County commissioners voted to approve Mineral County Ordinance 249A at the Jan. 2 meeting, and the ordinance went into effect that same day.
At the meeting, a public hearing was held for possible action to adopt Mineral County Ordinance 249A, Bill 265 to amend regulation for nuisance abatement within Mineral County with a large crowd turning out.
Building Inspector Mike Fontaine explained that the ordinance presented to the commissioners was the one that was voted down in 2014 and with the help of a citizen committee, changes were made and that document is what they have in front of them.
“My compliments go out all the citizens that sat on that committee and persevered all the way through it to reach a final conclusion. I really complement all of them because there was some tough times in that whole deal,” Fontaine expressed.
District Attorney Sean Rowe explained that this was the 2013 document that he had proposed with the change of language from the committee.
The appeals process of the new ordinance was explained. Fontaine explained the current process in which a nuisance complaint is handled.
“You come in and put in a nuisance complaint, it has to be agendized, it’s got to come in front of the board of county commissioners, it goes back – it takes three different departments to go out and do a full inspection, it comes back before the county commissioners then a letter is written by my office and given to the clerk-treasurer, the clerk-treasurer has to send out the letter then wait for another response and it is again agendized to see if anything has come up. It then goes back to another letter. Do you see how many tax dollars are being spent?” Fontaine asked.
Fontaine explained under the new process, a call just needs to be made to the building inspector and he can go directly to the nuisance and make a judgment. If imminent danger is found, he would have the authority to contact the property owner and work towards a resolution. If the property owner doesn’t like the conclusion that the building inspector has made in either an imminent danger or regular nuisance complaint, the new ordinance allows the property owner to grieve their claim to the board of county commissioners.
Fontaine stated that one issue that was never resolved was the process of filing an anonymous complaint. Currently, people still need to give their names but others felt that their lives may be endangered due to turning in the person.
It was explained that under the new ordinance – no names will be given as to whom turned in the nuisance complaint. Commissioner Christine Hoferer explained that a form will need to be put on the website so that complaints can be made through the web.
David Bowen from Walker Lake asked if citizens of the county can call Mineral County to come pick up the debris that possibly blows into others properties. Fontaine explained that they would need to know exactly whose debris it was so the home owner will have the option to clean up the mess or a lien can be placed upon that property.
Deputy Clerk Bonnie DeMars asked what people wanted to accomplish with this ordinance. Fontaine explained the time frame in which different items need to be accomplished due to people’s rights and the delivery of certified mail.
Darlene Nelson of Hawthorne explained that something needs to be enforced. If not, “we keep going in a circle.” Nelson asked that it be made illegal for people to ‘shop’ during clean-up days sponsored by the county.
The district attorney asked if there was anyone who was in attendance that is against the ordinance.
“Stop saying what we can’t do and start moving forward,” Hoferer explained after Mary Marinello explained that Mineral County needs to look to the future for the development of Mineral County.
Those that wish to lodge a nuisance complaint may contact Fontaine by calling the building department at 775-945-3671 or 775-316-0415.