Joan Blake with Arrighi, Blake and Associates and Mineral County Recorder-Auditor Cindy Nixon met with the county commissioners on Dec. 4 for the presentation of the annual financial audit of Mineral County for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. [Commissioner Garth Price was present via the telephone].

Mineral County, Town of Hawthorne, Mina, Luning and Walker Lake as well as Hawthorne Utilities were presented with the audit.

Blake explained that the focus of the audit is on “the major funds”.

“Each major fund is audited separately,” she explained to the commissioners. “The financials are yours as a county.”

Commissioner Christine Hoferer pointed out that in the audit, “…property tax revenues were reduced by $1,021,547 under agreements entered into by the State of Nevada. Those are partial abatements for sales and use taxes and property taxes on renewable energy facilities which are the geothermal and the Luning Solar and stuff. That hurts,” she explained to all in the commissioner’s chamber. “That’s a million dollars that Mineral County is not getting, it’s a new revenue source and that’s how other places are looking into geothermal here. We have to start getting loud about it.”

Blake explained there are three properties in which this affects Mineral County.

“I’m glad this is in our financials and now in our minutes,” she concluded.

The general fund of Mineral County was over $7 million dollars. The payment was increased due to the Luning Solar project.

There was a Local Emergency Planning Commission grant that has not been received back from the state and Hoferer questioned Fire Chief Chris Lawrence about it.

There were lower grants and bail down from the previous year.

Hoferer stated that probation and juvenile will need to come in and speak with the commissioners regarding an overage of their budget as well as the sheriff’s office.

The ending fund balance for Mineral County was $1,066,204 in the general fund. The fund balance for PILT is $934,000.

The ambulance fund for Mineral County was $164,000 down from the prior year. “Everything is running smooth, thank you Chris [Lawrence],” Hoferer stated.

The Hawthorne Utilities fund all showed increase in revenue. There are three funds: water, sewer and garbage.

“I think you guys did good this year without the budget violations. Your expenses, you guys are keeping within your budget. I know it’s hard. You guys have a pretty minimal budget,” Blake said.

“The departments did well managing their budgets,” Nixon explained.

Hoferer made the motion to accept the budget as presented, Price seconded.