Mineral County Board of County Commissioner highlights of Oct. 16

Safety Message

Pat Hughes, emergency manager gave the safety message regarding safe winter driving.

Accounts Payable

Recorder-auditor deputy Teresa McNally presented the accounts payable vouchers, credit card approval form requests, capital outlay purchase orders and the auditor’s cash report by fund as presented on the agenda. A credit card approval was for Amazon Prime. It was explained that one commissioner approved and it was explained that these approvals need to come in front of all three commissioners. Discussion of the travel per diem policy. Two capital outlay forms for Hawthorne Utilities were presented for signature. One for trash cans at $11,460 and one for a vehicle hoist at $5,711.40. McNally stated that the county business card does not work at Golden Gate Petroleum in Hawthorne. Commissioner Christine Hoferer questioned Justice of the Peace Mike James about his deputy clerk’s using rubber stamps. She advised him to get with the district attorney. James informed the commissioners that his department will be purchasing a desk and file storage for the chief clerk.


A letter from Shelley Hartmann to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding a proposed Walker Lake pumped storage facility was received. It was read into record.


The minutes from Oct. 2 were approved but Hoferer asked that the agreement between Mineral County and Hawthorne Convention Center be put back onto the agenda.

BLM Update

Kenneth Collum, Stillwater Field District manager – Carson City District. The BLM is drafting a letter regarding their concerns for the naval expansions. Graving for the Pilot Table graving district decision should be available by the end of this year. The Don Campbell Power Plant is testing different processes for heating/ cooling processes. Liberty Utilities will put in an application to expand the Luning facility. Mineral County Recreation map in its final stages. Move Out West – BLM, 14-16 people will be reporting to the Nevada State Office as well as 20 personnel will report to Washington, D.C. Glenn Bunch stated there is a move by the conservationist’s to deny the Lithium mine because of buckwheat.

Secured Roll Changes

Assessor Kevin Chisum asked for secured roll changes for fiscal year 2019- 2020 for parcels: 1-153-15; 1-334-27; 1-111- 06; 1-273-03; 2-213-22; 1-285-02; 8-143-06; 1-084-03; 1-382-08; 1-382-06; 8-033-33; 8-033-32 and 1-044-16. Rick Niedzwiecki asked about exemptions and Chisum explained.

Tree Trimming

Public Works Director Eric Hamrey asked for the board’s approval to hire a tree trimming company to prune and/or remove trees on Mineral County property. MD Tree Surgery will do tree removal/trimming with help from the library to pay for these costs.

Library Carpet

Kellie Zuniga, Museum Director asked to purchase mats or carpet for the Mineral County Museum. Niedzwiecki asked about asbestos. Zuniga will move forward on working on flooring for the museum with funding through the Norma Joyce Scott fund.

TV Assessment

Robert Thorndike, Chairman of the Mineral Television District 1 met to increase the annual TV assessment on property taxes for Hawthorne, Mina, Luning and Walker Lake parcels. The board would like to raise the price from $25 to $30 on parcels in order to update equipment. The last tax increase was in 1994.

Creative Condos

Mark Nixon, Chairman of the Mineral County Regional Planning Commission brought forth the board’s recommendations regarding the request for approval of special use application for Parcel 006- 660-01 made by Creative Condos IV, LLC. for marijuana cultivation. Nixon stated that the planning commission recommends approval. There was one naysayer at the meeting but Nixon stated they could not find any legal issues to not approve. Hegg read the letter from the planning commission into record. Hoferer questioned why the deed of trust was attached to the paperwork. Nixon explained some people show the deed to state that the taxes are paid. She stated that wanted it on the record she has an issue with the location of Creative Condos greenhouse grow property and that it was also “an item that this board was accused of violating the open meeting law and not making it clear that it was a marijuana cultivation business license.” She questioned why the district attorney was not present for this item. She questioned why the item says marijuana grow and cultivation on some paperwork but in the packet it states that Creative Condos would be used for cultivation and sales. “I don’t want any problems with this item,” she told all in attendance. A representative from Creative Condos stated that their company will not be opening a dispensary. The sales are in regards to selling to distributors. There may be some outdoor cultivation but not at this time. Approximately 15- 20 people will be employed. Price made a motion to approve. Hoferer seconded the motion. All three commissioners voted in favor of the application for Creative Condos.

Deputy District Attorney

The commissioner decided on the salary and qualifications of a deputy district attorney as agreed upon in 201- 2020 budget hearing on March 25, 2019. Hoferer put this item on the agenda because of budget hearings and the deputy district attorney would be hired on an employee of the county. In September, a deputy district attorney was hired at $75,000 an hour plus benefits with a changed job description. The employee will take the Nevada Bar in February. Hoferer stated that the recorder’s office holds all current job descriptions for the county and feels that Rowe should have brought the new job description in front of the board. Rowe stated that the new person is an attorney and is a great hire for the county.

Building Inspector

The commissioners tried to fill the position of building inspector/official, again as agendized by Hegg. Rowe asked the commissioners set a special meeting to move forward on this item as the agenda item needs to be properly advertised.

CC Communications

Rowe asked the commissioners for approval to enter into a contract with CC Communications for internet services. He stated that he can take this item off as business entities don’t have to enter into a 12-month contract. No action.


Rowe asked for approval to purchase three-year service contract with Thompson-Reuters for CLEAR and Westlaw Next products with reimbursement through child support incentive funds. The cost is $29,000 but reimbursable through the State of Nevada child support incentive funds. Hoferer made a motion to move forward with this item, with the funds coming from PILT to be reimbursed.

Premium Energy Holdings, LLC

Rowe explained to the commissioners that a notice of preliminary permit application for a feasibility study proposed by Premium Energy Holdings, LLC, to develop a pumped-storage water project near the Town of Walker Lake. He wants their blessing to move forward with the county’s objections.

Public Comment

Sheri Samson stated she had put an agenda item on regarding Northern Nevada Development Authority. She stated that the item was removed by the chairman of the commissioners.


Price gave recognition to Hawthorne Utilities for cleaning up the mud pits across from Lions Park.