Mineral County Commissioner highlights from May 15

Safety message

Patrick Hughes, Emergency Manager gave the safety message regarding safety in public places of assembly and campfire safety.

Public comment

Shari Samson read a letter into record regarding an item she would like put on the agenda being removed pertaining to Walker Lake. No action was taken.

Accounts payable

The commissioners questioned a voucher from information technology for cloud service. Commissioner Christine Hoferer questioned the payment two months early for this service and asked the auditor-recorder to call and inform them that payment is due July 1, not in May.

A letter was requested to be sent regarding the use of county credit card and Hawthorne Utilities.

Discussion of charges through Verizon for text messaging charges.

BLM update

Kenneth Collum, Bureau of Land Management – Stillwater Field District manager met to give the commissioners an update. There are four new grazing allotments the BLM is working on. Wild Rose Geothermal wants to deepen a lease hole. On Sept. 17, four allotments in the Gabbs Valley to the southeast of Wild Rose will be up for bid. Luning Solar will be working on weed abatement. Relinquish of Mineral County Transfer Station to Mineral County. Thor Mining has reached a hiatus point. Turkey Tracks Turquoise is working with NEPA. Walker Lake campgrounds have increased in numbers. Sierra Dog Trails, July 13-14 run is still scheduled. Modesto Ridge Runners, Aug. 9-10 will start and end in Hawthorne. Commissioner Garth Price asked about the naval land expansion. Collum stated that the Navy is now compiling comments given to them. Collum discussed this with the commissioners.

Business license

The following business licenses were approved: Freiberger Construction (Roy Freiberger) and Horizon Ridge Clinic LLC (Bruce Eddins).

Liquor license

The following special event liquor license was approved: Barley’s Sports Bar (Cassie Dore’).

LLR training monies

Sheriff Randy Adams discussed with the commissioners about changing the account the LLR training monies were taken out of for the Las Vegas training. Adams stated that he had discussed this with District Attorney Sean Rowe and the item should not have been on the agenda.

Fuel costs

Adams discussed with the commissioners the cost of rising fuel costs. He stated that fuel is going up 14 percent and wants to make sure that the commissioners are aware of that before budgeting finalization.

OCJA grant

Adams discussed applying for the OCJA grant. He explained that this application was broken down into three parts: $180,000 for this year; $40,000 for the next year and $78,000 the following. This was at the request of the grant committee. This will be for a radio system – no match grant.


Geri and Jack Taylor and residents per petition would like consideration and possible action relative to request for resolution for proposal on Walker Lake ban on billboards. The commissioners explained that this needs to go to the planning commission first for review. No action taken. Rowe explained that the billboard company reached out to him and they are looking at doing a land swap and find an alternative place for a billboard.

Walker Lake roads

Ron Wilson, Walker Lake residents requested that the county take over the private or non-county streets and roads in Walker Lake including East Cottonwood, Lakeshore, Ghull and Ahab. Eric Hamrey, Public Work Director, stated that those roads are private property and posted as such. Wilson stated that the roads have not been maintained since 2012 and this affects their property value. Assessor Kevin Chisum gave his opinion of the commissioners taking over the roads. David Bowen and Sheri Samson gave their opinion on this topic. Geri Taylor explained the hazards of the wind on the Walker Lake roads. Hamrey was tasked with getting ahold of an engineer for cost of engineering study.

AFD donation

Alicia Dalton asked the commissioners for a donation for the Armed Forces Day youth bands for children in need in Mineral County. She was given $500 from the commissioners.

Public defender

The renewal of the public defender contract was discussed with John Oakes. Rowe stated that the current public defender contract will expire the end of June. Oakes stated that he took his son off the contract due to the need of other attorney’s needed in the county. Hoferer made a motion to accept the public defender’s contract at $105,000. The motion passed.

Advisory board

The commissioner met to consider the appointment of members of the West Walker Lake Advisory Board. DeMars stated that there are four applicants but five are needed. Price stated that they will vote on the four letters of interest as a quorum is three for that board. Mary Knoll-Bowen, Mary Marinello, Shelley Hartmann and Shari Samson’s names were read into record for interest on the board. Motion approved for acceptance.

Nevada legislature

The commissioners met to discuss any and all pending legislation currently proposed at the Nevada Legislature. Nothing reported.

USO marquee

Mike McNeill with Mineral County Convention and Tourism Authority Board met with the commissioners about the trees blocking the USO marquee. McNeill stated that two trees block the view of the marquee. One tree is on Nevada Department of Transportation right-of-way and NDOT will need a letter from the commissioners to remove. The other tree is located on Cow County Title property. Rowe explained that if Cow County Title gives permission for the tree to remove – then remove them. McNeill stated that his board has asked for both trees to be totally removed. Hoferer asked for a letter from Tom at Cow County Title. The commissioners will write a letter to NDOT and Price will call NV Energy regarding the limbs tangled in the tree.

Communications facilities

An item was placed on the agenda regarding owner’s underlying consent to place underground communications facilities within maintained highway right of way. A spokesperson for CC Communications stated that NDOT claims to only have an easement going south out of Hawthorne. NDOT does not own the right of way at Highway 95 and O Street. CC Communications is working with Switch. The commissioners were advised that Clerk Nepper has information and the papers which need to be signed to facilitate getting CC Communications linked in.

Business license

Rowe met to amend the Mineral County business license ordinance. Rowe asked the commissioners if they have any questions regarding this ordinance. Hegg would like to see a “new business” packet. Hoferer requested for the wording of the proposed ordinance. The current ordinance is from the 1960’s. Rowe will put this back on a further agenda.

Closed session

Pursuant to NRS 288.220 to discuss/review all labor/bargaining unit contracts, grievances and negotiations.

Open session

The commissioners came back into open session. Nothing was reported.