Mineral County Board of Commissioner Highlights from the Dec. 20, 2017 meeting:

Accounts payable

Discussion regarding Ormat abatement from Commissioner Jerrie Tipton. Recorder-Auditor Christine Hoferer stated she will keep an eye on this.

Mike McNeill addressed the commissioners regarding the health inspector requiring the convention center to replace the refrigerator. He stated that there is no credit card to order the item. He was wondering if public works could place the order on their credit card and do a transfer. McNeill was told to fill out the credit card form and return to Teresa McNally. The commissioners voted later in the meeting to approve the refrigerator for the convention center.

Business licenses

The following business licenses were approved by the board of commissioners: Mann-Up Training (Charles Mann); Ace’s Self Storage (Yvonne Lee) and Legacy Specialties, Inc. (Lori Elliot).

Liquor license

The following liquor license was approved by the Mineral County Licensing Board: Barley’s Sports Bar.


Sheriff Randy Adams met with the commissioners to discuss the purchase of tasers and equipment. Sheriff Adams explained that there is only four tasers currently working. The estimated cost is over $14,000 to be paid over five years. There will be credit given on the non-operateable tasers. Commissioner Chris Hegg made the motion to approve the purchase of new tasers.

Hawthorne Pool

Public Works Director Eric Hamrey met with the commissioners to review and award of contractors for grant on grounding at Hawthorne Pool. Hamrey explained that the past park and recreation director had applied for this grant. He informed there is a 25 percent match on the grant for the pool.

There were two bids: First bid was $34,785 with the match being $8,696.25. The second bid was $27,700 with the match being $6,925.

The two bids were from Vinnie’s Electric for $34,785 and Mt. Grant Electric for $27,700.

Hamrey explained that Hawthorne Utilities gave a quote of $3,000 for replacement of backflow and park and recreation removed material for $1,000.

The commissioners reviewed the numbers given by the contractors.

District Attorney Sean Rowe stated that the commissioners need to go with the lowest responsive bid. Commissioner Chris Hegg expressed his concerns about compaction at the pool.

Commissioner Tipton made a motion to go with Mt. Grant Electric for repairs on the pool.

Road cuts

Hamrey met with the commissioners regarding repair of road cuts across county roads, permits required, enforcement, etc. of repair and plan for the future.

Commissioner Tipton explained that the county has no jurisdiction on private roads, only county roads. This discussion was brought forth because of Walker Lake.

Mark Nixon brought the commissioners up to speed on the roads at Walker Lake. He explained that there is an agreement between Walker Lake General Improvement District and Mineral County. If the GID fixes the line – the county will fix the road.

Commissioner Tipton wants to go back into the minutes of the Regional Transportation Commission and find the agreement.

Discussion between Nixon and Hamrey regarding roads.

Commissioner Tipton explained that there needs to be an interlocal agreement between Walker Lake GID and Mineral County.

Commissioner Tipton would like to know what agreements have been between people on the cutting of roadways. She would like Mineral County to come to an agreement with Walker Lake GID.

Hamrey explained that the GID is not cutting the road, it is the contractor hired by the GID.

The road department, Walker Lake General Improvement District and planning commission were tasked with clearly noting the road issue.

All parties are asked to meet back on Jan. 17 to continue discussion.


Arrighi, Blake and Associates met with the commissioners via FaceTime (due to closed road). The presentation of the annual financial audit of Mineral County for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017.

Joan with Arrighi, Blake and Associates explained that there was a budget violation with the park and recreation fund.

Capitol assets was increased due to vehicles.

Discussion of tax/revenue abatement properties such as Luning Solar and Ormat. This property tax revenue was decreased by $1 million (central assessed) and consolidated tax which was abated at $86,000 from the Luning Solar and Ormat properties.

Commissioner Tipton wondered if it would shock the department of taxation on how much money was taken from the smaller counties.

Ambulance charges increased by $99,000. Joan explained that she is comfortable now that runs are being billed. She explained that she went to the fire department and followed through with Remsa to make sure that bills were paid. Auditor-Recorder Christine Hoferer explained that Heidi Johnson with the fire department has been working on the Mt. Grant General Hospital account.

