Mineral County Board of County Commissioner highlights from Jan. 17

Safety message

Emergency Manager Patrick Hughes gave a safety message regarding influenza.

Public comment

Wade Barton discussed a billboard idea in the Industrial Park. He explained that the idea, brought forth by another party at the airport meeting was not agenized and acted upon. He touched on the open meeting law. He suggested that he would like a chance to discuss the item. Commissioner Chris Hegg stated that he thought it was “agenized”.

Fire Chief Chris Lawrence discussed the ARF vehicle cost. He explained that the cost will not be $500, instead only $1. The donation of $500 will be kept for maintenance on that vehicle.

Accounts payable

The commissioner approved a capital outlay vouchers for the sheriff’s office. Commissioner Jerrie Tipton made a comment regarding department heads getting the backup information to the clerk’s office. “If you don’t have backup information, your item will not be heard,” Commissioner Tipton stated.

Commissioner Hegg and Commissioner Tipton tried to discuss Barton’s public comment. They were advised by District Attorney Sean Rowe to not do so.

The voucher for Mt. Grant Electric was tabled to be paid per the discussion with Vincent Kellison and the district attorney.

Reports and correspondence

Clerk Chris Nepper read into record a letter of resignation from Dorothy Fowler.

BLM updates

Colleen Doolan stepped in for Kenneth Collum to update the commissioners on BLM program updates. She discussed the Rawhide expansion and Isabella Pearl mines as well as the Teel Marsh exploration program.

Tipton asked Doolan why Isabella Pearl has to do a new environmental assessment.

Doolan discussed rangeland permits for the Pilot area.

“Nothing has changed for the Walker Lake boat ramp,” she explained.

Mike McNeill discussed off-road maps from BLM.

Business licenses

The following business licenses were approved for Mineral County: Auto Glass and More (Shane M. Krogg).

Planning board vacancy

The following positions were approved to renew membership of board members Wilfred Buffington and David Ellis. The recommendations were approved.

Accounts payable items

Hoferer updated the commissioner to list the automatic payments for accounts payable for such accounts as NVEnergy. She submitted the new list to the commissioners. Commissioner Tipton would like to revisit this list every two years. The commissioners and Hoferer went over the list and made changes.

Respiratory equipment

Fire Chief Chris Lawrence met with the commissioners in regards to the approval of lease agreement and medium term obligation in the amount of $197,080.17 between LN Curtis & Sons and Mineral County Fire Department for respiratory equipment. The commissioners approved the medium term obligation. The funds will come from the Hawthorne Town fund.

Standby pay

Lawrence then met with the commissioners to adjust the standby pay of unclassified staff to match standby pay for union staff. Lawrence explained that the reason why this position is on standby is that the department is now making sure that each volunteer is licensed and certified. Beth Cichowlaz made a suggestion that this position be picked up by the union.

Senior services update

Cherrie George went over her grants with the commissioners as well as her projects and reports. She also explained that her cook is leaving.

Reorganization meeting held on Jan. 4

Staci Emm with Cooperative Extension met with the commissioners regarding her meeting of discussion of the Mineral County reorganization meeting held on Jan. 4.

Emm explained that this was a very “trying” process.

She explained that the consensus was to move the recreation coordinator director back under the YCAC. She explained that it still divides the Boys & Girls Club and YCAC.

Emm feels that this position needs to have goals and a skill set placed with it.

Commissioner Garth Price feels that he wants this position and Boys & Girls Club to work together.

“What is actually getting done,” Emm asked.

Alicia Sweet gave the commissioners numbers of attendance, averages for the month and building work orders.

The number averaged between 15 to 19 children a day. With the average age being between 12 and 13 years of age.

George explained that during that meeting there was a discussion of park maintenance.

Interim recreation coordinator of YCAC

Hoferer explained that she was asked to place this on the agenda. She explained that the commissioners need to make a decision regarding the appointed interim recreation coordinator of the YCAC.

Commissioner Hegg “wants to prove out these new programs” and see if the community will embrace them. Hegg made a recommendation to swap Sweet and Samantha Lopez’s positions.

Hoferer explained the regulations regarding this.

Sheri Samson asked the commissioners if there could be some marketing to get the kids to these programs.

Price made a motion to move Lopez back to 19 hours a week and go out for advertising for a new park and recreation director.

Boys & Girls Club

Emm and Travis Crowder met with the commissioners relative to funding allocation to the Boys and Girls Club of Mason Valley – Hawthorne site and the lease agreement for the Armory building. Crowder explained the duplication of services but wanted the commissioners to know that Boys & Girls Club don’t focus on sports. The club focuses more on youth development, homework assistance, etc.

“We are trying to keep the doors open,” Crowder explained to the commissioners when discussing funding and decisions that need to be made about youth services.

Crowder explained that the club in Hawthorne is now running in the red.

Emm asked for the Boys & Girls Club to have a voice at the table next budget cycle.


Hughes met with the commissioners for approval of the Local Emergency Planning Commission bylaws that will be submitted to the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC). It was approved.

Training grant

Hughes explained the planning and training grant. The grant was approved.

LEPC issues

Hughes asked for the commissioners to review the LEPC membership list and changes to the Hazardous Response Plan. Commissioner Price made the motion. It was approved.

Quarterly report

Hughes gave the commissioners his quarterly report.

Regional Transportation Commission

Donna Oberhansli passed out minutes from the last meeting.

