Official Website for Lincoln County, Nevada

Lincoln County Home Page > Meetings > County Commision Meeting Minutes


May 19, 2008


The Board met in regular session with Chairwoman Ronda Hornbeck calling the meeting to order at 9:08. Clerk Lisa Lloyd called the roll with Commissioners Tommy Rowe, Paul Mathews, Ronda Hornbeck, Wade Poulsen and Bill Lloyd being present. There is a quorum present and the agenda was posted on 5-13-08 to comply with the open meeting law. The Invocation is offered by Paul and Tommy led the Pledge of Allegiance. County Manager John Lovelady is present.


2* Approve/Deny minutes of the May 5, 2008 Regular Commission meetings and May 8, 2008 Budget Workshop Meeting.

3* Approve/Deny request from Lincoln County Clerk to purchase Lincoln County’s portion of a new AS400 for the District Court Case Management System in the amount of $6,254.00.

4* Approve/Deny agreement between Lincoln County Road Department and Nevada Division of Forestry for an Honor Camp crew at the rate of $150.00 per day for FY 2008-2009.

5* Notice of Intention to Act on a Resolution to Augment the following budgets for fiscal year 2007-2008 on June 2, 2008:

Tommy made a motion to approve the consent agenda; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.


Dan McArthur will not be here until 1:00. Ronda asked if there was any public comment on the budget. Hearing none, the Board agreed to continue this item when Dan arrives. John advised that Pioche Fire District does not need to be included in this item. The Board will not approve their budget and action for PFD is stricken.


Recorder/Auditor Leslie Boucher presented the vouchers. Leslie addressed the bill for the Grossbeck Group, the attorney who is looking into the Norcal issue, and asked what fund this is to be paid from. There is a bill from MVJC for reimbursement to their petty cash fund, but it is older than the six months. There is a bill for Overland Hotel and Saloon for Tri County Weed with some of the billings going back to 7-20-07. There are some bills for Moments and Milestones for Department photos that will hang on the walls at the Detention Center. Ronda advised that the county doesn’t pay for photos to decorate offices. Kerry stated that Janine donated her time and these are for the lobby; the only thing she charged for is the frames and one large photo for the public lobby. All department photos were donated. Paul made a motion to approve the $78.42 and $257.00 for the SO’s photos from Moments Milestones; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor. Now addressed is the bill for the Weed District, with some of the bills for Overland being out of date. The county has previously taken a stand against billings being turned in after the six month period. Wade questioned who is late in getting the bill in, the Overland or Tri County Weed. Leslie advised that she believes it is the Overland. The Board agreed that they don’t believe that these bills can be paid as they are beyond the six months. The total for the bill is $1,900. Ronda said that TCW will have to write a letter to Overland advising that they can’t accept or pay bills that are more than six months old. Wade made a motion to deny the bill for the Overland and send it back to Tri-County Weed based on the fact that it is older than six months; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor. Wade made a motion to take the $1,800 for Grossbeck Group out of General County Miscellaneous; seconded by Paul. All voted in favor. Now addressed is MVJC petty cash fund, which dates back to 4-24-06. Greg advised that petty cash funds are not like bills. Greg suggested that the petty cash fund might be too large or hasn’t been used. Wade made a motion to approve the petty cash fund for MVJC; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor. Tommy made a motion to approve the vouchers and payroll and to sign the required sheets later today; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.


DA Greg Barlow advised that the county has received an offer to settle the matter for $40,000; he has the check in his office. Accrued taxes, including penalties, are more than $500,000 on these properties. This property nearly made it to auction some years ago and was almost up to $100,000; Greg felt that $40,000 is deficient. Wade advised that three years ago CM made an offer of $40,000 and it was rejected. Wade made a motion to reject the offer and to have Greg draft a letter and return the check; seconded by Paul. All voted in favor.

#10-ORDINANCE #2008-01

This ordinance would provide for Fingerprint-Based Background Investigations. Sheriff Kerry Lee advised that an ordinance is now required to fingerprint anyone who isn’t arrested. Fingerprinting is done for many things, including 4H and FBI will no longer accept fingerprints if there is no ordinance in place. Once this is in place, the SO will be able to continue to submit this to the FBI. No action is taken at this time as the Board is waiting for the ordinance and will address this later on in the agenda.


