Mineral County Board of County Commissioner highlights from Sept. 5

Safety message

Emergency Manager Patrick Hughes gave a safety message regarding Safety Data Sheets.

Public comment

Mineral County School District Superintendent Karen Watson introduced herself to the county commissioners and she praised Eric Hamrey and Larry Grant’s crews for all their hard work.

Accounts payable

The commissioners discussed two vouchers for the sheriff’s office and one for an employee retirement. Discussion of the getting the procurement policy back on the agenda. The commissioners asked for copies of many invoices.


Michael Pugh sent a letter to the commissioners advising he is resigning from the Walker Lake General Improvement District board. Another letter from the United States Department of Commerce was read regarding the upcoming census.

Business license

The following business licenses were approved: Nympha Garcia for Liberty Creek Hospice, LLC.; Vincent Kellison for Vinnie’s Electric, Inc.; Denise Terrell for Vegas Cares and Mark Eberhart for Creative Condos IV, LLC.

Creative Condos IV, LLC is a marijuana production site off Armory Road. He explained that the plant is outside of the school buffer.

Sign-on bonus

Sheriff Randy Adams discussed the sign-on bonus for deputy sheriff position to alleviate personnel shortage. The sign-on bonus was approved for another six months and will be reevaluated on Jan. 1, 2019.

fire Engine 2

Fire Chief Chris Lawrence stated that Engine 2 lost a rear seal and that it needs new tires and brakes. The tire quote will be approximately $2,500 and $400 for the brakes. The commissioners made a motion to allow the chief to replace tires, brakes and drums on Engine 2, not to exceed $4,000.

Flood berm

Hamrey discussed the flood control berm south of Mt. Grant General Hospital. He stated that the hospital had a concern if the berm broke. Hamrey said there is a flood control ordinance. He stated that it has much to do with Mike Fontaine and FEMA. Discussion to meet with Nevada Department of Transportation and Fontaine. The item was tabled until Fontaine returns from vacation. Tipton reminded Hamrey to budget for these incidents.

Bridge Pay

Recorder-Auditor Christine Hoferer asked for approval to enter into a service/contract agreement with Bridge Pay to accept electronic payments for the new Eagle recording services. The item was approved and Hoferer will keep the commissioners advised of the project.

Tax roll changes

Assessor Kevin Chisum met with the commissioners for approval of secured tax roll change requests for fiscal year 2018-2019 for the following parcels: Parcel 1-044-06: For Scott Janis and the mobile home was removed and the value had not been corrected; Parcel 1-392-06: The exemption was removed from the parcel inadvertently so the assessor’s office corrected the exemption; Parcel 1-264-04: The exemption was applied to the department of motor vehicle but not the real property. It was reversed; Parcel 1-341-15: The mobile home was removed two years ago without a permit and the owner came in stating so. The exemption for the mobile was removed and the value recalculated; Parcel 1-184-11: The mobile home was demolished in 2015 and the next year the tax value regenerated and this is the third year the owner came in to explain the problem; Parcels 1-263-02 and1-263-03: The property belongs to Warren Stevens. They had a fire. The property was demolished in 2017. The value was changed in the computer; Parcel 1-334-30: The property is impounded with Financial Horizons Credit Union. The tax bill was low, so the credit union called. The values did not transfer. The issue was corrected; Parcel 8-035-36: Value was removed in 2017 and the property was only charged for landfill assessment; Parcel 1-163-15: Values removed in 2016 and changed; Parcel 1-163-16: The fixes did not take; Parcel 8-033-54: Veteran’s exemption did not roll over for the new year; Parcel 1-081-03: Demolished in February. There was no building permits so the assessor was unaware; 1-121-07: This improvements were removed, a fence and small porch. The mobile home account was deactivated for this property; Parcel 3-113-20: Improvements did not roll over and was changed and Parcel 3-113-19: Improvements did not roll into the new year and was changed in the computer. The commissioners chose to accept the secured tax roll changes as presented. Chisum explained this is a clerical error in an old system that is hard to navigate.

Public health nurse help

Wanda Nixon, Public Health Nurse requested to hire a temporary part-time administrative assistant for the Mineral County Public Health Clinic, not to exceed 19 hours/week and not to exceed six months. The items were approved. She is allowed to hire in immediately in this emergency situation.

School to Careers

Mineral County High School counselor John Gavin met with the commissioners requesting funding for School to Careers. He asked the commissioners to continue this program within the county. The first semester is internship the last semester is paid minimum wage.

School to Careers was approved if funding is available through the different departments.

Alley access

Valley Propane approached the commissioners about overgrown trees in alleyways. Rick Jacobson explained that some of the alleys are impassable or rip up equipment due to branches. Hamrey read part of an ordinance regarding the alleyways. Commissioner Garth Price made a motion to encourage citizens to clean up their debris in the alleyways with the water bills.


Price but an agenda item on the agenda regarding public works abating weeds on Armory Road, Airport and Lions Park. Hamrey explained right now they are working on flood control and have been spraying weeds.

