Mineral County Board of County Commissioner highlights from July 11

Safety message

Emergency Management Patrick Hughes gave the safety message on the topic of cognitive bias.

Accounts payable

Capital outlay for Dell Marketing for prior year for Hawthorne Utilities was presented to the board for the amount of $1,033.62. It was approved.

Prior year cash report was presented and Recorder-Auditor Christine Hoferer stated that the Luning Solar payment had been received. She told the commissioners that the end of year fund balance was $78,000.

She explained that in order to close the year and post payroll, there was a temporary transfer made from PILT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) and then promptly put back, which she stated is allowed through the end of year processes.

She will be meeting with the commissioners at the next agenda regarding town funds.

She is concerned for July and August financials.

Public comment

Commissioner Jerrie Tipton stated that the building inspector had scheduled a meeting to discussing a public hearing. She stated there was a conflict. The recorder’s office changed the information on the website. This meeting had a second date scheduled.


A letter was read into record by Clerk Chris Nepper from Tim Howe, a resident of Walker Lake, who resigned from the Walker Lake Advisory Board. Nepper also has a document on the Rawhide Mine for review.

Business license

The following business licenses were approved: Martin Rodriguez, Sr.; Compliance Safety Professionals (CSP) and Mollie Moody; Old Nevada Pizza. Both were approved.

Liquor license

The following liquor license was approved: Mollie Moody; Old Nevada Pizza. The license was approved.

911 system

Undersheriff Bill Ferguson met with the commissioners to replace the outdated 911 system with a new E-911 Hosted System.

Ferguson explained that the current 911 system no longer has a maintenance contract and is a trunk system. The problem is that it becomes obsolete and outdated every 3-4 years.

He is requesting going to server hosted with AT&T with no equipment needed and only a yearly fee. With the 911 surcharge, the sheriff’s office would only have to pay approximately $2,000 per year. The surcharge is charged to all cellphone/land line phones with a Mineral County number.

This system will also provide a GPS location of where the phone is located helping the deputies that respond to calls. Currently the sheriff’s office system does not have this capability.

Ferguson advised the commissioners that they need to convene the Mineral County 911 Board. Discussion of who will be on the board with Ferguson heading it up. Letters of interest will need to be accepted prior to formation of the defunct board.

Connie Ellis asked if GPS location will be picked up from any phone. Ferguson explained how GPS works with cellphones.

The surcharge fee goes into effect on July 1. Hoferer explained that there will be an upfront charge.

Public comment on surcharge fees and pinging of cellphones were directed to Ferguson.

Hawthorne Airport

Public Works Director Eric Hamrey met with the commissioners to review, approve and get signature for FAA Hawthorne AIP 014 closeout. This is the closeout for the PAPI lights grant. The item was approved.


Yvonne Suarez asked to speak with the commissioners in regards to submitting a business proposal regarding the Mineral County Museum. She stated that “it is prudent and responsible if we have someone that works full-time at the museum.” Tipton explained that this item had not been published in the newspaper and that after publication – interviews will be scheduled.

Meals on Wheels

Price stated that Debra Wadlow’s health doesn’t allow her to come to the meeting but she would like the item heard.

She asked if she could receive meals since she is not a senior and disabled.

Cherrie George, senior services director explained to Wadlow and the commissioners on how it works. She explained that her department is funded for aging services and must be age 60 or older. George explained that even fully disabled is not covered under the grants given to the senior center.

Wadlow would like an exception made. George had an option that Wadlow could come eat at the center and pay the non-senior price of $5 per meal. The next option would be to purchase meals to go, at $5 each and picked up and delivered to Wadlow by someone of Wadlow’s choosing. A community based program serving Hawthorne was also discussed with Wadlow. No action was taken.

Pool hours

Julie Fisk asked the commissioners for a three hour block at the swimming pool. Price asked what the current hours are and reviewed the schedule. Christina Boyles stated that no one has approached her for a meeting. Discussion of reestablishing a park and recreation board was discussed as was the duration of the summer pool hours.

Fisk discussed parents coming in from out of town to use the facility. The pool is open from 9:30 – 11 a.m. and again from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Price asked why Boyles moved from 12 to 5 p.m. swim hours. Boyles concern is for the swim lesson kids are trying to swim in cold water.

A petition was being circulated to keep the pool open during certain hours, Boyles explained.

The YCAC van is going around picking up kids that are using the pool.

Kathy Trujillo made a few comments regarding the new management. She stated that in years past, equipment was stolen, the building was infested with bugs and the water was too cold. Under the direction of Boyles this has been a smooth and flawless season for the swim team. Discussion of the park and recreation board.


Nepper discussed with the commissioners the participation of Mineral County in the class action lawsuit in regards to Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) accounts. Tipton discussed the lawsuit and other counties who have also joined.

District Attorney Sean Rowe stated the county has until September to decide on whether or not to participate.

This item will be continued.


