PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF LINCOLN, STATE OF NEVADA
January 20, 2009
#1-CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL/INVOCATION/PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The Board met in regular session with Chairman Paul Mathews calling the meeting to order at 9:08. Clerk Lisa Lloyd called the roll with Commissioners Tommy Rowe, Paul Mathews, Ronda Hornbeck and Bill Lloyd being present. There is a quorum present and the agenda was posted on 1-13-09 to comply with the open meeting law. The Invocation is offered by Ronda and Bill led the Pledge of Allegiance. County Manager John Lovelady is present as well.
2* Approve/Deny minutes of the January 5, 2009 Regular Commission meeting.
3* Accept Resignation of Tami Maxwell from Alamo Town Maintenance, and Appoint Melissa Linares to Alamo Town Maintenance.
4* Approve/Deny letter of support for the County Public Health Nurse.
5* Approve/Deny Appointment of Dan McArthur as independent Auditor for FY 2008-2009.
6* Approve/Deny authorization for Dan McArthur to do an analysis and regarding the Honor Camp.
7* Approve/Deny change in Mileage reimbursement rate from $.585 to $.55 effective January 1, 2009.
Ronda made a motion to approve the consent agenda; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.
Recorder/Auditor Leslie Boucher presented the vouchers. There is a voucher for Summit Engineering that has been previously approved, but Leslie would like to change the funds that it is being paid from. Tommy made a motion to pay the voucher for Summit Engineering ($4,000 out of General County/County Survey Fund, $4,067 out of Fund 93); seconded by Ronda. All voted in favor. Tommy made a motion to approve the vouchers as presented; seconded by Ronda. All voted in favor.
#12-OFFICER/DEPARTMENT HEAD REPORTS
RECORDER/AUDITOR Leslie Boucher presented the cash balance reports. General County has a balance of $701,697.84 with estimated expenditures being $151,898.45. This leaves General County with a balance of $549,799.39. Transportation has a cash balance of $29,955.54. Nutrition has a negative cash balance of $11,456.22 with estimated expenditures being $8,222.50. This leaves Nutrition with a negative balance of $17,038.72. Paul advised that he and John haven’t had a chance yet to meet with Toni Pinkham concerning this deficit. Detention Center has a negative cash balance of $104,048.49 with estimated expenditures being $78,924.44. Receipts not posted are $178,220.00 and total revenue was $74,171.51, which leaves Detention Center with a negative balance of $4,752.93. Solid Waste has a balance of $6,117.44. Greg advised that they are getting ready to start the small claims. There is still an issue about billing; the Board hasn’t decided what rate to bill the public and solid waste bills haven’t been sent out.
#9-BOARD OF HIGHWAY COMMISSIONERS
This item is handled under a separate agenda.
#10-URSINE PROPERTY AND LAND SURVEY
Paul Donohue presented this item. There has been a request to do land surveying. When the surveying was done, Paul’s relatives opted to take part. During the survey, it was discovered that the marker was 80 feet off. No one is protesting where the property is. Mr. Smith surveyed the property and broke it down. Paul advised that he has deeds that go back 108 years. Paul is asking that the deeds be made to match the map and doesn’t feel that going through quiet title is necessary. Paul requested that the Board support Clint Wertz, Planning Director, in his efforts to clear this issue up. Clint also believes that quiet title is not necessary and that the deeds can be changed. Paul would like to sit down with the county surveyor to discuss this. Paul further recommended to the Board that staff be authorized to create and present a plan for correction to the Board. Ronda advised that through the courts the old fence line rules based on the court case filed by Hollinger. The fence lines have been there for over 100 years. Ronda said that there is a problem as the survey line that was established way back when is off. Every attempt to correct the survey has turned up something different. Ronda offered her support to Paul in remedying this problem. DA Greg Barlow said that there is no duty for the county to do anything. Greg said that they can resolve by apportioning deeds or whatever, but down the road when it comes time to sell the lending institutions will require clear title; this could lead to problems in the future. A map can be filed and divided up, if desired, said Greg. Greg said that there are two court orders establishing boundary lines. Tommy asked what has to be done to approve the parcel map so that it can be recorded. Greg advised that the surveyor has lent his opinion and the Board can accept the map as presented. All this does is shift the problem down stream and it will have to be dealt with at some time. Greg said that the circumstances are favorable for a court decision. The cost should be reasonable. Greg commented that the Board can accept the parcel map taking into consideration that the county surveyor has said that there’s a problem. Paul commented that it is frustrating for his family to hear that it isn’t the county’s responsibility. Paul referred to hand drawn maps that were recorded in 1983. If the county allowed that to happen, Paul believes that the county could be responsible to help correct the matter. Paul would like staff to be allowed to come up with a procedure to remedy situations like this. Paul said that there are many residents in Ursine affected by this. Greg has advised that if the family doesn’t intend to sell the property then they can proceed without quiet title. Whoever desires in the future to sell will have to go through the process to quiet title. Greg said that staff can’t say that clear title has been issued; only courts can do that. The only way to ensure clear title at this point is to take this issue through the courts. Paul said that this property has been in his family for 108 years; this is very clear title. None of the neighbors are disputing it. Paul asked that the Board aid in the bureaucracy of this issue.