The Hawthorne Utilities account has shown an increase in funds and expenses.

It was pointed out that the grants were low for Mineral County this year.

The commissioners accepted the audit as presented.

Acceptance of audit

Recorder-Auditor Hoferer discussed with the commissioners her thoughts regarding the audit.

Commissioner Hegg asked for written justification on increases in line items. Commissioner Garth Price suggests that all departments fill out their budget packets. Hoferer explained Hawthorne Justice Court expenditures and which funds it will be applied to.

Commissioner Tipton explained that there will be building permit pulled for this year for Isabella Pearl once their permits are approved.

Tyler Technologies

The commissioners met to enter into a license and services agreement with Tyler Technologies for new recorder software program.

“This is the cheapest and best deal. We want to move forward with this,” Hoferer stated.

The commissioner voted to accept the contract with Tyler Technologies.

Nuisance complaint

A nuisance complaint was filed for parcel #001-201-04. Building Inspector Mike Fontaine met with the commissioners. He stated that the complaint is for trash, leaves and trees. He feels that the commissioners cannot tell people that they have to cut their trees, leaves or trash unless there is imminent danger.

The commissioners directed the clerk’s office to send a letter to the property owner regarding to abutted leaves and trash on the property. The commissioners did not find any nuisance.

Nuisance complaint for alley way

A nuisance complaint was filed for the alleyway of Armory, Connelly and Bailey Streets in Hawthorne. Fontaine stated a Mineral County Ordinance regarding impeding blocking flow of traffic in alley. Fontaine stated there is no ordinance stating that home owners are responsible for cleaning their alley ways.

The commissioners questioned District Attorney Rowe on how they go about getting people to clean up the alley ways.

Commissioner Price suggested sending Fontaine out to investigate the nuisance.

Planning commission

Chairman Mark Nixon stated that Christopher Porres was approved by the Mineral County Regional Planning Commission to fill the vacancy on the board.

The motion was approved to approve Porres.

Recorder-Auditor Hoferer asked if Porres was related on anyone on the planning commission. Larry Grant stated that Porres is his son in law and that Grant was planning to resign from the board. Nixon stated that Grant was not in attendance for the meeting.

Annual leave Hawthorne Utilities

Ana Fitzgerald, Hawthorne Utilities Office Manager asked for a buyout of her 90 hours on the books. She stated that she lost hours due to an employee situation in her office.

Price stated that he does not like doing this.

Fitzgerald and Grant stated that a water operator has to be called in to help out office personnel.

Fitzgerald stated this was is a “one-time” pay out. Both Grant and Fitzgerald stated there were no other personnel trained to help out when Fitzgerald is out.

Commissioner Price asked Recorder-Auditor Hoferer what the price would be to the Hawthorne Utilities budget. The cost would be $2,033.

“There is no one qualified to do my job,” Fitzgerald stated.

Fitzgerald and Grant kept pleading her case to the commissioners.

George explained that there needs to be cross training in that office in case Fitzgerald is unable to work. Fitzgerald again stated that no one knows what she went through the past three years.

Recorder-Auditor Hoferer advised that this discussion should not be discussed.

(Reluctantly) Commissioner Tipton made a motion to pay Fitzgerald for the hours requested. Commissioner Hegg stated that since Commissioner Tipton is Hawthorne Utilities liaison and is aware of issues in that office, he will second the (reluctantly) motion.

The motion passed with Commissioners Hegg and Tipton voting yes. Commissioner Price voted no.

Library board of trustees

Librarian Courtney Oberhansli discussed with the commissioner the appointment of one member to the library board of trustees. She stated that recommendation would be to allow Kay Benscoter to serve out his remaining term and be appointment for the next term.

The commissioners followed Oberhansli’s recommendation and allowed the appointment of Benscoter.

Annual leave Assessor’s Office

Kelly Rosemore met with the commissioners for consideration and possible action relative to an extension of use or lose leave beyond end of year due to being short staffed and illness.