Airport fuel report for December – profit of $2,734 for RTC and revenue for airport is $567.

Fund report is $274,736. Vouchers processed was $1,510.

The State Parks agreement, the culverts were purchased and traffic is still being monitored. Oberhansli stated that she is getting ready to send out the quarterly billing of $6,300 a quarter for a total of $25,200 per year. Culverts were over $2,000 which will also be reimbursed.

Secure Rural Schools funding is at $280,000, $137,000 for cape seal from O Street to Armory Road on First Street and 10th and E to Armory. Commissioner Price also discussed F Street being bad.

She stated that they are looking at other roads to spend the money for repairs.

RAC $5,820 in funds remaining which must be spent by September. Oberhansli stated that Eric Hamrey wanted to get his guys some training on the grader.

The commissioners of Regional Transportation Commission approved the plan and will send to the state.

Larry Grant asked if RTC funds were available to fix roads for cutouts done for utilities.

Tipton discussed a homeowner willing to pay for his road to be fixed.

Pool bonding contract

Vincent Kellison met with the commissioners in regards to the award and process of the awarding of the contract for pool bonding.

He presented the commissioners with a letter from Barb Owens, former director of park and recreation and the statutes for the bidding process.

“I was not aware that the numbers that were submitted for this contract came from you,” Commissioner Tipton stated.

Commissioner Tipton asked Commissioner Hegg if he was aware of these numbers. He said he had “seen the numbers before the bid process.” Commissioner Tipton stated she had never saw the paperwork.

District Attorney Sean Rowe asked what Kellison would like. Kellison stated he wanted it to be rebid and that there are no building permits on file with the Mineral County Building Inspector.

Gary Moody with G-Dub Construction also spoke up regarding this issue. He spoke to Hamrey and told Moody that work would commence after the first of the year.

Hoferer asked when the actual bid went out. She gave the two dates of the bids received.

The district attorney advised the commissioners to stop discussing the topic and the item needed to be postponed until the next meeting.

George told the commissioners that this is what happens when items are brought in front of the board without time for the commissioners to review.

Hawthorne Industrial Airport

Oberhansli met with the commissioners for possible action relative to review and signature for Armstrong Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Plan for Hawthorne Industrial Airport. It is a FAA requirement.

Public works foreman

The commissioners, Oberhansli and Hoferer discussed the salary range for Public Works foreman.

The salary range will be $43,000 to $46,000. Hoferer stated that this position should be non-exempt.

Utility rate increase

Grant and Ana Fitzgerald from Hawthorne Utilities made a presentation regarding a rate increase for Hawthorne Water System, Sewer Operation, Garbage Department and the Mina/Luning Water Systems. Fitzgerald stated that this is the annual public hearing that is done after the audit every year.

Fitzgerald stated, “This will be a small increase that won’t increase our residents too much.”

The increase to Hawthorne will be 16 cents to the base water rate and she explained that this is to self-sustain the utilities fund.

Mina/Luning water rates were proposed at 35 cents (or one percent) on the base rate.

“We should have never had to take out a ten million dollar sewer loan,” Grant told the commissioners.

With the removal of ten percent discount removed in July 2017, Fitzgerald stated this is actually a 14 percent water revenue increase.

The sewer increase will be five percent. Garbage rate increase will be a half percent or five cents. The audit showed a negative number and the department was unable to explain why. Additional dumping for the blue containers will be $3. Dumpster extra charges will be $10.

Airport membership

Grant who is chairman of the Hawthorne Industrial Airport and the Mineral County Airport Land Use Advisory Committee asked that the commissioners renew the membership of Tony Tipton and Woody Isom to the board. Vern Watson was approved to fill the vacancy of a new member on the board. Grant explained he is resigning his position at the end of February.

Tourism board vacancies

Mike McNeill asked the board to fill the position of “motel representative” to the Mineral County Convention and Tourism Board. Terry Rideout submitted a letter of interest.

McNeill also presented a letter from Woody Isom in regards to the “hotel representative”. McNeill explained that there are no hotels in Mineral County. George asked how can you fill the position of “hotel representative” if there are no hotels.

Commissioner Tipton and McNeill explained that the RV park could fall into the “hotel” category.

Rideout and Isom were elected to the board.

Four applications were accepted to the “representative at large” position. The letters were given back to McNeill now that the board has a quorum.

Parcel sale

Jay Woods, who was not in attendance, petitioned the board to sell the following parcels at public auction: 007-190-37; 002-022-02; 003-122-03; 003-122-04; 003-122-05; 003-122-07 and 002-054-06. Commissioner Tipton wanted Deputy Clerk Bonnie DeMars to get a hold of Woods in regards to a survey.

Medical marijuana

The commissioners met relative to amending or rescinding Ordinance 234A Bill 250 banning medical marijuana establishments. She explained that there will be a person who is interested in growing within the county.

They explained the difference between a grow site and a dispensary.

David Ellis with the planning commission explained that the grow site at Montgomery Pass would be listed as a grow site/dispensary.

Price, “I’m not sure that is going to work.”

Tipton stated she is unsure that she can require the interested person to do a grow site and dispensary.

The representative from Queen Valley Resources discussed the dispensary.

Tipton cautioned the planning commission regarding making the grow site be a dispensary.

Discussion of Ormat and non-profit organizations.

Tipton read into record an ordinance amending or rescinding the banning of medical marijuana establishments. Ordinance 247ABill 263.