Louise Buettner asked that this item be continued to the 2-2-09 agenda as she will have more to report. This item is tabled.
#14-PIOCHE PUBLIC UTILITY LABOR AGREEMENT
This item concerns a labor agreement between Lincoln County and Pioche Public Utility employees. John Lovelady has been discussing the reason for the labor agreement with the PPU Manager. John asked the Board why the agreement is needed since it all comes back to county policies. Paul said that he feels that the formalized agreement is necessary since there is an advisory board in place. If there is no agreement in place, these employees will fit into the classification and range table that is in the process. They would also follow the personnel policy and county payroll schedule. This agreement is not complete; no action is taken.
#15-PIOCHE PUBLIC UTILITY PAYROLL CHANGES
This includes payroll changes for PPU Office Manager, Office Clerk and Operator/Maintenance Worker. This is the 3% cost of living from last July. Ronda made a motion to approve the 3% increase, retroactive to July 1, 2008; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.
#16-FTA DRUG & ALCOHOL TESTING POLICY
This policy concerns LC Transportation. DA’s office has reviewed this and finds it appropriate. Tommy made a motion to approve; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor. The drivers must read the entire policy and sign off that they’ve received and read it.
DA Greg Barlow advised that he’s received a copy of the ad that Norcal has placed in industry publications from Mr. Grossbeck. Paul’s opinion is that a rate increase should be approved for whatever the CPI is. Paul further cited that contracts shouldn’t be signed making the county liable for higher rates. Greg advised that this has been a routine agenda item and a rate increase will have to be agendized. Treasurer Kathy Hiatt can’t send the bills until the Board takes formal action on a rate increase. John commented to the Board that he will put the rate increase on the 2-2-09 agenda. Paul stated that Mr. Grossbeck’s services will most likely be needed in the future. Dan McArthur, the county’s auditor, is working on setting a meeting time to review the books to see what the county is being charged for monthly. Norcal hasn’t been willing to open their books to the county as of yet. Paul commented that the reason that he is taking a harder line is due to the fact that 30% per year increase is ridiculous. Paul doesn’t see how the county can accept this when is so damaging fiscally. By the third year, it will cost $1.5 million for garbage service. Paul further commented that the county shouldn’t be included as part of the risk for the development of business. The county doesn’t need to be in the position of taking the risk on. Paul feels that the contract increase should be whatever the county approves per year, up to 30%. Paul further suggested that if Norcal doesn’t accept or agree with this then the county should legally have the contract scrutinized. If the same line of Norcal’s reasoning is continued the county will be broke; the county can’t afford to meet the terms of the contract at the exorbitant rate increases being demanded. Norcal was willing to work with the county in asking what we want, but the majority of the asking was based on a five year extension of the contract (all of the monies owed will be put in a deferred account). If Norcal couldn’t secure a contract within the extended eight years, it would be forgiven. With another eight years of increases, the county would be indebted several million dollars. Greg doesn’t recommend the extension of the current contract as it is unreasonable and unilateral. A basis needs to be established for the increases, Paul said, similar to the industry CPI. Greg recommended that the Board wait for the report from Dan McArthur before approving rate increases. Paul is not in favor of either the indebtedness or deferment. The county is currently paying $17,000 per month for the Norcal billing, which is coming from county funds with no monies coming in to replenish the expenses. No action is taken.
