Mineral County Board of County Commissioner highlights from Dec. 5

Safety message

Patrick Hughes gave a safety message regarding holiday and Christmas tree safety.

Public comment

Tom Bergeron, Sr. of Mina read into record a letter explaining that the commissioners issued an illicit narcotics business license [for the marijuana farm]. He feels that the commissioners violated the open meeting law. He has filed a formal legal complaint with the Nevada Attorney General’s office on Nov. 8 regarding these issues and asks that no work of any kind for that license be carried out.

Cherrie George explained that the heater at the care and share went out and she replaced the old one for $1,600 from Valley Propane. The building has been using space heaters.

Accounts payable

A capital outlay purchase for $9,045.23 to Dell for the new election server was approved.

The cash balance for the county was approximately $300,000. A transfer to the public administrator’s fund was approved.

Closure of county offices

Recorder-Auditor Christine Hoferer asked for approval for non-essential county offices to be closed Monday, Dec. 24. Mineral County Resolution 18-021 was read into record approving the request.


Lyon County Advisory Council sent an email.

Business licenses

The following business licenses were approved: Garrett Painting, Michael Garrett and Wild West Chevrolet, Donald Lindberg.

Mina Fire apparatus

Fire Chief Chris Lawrence discussed the repair or replacement of the Mina Fire apparatus. He stated he Eric Hamrey had offered the purchase of one of his fire engines. Woody’s Automotive told Lawrence that it would be expensive. Lawrence explained that North Las Vegas fire may gift a truck to the agency. Lawrence has also been speaking with the Hawthorne Army Depot and the possibility of donating one of their engines. He was told to bring it back in two weeks.

Cory Canyon

Hawthorne Utilities Director Larry Grant went in front of the board to discuss Hawthorne Utilities using landfill equipment to assist public works with the restoring of the roads in Cory Canyon. Grant reminded the board that the flash floods took out the road. He stated it was passable by four wheel drives but it is “rough”.

Grant explained that he and Hamrey have a game plan and will be using the landfill dozer and a blade to fix the road.

Tipton asked if there is a Nevada Revised Statute that prohibits the use of equipment outside the scope of work it was purchased for.

“I believe we can get around this,” Grant told Tipton. Explaining that he needs to get to the wells in the canyon.

Hegg made a motion to let Hawthorne Utilities use the landfill dozer to help fix the canyon.

Boat ramp

Hamrey submitted an invoice from Nevada Division of State Lands for payment of application processing fee for the State Beach boat ramp at Walker Lake.

The annual fee for the boat ramp will be $50 and $200 for the application fee.

Tipton explained that state lands would not give the ramp to the county as they own the “banks and beaches” and she was unaware of all the additional charges even though Mineral County removes trash. No action was taken. Item to be heard at a later date.

Public guardian

Public Guardian Mike James discussed the posting of the notice of vacancy for the position of Mineral County Public Guardian. James stated that this item will be heard at a later meeting.


Sheri Samson met with the commissioners to discuss the nuisance ordinance and town specific chapter 9 and 10.

Samson wanted to remind the commissioners of the “journey” that has been taken over the last 10 months. She read a letter into record.

She explained that she wants the commissioners to respond to her in writing with what they will do about her concerns for Walker Lake.

She would like health and safety to be addressed at Walker Lake; fair economic services and taxation as well as, improper enforcement of county codes and the fair expectations of meeting the purpose and scope of the Mineral County ordinances.

She then asked the commissioners what they are zoned for and explained that she has photos of residents of Walker Lake who are making Walker Lake a “camp site” and living in “sheds” with no water or sewer.

She asked the commissioners where these people are disposing of their feces and wonder why the county allows the transients to live like this.

“You guys all knew about this in February. This is a risk factor at Walker Lake with the way things are being disposed,” she told the commissioners.

“These residents are not paying their fair share,” she told the commissioners when addressing the taxation of Walker Lake.

She addressed the abandoned properties, decaying structures and unsecured structures.

Samson explained that if nothing is done, she will go further up the chain to state or federal levels.

