Mineral County Commissioner highlights from Feb. 6

Safety message

Patrick Hughes, Emergency Manager gave a safety message regarding workplace safety.

Public comment

Commissioner Garth Price discussed RV living in Mineral County. He stated that he disagrees with what was written in the Independent-News and could like to sit down with the building inspector, planning commission and county directors to discuss this issue. He stated that after sitting in a numerous meetings what was relayed to the commissioners was not what was discussed in the meetings. The meeting discussed sanitation, not living on a piece of private property. He discussed no affordable housing in the county. He stated he would relay a message to Mike Fontaine, Mineral County Building Inspector, that he wants nothing to be done with conditional use permits. This item will be heard at a later meeting.

Accounts payable

Deputy Recorder-Auditor Teresa McNally presented credit card forms from: Price for $275 for a legislative bill tracker; $84.99 for Spectrum Business for emergency management and $54.83 for Platinum Fire Supply for a fire sprinkler head replacement.

Price requested that all departments attach a screenshot of what they are purchasing. The commissioners questioned a tool set for the library. Price asked Hamrey about the new street identification signs.


Deputy Clerk Bonnie DeMars told the commissioners that the Boys & Girls Club sent a letter thanking them for their annual donation.


Amber Torres, Walker River Paiute Tribe Chairman met with the commissioners to request the return of a Native American artifact. She explained that a boundary stone that was taken and put in the Mineral County Museum needs to be put back in its original spot. Price asked Torres if they have someone that can replace the item to its original spot.

The commissioners approved the return of the artifact.


Deputy Sheriff Mickey Boyles represented Mineral County Sheriff’s Office in regards to acquiring BRAZO units. He presented a quote from Tyler Technologies. He explained that the current BRAZO units will be obsolete and that the State of Nevada is offering a 95/5 split with 95 percent of the cost being paid through the state on a grant and five percent paid through the sheriff’s office. The units are used for accidents, citations and data collection. Cost would be paid up front by Mineral County and will be reimbursed by the state. The final impact to the budget will be around $1,800. The commissioners approved this.


Boyles explained that the sheriff’s office would like to sell four vehicles from their fleet and purchase two new vehicles. They are looking at selling three Dodge Chargers and an old K9 Ford Expedition unit. The total cost of the new vehicles would be $50,000. The vehicles would be auctioned off on-line. The commissioners approved the online auction.

EMT course

Fire Chief Chris Lawrence asked for approval of Nevada State EMS grant to assist in paying for basic EMT course in the amount of $5,491.40 to pay for books, online access, instructors and supplies. Lawrence explained this is a forgiveness item as the clerk had already signed the document. This grant is 100 percent funded.

Fire engine

Lawrence asked the commissioners to consider the purchase of a replacement fire engine for his department. He explained that the valves only for the engine currently as the Hawthorne Army Depot would cost $12,450 not including piping and labor. Lawrence presented some lease-purchase options for the commissioners to review. No decision was made. Commissioner Christine Hoferer advised Lawrence to put in a capital outlay request for the fire truck in his budget.

Projection screen

Mike McNeill from the convention center asked the commissioners to select a contractor to install a projection screen at the USO, including installing of four outlets (three in the kitchen) and labeling all circuit breaker panel breakers. He explained there is $5,000 in capital outlay and the money will come from there. The 240-pound screen will be hanging from a beam in the USO building and Hamrey told McNeill that they should engineer the beam to make sure it can handle the weight load. Discussion of this issue led to the audience and commissioners wanting a review of the procurement policy. Hamrey questioned why public works is not working on the electrical issues in this agenda item.

Boys & Girls Club

Eric Hamrey met with the commissioners in regards to Mineral County’s lease with the Boys & Girls Club. Hamrey explained that the heating in the building ran $2,200 one month and $1,500 the next. The Department of Business Industry is coming to do an OSHA inspection on the armory building mid-February. He also explained that the previous contract between the Boys & Girls Club was not signed. Hamrey discussed the kitchen, water heaters and showers. Staci Emm, Director of Cooperative Extension explained that the fire department has equipment in the yard so the kids cannot play as well as office space use by the club and county departments. The commissioners changed some wording on the lease.

Donation of paint

Clerk Chris Nepper would like the county to donate some paint to the Boys & Girls Club. Mineral County School District is working on redoing the floors. Hoferer said it would come out of public works fund.

Wildlife fence

Hamrey discussed an FAA grant application and scope of work for a wildlife fence installation project. Hamrey had attended a previous airport meeting and expressed his concern about antelope on the runway. This grant would put wildlife fencing around the whole airport and expand the cemetery. The fence will go from across from the depot main gate; down to the truck lot; around by the racetrack and cemetery. The height will be six foot high. Hoferer asked Hamrey to use local merchants, if possible.


Hawthorne Utilities Director Larry Grant asked the commissioners to make a decision regarding the scales at the Hawthorne landfill. He said the scales were used when people were being charged for the landfill. The scales cost Hawthorne Utilities $20,000 to install. Price asked if the scales could be sold. Grant explained all the steps that need to be completed before it can be used. Grant explained that his department doesn’t have the expertise to finish the project and a company will need to be brought in to finish the instillation. The commissioners told him to mothball the project until which time it needs to be put into operation.

