Mineral County Board of County Commissioner Highlights of April 5

Safety message

Emergency Management Director Patrick Hughes gave a safety message regarding distracted driving.

Accounts payable

Recorder-Auditor Christine Hoferer stated they had received some assessed value payments. Commissioner Jerrie Tipton stated that the marijuana money had also been received.


A review of fiscal year 2017-18 and 2018-19 budget estimate and recall of departments as necessary.

Hoferer went over the performance report with the commissioners. She explained that the county was hit with a $283,000 abatement.

Liberty Utilities (the Luning Solar project) called the assessor’s office and asked for a tax bill. Assessor Kevin Chisum gave update to the commissioners. Chisum went over the formulation and estimate of what the bill would be.

Increase in general fund amounted to $742,000, Hoferer reported. $204,000 was the decrease in funds received by the county. $88,000 marijuana tax was added to the budget numbers. The county has a short fall of approximately $200,000.

Hoferer discussed a transfer to the general fund.

Tipton explained a meeting with the Department of Taxation, assessor and commissioners on May 7. The meeting will be agendized.

The commissioners voted to send the proposed budget to the state.

Business license

The following business license was approved: Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation (Marsh Creek LLC).

Liquor license

The following liquor license was approved: Yaneth Castillo, special liquor license.

Sheriff quarterly report

Sheriff Randy Adams discussed a grant and positions within his office.


Staci Emm asked to relocate the freezer located at 525 W. 9th Street in Hawthorne to the Cooperative Extension Office at 205 S. A Street in Hawthorne. The walk-in freezer was used by juvenile probation but is not used currently. Emm stated the Cooperative Extension would need it for their Veggies for Seniors program. The freezer cannot be found on any of Mineral County’s inventory.

Senior services grant

Cherrie George, Senior Services Administrator met with the commissioners in acceptance to the Aging and Disability Services (ADSD) FY 2018 Nutrition Services Incentive Program (NSIP) supplemental award of $3,691. The commissioners approved.

County master safety manual

Hughes met with the commissioners to approve the county master safety manual. He gave a synopsis of the manual. Copies can be obtained from Hughes. Tipton advised each department head to review the synopsis and for them to read over their related areas. He went over the formation of a safety committee.

Cooperative Extension report

Emm went over the 2017 Cooperative Extension Annual Report. Emm discussed Veggies for Kids and Veggies for Seniors. She discussed management changes and ideas. She explained that this year 4H Camp will be held in the southern region and the cost is cheaper. She went over the programs available to Mineral County.

Pop Warner donation

David Ziegler asked the commissioners for a donation to Hawthorne Pop Warner. Commissioner Garth Price stated he was not in favor and cannot support everyone’s needs due to shortfalls.

Building inspector report

Building Inspector Mike Fonatine discussed the public nuisance ordinance and setting up public meetings. He also talked about conversion of mobile homes on foundations. Tipton advised Fontaine to put an agenda item on the May 2 commissioner meeting agenda. He will be attending a meeting addressing the flood plan map for Hawthorne Township.

Assessor report

Chisum discussed Luning Solar and the Ormat tax issues. He stated that he will be reviewing these. He discussed the mailing of different forms that has been ignored. He stated that currently they are still using stationary under Gloria Hughes’ name and will use until gone. Chisum outlined the duties of his staff under new supervision. He will be attending the state tax association meeting and invited the commissioners.

Clerk-Treasurer report

Clerk-Treasurer Chris Nepper explained that his office has sent out past due property tax notices and the office is working on election matters. Discussed training for election workers. Tipton stated that the owner of the Road Runner Motel paid their delinquent tax bill.

Recorder-Auditor report

Hoferer told the commissioners that her office has been working on budgets. Discussed the new software system that will be implemented into her office.

Senior center report

George discussed her grant funding. George stated that many discrepancies were found at the Mina Center during an evaluation by Aging Disability. The report will be forwarded to the commissioners.

Public Guardian report

Public Guardian Mike James informed the commissioners that once one client is released, they seem to get another one. He also discussed the cost of internet.

