Mineral County Board of County Commissioner highlights from June 19

Public Comment

Hawthorne Utilities Director Larry Grant informed the commissioners that there were some deficiencies in the landfill inspection. The new casing is in the Mina well. Jean Peterson explained that the “Hawthorne” sign will be “going in”. She explained that the Sportsman’s Club has ordered a sheep and a rock for the sheep to stand on. Buck Hall has donated the use of any rocks behind Mr. Beane’s. The Lions Club will be doing landscaping in the area. Glenn Bunch informed the commissioners that the department of wildlife is having their state meeting in Hawthorne and asked for a tour of the signage of Sportsman’s Beach signage. Bunch also gave an update as to property owned by Walker Lake Working Group and some unauthorized changes on that property. Sheri Samson explained that the first meeting of the West Walker Lake Advisory Board was on June 18 with 20 people in attendance. Files for Walker Lake will be held at the courthouse.

POOL Payment

Wayne Carlson met with the commissioners in regards to the acceptance of renewal proposal from Nevada Public Agency Insurance Pool (POOL) and approval for payment from fiscal year 2019-2020 funds. Woody Isom explained that Carlson was not able to attend. Isom went over the coverage with the commissioner. The cost of the new policy will be $239,467.25. Rick Niedzwiecki asked about the rates of coverage for employees.

Accounts Payable

Recorder-Auditor Cindy Nixon and Deputy Recorder Auditor Teresa McNally presented the vouchers, credit card approval and capital outlay purchase orders. The commissioners approved a credit card purchase for DPHI for ambulance license fund. Three capital outlay purchase orders were approved for a total amount of: $13,463.50 for Hawthorne Utilities. McNally stated she had an issue with an elected official over a credit card charge.


The minutes of June 5 were approved. Tom Bergeron, Sr. discussed the open meeting law violation. He believes that the vote for Creative Condos business license should be void.

BLM Updates

Kenneth Collum, Stillwater Field Manager gave the commissioners an update from the Bureau of Land Management. Collum discussed grazing permits, mineral exploration and upcoming off-road races.

Coop Extension Grant

Hope Allen with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension presented the commissioners with the Healthy Communities Coalition Grant Application. She stated that they had already applied due to the deadline. The commissioners approved the forgiveness of the grant application.

Landfill Patent

Grant explained that the BLM requested that Mineral County move forward to obtaining a patent for the landfill by April 8, 2021. BLM went over the steps in obtaining the patent. The cost of purchasing the land from BLM will be $10/ acre. The landfill is 80 acres.

Solid Waste Board

Alicia Sweet asked for consideration and possible action relative to appeals of the Mineral County Solid Waste Review Board decisions and the review and approval of recommendations from the Mineral County Solid Waste Review Board’s decision of applications for adjustments of the solid waste landfill assessment for the 2019-2020 tax year. Sweet explained that there were no appeals but she had a letter to read from the solid waste board regarding adjustments. The commissioners accepted the solid waste board’s recommendations.

Wildlife Fence

Dan McPeake, public works foreman presented the review, approval and signature for award recommendation from Armstrong Consultations for wildlife fence project at Hawthorne Industrial Airport AIP No. 3-32-0009-015-2019. He stated that this bid was kicked back by the FAA and this project will go back to bid in November with the apron bid.

Private Roads

The discussion of the cost and review of Mineral County accepting private or non -county roads, streets to include Lakeshore, Gull and Ahab. The cost is $14,000 for survey and compaction testing. This will be placed on the regional transportation commission agenda.

Business License

The following business licenses were approved: Audio & Visual Solutions; Audio & Visual Rental (Timothy Rutherford); Carmona, LLC. (Hector Carmona) and Clark Pest Control (Chuck Ehmann). Grant stated that he is concerned as where Clark Pest Control will be getting their water from. The sheriff’s office will contact and have the company get in contact with Grant. Hoferer explained that an email from Elizabeth Chisholm, executive secretary to the sheriff – detailed that all mixing of chemicals would be done in Sparks.

Wildland Fire

Fire Chief Chris Lawrence asked for approval of agreement with Bureau of Land Management regarding staffing and pay for wildland fire assignments. Lawrence went over the pay scale for equipment and staff. Tammy Hamrey from the Recorder-Auditor’s office went over the pay scale for current staff if they were fighting a wildland fire. No decisions were made.