Armory Road

Price asked how the bump in the road on 10th and Armory Road happened. Hamrey explained when utilities were placed there, it started happening.

Hamrey explained it may be a collapsed sewer line or a leaking water line. Price will reagendize to speak with Larry Grant with Hawthorne Utilities.

Crack sealing

Price explained that he is getting “hammered” about a maintenance plan for crack sealing county roads in Mineral County and a time line as to when it will be completed. Price wants this sent to the Regional Transportation Commission. Hamrey reminded Price that this was explained in a previous Regional Transportation meeting. Hamrey discussed that G Street to O Street; First through Fifth will be the first to be addressed. Discussion of cracks in streets.

Department head meeting

The commissioners discussed making a mandatory Tuesday meeting for the commissioners on the second of each month. This meeting will help to make the workflow of the county run smoothly.

PILT lawsuit

Tipton explained that there is a class action lawsuit Kane County, Utah v. United States, Case Nos. 17-739C and 17-1991C regarding the recovery of additional monies under the Payment in Lieu of Taxes Act (PILT Act) for fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017. Both Price and Hegg stood by their decision to not go forward with the lawsuit.

Retiree Insurance

Tipton explained that she placed an item on the agenda to discuss the cost of county paid retiree insurance benefits. She stated that the county currently pays over $300,000 in benefits each year for retiree benefits. Rowe reminded the commissioners that there are collective bargain agreements that need to be dealt with.

Tipton explained to Rowe that each time the bill is paid she gets “hammered” with questions.

Price asked for more time to familiarize himself with the issue.

The item will be agendized for a later date.

Flood update

Hughes gave the commissioners an update on the July and August flooding the county sustained this year. He explained that he had forwarded photos to the state. A date and time will be set up for evaluations to be made.

A cost of $120,000 to date has been spent on the flood damage.

Hughes stated he would be surprised if the county receives half of the funds requested.

Tipton explained that the county needs to make a fund which will deal directly with emergency situations such as this. Hughes would like to see a line item in his budget, also.

Sidewalk repair

Jack Gress met with the commissioners to discuss sidewalk repair. He showed the commissioners a picture of a sidewalk on 155 Bodie Street and the lifting of said.

Hamrey can’t find any record on who owns the sidewalks. He stated that the development company put the sidewalks in 1975. Discussions on whose responsibility it is to fix the issue.

The commissioners advised Hamrey to saw cut the slab see if getting some of the dirt out from underneath will alleviate the issue.

Regional Transportation Commission

The Mineral County Regional Transportation Commission met. Donna Oberhansli gave an update as to fuel sales at the airport. The revenue for regional transportation is $3,188 and for the Mineral County Airport is $385. There is approximately $221,000 in funds in the regional transportation commission fund.

It was explained that the property damage from the floods were not substantial enough so FEMA kicked the responsibility back to the State of Nevada.

Hamrey brought up Del Monte Canyon Road closure. He explained there is bridge money – but due to the flooding, there is no need to replace the bridge if there is no road.

A decision was made to temporarily close the Del Monte Canyon Road until the commissioners and the Forest Service can come to a conclusion as to what can be made. The board made a decision to bring it in front of the county commissioners.

Discussion of the roads in the county that were affected by flood waters was discussed as was crack sealing.

Hamrey would like a road management plan put in place. Tipton brought up RS2477 roads in Mineral County.

County ordinances

The board of commissioners discussed reviewing all county ordinances to determine if the county wants to expand on the NRS or leave the NRS as a guiding principal and to remove specific town names and make the language to read county wide.

Tipton asked what the time/cost would be to Mineral County. Tipton explained that many of the codes were rolled over from when Hawthorne was an incorporated city.

Rowe asked the commissioners which ordinances they would like to see rectified. Hegg explained that there is a cost to publish and codify the ordinance because there is a change.

Mary Marinello from Walker Lake shared her thoughts on a few ordinances she believes that Walker Lake could benefit from.

Craig Nixon asked if one public hearing can be held to get rid of any ordinances that are no longer needed by Mineral County.

Rowe explained that many of these ordinances do have a historic significance to the county. Tipton explained to those in attendance that Walker Lake residents need to come up with the top three ordinances they would like to see to benefit their community.

Marinello explained that the reason for this topic is to bring enforcement to the ordinances on the books.

David Bowen from Walker Lake stated why he feels this push to bring enforcement of ordinances to Walker Lake is there is now an influx of people who have community pride and there are workers there that are now willing to put forth the work to complete these issues.

Nuisance complaint

A nuisance complaint for parcel #001-253-14 for 725 G Street in Hawthorne was brought in front of the commissioners. It was explained that the owner of the property is in the hospital. The item will be heard at a later meeting.

Closed session

The commissioners went into closed session pursuant to NRS 241.015(2)(b)(2) to receive information from legal counsel relative to existing/pending litigation involving Walker Lake.

Open session

The commissioner came back into open session to discuss possible action relative to existing/pending litigation involving Walker Lake and general information relative to Walker Lake. It was stated there was nothing to report.