Mineral County Board of County Commissioner highlights from March 19-22 and March 28

Budget hearings

Mineral County budget hearings took place from March 19-22. If interested, you may contact the Mineral County Recorder-Auditor or Mineral County Clerk-Treasurer for more information.

Safety message

Emergency Manager Patrick Hughes discussed reporting injuries.

Public comment

Mike Guss gave public comment regarding Mineral County Economic Development Authority, I-11 and more. He stated, “But Mineral County is not the center of the universe. Mineral County is a backwater town. That’s the truth. Hawthorne is a backwater town. Mina is a true backwater town.” He encouraged Hawthorne to change.

James “Gunny” Utterback responded back to Guss regarding I-11. “Our little backwater town is two years ahead on the planning [of I-11].”

Sheri Samson addressed Guss explaining that MCEDA brought in political figures in to discuss I-11.

Tina Niedzwieski countered Guss’ comment regarding working with the Walker River Paiute Tribe, telling him that MCEDA has been in talks with the tribal chairman.

Barry Devlin with Gold Resource Corporation made a public comment thanking Commissioner Jerrie Tipton on the progression of Isabella Pearl Mine. He stated that his equipment is sitting in Tipton’s front yard.

MCEDA Director Shelley Hartmann told the commissioners that her office is handling the interviews for Ledcor.

Accounts payable

Recorder-Auditor Christine Hoferer brought forth a stack of vouchers from Judge Jim Shirley. She explained that these were for the juvenile office. She will get with the judge to work out these vouchers.


Deputy Clerk Bonnie DeMars explained briefly the letters that were received.

Economic development

Commissioner Chris Hegg put on an agenda item for consideration and possible action relative to Mineral County Commission designating Northern Nevada Development Authority as the Mineral County’s preferred regional economic development authority pursuant to NRS 231.053(4).

He explained why he liked this idea and made a motion.

Commissioner Garth Price would like to see other options prior to jumping into Hegg’s request.

Tipton explained the projects throughout Nevada that fall under Hegg’s request for Northern Nevada Development Authority.

Tipton told the commissioner’s that Guss would probably know better than anyone how this will work. He gave three options to the commissioners.

Hartmann questioned whether Mineral County wants services out of the county or out of Carson City.

Hegg’s motion died for a lack of a second. It was discussed to invite other economic agencies to come to Hawthorne at the convention center.

Guss told the commissioners how to proceed with inviting and setting a game plan for this event.

BLM updates

Ken Collum with the Bureau of Land Management discussed with the commissioners updates in Mineral County. He spoke about geothermal in the west side of Gabbs Valley.

Once again discussion on the progression of Isabella Pearl was once again brought up. Price commented that this has been ongoing for a year and a half and he would like to see this completed.

Walker Lake Boat Ramp repair is in the hands of Mineral County.

Question about Teel’s Marsh mining from Jeff Barrow. Collum discussed it was a herd management area. Barrow asked about removal of more burros from the area. Collum stated he has not heard anything about this.

Business license

The following business licenses were approved: Beisch Labor & Repair (Donald Beisch), Doc’s Gun Clinic (William D. Bruni) and Rosemore Handyman Services (Jacob T. Rosemore).

County billing

Sheriff Randy Adams told the commissioners that at times, he runs into issues with vendors. He explained to the commissioners that animal control service was shut off for no payment from Spectrum. After calling with a voucher, he was unable to speak with a representative due to needing all the county information.

Hoferer said that her office works on these issues and the check has the account numbers. She explained that her office is working to get these issues worked out.

The commissioners directed the sheriff to talk to the Recorder-Auditor’s office when service is interrupted or if there are questions about the account.

OTS grant

Adams explained to the commissioners that they were awarded $20,000 for the OTS Grant – Highway Traffic Deputy vehicle radar. The motion passed.

Padded cell

The commissioners approved Adams for the funds for a padded cell for the detention center.

Community clean-up

Schyler Hagen met with the commissioners for the approval of community clean-up day 2018. She went over the details of the event. The flyer was approved.

Inventory Policy

Hughes met with the commissioner for consideration and possible action relative to Mineral County Office of Emergency Management Equipment and Inventory Policy. Hughes shared an email from the Department of Emergency Management. He went over the policy and procedure as given to him for any items received from federal grants. Craig Nixon asked how far back he will be going with inventory.

Emergency management

Hughes asked that his office located at the Armory be designated as Emergency Management. He wants to secure the building between county and Boys & Girls Club. Hughes stated that after speaking with the new director of the Boys & Girls Club, that if needed, the facility could be used as a county shelter.

Cherrie George asked about the moving of the generator located at the emergency management office.

Nixon explained how the building was set up to be ran. The commissioners combined Hughes’ two items so this discussion could happen.

Hughes was directed to speak with other department heads prior to making this move.

Mina municipal lease

Jeff Barrow sat in for Paul Golden with Southern Methodist University met with the commissioners to renew their lease on two offices at the Mina Municipal Building for an additional ten years. . Tipton asked for a motion as long as the district attorney is comfortable with the wording submitted.