ROAD DEPARTMENT SUPERVISOR Steve Chouquer advised that they’ve been working on their spring roads. They are waiting for warm days to patch roads and are working on Panaca right now. All of the roads are getting bladed. Rachel is on the list for repairs/maintenance. Steve has materials that have been purchased and are in storage down there; it depends on oil prices. Steve received a complaint on Alamo concerning the extended dump road; Wade will handle this. The main issue in Panaca is the utility dig-across; the RD has an agreement with them to fix these. Steve believes that there is still some concrete work that needs to be done on the Cold Springs Drop Structure. Once material is received all of the other towns will be patched. The oil inventory has been updated. The state will be making a presentation for the RD to take over more roads.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY Greg Barlow advised that Jimmy Collins’ trial was held in Ely and will be sentenced in June. There will be some jury trials in the fall, including a game trial. Greg will be gone Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week. Greg has spoken with Paul Yamamoto to get the details on the payment to Norcal and this will be on the next agenda. The Board will be able to decide if they want to challenge or just make the payment.

COMMISSIONER TOMMY ROWE reported that he attended the Dry Storage High Level Nuclear Waste Seminar with Wade in Florida. Tommy participated in the Local Elected Officials meeting for the Southern NV Workforce Investment meeting. Tommy had a conference call with Mike Baughman concerning the cooperative agreement with the DOE. Tommy appeared on KDON radio concerning wind energy and wilderness.

COMMISSION PAUL MATHEWS disclosed that his partnership has been hauling sod into the Alamo Children’s Park, but his contract is with the
subcontractor. Paul had no foreknowledge of this when contracts were signed; it happened within the last two weeks.

COMMISSIONER WADE POULSEN attended negotiations with Clerical/Road Units. Wade attended the Dry Storage Conference as well.

COMMISSIONER BILL LLOYD attended Pioche Town Board meeting, negotiations, and budget meetings. Bill advised that they are waiting for the Law Enforcement Unit to come back with their negotiations items. Bill
attended a GID meeting.

COMMISSIONER RONDA HORNBECK attended budget meetings and planning commission meeting. There is a special Commission meeting on 5-22 at 8:30 a.m. Ronda attended a Tri County meeting as well as met
with Doug Carriger, Bob Seal, a group including Jim Torenson who has a proposal to build a prison.


Wade made a motion to go into Panaca Fire District; seconded by Paul. All voted in favor. made a motion to go back into Commission session; seconded by. All voted in favor.

#11-ORDINANCE #2008-02

Doug Carriger of Coyote Springs presented the ordinance. This ordinance will amend title 15 of the Lincoln County Code to ensure compliance with requirements of the Endangered Species Act for surface disturbing activities occurring on lands within the Coyote Springs Planning Area. The US solicitor has asked that procedure be put in place to provide for the charter association to collect mitigation fees prior to disturbing ground. Publication in the Federal Registration will occur the end of this month. Wade made a motion to propose the ordinance and set the public hearing for June 2, 2008, at 10:30 a.m.; seconded by Paul. All voted in favor.

#10-ORDINANCE #2008-01

Wade made a motion to propose this ordinance and set it for public hearing on June 16, 2008 at 10:30 a.m.; seconded by Paul. All voted in favor.


Road Department Supervisor Steve Chouquer has the material to make the repairs; RD will start today and they want to work in conjunction with the town on this. John spoke with Steve concerning the need for repairs to be made by the utilities that cut the roads. Steve has advised that they have an agreement with Panaca for the RD to fix these cuts or trenches. The issue is that when the cuts are made they are backfilled with dirt. The issue is that the entity that makes the cut doesn’t maintain these backfills and they deteriorate until the blacktop is put on. There is some discussion concerning the need to increase fees to cover the cost of road repairs when these cuts are made. The agreement is that the utilities provide water and other things to the RD. Glenn advised that there should be a county ordinance for anyone that will cut the roads and permits associated with such. John will work with Paul to create an ordinance to reduce the impacts.