LEPC grant

Hughes asked the commissioners to approve the Mineral County Local Emergency Planning Commission FY20 SERC OPTI grant. The grant is due Feb. 18. Hughes discussed the monetary breakdown of the grant as well as the wish list of what each department hopes to receive. Hughes was approved for up to $29,000. He will get with other department heads to see what they will need. Hoferer asked Hughes to bring forth 800mw radio needs during budget time.

Public administrator

Beth Cichowlaz, Public Administrator met with the commissioners to do a department update. Cichowlaz discussed an estate were a home had to be sold and an heir was located. She also updated the commissioners on the accounts located at Financial Horizons Credit Union.

Credit card system

Chief Deputy Recorder-Auditor Tammy Hamrey met with the commissioners to review, approve and sign the contract with Bridge Pay and Automated Merchant Systems for the credit card system in the recorders office. The cost is approximately $600. Fees will be charged back to the customers.


Hamrey for Kirk Bausman, Chairman of the Hawthorne Industrial Airport/Mineral County Airport Land Use Advisory Committee discussed the racetrack lease violations with Scott Moderson as lessee. He explained that there was some construction at the racetrack that Fontaine had to “red tag”.

Fontaine told the commissioners that is was “unengineered, unpermitted and unsafe.”

Rowe explained that any improvements would have to come in front of the airport board/commissioners and that there is no insurance on the property.

Moderson had sent a letter to the commissioners in regards to this issue. DeMars read it into record.

The lease was signed in October 2015, must carry insurance and do in-kind work in place of yearly fee. Hamrey’s office received a letter stating that an insurance policy had been lapsed due to non-payment.

“I believe this is a huge liability for the county,” Hoferer said. She would go on later to state that the lease should be terminated due to non-compliance. The board approved the termination of Moderson’s lease.

Regional Transportation Commission

The Regional Transportation Commission met at during a regularly scheduled meeting. Price was nominated as chairman.

Revenue from fuel sold at the airport was $1,511 to regional transportation and $171 to the airport. Total revenue in the regional transportation commission is $195,880.

Hamrey explained road sealing and the history of it to Hoferer. He explained that the road department has been in Mina doing sealing and easement work. The next project will be Walker Lake. Discussion of other roads in the county that need to be sealed.

Hoferer questioned if flashing lights can be put up in the school zone areas.

Cost to fix the Bodie Road (Del Monte Canyon) would be approximately $10,000 to $15,000 stated Hamrey.

Discussion of the Mina Airport. Hamrey stated that the airport is not on county land (on BLM) yet the county has been doing the maintenance. Charles Frost is the airport manager for Mina. Hamrey stated that Armstrong Consultants advised him not to be tied to the property. The next meeting of the Regional Transportation Commission is March 6.

Nuisance complaint

The commissioners met in regards to a nuisance complaint for parcel #001-391-05 (610 Fir Street) in Hawthorne. There were cans outside of the back door (that were taken care of) and an unregistered vehicle. The vehicle issue was turned over to the sheriff’s office.

Mina Town Board

The Mina Town Advisory Council asked to approve Jay Woods as a member. The motion passed.

Military expansion

The commissioners updated the recommendations for compensation for loss of Mineral County land to the military expansion. Price met with Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick who advised Price to hold off on this item. Price will come back in front of the board with her recommendations.


Rowe stated that he had received information from labor/bargaining groups for this year.

George evaluation

The commissioners met to conduct the annual performance evaluation of Senior Service Director Cherrie George, including, but not limited to possible promotion; endorsement engagement; retention; termination; suspension; demotion and reduction in pay, reprimand or “no action.” (Closed session may be held to consider character, alleged misconduct, professional competence, and physical or mental health pursuant to NRS 241.030.) The commissioners went over their scores with George. Hoferer explained that she would get the POOL/PACT evaluation forms to the other commissioners as this one is too vague. George received praises from the board on her work at the senior centers.

Lawrence evaluation

The commissioners met to conduct the annual performance evaluation of Mineral County Fire Chief Chris Lawrence, including, but not limited to possible promotion; endorsement engagement; retention; termination; suspension; demotion and reduction in pay, reprimand or “no action.” (Closed session may be held to consider character, alleged misconduct, professional competence, and physical or mental health pursuant to NRS 241.030.) Price commended Lawrence with bringing back moral and volunteers to the department. Price would like a smoke detector program set up for the county. The evaluation was short and sweet.

Public comment

Price made a public comment regarding his appointment to the SLUPAC board; Nepper explained that the rumor about the Mina Center closing is just that – a rumor. The National NACO conference will be held in Las Vegas this year. Hughes stated he got an invite from Walker Lake regarding preparedness. Hoferer wanted to recognize 22 years of service given to Deputy Bret Charlie formerly of the sheriff’s office.

Cooperative extension

Emm asked if the cooperative extension has a liaison. She explained that her department collects funds in the communities for youth programs. The commissioners chose to put this item on the agenda to assign a liaison and set a policy.