Phyllis Robistow, Grants Administrator, presented this item.
a) Update—Phyllis is working on year end reports. SNPLMA was last week. Five projects were presented, four of which were second phases of already started projects. Two from Alamo, two from Caliente and they will try to go into the special account reserve monies to complete these projects. The fifth project is the LC Fair & Rodeo grounds, which came in 11th. August will be when we hear what projects are being funded and at what rate. Ronda commented that there were only two projects submitted this year that were over $1 million, neither belonged to LC. White Pine will be phasing their project so that LC can move forward as well. The second phase of WP’s project will be submitted in Round 11. There is always a 10% contingency fee incorporated into the amount that is in the pot, but it was reduced to 5% this year. When the final results come in, LC may have over $900,000. There was only $9 million in SNPLMA funds this year. Phyllis attended a Social Services meeting in Las Vegas last week. Mike Willden gave an overview of what his budget may look like. IAF and SUP funds will be swept through 2001. The Seniors rebate Program will stay at the state level. The hospitals will receive another rate reduction on Medicaid. The county match program for long term care will stay the same at $.08. 48 beds are being pulled from Las Vegas Juvenile Center and 20 each from Elko and Caliente, which will result in about ten jobs lost for LC. Mental Health will close eight more rural clinics. The county residents already have to travel to Ely and Las Vegas to sign up for food stamps. CSBG is increasing to $700 million from $654 million. If the stimulus package figure works, there would be $1.2 billion for the next two years. LIHEAP is to increase to $500 million a year for two years, this aids in paying utility bills. Weatherization is to increase to $500 million a year for two years as well. Head Start will increase to $1 billion per year for two years. All of this depends on what the Legislature decides for the budget.#19-PLANNING ITEMS
b) Contract with Resource Concepts for open space plan—Phyllis Robistow, Grants Administrator, presented this item. Clint Wertz has worked with Lynn Tsong on this. The only issue is that the mileage needs to be consistent with what the county will supply. Ronda made a motion to approve with the change on mileage; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.
c) Resolution to initiate abandonment proceedings for a portion of 2nd North Ave. located in Alamo, NV, adjacent to APN 004-011-15, 004-001-14, 004-042-20, and 004-042-19—This issue was approved previously but correct procedure needs to be followed. Summit Engineering has completed the survey. Tommy made a motion to approve the resolution and to hear the petition on 2-17-09 at 10:00 a.m.; seconded by Ronda. The credit union approached the county as they need clear title. Clint felt that since the abandonment wasn’t handled correctly the first time, it is the responsibility of the Planning Department to take corrective action. Credit Union and Alamo Power have filed a petition. All voted in favor.
Dawne Combs presented this item.
d) Resolution #2009-02—This is a resolution creating the Lincoln County Public Land Use Advisory Committee (PLC), which will consist of seven members (appointed on the last agenda). Tommy made a motion to approve the resolution; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.
e) Resolution approving Lincoln County Addressing Policy and System—Dawne described how the streets names were either kept or changed. The majority of the changes were required to eliminate duplication of street names. Bill advised that Lloyd Lane was changed and Joseph
Rossi is very upset about it. Letters advising of the address changes haven’t been sent to the residents as of yet. If an issue comes up where an address is incorrect the address will be corrected, including roads. Ronda discussed the timeline for getting the numbers placed on houses. There will be allowances so that numbers may be posted on fences as opposed to the house. The numbers need to be visible. Dawne will relay Bill’s concerns about Lloyd Lane. Dawne said that there are a few upset people. The Planning Commission met on 11-13-07, 12-10-07, and 1-14-08 and they recommend approval of the addressing policy. Gary Davis advised that the purpose of the 0,0 points is so that an emergency responder can go to a house based on the knowledge of distance from the points. The address assigned would translate into a distance from the 0,0 points. John feels that the 0,0 point should be at a major intersection located in the town. McCrosky’s Y is the 0,0 point for Panaca, but it isn’t located within town limits. The addressing policy takes into account the growth that is expected in the southern end of the county. Sheriff Kerry Lee advised that Love’s Ranch will come up under Panaca. Beaver Dam Estates might be Caliente. Kerry cited that there will be some growing pains in adjusting to these changes. If a house is set back the numbers will have to be posted so that they are visible from the road. Dawne advised that Clint has incorporated all of the requested changes. Ronda made a motion to approve the resolution adopting the Addressing and Street Naming Policy; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor. Bank of America has found some glitches in the addresses. Dawne is burning CDs for any company that is requesting them to incorporate them into their record. Anyone who finds mistakes is to report them to Planning so that they might be corrected. Mistakes are being corrected as they come in and the Planning Department will continue to make corrections as reported. Kerry advised that there is a person in their department who is working on the addresses in relation to E911. The maps on the web map room will be updated on a weekly basis, commented Dawne.