Fire department report

Chief Chris Lawrence discussed the memo of understanding for the Montgomery Pass area with Benton. AARF vehicle and housing of the vehicle. Air packs are almost complete. Working with the hospital on fire drills. They had not had a liaison visit the hospital in over three years. A tender will be moved to Luning. Discussion of security for the Luning Fire Department. Discussed training for Mineral County towns. Cadet program has started and Lawrence commends them. Setting a plan for Armed Forces Day weekend. He will be attending a grant planning class in May.

Emergency management report

Hughes discussed grants in his department. He is almost finished with a report due April 15.

Utilities report

Grant discussed landfill inspection and illegal dumping of oil at the Mina landfill. Tipton advised him to set up cameras. USDA has money and Grant will be speaking with them to purchase a landfill truck. Continuing to work with windblown trash, so far 40 yards have been picked up. Work on the ponds begins soon. BOD is still running high despite the new aerators, samples will need to be taken from the ponds and tested for six weeks. Trash truck went down, needed a new ERG part. He stated the “ReGen” will not work. “We need to look seriously at replacing this truck,” he said. Well 7 can be only flushed for an hour and a half, but needs to be flushed for approximately 24 hours. I Street Well is running and is the backup well. People complain that it tastes “salty”.

Library report

Courtney Oberhansli gave the commissioners a written report as she was out of town.

Museum report

Curator Kathy Kachelries discussed stocking the museum gift shop for Armed Forces Day. She is going over the paperwork for the Old Courthouse and applying for grant funds.

Park and Recreation report

Christina Boyles stated she is short staffed during April. She discussed the community Easter egg hunt and Little League Opening Ceremonies. She gave a report of the use of the YCAC gym membership and equipment. Signage is needed at the swimming pool.

Health nurse report

Health Nurse Wanda Nixon met with the commissioners. Her office is helping with preschool screening. She will be doing a one-on-one mental health workshop. She is concerned about mental health as a counselor quit. She requested parking bumpers to stop traffic at her building.

Public works/road/airport report

Eric Hamrey discussed the sprinkler system at Lion’s Park, courthouse carpet, storage room at annex, cemetery fence and replacement of street signs.

He discussed Forest Service monies to be used on the DelMonte Canyon Road. PAPI light grant at airport is completed.

Grading of Walker Lake roads has been done twice. Discussion of Walker Lake boat ramp and cost of the project.

Public defender

Commissioner Tipton placed the agenda item for consideration and possible action relative to selection of Public Defender for Mineral County for fiscal year 2018-19, agreement on contract amount and duration. John Oakes Esq. is the only one to submit a bid. The bid was $105,000 per year. Tipton went over the itemized proposal that Oakes sent in.

Tipton explained that by law, the county must provide legal services to indigent aid residents. She gave a background of the State Public Defender’s office.

Bonnie DeMars asked if a person gets arrested and is not indigent, how does that work. Tipton explained there is a determined percentage. The current contract is not up until July 1. Tipton showed that Oakes contract was $80,000 plus travel. The commissioners chose to table this until the district attorney is available.

EMPG grant

Tipton stated that this had to be an agenda item and it is relative to writing a letter from the board requesting an increase in funding for Emergency Manager salary and benefit reimbursement.

Greater Sage-Grouse

Tipton brought from the following agenda item, “For consideration and possible action relative to a Memorandum of Understanding between Mineral County and the Bureau of Land Management regarding the development of the Resource Management Plan Amendment and Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Nevada and Northeastern California Greater Sage-Grouse Resource Management Plan Amendment.” She explained that Mineral County does not have Greater Sage-Grouse but does have habitat for them in the northern end of Mineral County. She gave the background on the Fish and Game putting this bird on the endangered species list.

She explained that if this bird is put on the endangered species list, the use of outdoor land comes to a halt. This includes mining, outdoor recreation, hunting, etc.

Tipton is headed to San Francisco to join the memorandum of understanding with the Bureau of Land Management.

A motion was made to draft a letter to BLM regarding the Greater Sage-Grouse.

“The sage grouse is going to become the Spotted Owl,” Tipton stated.


Hegg asked to recognize the fire department cadets. He would like to help by giving them some funds. He asked to use the remaining $300 for the cadets. The motion passed.

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