Mineral County Board of County Commissioner highlights from April 17

Commissioner Garth Price was not present

Public comment

A letter from Della Young was read into record regarding Mineral County Economic Development Authority to keep the job in Hawthorne.

Patsy Dobson stated she is unhappy with the vehicles at the care and share. She is upset at how Hawthorne looks and wonders where the codes are. She explains that unless you are homebound or disabled, you no longer can get commodities delivered. A rider of the care and share bus got stuck on the bus lift.

Accounts payable

Commissioner Christine Hoferer explained that a capital projects voucher for $1,342.50 which was payment for half of the dog pound roof repair. A voucher made payable to April Kati was questioned in the amount of $2,017 as well as a voucher for Kati and Merissa Auger for training. Deputy Recorder-Auditor Teresa McNally stated that the training voucher is 100 percent reimbursable. A voucher regarding a voucher from the sheriff’s office for ‘sergeant’ was questioned. A voucher from the Department of Public Safety had information blacked out. Hoferer explained it is public information and asked that it be looked into. Hoferer questioned a voucher from Glenn Bunch Enterprises regarding the work on county radios. She advised that this had come before the board about a year prior. McNally stated that the last invoice was about three years ago. Hoferer advised that former county commissioner Cliff Cichowlaz had explained what license was needed. Discussion of why emergency services pay for their post office box.

The General Indigent fund will be in the negative as well as the Hawthorne Town Fund.

BLM update

Ken Collum, field manager of the Stillwater Field Office in the Carson City district for the Bureau of Land Management met with the commissioners regarding BLM program updates. At the commissioners request, he presented maps of the Fallon Naval Air Station proposed actions. There will be 600,000 acres of withdraw from the counties involved. He explained that there are approximately 400 unpatented mining claims on the land in question. He explained what decision this would have on natural gas, geothermal, etc. in that area. Collum explained public access on those lands. 300,000 acres would be closed and 300,000 acres north of Highway 50 would be multiple use under BLM jurisdiction. Discussion of moving of Highway 361 to Gabbs and the rerouting of the Southwest gas pipe line if the expansion is to move forward.

The Modesto Ridge Runners have been in contact with BLM regarding their upcoming rally. The Best in the Desert organization would like a multiple route assessment from BLM that would be good for ten years. Turkey Track Turquoise, located in the south end of the county, is the only thing new to report on the mining side of BLM.

Ana Fitzgerald, office manager of Hawthorne Utilities, told Collum that the BLM has not returned the landfill permit to her office for 2018.

Rick Niedzwiecki asked if the Navy will be fencing the permitted area of the bombing range.

State Beach

Public Works Director Eric Hamrey met with the commissioners in regards to State Beach (aka Monument Beach) agreement, transfer of land to Mineral County and agreement from Mineral County Sportsman Club Revitalization Project. Darren Hamrey was present to represent the sportsmans club. Eric gave the commissioners a letter of complaint regarding the bathrooms at State Beach. He was unaware that the county was “on the hook” to clean the facilities. Eric stated that if Mineral County does not do maintenance of State Beach, it will revert back to the state. Darren explained that the sportsmans club proposed in 2017 to take care of the area. He read the document to the commissioners. Discussion of removing and replacing the current bathrooms. A ribbon cutting is scheduled for August if the proposed action takes effect.

Smoke detectors

Fire Chief Chris Lawrence gave the commissioners a briefing on partnering with Red Cross to provide free smoke detectors. Red Cross is providing free detectors for Mineral County residents, up to three detectors per home. Businesses and apartment buildings are not permitted. The firemen have to install, they cannot be handed out to the homeowner. Just call the firehouse for an appointment.


The fire department in Hawthorne is now a Narcan distribution center for Mineral County. Lawrence stated that this will be one of seven sites in the State of Nevada for a Narcan distribution center. This is in partnership with University of Nevada, Reno’s center for the application of Substance Abuse Technologies and the Narcan is provided free of cost. Lawrence encouraged people to get a kit. The Narcan is delivered through a simple nasal spray. Mineral County sheriff’s deputies carry the Narcan with them as well as the jail being in possession of Narcan. Only two kits had been distributed. Lawrence advised that no judgment will be passed.

Ambulance billing

Lawrence explained to the commissioners that REMSA will no longer be handling the ambulance billing. Instead, the fire department will be using Be Sharp. This began the first of April.

