Mineral County Board of County Commissioner highlights for Nov. 20

Approval of Agenda

Commissioner Garth Price stated that he will not be participating in the interviews today due to a conflict of interest.

Accounts Payable

Recorder-Auditor Cindy Nixon and deputy recorder-auditor Alicia Sweet presented the vouchers, credit card approval form requests, capital outlay purchase orders and auditor’s cash report by fund. A voucher from Walker Lake Advisory Board was questioned.

Blood Alcohol Testing

Nixon discussed with the board Mt. Grant General Hospital’s recent decision to discontinue breath alcohol testing (BAT) on Mineral County employees for the purpose of CDL randoms, reasonable suspicions and post-accidents. Hugh Qualls, administrator for the hospital explained how much it costs to maintain the certification and training. Discussion of possibly using the sheriff’s office for the use of breathalyzers. Discussion of reaching out to SOC to partner in using their facility and breathalyzer. The item will be pushed until the next meeting.

BLM Update

Kenneth Collum, field manager for the Stillwater Field office Carson City district. The Pilot Table grazing permit comment period has ended. There are applications for drilling at the Wild Rose Geothermal project. A rancite clean-up is going on at an old arsenic mine dumpsite that is about a ¼-acre. Notice of intent for 32 active exploration, Isabella Pearl is looking to expand their leach pad, Luning Solar has looked at expanding, Navy is finalizing their AIS by the end of this calendar year, the BLM Washington move was given 30 days to make their decision and additional days to move, the draft Mineral County recreational map has been finalized and races will have specific routes to choose from. Eric Hamrey asked about Huntoon Valley being made into a wilderness area.

Leave Donation

Hamrey requested leave for a county employee undergoing medical treatment. The board decided that 80 hours per donor can be donated after the employee has exhausted their leave. Hoferer discussed FMLA with Hamrey.

Sale of Firetruck

Fire Chie Chris Lawrence discussed with the commissioners the ladder truck repair cost and possible sale. He explained that the truck has a major hydraulic leak. Cost of repairs would be around $20,000. He would like to put the truck up for sale and get what they paid for it [$6,000]. Hamrey question whether the fire truck has to be put up for auction or sold outright. Rowe advised to put the truck up for sale.

Server Purchase

Computer technician Bret Towe asked the commissioners to purchase of backup server for new system. Towe explained this was for redundancy and was not budgeted. The server will cost $33,000. Hoferer asked how much Tyler Technologies is backing up the system. He advised that it is done nightly but no disaster for Eagle or DevNet. He was asked to look into financing options and shop around for location to store the server.

Pool Remodel

Park and recreation coordinator Christina Boyles explained that there is needs to be a deed restriction placed on Lions Park as part of the requirements for the Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant for the pump room remodel at the Lions Park Pool. Hoferer requested that the commissioners get a copy of the deed restriction prior to recording. Boyles doesn’t need to come back in front of the commissioners.


Kimberly Burgess, partnership specialist from the US Census Bureau provided an overview of the 2020 Census and the importance of an accurate count for the community. Efforts are most successful when there is participation from community partners and grassroots organizations to help educate and motivate people to self-respond. Census day is April 1, people can respond mid-March. Hoferer will write up an article for the Independent-News. This item will be back on the agenda for Dec. 18.

Salary Increase

Cherrie George, senior services director sat down with the commissioners requesting a salary increase for currently employed director positions in the following departments: Hawthorne Utilities, Library, Public Works/Road, Senior Services and Fire: an increase equivalent to what was recently awarded to the undersheriff, with current fiscal year increases to be paid out of the general fund.

George explained she took this upon herself after the undersheriff was given the pay increase by doing grants, benefiting Mineral County, etc. She explained that many directors’ supervise/hire/fire employees write and manage grants for the benefit of Mineral County. George discussed the undersheriff’s salary and overtime. She asked for a $5,000 increase for each director listed because they do the same as the undersheriff. Commissioner Chris Hegg explained he isn’t into a “wholesale raise” and some directors may not deserve it. Rowe warned him not to go there. Hamrey explained that salaried employees do not get overtime. Discussion of grant writing for different directions. Hoferer explained why she didn’t agree with the pay increase and Hegg countered her with his “wholesale raises”. Hoferer advised the directors to each come back and speak for themselves in front of the board. No decision was made.

Fee Increase

Nixon explained to the board that the legislative mandated to increase legal services (NRS 247.305)(3)(a) recording fee from $3 to $5, effective Jan. 1, 2020. This was a discussion item only. Nixon wanted to let the public know the new pricing to be in effect. Hoferer asked about the increase and Rowe stated he will get with Judge Jim Shirley for indigent guardianship matters. Nixon included the updated fee schedule for her office.

ARC Services

Nixon then asked for the board’s signature on the Joinder Provision Agreement, allowing Mineral County to exercise ARC services under Washoe County’s Medical Services contract #3086-19 to include all prices listed in the contract with consideration. This item was approved.

Support Letter

Staci Emm with Cooperative Extension and Jeff Bryant with Walker Basin Conservancy agendized the approval and support letter with $5,000 match towards Walker Basin Conservancy and Cooperative Extension Regional Conservation Partnership Program grant. Schyler Hagen represented Emm and Bryant. The commissioners will move forward in support of this grant with a letter and $5,000 in match money.

Annual Review

The commissioners held the annual review of Bret Towe, Mineral County computer technician, including, but not limited to possible promotion, endorsement engagement, retention, termination, suspension, demotion and reduction in pay, reprimand or “no” action. Towe and commissioners discussed various issues/ ideas for his position.

Liaison Duties

Hoferer wanted to discuss the board of county commissioner liaison assignments. Hoferer asked Hegg about the LEPC meetings and asked if she could take over that responsibility. Hegg agreed to this change. Hoferer stated she no longer wants to be on the Western Nevada Development District board. She feels her time could be used better somewhere else. Agenda items Hoferer wanted to talk about the cut-off/deadline time to place items on the board of county commissioner agenda. Discussion of why the deadline changed from Wednesday to Tuesday. Hegg explained he needs time to review submissions as well. This will help both the clerk’s office and commissioners.

Compensation for Duties

Price wanted to discuss compensation for Patrick Hughes, emergency manager working out of classification for filing in for the building inspector. Hoferer stated she believed that the compensation would be five percent for working out of classification. Price made a motion to give Hughes the five percent compensation for working out of classification. The commissioners will retrograde it back to July 1, 2019 when Hughes started filling in for the building inspector.


Clerk Chris Nepper asked about purchasing Laserfiche from Precision Document Imaging for scanning of office documents for digital storage. There were two quotes, one for $15,000 and another for $8,000. Hoferer doesn’t believe this is an emergency purchase and would like to see this budgeted for next year. No decision was made.

Closed Session

The commissioners went into closed session pursuant to Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 241.015(2)(b)(2) to receive information from legal counsel relative to potential or threatened litigation against Mineral County.

Open Session

The commissioners went back into open session.

Commissioner Recognition

Price stated he called into the NACO meeting and explained that a presentation was made to lobby for Cooperative Extension funding.

Building Inspector

Candidates came forth and interviewed with the commissioners regarding hiring for the building official/inspector position. There were five applicants. Hoferer made a motion to hire Michael Rolland for the building official/inspector position with his salary to be $45,000 and the starting date to be set after the recorder’s office contact him. [Price was absent from this item.]