Nepper asked for the approval of request for Nevada Rural Counties (RSVP) request for funding. RSVP is asking for $9,334. Tipton gave the history of funding. The commissioners approved $9,334 as requested by RSVP. Public Guardian Mike James explained that RSVP is leasing a space from the county and is not being used.

Marsy’s Law

Nepper also brought for an agenda for Mineral County to support or participate in regards to Marsy’s Law which is also Question 1 on the General Ballot. Rowe explained Marsy’s Law – which is notifying victims of crimes.

“I certainly support the theory,” he told the commissioners. The burden will fall upon the district attorney’s office.

Price made a motion to endorsement of Marsy’s Law from Mineral County.

Membership dues

An item for action relative of membership dues for fiscal year 2019 to Western Nevada Development District in the amount of $5,000. Tipton explained that this is what is paid each year and budgeted for. It was passed.

Sale of property

The board had a request to adopt a resolution for intent to sell property parcel #005-250-06. The property is 33-acres outside of Schurz and located behind the Rock Shop.

Rowe discussed the steps needed to take in order to sell the property. Mineral County Resolution 18-014 was read into record by Nepper. The date of sale will be Sept. 19 during the commissioner board meeting at 1:30 p.m. Discussion of patented land within the Walker River Reservation was discussed.

The motion passed.

Bond cap

The commissioners placed item 19 on the agenda which discusses action on a resolution for transferring the county’s 2016 private activity bond volume cap to the Nevada Rural Housing Authority. A member from the housing authority was present to discuss this item.

The representative discussed that 12 families were helped in Mineral County to purchase homes in the county, four were veterans. The average amount was over $100,000.

Price wanted a clear explanation of the bond volume cap. The representative gave an explanation. The commissioner chose to transfer the bonds to Nevada Rural Housing Authority. A resolution was read into record.

Refrigeration units

Hawthorne Utilities Director Larry Grant explained to the commissioners that the Hawthorne Landfill will no longer accept refrigeration units of any kind due to restriction of Nevada Department of Environmental Protection or certifying an employee for evacuation and recovery of refrigerant chemicals.

Discussion of trash that has blown out into the desert and entering into a contract with someone to clean up the landfill and transfer station areas.

A question from the audience asked why inmates weren’t being used to pick up the trash and refurbish the refrigerators.

Discussion of where these appliances need to be taken.

The board asked Grant to make phone calls to other landfills in regards to these issues.

Regional Transportation

The Mineral County Regional Transportation Commission met with a quorum. The airport fuel report was given. Revenue from the sales was: $9,182 for the commission and $1,704 for the airport. Fund report was given for the commission. Their balance is $190,022.

Discussion of the road cut agreement was sent to the “players”. Tipton asked Hamrey to get with the “players to see if they had any heartburn” over the agreement.

Hamrey stated that he spoke to a planning commission person that is adamant about adopting the “Orangebook” standards for road cuts.

Tipton explained that Mineral County can’t afford to bring the county up to Orangebook standards. Price reminded Hamrey that the final decision lands with the commissioners, not advisory boards.

Wade Barton with Sign City explained to the commission about street signs and presented a sample which is clearer to read and will not be blown off the poles.

Discussion on county road repair. A road in Luning was discussed as well.

The balance for RAC is $178,763. A Secure Rural School balance is $15,114.

The next meeting is Aug. 1.

Nuisance complaint #001-024-01

A nuisance complaint for Mineral County parcel #001-024-01 was heard by the commissioners. This complaint is in regards to a Babbitt house located on Spencer Street in Hawthorne. It was suggested that the house be boarded up but there is asbestos siding and shingles. The nuisance complaint was signed and returned in 2016.

Rowe told the commissioners that either the county can abate the property and tack the cost to the assessment or they may contact the property owner for them to abate the conditions.

Paul Powell made public comment about the property.

A motion to declare the property a continuing nuisance and abate or make arrangements to abate within 60 days was made.

Nuisance complaint #001-253-14

A nuisance complaint for Mineral County parcel #001-253-14, located at 372 C Street in Hawthorne. The complaint was for cockroaches, dog feces, burning garbage and the smells. Building Inspector Mike Fontaine gave his report to the commissioners. Price made a motion to declare this property a nuisance per the ordinance. Fontaine was directed to address the issue and Fire Chief Chris Lawrence is to address the burning of garbage. A motion was made and passed.

Nuisance complaint #002-027-01

A nuisance complaint for Mineral County parcel #002-027-01, located in Luning. The complaint is the property is harboring snakes, scorpions and rats. Fontaine’s report stated that there is a nuisance on the property. The property is Mineral County Trust Property. Tipton advised that Hamrey go look at the property and see what is needed to clean the area up. The cost will be attached to the assessment.

Harold Dimmick stated that he doesn’t see where snakes and scorpions are a nuisance if you live in the desert and if this is county property – then the county needs to clean up their property before enforcing it on others.