a) Adoption of a policy for contracting with Lincoln County—John advised that this is not complete.

c) Restoration efforts at the Lincoln County Courthouse—Much of the carpeting is done and will hopefully be completed the end of this week. The entity doing the work will come back in and glue all edges and put the coving in place. Ronda asked if all the desks were left in place and the carpet was cut around. Only those desks that are fixed to the floor are the ones that were cut around. The other issue is that the Commission room and the courtroom were going to be painted prior to putting the carpet in place; that didn’t happen. John believes that the courtroom will be finished the first part of next week. Ronda asked that the courtroom be repainted prior to the carpet being done in there. There is some discussion concerning hiring the Honor Camp doing the painting. John will make arrangements to get paint and to get the Honor Camp crew in place to paint the courtroom. Greg suggested that the county maintain possession of all of the cutoff/rollups from the carpet. Phyllis advised that the carpet people will be back here tomorrow to do the hallways/courtroom. Ronda reiterated the need to get the courtroom painted prior to putting the carpet down. The Treasurer’s office doesn’t need to be repainted. Courtroom, Clerk’s office, judge’s chambers and the Commission Chambers all need to be repainted, the Board agreed. Ronda asked John to see if the Honor Camp will do the painting. Tommy made a motion to have the Commission room, Judge’s chambers, courtroom and Clerk’s office repainted; seconded by Paul. All voted in favor. John will contact the Honor Camp today.

b) Medical benefits for retirees—John continues to work on this. John believes that the cost for what we are currently paying for health insurance is about the same as what would be paid under PEBP. Spousal coverage is not addressed under PEBP; full coverage payment would have to be made to allow for benefits for the retiree’s spouse. Monthly insurance is about $70,000 for retirees and current employees. Tommy asked for a list of who the county is paying for at this time. There will be work in the legislature on this issue and Metro lost their case in the Supreme Court concerning PEBP. Retirees have a premium to pay on PEBPs. John’s verbal understanding of Teamsters is that their retiree benefits continue as when the employee was active. Teamsters has a formula for factoring Medicare, etc, and dependant coverage can continue forward. Teamster and PEBP are about the same cost, but the retiree spousal coverage is much higher for PEBPs. John will put together a packet of information for the Board’s consideration at the 6-2 meeting, including who the county is paying on and how retirement is handled by both Teamsters and PEBP.


Phyllis Robistow, Grants Administrator, presented this item.

a) Update—Phyllis will be in Caliente for City Council meeting for them to make decisions on their parks projects.

e) Agreement with Welfare Set-Aside for $10,000 for assistance for low income families—The county usually receives more money, but the state has cut us back by approximately $7,000. Denice Brown will have to be very careful with the funds this year. A number of people are aided by this. Wade made a motion to approve the agreement with Welfare Set-Aside for $10,000 for assistance of low income families; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.

b) Line of Credit authorization with Welfare Set-Aside for draw down of the $10,000 for assistance for low income families—Wade made a motion to approve the line of credit authorization with Welfare Set-Aside for draw down of the $10,000 for assistance of low income families; seconded by Paul. All voted in favor. c) Change orders for the Alamo Children’s Park—Phyllis advised that there is an additional $5,083 in things that have to be done at the park. There is money in the contingency fund. Wade made a motion to approve the change orders for the Alamo Children’s Park; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.