Old Courthouse

Kathy Kachelries, Mineral County Museum Director met with the commissioners to discuss the future uses and renovations for the Old Mineral County Courthouse. Kachelries informed the commissioners that the grant used prior is now available again. Tipton explained that she has a vision to have featured artists work on display, a child’s theatre as well as a gift shop. She explained that she also has some outside mining equipment stored for the museum on her property to be used as static displays. Price would like the upstairs open noting the use by Mineral County Search & Rescue opening the building for Armed Forces Day. Kachelries was advised that she can go after the grant. She was told to get a procurement policy for the bid process.

Milvan for public administrator

Beth Cichowlaz requested to purchase a 20 foot milvan to be used for the public administrator position. She would like it sat with the rest of the county milvans. Price stated he didn’t want many milvans stored outside of the courthouse. It was explained to him that this is temporary until a building can be built. Tipton asked for air circulation for the milvans. She was told that she may use the Recorder-Auditor’s milvan.

Airport vacancy

Kirk Bausman, Chairman of the Hawthorne Industrial Airport/Mineral County Airport Land Use Advisory Committee brought forth the application of George Dean for approval to the commissioners, again. He stated that the committee has advertised, but the only application submitted was for Dean. It was approved.

GP Global Outdoor

Bausman also discussed the possible approval of GP Global Outdoor Advertising lease of Lot #20 at the Hawthorne Industrial Airport. He discussed the size of the property and told the commissioners that the company would like to place a billboard on this site. This item was discussed at the airport meeting. Price made a motion for GP Global Outdoor Advertising to move forward while working with the Mineral County Building Inspector. The company will be charged a lease on the land.

Planning commission vacancy

Mark Nixon asked for the approval of George Dean to the Mineral County Regional Planning Commission. Dean was the only person to once again apply for the position. Hoferer asked about the times when the meeting is being held.

Vacating alleyway

Yvonne Lee with Wagner Hardware asked to vacate the alleyway between Wagner Hardware and the parking lot at 440 E Street in Hawthorne. She explained that she has had complaints from patrons. Grant explained that he agrees that this is a hazard. Discussion of fire hydrant access and easements on the property. Grant told Lee to come to Hawthorne Utilities to find the easements. Rowe helped the commissioners make a motion to vacate the property at Wagner Hardware.

Walker Lake Task Force

Randy and Sheri Samson met with the commissioners to make a “Walker Lake Task – Force” to enforce codes related to health, safety, building codes and ordinance 229A Bill 45 purpose and scope. Sheri brought up her vision of the Walker Lake Task – Force and explained that she will need the help of the building inspector and fire chief to address the violations. She fears that if this comes from an individual that her dogs may be poisoned.

“This is a correction, not a witch hunt,” Sheri stated. “We are challenging that the codes are not being enforced.”

So you want to file a nuisance complaint and not sign your name, Bonnie DeMars said to Sheri.

Sheri told Hegg that this county looks like crap but people are fearful of retaliation. She stated that she is not asking for anything more than what is in the ordinance.

Tipton requested the department heads to addressing and identifying issues with health safety, fire, etc. with the Walker Lake Advisory Board.

Nixon asks that department heads and elected officials all sit down and get it “hammered out”.

Sheri asked for a motion.


The commissioners asked department heads to come back with a three and five percent reduction in their budgets. Tipton explained that $88,000 is Mineral County’s portion of marijuana sales. She asked if the funds could be used to balance the budget. She stated that she was told they would rather it go to public safety but the commissioners can do as they see fit. Another payment will come in November for an additional $88,000. [Tape from commissioners cuts out and froze with voice only.] Hoferer stated that this item will be revisited on April 4 with new numbers from her office. Assessor Kevin Chisum explained the situation within the assessor’s office and the need to hire an appraiser.

Larry Grant evaluation

The evaluation of Larry Grant, Hawthorne Utilities Director. The agenda item read, “For consideration and possible action relative to conducting annual Performance Evaluation of Mineral County Utilities Director, Larry Grant, including, but not limited to possible promotion, endorsement engagement, retention, termination, suspension, demotion, reduction in pay, reprimand or ‘no action.’

Both Hegg and Price brought up the issue of use of seat belts and talking on the phone while driving.

Grant would like to put safety yellow/orange seatbelts in the trucks. Price also brought up the condition of vehicles and cleanliness. Hegg brought up making sure the employees are doing a walk-around.

Grant explained that his office is not fully staffed as the new girl currently resigned due to absenteeism. He believes that his staff does a commendable job.

Price directed Grant to continue with communicating with other department heads. Hegg reminded him to keep in touch with his liaison and to test fire hydrants.

Grant signed his evaluation with the commissioners.

Evaluation of Cherrie George

The commissioners met to evaluate Mineral County Senior Services Director, Cherrie George. The agenda item read the same as Grant’s. Discussion of the cook position for the Care and Share.

The commissioners and George discussed her grant funding. Her evaluation was signed off by the commissioners.

Commissioner recognition

Hegg asked to give $500 to the Mineral County Fire Department cadets. He explained that these cadets will be doing an open house. Tipton asked DeMars to put the item on the next agenda.


Congressman Ruben Kihuen made an appearance at the end of commissioners meeting. He stated he will be testifying in front of the Arms Committee, that he had read books to school children and met with the incoming commander for the Hawthorne Depot.

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