A few items from recent Mineral County Board of County Commissioners minutes included the following:

  • Cherrie George, Senior Services Director stated Comptroller Hillary Womack reminded her of her department’s cash balance and wanted to remind the Board during budget hearings last year, Care and Share gave up $25,000 of the $50,000 transfer from the general fund. They are expecting grant monies for (4th quarter) October-December 2021 and will have some money coming in soon. Ms. George would like to ask the board to approve the $25,000 transfer she gave to the general fund last year. Commissioner Schlepp stated the money was given back because Care and Share was pretty much closed down, was there something that came up that you expended more than anticipated?
    George stated we had been trying to operate on bare bones minimum. They lost $27,000 from the transportation grant because of COVID. Commissioner Schlepp asked if they had seen an uptick in food prices with the current economy. Ms. George advised they have been seeing price increases since COVID. We are trying to average $5,000-$6,000 food cost a month (including containers).
    Commissioner Hall asked if they had cut her drivers/vehicles. Ms. George stated she did not do any layoffs during the shutdown, she didn’t know how long they would be shut down, so she kept the personnel and they helped with other things. They also have two positions still open; a driver, and a driver fill in. Commissioner Schlepp asked if the money could be transferred. Commissioner Hoferer advised making it a transfer, rather than a temporary transfer of $25,000.
  • Tyson Falk of Ioneer spoke to Commissioners and gave a presentation regarding the Rhyolite Ridge Lithium/Boron Project. Ioneer is well on track to have funds in place, because the Buckwheat plant has become endangered, Ioneer submitted a revised plan and moved the project away from the buckwheat. There will be a buffered zone around the buckwheat. There will be an estimated 250 people in the workforce.
    Ioneer wants a good place for employees to live. The estimated population is around 1,000 people including contractors and families. They are working closely with Esmeralda County also. There will be (bus) transportation to and from the plant for employees to minimize impacts on the roads. Commissioner Schlepp asked if there was a projected date. Mr. Falk replied, hopefully, the Notice of Intent will be issued and Ioneer will be able to proceed by the end of this year. He stated that after about two years of a construction period, they should be operational.
  • Patrick Hughes, Mineral County Emergency Manager is reviewing a memo he sent out to staff about OSHA requirements for using or storing chemicals. All hazardous chemicals must be labeled and all employees must know what is in the container and must have a safety data sheet. Each department needs to be responsible.
    Hughes will work with Pool Pact to streamline and make it easier. They have an online service. If you have chemicals in your area that do not have a label and don’t know what it is, don’t use it. Make sure bottles are labeled when used from concentrate. Hughes is working on a safety newsletter to come out once a month.