d) Change orders for the Alamo Rodeo Grounds—A hot water heater is needed for the concession stand in the amount of $2,932. Hardy Construction found a less expensive way to do the audio system and they will be giving back $30,000. Flush handles and galvanized hand rail are reduced rates as well, saving $3,500. The cabinets will be upgraded for the concession stand and the hot water heater will be put in. Tommy asked if a heater was needed for the concession stand to keep the pipes from freezing. There will be a center island in the concession stand as well. Chuck Brechler advised that there were cabinets in the original design. No credit was given as Hardy never saw the cabinets in the design; cabinets weren’t included in the line items of the bid packet. Chuck advised that the cabinets now fill in any space where there would be a refrigeration unit. The cabinets were in the original drawings, but not in the bid packet. Refrigeration has been cut out completely, advised Wade. Ronda questioned how food would be kept cold if there is no refrigeration. Wade said that ice chests will be used. Greg advised that the issues for the county are the suitability for the concession stand to service the public. There is an issue with no refrigeration. Wade said that it can be assumed that the engineer has included a space in the concession stand for a refrigerator. Chuck said that normally there is a concessionaire who has the responsibility to run the concession stand. The concessionaire then leases the space from the county and fills the space with his products; the cost then is for the concessionaire to give a certain percent of proceeds back to the county. It is very unusual that the concession stand will be fully equipped by the county. The counter tops/cabinets are to allow for little league to use the stand. Wade made a motion to approve the change orders for the Alamo Rodeo Grounds; seconded by Paul. All voted in favor.

Lunch 12:00-1:00

#15-RESOLUTION #2008-20

This item concerns the master plan designation which is special industrial district; proposed master plan designation is PUD-CSI. The purpose of the amendment is to ensure consistency of the proposed development in the Coyote Springs Planning Area with the Lincoln County Master Plan and associated maps. The subject parcels are #008-201-03, #008-201-04, #008-201-05, #008-201-06, #008-201-08 and #008-201-15 and are comprised of approximately 29,806.96 acres. Clint Wertz, Planning Director, presented the resolution for amendment. Clint will update the county maps and add CS community plan. Planning Commission has reviewed this. Part of the reason for resolving discrepancies in favor of CS over the master plan is due to the fact that this should’ve been done prior to accepting the master plan. Ronda read the resolution into the record. Tommy made a motion to approve the resolution; seconded by Paul. All voted in favor.


This item concerns BLM’s wilderness planning efforts in Lincoln County, particularly Parsnip Peak, Fortification and White Rock Range Draft Wilderness Management Plans. Dave Jacobson, of BLM, provided the brief on the plan. 45 day comment period will start the end of this month/first part of June. Mass mailing to Pioche, Panaca, Caliente and the surrounding areas of the county will be done. A notice will be put in the newspaper and flyers will be put at the grocery stores and post offices. A public hearing will also be held. Dave said that they look forward to receiving comments. The letter includes the opportunity to request a CD of the plan, which encompasses a small portion of UT. They are working in conjunction with the Cedar City office. The roads to Scotty’s cabin have been closed as they are private property. BLM previously agreed to provide the county access to this area and LC still has an elk plan in the works. Dave advised that they have a crew going in there this summer. Clint requested that he get a copy of the plan throughout the process. Dave advised that they are in the beginning stages of the Mormon Mountains/Delamar plan. There will be a public meeting on this in July. A Technical Review Team (TRT) will not be put together this time; public comment meetings will be held
only. A comment period will be held during the draft and another will occur for final draft. All permittees will receive notification and copies of the plan. Ronda advised that the White Rock permittees have to be allowed to go into the area more than just once per year. Dave responded that there aren’t any time limits set. None of the permit holders identified any time limits.


Chris Hanefeld, BLM, advised that fire staffing is at full staff for LC. The BLM will not be short staffed this summer in LC. Chris spoke with the fire management officer, who will be here on the June 2 agenda for update. There are no equipment changes.


Ken Dixon presented this item.

