Mineral County Board of County Commissioners highlights from June 21 and June 27

Safety message

The safety message was given by Emergency Management Director Pat Hughes regarding insects and snakes during the summer months.

Hughes read some funny safety quotes at the June 27 meeting.

Public comment

Commissioner Garth Price stated that some of the directors of Mineral County departments just do what they want. He stated that every time he has a request, he gets excuses for tasks not being done. “They need to remember they work for this board and if we ask for something to be done, it needs to be done,” he said.

He would like each director to sign policies that they have read and are going to follow the policy.

Commissioner Chris Hegg stated to make an agenda item where evaluations will go from one year to six months.

Commissioner Jerrie Tipton stated that there used to be a monthly director meeting.

Glenn Bunch with Mineral County Wildlife Advisory Board spoke to the commissioners regarding guzzlers near the lake so that the sheep will stay above the highway.

Bunch stated that there are watering devices on private property that are watering the sheep which is illegal.

He stated that currently only sheep have been lost but he is afraid that at some time, an accident may occur in which a human life is lost.

Accounts payable

Two fire trucks from the City of Las Vegas were donated to Mineral County as stated by Teresa McNally.

A 2001 Chevrolet truck for $6,000 and a $1,700 ice machine for Mina were approved for Hawthorne Utilities out of their gift fund.

Recorder-Auditor Christine Hoferer explained to the commissioners that the cash balance is currently $70,000 with $49,000 worth of withdrawals to soon hit.

“The general fund has no money,” she told the commissioners. “We are still waiting for PILT to do our $125,000 transfer.” She explained that this is the lowest cash balance she has seen in her 20 years in office.

The commissioners’ request to stop spending has not been followed. Hoferer explained that her office must turn in quarterly reports to the Nevada Department of Taxation.

She advised that the commissioners need to resend their memo for absolutely no spending unless it is for power, phone, etc.

Hoferer also advised that SOC NV, LLC has not been billed through the assessor’s office yet and she advised that the commissioners speak with Assessor Kevin Chisum as to why that hasn’t been billed. The Luning Solar assessment has been billed but not paid.

“This is the revenue that we are waiting for,” Hoferer explained.

Tipton stated that the PILT payment will be made in the next week.

BLM update

Kenneth Collum, with BLM was not in attendance but did send a report.

Business license

The following business licenses were approved: Martin Crew, Construction Materials Engineers, Inc.; Ferdinand Dalope, G&G Home Health Care Services LLC and Philip Loucks, Lance’s Water Truck Inc.

Liquor license

The following liquor license was approved: Mollie Moody, Moody Inc. for Old Nevada Pizza.

Sheriff’s Office grant

Sheriff Randy Adams asked permission from the board to accept award of funds granted for the period of July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019 in the amount of $21,579 for the STOP Grant. The grant is the sex assault investigator. The match for the grant comes from the Joining Forces man hours.

Buy out

The sheriff met with the commissioners to approval of early-retirement buy-outs for Sgt. Jim Holland. Adams explained with the overtime that Holland works and the hiring of a new deputy, the savings will be beneficial to the county.

The cost of the buyout would be $17,853.17 plus. Currently Holland has 23.1 credits with the PERS system. Adams explained that there is money within his benefit line. Hoferer explained that Holland would be paid $22,000 and 75 percent of his health benefits would be paid by Mineral County.

If Holland gets 25 years, his insurance would be purchased 100 percent by Mineral County.

Adams explained that Holland’s request is that Mineral County buyout what Holland does not have enough to purchase.

Hoferer stated that she spoke with the district attorney and it was advised to hold this item for another meeting.

Hegg made a motion to buy out Holland not to exceed $17,000 with no annual leave payout (which will be used to purchase the years).

Hoferer asked that the commissioners refrain until speaking with legal counsel.

The commissioners approved this agenda item.

USDA funding – Sheriff

Adams approached the commissioners to approve the application for funding with the USDA-Rural Development Community Facilities programs and to authorize the chairman to accept the letter of conditions and sign the related obligation documents including but not limited to the RD Form 1942-46 “Letter of Intent to Meet Conditions”, RD Form 1940-1 “Requesting obligation of Funds: and RD Form 3570-3: “Community Facilities Grant Agreement”: outside of a commission meeting.