#20-BUILDING & SAFETY
Cory Lytle, Building Director, presented this item.
a) Update—Cory is working with L&S Power on their permits/fees. Cory will be presenting a request for approval regarding grading permit fee schedules at a future meeting. Cory has received some complaints from the public on Labor Day issues and permits. Cory will be developing special events criteria to address a Labor Day type situation. Cory is working with Sheriff Kerry Lee and Neil Graham. Cory hopes to have this put in place prior to Labor Day 2009. Ronda advised that in the past there was discussion concerning setting up an even committee to address these types of issues. Ronda commented that this committee should be put in place now as there are more and more requests coming in. Connie Simkins is in favor of the committee and said that there is a need for a master calendar outlining what is happening in LC. A special events committee is essential to prevent two events from happening on the same weekend. It is suggested that the Fair & Recreation Board could take on this responsibility. Ken suggested that this be centralized in a full time employee; that way there is always someone to contact. John suggested that Cory’s office should take this on. Ken Dixon advised that they met with the developers last week as well as Vidler Water and the LC Power District. They will follow the course that they’re on. If the developers want to do something else it will be a new application and it will be on their dime; it will not be any cost to the county. Paul stated that Mark Teepen asked that the county representatives go with him to meet with BLM concerning time frames. Paul made it clear that the county isn’t interested in that; LC wants to continue the course that it’s already on. The other developers are fine with pursuing the outlined course. Don Pattalock advised that this is a seventy mile course, not four mile course. Mark agreed to get the entire application process finished prior to pursuing another course. The Task Force meeting that was scheduled for 2-4 will be postponed until 2-18.#21-NUCLEAR OVERSIGHT
Connie Simkins, Nuclear Oversight Coordinator, presented this item.
a) Proposed comments on 1-80C Document—Connie reviewed the comments concerning emergency response and training for EMS personnel. DOE had proposed $100,000 in 2007 to be spread over the ten counties affected by this project to train for any emergencies that might occur. LC doesn’t feel that this is nearly enough money. Money is also needed for equipment to respond to potential emergency situations. DOE has plugged in a different way to give the Native American Tribes money to create plans that is separate from how they will give money to the counties. DOE didn’t pay attention to LC’s August 2007 comments. The comments reiterate what was submitted to DOE by LC in 2007. There is a need for equipment and training, not just planning. A funding plan is needed to address how the money will be disbursed; will they give all of the money to one state one year and all of it to another state the next? The rail carriers should not be allowed to select the routes. LC’s funding needs are based on each county’s separate needs, which vary from area to area. The funding should go directly to the affected county as they have a more dynamic plan for their needs. DOE has suggested that some of the funding be spent on point of origin inspections; this is not an emergency accident response and should be funded differently. There is a permit process for each state to have inspections prior to the waste leaving the site. DOE contradicts itself in that it says the plan is for four years in one section of the document and then says five in another section. The funding itself is entirely inadequate. DOE has created a formula for disbursement of money based on how many miles in each state are incorporated. LC feels that the miles for Tribal Lands should not be included in the county’s money as we have no ability to respond to emergencies on their land. Tommy made a motion to approve; seconded by Ronda. Cory Lytle advised that the Emergency Response van is in very poor shape and there is no guarantee that it could even reach an emergency site. All voted in favor. Vaughn Higbee suggested that DOE needs to provide for infrastructure as well as emergency response equipment and training. Infrastructure is needed to house materials; this is extremely under funded. DOE doesn’t understand what it takes to fund education.