a) Update—The Lincoln Highlands (LH) development agreement and Eagle Falls (EF) development agreement went before the Planning Commission. LH isn’t approved at this point, but EF was. The Commissioners and Planning Commission will be working through all issues for LH. There is a meeting schedule with LH in the morning at 9:00; a teleconference. Ronda and Tommy will attend the meeting in the morning. Ken advised that there was a meeting with Jim Toreson concerning the activity at Rachel; a prison facility. Jim is proposing a private inmate facility. The inmates will be brought in from CA. The capacity of the prison is 1,500 inmates. This facility would be privately run. The facility will be built and then there will be enough housing built around the facility to provide for the employees. Jim is working on rezoning the property. Jim has enough water to run the facility. Ronda is concerned about the power, but Jim advised that the power was already promised to him from LCPD. Jim also plans to do 8mw of solar; there will have to be a backup plan for when the sun doesn’t shine. This would be a medium security facility. There are some rights-of-way that will have to be vacated. This will be a huge project for the county if it goes through. It is relatively short-term that Jim will have to put all of this together. Jim expects, if he can get the commitment out of the private firm, that he will have this facility up and running by 2012. Ken’s contract expires August 8th. Enough money was budgeted for someone to run the BD. The original plan was that Ken would continue doing what he is doing two days a week. However, Ken has decided to run against Tommy for a seat on the Commission. Ken would like to advertise for someone to run the BD and they will need to be on board prior to July 1st. Ken is working on putting together a job description. Ideally, the person should be a certified building official, or the stipulation can be included that they become so within a period of time after hire. Ken would like to advertise as soon as approved on June 2nd.


Clint Wertz, Planning Director, presented this item.

a) Update—5-22 is a special meeting to introduce the Eagle Falls
development agreement. The last two months have been very busy. June 9th is the next Planning Commission meeting, which is tentatively when Lincoln Highlands will be heard again. The Gnomon contract for 911 database is moving forward. Clint is coordinating between Tracy Lee and the telephone company to make this work. Everywhere the phone company has a phone tap the addresses will be connected to the taps. Clint met with Patrice Lytle of Caliente City, who is in the process of cleaning up their address. Caliente will be renaming some streets to avoid duplicates. Caliente’s addresses need to be part of the county’s addressing system. Ronda addressed wind generation and asked that Clint sit down with her to review and draft ordinances to protect the county. Applications for wind generation haven’t been filed yet; the county needs to protect itself now. Most of the impacts aren’t necessarily the wind turbans themselves; it’s the infrastructure to get to the sites for the turban.


Marge Detraz presented comment concerning nuclear waste. Last time Marge was here she cited the open meeting law as Ronda took her off the agenda. Marge advised that she has taken this to the AG, Catherine Cortez-Mastos. Marge read an article concerning the corruption of public officers and the need for a state AG that would take a strong stand against public corruption. Marge cited comments from Arjun Makejani. Marge referred to an article regarding Lance Malone, who is in prison in California. Kincaid Chauncey and Dario Herrera are serving terms for corruption as well. Marge said that she and Louis Benezet have done two audits of the LC nuclear oversight program. Marge referred to the vouchers, in particular those paid to Robison/Seidler, Brett Whipple, and Barry Neuman today. NV Delegation will never let the Board do this and Harry Reid has more power than anyone else in the Senate. Yet, Marge said, the county still goes on with this and spends the money. There isn’t a route for the railroad but the county plans to build it anyway. The money isn’t meant to be used to build a railroad. Marge read articles from the Las Vegas Sun, May 10, 2008, concerning Joe Egan. Ronda advised that Marge has just spent ten minutes reading the Board an obituary. This Board can read newspapers and this is one of the reasons that Marge isn’t let on the agenda, Ronda said. Ronda advised that public comment is an avenue to allow the public to try and have the Commission resolve issues. Ronda questioned how this Board can resolve an obituary or someone having their ashes spread at Yucca Mountain and asked how the Board can resolve what Marge is putting in front of them now. Marge said that it is because of the vouchers. The consultants are paid every two weeks. Marge stated that the county will never get the water to build the railroad; yet the Board gives them the money every time. Marge advised that nothing has ever been shown her that the Central NV Protection Working group has been disbanded. Marge said that the Board is going to be indicted; according to her audit the Board can’t do what they’re doing and spend the money the way they are.

#14-FY 2008-2009 TAX LEVY

Wade made a motion to approve the tax rate for 2008-2009; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.