He explained that this is for the jail cameras. This grant will fund up to 75 percent and the rest will be funding from the inmate commissary fund. The motion was made and accepted. This is to apply for the grant only.


Hughes discussed the Mineral County Local Emergency Planning Commission. He explained that this is for the removal of two inactive members, but per the bylaws, they must be removed by the commissioners. Those members are: T.C. Knight and Adam Greenfield. The commissioners approved this item.

Solid Waste board

Ana Fitzgerald, office manager and Alicia Sweet with Hawthorne Utilities met with the commissioners in regards to appeals of the Mineral County Solid Waste Review Board decisions and the review and approval of recommendations from that board for decisions of applications for adjustments of the Solid Waste Landfill Assessment for the 2018-2019 tax year. There was one appeal from Lawrence Powell. Fitzgerald explained his appeal. His appeal was denied.

Low income applications were discussed. The Mineral County Solid Waste Review Board’s decisions were accepted.


Fitzgerald explained the write-off of uncollectible accounts for Hawthorne, Mina/Luning water systems. Fitzgerald acknowledged Jennalee Larson for her hard work on this project. The expired/deceased/cancelled accounts for Hawthorne to be written off is $3,479.52, Mina 683.62 and Luning $198.57.

The write-offs were accepted as read into record.

USDA funding – Fire Department

Vern Watson and Heidi Johnson met with the commissioners to approve the application for funding with the USDA-Rural Development Community Facilities programs and to authorize the chairman to accept the Letter of Conditions and sign the related obligation documents including but not limited to the RD Form 1942-46 “Letter of Intent to Meet Conditions: RD Form 1940-1 “Requesting Obligation of Funds” and RD Form 3570-3: Community Facilities Grant Agreement”: outside of a commission meeting.

This grant would cover 10 sets of personal protective equipment and two refurbished autopulse machines. The match is $10,915 with the money coming from the ambulance fund.

Hoferer stated that she will need to look at the resolution to see if that is acceptable.

The commissioners approved the grant with Hoferer to determine where the funds come from. This is to apply for the grant only.

Sick leave for justice court

Judge Jay Gunter was unavailable and Ruby Hamrey stated that there will be an employee taking sick leave donation for a justice court employee. They would like this to be in place in August for when this person goes out on sick leave.

Senior grants

Cherrie George met with the commissioner to accept the Aging and Disability Services Division fiscal year 2018 Nutrition Services Incentive Program supplemental award of $11,614. The commissioners accepted. This grant can only be used to purchase raw food.

She also asked for the acceptance of Aging and Disability Services Division fiscal year Case Management and Transportation grant award for over $100,000. George asked that once the paperwork arrives, can it be signed by the board. The motion was approved.

Assessor fund

Assessor Kevin Chisum explained to the commissioners that there has not been a fly-over in over four years. The cost will be $26,500 paid over three years. There will be approximately $8,000-$9,000 remaining. Chisum discussed the benefits of pictometry. The pictometry will be done in Mina, Luning, residential of Walker Lake and township of Hawthorne. Chisum wanted to make it clear that these funds will be dedicated for this project.

Assessor equipment

Chisum explained that his office is in need of a new copier/scanner/printer. He would like each employee to have a printer at their desk. The cost is $3,600 with the funds coming out of his budget. He was advised to wait until after July 1 to purchase.

Chisum explained that the SOC billing questioned earlier in the meeting have been worked on. There was a discrepancy of over $200,000 more than what SOC was reporting s each line had to be one line by line and the bill is ready to be mailed out.

“It has been awhile since this has been rectified,” he told the commissioners.


Western Pyrotechnic Association would like to have the approval of the use of the racetrack for their fall convention from Sept 18-23. Eric Hamrey, Director of Public Works feels that there should be a memorandum of understanding between the racetrack leaser and the Western Pyrotechnic Association.

Glenn Bunch explained that the two entities have been in discussion. Bunch said that there will be someone to work on the faulty electric boxes at the racetrack.

A copy of the signed lease with Moderson needs to be on file with Mineral County. Bunch was asked to put the two entities together to get the memorandum of understanding or lease agreement.

“It brings money to this community,” Tipton stated. No action was taken.

Vegas to Reno race

Bunch was a representative for Donald Jackson with “Vegas to Reno” event which will be held Friday, Aug. 17.