The commissioners asked Recorder-Auditor Hoferer regarding extension of leave. She stated it causes a problem within her office.

Rosemore stated that she tries to take a few hours here and there as she can.

Recorder-Auditor Hoferer’s suggestion is to pay Rosemore for her leave due to the problem with carried over hours.

The commissioners advised Rosemore to reagendize her request.

Healthy Community Grant

Schyler Hagen with University of Nevada, Reno Cooperative Extension met with the commissioners regarding the Healthy Community Grant. Hagen explained that this is a reimbursable grant that is ran through the county for a drug/alcohol program and helps to fund the Earth Day Festival as well as the Harvest Festival.

Reorganization of Mineral County Park and Recreation

Staci Emm with University of Nevada, Reno Cooperative Extension shared that her and Hamrey have had many discussions regarding the reorganization.

Emm discussed the budget in five year averages. Commissioner Tipton explained that every year, park and recreation go over budget.

Travis Crowder with Boys and Girls Club was present via telephone.

A question regarding funding from businesses/organizations and private individuals was asked.

Discussion of the YCAC building and the two part time positions at this building. Emm stated she tried to speak with Sam at YCAC and has been unable to connect with her.

Commissioner Price stated that the Boys and Girls Club needs to be cleaned. He is receiving calls daily regarding the hygiene of the place.

Wanda Nixon, County Health Official stated that the cleanliness of the building is of concern and she wonders how the Boys and Girls Club will be able to handle the cleanliness of the swimming pool, if the pool was given to the Boys and Girls Club.

George asked if the Boys and Girls Club is an organization or a babysitting program.

Question of Mineral County room tax being used if Boys and Girls Club/Cooperative Extension take over the facilities.

George asked how many children are served with these youth activities being opened. Discussion of lack of volunteerism in the community.

The commissioners asked that this come back to the board at the Feb. 7 meeting to discuss the reorganization.


The commissioners put the agenda item, “For consideration and possible action relative to a list of projects from Mineral County to include in the WNDD Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)”.

Commissioner Tipton stated she tasked a certain individual and has yet to get any information. Commissioner Hegg listed the following items: new fire truck building at airport with water and power; new hanger row power installation against apron parking lot; Airport Industrial Park tenant road sign installation; parking lot access lighting and asphalt thickening for commercial use; industrial park secondary access with DOT turn on north end; fence realignment and repositioning within the airport parking lot; for park and rec – swimming pool enclosure installation project; community pond project installation; downtown park – static display and splash park; museum – old courthouse outside and static displays for tours; museum entrance remodeled and drone project.

George asked to add a new senior center or exchange of country property for new property to expand senior admin offices which will leave existing admin space for space within the current senior center and to replace fleet.

Other ideas were a community center, extension of existing CAHS facility and sidewalks and curbs.

The commissioners passed this list of ideas for WNDD CEDS.

Parcel #005-250-03; 4051-4053

The commissioners met to discuss rescinding the action approving the petition to sell APN#005-25-03; 4051-4053 Hwy 95, Schurz, NV 89427.

District Attorney Rowe explained that the clerk’s office placed this on the agenda after receiving the title check back. He stated that people who bid on this property need to know that there is a lien on the property.

The prospective bidders looked over the paperwork provided by the district attorney.

No action was taken.

Interest Public to BLM

Tipton added the item listed as “For consideration and possible action relative to sending a letter to become “interest public” for Carson City BLM office.

She explained the background of this letter. She believes this should go through the public lands/natural resource committee under the Mineral County Regional Planning Board.

A motion was made to continue being an interest public with BLM/Carson City office.

Reorganization of board

The commissioners met to reorganize the board, appointments and commissions.

Commissioner Price gave up chairman. Commissioner Tipton became chairman with Commissioner Hegg vice-chairman.

The commissioners also went over the different boards that they will be liaisons over.

Commissioner Price stated that he has other duties on his plate so he is trying to lessen some responsibilities.