioners that GOED’s request for the financial statements were not all received as the accountant is working on the request. GOED explained that they had received the current financial statements, which they found to be satisfactory, but the prior statements had not yet been received.

In an effort to continue to monitor the financial situation, GOED stated that they will continue to work with Mineral County Economic Development Authority and will keep the commissioners up-to-date on findings.

Funding of hiring a consultant to assist the community in developing an economic development plan was a result of conversations with Mineral County Economic Development and the Highway 95 organization. The letter states, “We have seen success with this approach and this consultant in other areas of the state. We see real opportunity for Mineral County and think this approach can help create a shared vision for how best to move forward.”

Steven D. Hill, the executive director, of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development welcomes additional questions and comments.