Bunch asked for a point of contact for Isabella Pearl, because of the 2014 race course route.

He produced a map and showed the commissioners a different route.

“BLM is just gonna wet their pants,” Tipton stated after seeing the map.

The commissioners and those involved looked over the map and routes were discussed.

The commissioners approved Vegas to Reno race to cross into Mineral County with the condition to fix roads after the race.

OHV mapping

Michael McNeill with Mineral County Convention and Tourism Authority met with the commissioners regarding a tourist OHV mapping requests from Mineral County requested by the BLM, Forest Service and State OHV commission to be submitted to those agencies by June 21, 2018.

The maps would be for Mineral County and BLM.

McNeill went over the history of the OHV request. McNeill stated it wasn’t clear what BLM wanted until he received emails from a BLM contact.

He said that she told him that BLM has their Mineral County OHV map already finished.

Tipton explained that when the Master Plan comes out it will have a clear map of all roads.

The commissioners made a motion to have McNeill and Hamrey to meet with BLM to work on this project.


Price sat in on the NevadaWorks meeting and stated it was one of the better meetings he has attended. He discussed the shortage of housing, lack of skilled workers and fiber optics across the state.

Ordinance 249A

The commissioners met to adopt Mineral County Ordinance 249A Bill 265 amending regulations for nuisance abatement within Mineral County. Building Inspector Mike Fontaine would like hold two public meeting workshops with residents so that more can have input on this issue. The meetings will be held on July 11 and July 26. Price asked that this runs in the newspaper so that people can pick up copies at the clerk-treasurer office.

Jean Peterson made a comment regarding the old ordinance. Sheri Samson said there is complacency.

Dimmick stated that there has been a complaint about weeds but the school and county properties are weed covered.

Public comment

Hoferer made public comment at the end of the June 21 meeting. She read a letter stating she is reiterating her stand on the buy-out for Jim Holland. In her letter she states that the item regarding this should have been placed on the agenda to be heard in a closed session. She claims that the open meeting law may have been violated.


Tammie Merritt sent an email regarding a 4th of July celebration in Mina.

Augmentations to budget

Hoferer and Deputy Recorder-Auditor Hillary Pellet met with the commissioners regarding actions relative to resolutions for augmentations for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018.

Mineral County Resolution 18-009 regarding Hawthorne Township – the resolution was read into record by Tipton. The fund was increased by $76,000. Resolution 18-009 was approved.

Mineral County Resolution 18-010 regarding Mina Town – the resolution was read into record by Tipton. The fund was increased by $2,500. Resolution 18-010 was approved.

Mineral County Resolution 18-011 regarding Luning Town – the resolution was read into record by Tipton. The fund was increased by $1,948. Resolution 18-011 was approved.

Hoferer went on to explain to the commissioners regarding the judicial budget.

She explained what account went over and stated that the cash fund is at $22,000.

“We still haven’t posted our payroll, as the cash just isn’t there,” Hoferer said.

She went on to explain that the cut spending memo was “useless” as it had been ignored.

SOC NV, LLC has yet to make their tax payment.

“We can only do the best with what we have,” she concluded.

Hawthorne Utilities budget

Fitzgerald went in front of the commissioners for budget transfers and/or resolution augmentation from restricted cash for Hawthorne Utilities and Mina/Luning Water Systems for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018.

The refuse department needs $40,000 from the restricted fund. Mineral County Resolution 18-012 was read into record by Fitzgerald regarding an inter-fund transfer. Resolution 18-012 was approved.

Mineral County Resolution 18-013 was read into record by Fitzgerald. It stated that sewer waste water reserve fund would transfer $20,000 to the sewer waste water fund as an inter-fund transfer. Resolution 18-013 was approved.

Levy tax rate

Clerk-Treasurer Chris Nepper asked for the adoption of a resolution to levy the tax rate for Mineral County for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018 and ending June 30, 2019. Resolution 18-008 was read into record by the clerk. The tax breakdown is as follows:

General 2.0595

China Springs 0.0055

General Indigent 0.0100

Medical Long-Term Care 0.0800

Medical Indigent Accident 0.0150

Medical Indigent Supplemental 0.0100

Care & Share – Tax Override 0.0600

Capital Projects 0.0500

Hospital 0.2000

School 0.7500

School Debt 0.2500

State 0.1700

Total County and State Tax rates 3.6600