Building Inspector Mike Fontaine asked if this issue had been brought to him “specifically”.

Fontaine explained if he asks a person if they are living in the shed and they say “no”, he can’t enforce the issue. In some of the photos, the specific information was not given though Samson gave them the street name.

Fontaine said he will need a nuisance form brought in front of him. Samson explained it is a zoning issue.

David Bowen gave public comment that the only people who show up at these meetings in Walker Lake are the only ones who are doing anything. He explained that Walker Lake does not have road signs and for the amount of taxes they pay and there need to be signs.

Harold Dimmick explained if Walker Lake is so disgruntled, then they need to incorporate and make yourself a city and then enforce your own ordinances.


Hoferer explained the annual financial audit of Mineral County for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018 presented by Arrighi, Blake & Associates.

The audit covers Mineral County; Hawthorne; Walker Lake; Mina; Luning and the utility funds.

She explained that the total liability of the county is $29+ million. There were three budget violations: one for the total expenditures in the judicial function of the general fund exceeded the appropriations by $7,495; total expenditures in the debt for Hawthorne Town exceeded the debt payment fund for $28,154 (payment for the January emergency equipment purchase) and total expenditures of the public administrator’s fund exceeded appropriations by $12,551 because there was no budget.

Discussion with the assessor due to a shortfall in real property taxes of $418,000. Hoferer explained that the public administrator account was set up within her office. She was made aware (after the audit) that there is an account at Financial Horizons Credit Union that has been used and she asked for an independent audit of that account. The Hawthorne Utility water fund was low this year. The county received $856,051 in grants this year.

The audit went well but they are concerned about the general fund balance. Discussion on the assessor’s office receiving funds.

Hoferer stated that the letter to the department of taxation is due in January for violations. The commissioners moved to approve the audit as presented.

Board of Equalization

Clerk-Treasurer Chris Nepper explained that he would like to appoint Cora Towe, Delores Schaar and Nancy Black to serve on the board of equalization for a term of four years. The motion passed.

Trust property

Nepper asked for the approval of the trust property auction expenses, to be held in the Spring of 2019.

Two title companies were contacted for title searches. The cost is approximately $200/title. Nepper stated that there is hundreds of properties for sale. Right now he would like to focus on 60 Hawthorne properties for a sale in April. The Walker Lake properties have deed restrictions and he is working with Chisum on these issues. The commissioners approved the auction.

Highway commissioners

The commissioners suspended the board of county commissioners and went into the board of highway commissioners for the possible action relative to the adoption of resolution #18-022 regarding county 2477 roads and maps.

Tipton explained the RS2477 road process. She read into record the resolution. No decision was made. Dimmick stated he was glad that the roads in Schurz were on the map but wondered if the tribe had been consulted about the roads being on the map. Tipton advised Hegg to meet with the chairwoman of the tribe regarding the roads shown on the map.

CDBG Blight grant

Discussion of the bid acceptance for the demolition of the properties located at 405 E Street and 844 E Street in Hawthorne for the CDBG Blight Grant. Tipton stated no bids were received. Nepper contacted a local company in Hawthorne to give a bid for the property. The cost to demolish 405 E Street is $29,400. The cost to demolish 844 E Street is $28,600. Those bids include demolition and removal to the landfill. Hamrey explained that the awning at Patriot’s Plaza hangs into department of transportation right of way.

Fallon Range

Commissioner Tipton wanted consideration and possible action relative to the Fallon Range Training Complex Modernization Plan. Talk of the natural gas line relocation. The commissioners discussed options that they would like for the Navy to help with.

Resolution #18-022

The discussion of the adoption of resolution #18-022 regarding county 2477 roads and maps.

11th District Court

Judge Jim Shirley met with the commissioners to discuss 11th Judicial District Court business. He discussed the financial side of the court as well as the security camera grant of the court.

Case management software

District Attorney Sean Rowe asked for action on purchasing of case management software for the district attorney’s office. Rowe discussed the need for the new software system and the cost. The commissioners approved the software.