Noxious weeds

Sean Gephart, Noxious Weeds Coordinator for the Nevada Department of Agriculture met with the commissioners to discuss the Nevada Department of Agriculture Noxious Weeds Laws and Program updates. Gephart stated that Mineral County has the least known population of noxious weeds known. He gave a presentation to the commissioners. Eric explained that African Rue is noxious in Mineral County. Gephart explained that puncture vine (aka goat heads) is one of the most predominate in the county. He explained that Yellow Star Thistle hasn’t been seen in Mineral County but feels that it will be seen here within the year. This doesn’t respond well to herbicides. He explained that the state has an abatement program that can cover up to 80 percent of the cost but that comes with stipulations. The noxious weed app was discussed.

OCJA grant

Sheriff Randy Adams stated that his department would like to apply for the OCJA grant, he applied for $295,000 for radio compliance. Adams explained that Price had already signed the grant. Hoferer made a motion to approve but advised that the sheriff’s office give a copy to her and the recorder-auditors office.

Wellness Expo

Hunter Mitchell, human resources assistant at Mt. Grant General Hospital me with the commissioners to allow county employees to attend/participate in the Wellness Expo schedule for May 14 during working hours. A motion was made to allow participation.

Mina well

Fitzgerald asked that the board chairman and district attorney sign the letter of conditions for Mina New Well ECWAG grant and all other documents pertaining to that grant. She presented many different documents to the commissioner regarding the well. A motion was made to move forward with the documents as requested by Fitzgerald. The district attorney will review the documents.

Landfill assessment

Alicia Sweet with Hawthorne Utilities met with the commissioners to appoint members to the Solid Waste Review Board for the 2019 appeal process for the landfill assessment for fiscal year 2019-2020. The following people were read into record by letter – Robert Swift for Hawthorne; Pat McKay for Walker Lake; Dennis Blazewick for Luning and Rita Crist for Mina. Rowe will also serve. Motion carried.

ADSD grant

Cherrie George, senior services director submitted an item relative to the Aging and Disability Services Division (ADSD) FY20 third-year transportation and case management grant applications. Hoferer explained this was a forgiveness grant due to the time constraint. George was not available but had submitted the information for commissioner review. A motion was made and carried to approve.

Thorne Road

David Ellis stated that the commander of the Hawthorne Army Depot advised Ellis to come to the commissioners to discuss the need for a 4-way stop at the intersection of Thorne Road and Post 4 intersection for safety issues. He said that he commander has reduced the traffic flow at Post 4 to one lane due to security reasons. Ellis stated that there are semi’s that travel Thorne Road “all the time that have explosives” and Thorne Road is a travel road over Ryan Canyon “at a high rate of speed”. Ellis stated that he is scared that someone is going to hit one of these trucks. He explained that the speed limit is 25 miles per hour at this time.

Niedzwiecki asked about the federal police who are assigned at the base and the patrolling of Thorne Road. Ellis explained that the federal police have “147,000 acres to patrol and do not have time to sit there”. Discussion between Ellis and Eric Hamrey as to who has authority to patrol Thorne Road. Ellis explained that Thorne Road is government owned with a county easement.

“It is government owned and we maintain it,” Ellis stated after explaining he has a map which shows jurisdiction. Eric Hamrey requested a copy of said map.

Bonnie DeMars asked Ellis if the road is government owned, why he is asking permission to install stop signs.

“I talked to NDOT [Nevada Department of Transportation] and they did say that they turned it over to the county but it’s still under – it’s on government land,” Ellis explained to Eric after Eric explained that Thorne Road is included in Mineral County’s road inventory. “It is a county road under an easement and that’s the way it was written up on the government plat that we have.” Ellis explained.

Hoferer asks if there has been any accidents at the site. Ellis explained no. Eric explained that this would be the second time that the 4-way stop idea would be installed – to later be taken out due to cross traffic. SOC would put up the signs and maintain them.

“This commander is definitely changing the security down on this. He is tightening it,” Ellis explained to the commissioners.

Eric again requested documents on jurisdiction and map copies of Thorne Road. The commissioners passed Ellis’ request.

Boys and Girls Club

Mandy Glazier with the Boys and Girls Club placed the item on the agenda for the building to be used for parties and events. No motion was made.