Assessor Melanie McBride addressed some of the issues that she has resulting from the flood. Melanie advised that since the damage to the desks was based on the courthouse flood she doesn’t understand why there is consideration about just replacing the tops; this isn’t satisfactory and she will meet with the adjustor. The desks need to be replaced. Melanie is also dissatisfied that her office hasn’t been finished and she continues being put on the back burner. Melanie asked if the Board members have a problem with her putting her office back together on her own. Ronda is concerned that the insurance part of the desks needs to be addressed; they need to be fixed or replaced. Melanie said that there are many things that they won’t know have been damaged until they are taken out of storage. There are little things that will need to be addressed. There is a light, computer and windows that need to be addressed. The window was puttied shut and doesn’t even open. Melanie said that this whole thing hasn’t been organized and it’s causing problems; she continues to be pushed off and having to wait to get back into the building. The Board didn’t see a problem with Melanie moving back into her office. Melanie has spoken with David Passovoy concerning the fact that the safe door needs to be fixed; it won’t close. Melanie will give David and the Board a list of the things that have to be repaired.


Dan McArthur is present and reviewed the budget for FY09. Planning, Fund 110, is discussed. Revenues show a grant of $95,000, which is apparently not to be used to fund any expenses for the year. This will have to come out as it is to be used for the open space plan. That means that this budget is now $95,000 short. In order to fund this the revenue source would have to be the county general fund. $205,140 would be the amount that it would increase to with the $95,000 added in. Ronda advised that she and Leslie spoke with Clint. Clint has advised that he will not be filling the GIS position and as the development agreements go forward a position that would be funded is planner. This opens up the availability to use this person as the coordinator and planner, which means that two of those positions may not be filled until a later date. Ronda said that the $95,000 will be addressed later. Dan will take the planner to $0 and GIS to six months, plus benefits. Bill advised that the planner was already removed from this budget. In the development agreement for Eagle Falls (EF) it says that the planner position will be funded within 60 days. Planning Director, Planning Coordinator and GIS coordinator are the positions funded in the budget. It is believed that $32,000 is the amount overestimated for income in this fund as well. $42,500 is the actual amount of revenue for last year; Dan drops the $73,500 to $42,500. The $95,000 shortage still exists and the Board continues discussing how to handle it. Wade suggested that the money be pulled in from the Land Act Planning fund. Wade made a motion to move $95,000 from the LC Land Act Planning Fund into the Planning Fund, Fund 110, to cover the shortage of the grant and the GIS person will not be hired for half of the fiscal year; seconded by Paul. All voted in favor. Dan continued the review. There is some discussion concerning the negative numbers in the Pioche Town Fund. Right now, the state will accept the budget as is. There will be pressure from USDA for Pioche Public Utilties to raise the rates. The rates will have to be raised by 40% to be self sufficient and pay for depreciation and debt retirement. USDA is a federal agency that loans money; they will not give the county any more grants until this fund is brought solvent. Kay Vernatter has advised the Commissioner and PPU for several years that the rates have to be raised. Wade advised that the obvious solution is that they either raise rates or cut labor. Panaca has had to raise their water/sewer rates for the same reason. Panaca doesn’t have a town budget or county budget to fall back on as there is no “deep pocket” for them to fall back on. Everyone other than Pioche has raised their rates. Pioche is now facing a huge jump. At the end of this year Pioche Sewer will have $0 cash; this is the fund with the current USDA loan. The electrical fund will be devastating in one year from now if there isn’t a fix. This fund is losing $111,000 per year and will be in bankruptcy. PPU is buying electricity from LCPD. PPU needs to raise their rates by approximately 20% on electrical alone. The Board suggested that PPU be brought in concerning these issues at a Commission meeting; Ronda asked John to send a letter of formal request. The cash balance will erode away over time and disappear. At some point, if PPU doesn’t make decisions the Board will have to make them for them. Panaca Town has asked to spend a considerable amount of money. The money was there to spend and funds were allocated to the funds to make the budget balance. The budget had to be cut to balance. The only reason that a negative balance is allowed by the Department of Taxation regarding PPU is because they have the cash to make it for one more year; they have to have a plan in place for next year. Wade made a motion to approve the budget as set forth; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.


There being no further business for the Board to attend to, Wade made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 3:33; seconded by Paul. All voted in favor.

Attest: ___________________________________ Approve: _______________________________

About Us | Site Map | Web Site Policy Statements | Contact Webmaster| Web site by JC Enterprises