Sewer Equipment

Grant discussed changing sewer restricted capital outlay purchase from the approved sand pump mounted barge budget amount of $20,000 to sewer inspection camera to replace existing broke and outdated camera approximately $11,000. Motion passed.

Uncollectible Accounts

Hawthorne Utilities met for consideration and possible action relative to 2018- 19 write-off of uncollectible accounts for Hawthorne, Mina/Luning water systems. Grant went over the list that was provided to the commissioners. Writeoffs were: Hawthorne $4,140.37 and Mina $524.93.


Mark Nixon asked for the approval of amendment to 17.46 to ban billboards at the Town of Walker Lake as requested by Mineral County Regional Planning Commission. Nixon told the commissioners that all billboards require special permits and working with Title 17 – no special permits for Walker Lake will be issued. Commissioner Christine Hoferer asked that this be placed back on the agenda as she would like to review the amendments to Title 17. Agenda item 14, which read, “For consideration and possible action relative to approval of proposed resolution for Walker Lake ban on billboards requested by mineral County Regional Planning Commission” was not heard.

Parcel Map Waiver

As requested by Mineral County Regional Planning Commission, Nixon brought forth a parcel map waiver application for Nevada Copper for Parcel APN 005-110-05. Nixon explained the map to the commissioners. This is for relocation of a Mineral County substation. Price made a motion to accept the parcel map waiver.

Do-it Event

Approval for Western Pyrotechnics Association (WPA) to hold their annual “Do-it” event at the Hawthorne racetrack. WPA will be held the third week of September. Hoferer reminded WPA member to bring their insurance to the clerk’s office.


Michael McNeill asked for consideration and possible action relative to additional soon expected findings by a PERS auditor, the revisiting of who will pay $3,042.07 to PERS for one employee’s work during fiscal year 2012 and who will fill out the additional paperwork to PERS to fully resolve this issue. The amount will be paid out of Mineral County Park and Recreation. Hoferer stated she will get with the recorder-auditor’s office in regards to the journal entry.


Michael McNeill went to the commissioners in regards to the number of strong public comments, Mineral County Convention and Tourism Authority is suggesting the commissioners revise the removing of two trees next to the convention center. The suggestion is to just remove the trees lower branches (any branches 15 feet and below from the ground) not to trim the top of the trees. Price stated that he would like the tree in the Nevada Department of Transportation right-of-way taken out – but a letter to NDOT needs to be drafted. Public works department will work with Cow County Title in regards to the trees on that property.

CC Communication

Jim Nugent met to discuss the expired contract for phone service. Nugent explained that the county is not using some of the featured options offered by CC Communication. Nugent explained that his contact person is Chris Nepper. Nugent did an audit of equipment with Bret Towe, IT Manager for the county. Hoferer asked that the contract and price reduction be placed on a future agenda.

Vegas to Reno Race

Bunch sat in for Donald Jackson seeking permission to cross county roads for Vegas to Reno event on Friday, Aug. 14. He discussed the route.

Park and Rec Board

A letter from Jean Peterson was received and approved to fill a vacancy on the Mineral County Park and Recreation Advisory Board.

July 4th Donation

Michael Stephens asked the commissioners about a donation for the 4th of July fireworks. The commissioners will donate $500 from general miscellaneous – miscellaneous.

Hughes Evaluation

The commissioners conducted the annual performance evaluation of Patrick Hughes, emergency manager, including, but not limited to possible promotion, endorsement engagement, retention, termination, suspension, demotion and reduction in pay, reprimand or no action. Hoferer asked about the county safety manual. Hughes was directed to work on the safety program, safety manual and to work with POOL/PACT on training offered.

Safety Consultants

Hughes asked about contracting with Compliance Safety Professionals as county safety consultants. Niedzwiecki discussed his company. No decisions were made.

United We Stand Grant

Hughes gave an update on the United We Stand grant, fiscal year 2020. Discussion on what was applied for through the grant. No decisions were made.

Closed Session

The commissioners went into 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. There was nothing to report.

Commissioner Recognition

Commissioner Chris Hegg wanted to commend the crews that had been out filling pot holes.