#22-COUNTY MANAGER ITEMS
County Manager, John Lovelady, presented these items.
b) Resolution for hiring freeze for Lincoln County—Ronda requested this to be put on the agenda based on her concerns as raised by Dan McArthur, independent auditor for LC. Ronda believes that the future will see a decrease in funding and a hiring freeze is needed at this time. Ronda requested that the freeze last until July 1, 2009, which will give us enough time to understand the effects of the state’s budget on LC’s. An ending date is needed on the resolution. This hiring freeze will mean that everyone is on notice that they can’t hire. There is language in the resolution that Ronda disagrees with that includes “unless pre-authorized by the Board of County Commissioners”. Ronda doesn’t feel that this should be included. If there is a hiring freeze the Board enforces it. The reason behind the hiring freeze is that LC doesn’t know what it’s looking at. There will be many restrictions on the county. Ronda recommended that the “pre-authorization” language be removed. Bill agreed with Ronda that the language should be stricken. Connie asked if there was enough information at this time indicating whether or not people will be cut back to four days. No. This is just to prevent the hiring of new employees until the county knows where it’s at financially. Connie asked what the thinking of the Board is in relation to the Governor’s proposed budget cuts. It is unknown. Tommy said that the cuts would be made to the contractors, not the employees. Vaughn Higbee agreed with this; it is important to maintain the county office. There is some discussion about the hiring freeze. Is it to replace those that have retired and maintain status quo? No. Ronda feels that it needs to be a “hiring freeze. Period.” Ronda said that if a rehire is needed it can be brought before the Board and addressed individually based on need. Ronda would like to see departments not replace people until after July 1st, if possible. This is the preliminary step to reducing the work force. Since it is unknown what the cut will be at this point, this is an attempt to avoid layoffs. Paul commented that priorities should be set as to what positions must be replaced and what positions can be done without. Nathan Adams advised that they are working as long as possible to not fill Larry Stever’s position; they have a vacancy at this point. The hiring freeze will last until June 30th. John Christian suggested that a letter be included in the budget information discussing the impacts and the need to save money. The Board discussed the need to save as much money as possible, not spend it just because we know we won’t have it next year. There is some discussion about Pioche Town’s summer help. If the hiring
freeze goes into effect, all towns will need to be taken into consideration. Tommy reminded the Board about Pioche’s need to hire summer help for the pool. Ronda added that seasonal contracts and employees might be preauthorized. Vaughn advised that it is much easier to not give the jobs out than to have to cut back or lay someone off. One of the things proposed by the Governor was to take $250 million back in property taxes. Ronda suggested that the hiring freeze apply to all new employees until July 1. Tommy asked if this will apply to Tri-County Weed, who hires seasonal. Ronda said that this discussion can be dealt with when it comes up. Vaughn asked if there was a reduction in force policy in place. Yes, it’s included in the Personnel Policy and the Agreements for the Bargaining Units. Ronda reiterated her recommendation to remove “unless pre-authorized”. If there are summer contracts/seasonal contracts within the townships, then it can come before the Board for authorization to hire, said Ronda. Dawne asked if everyone doesn’t already have to come to the Commission to get approval to hire anyway. If this is something that has to be done, can’t the Board control who is allowed to hire or not? Ronda said that no, everyone will continue to come and present their need to hire someone. Wendy Rudder advised that Alamo Town Board has hired who they need and then the Commissioners have approved it on the consent agenda. Alamo Town hasn’t come to the Board for approval, they’ve just hired part time people. A hiring freeze is a hiring freeze. Paul prefers to lay out a dollar amount to maintain the budget. This will result in making the departments responsible for ensuring that they meet the requirements. John Lovelady suggested that this be effective until May 31st. Bill stated that when the cuts started many years ago, it resulted in cutting back one work hour per day so that employees didn’t have to be laid off. Ronda made a motion to approve the resolution to institute a hiring freeze with an end date of May 31, 2009 (effective today) and striking “unless pre-authorized”; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.
c) Memorandum of Understanding between Lincoln County and Caliente Senior Citizens, Inc.—Ronda made a motion to approve; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.
a) Update—Mediation will take place on 1-26 in Las Vegas.#23-STIMULUS PACKAGE
A meeting was held last week to discuss various programs that can be implemented under the stimulus package. Phyllis Robistow, Grants Administrator, reviewed the various projects. NEPA ready include: Alamo Airport, Pioche Sewer upgrades and pond liners, new treatment ponds and liners in Alamo, upgrades to LC Airport, Panaca drainage improvements, Alamo Industrial Park infrastructure, Panaca Farmstead new well and arsenic treatment, Panaca Farmstead new lift station and distribution improvements, new well and arsenic treatment plant in Alamo. Echo Dam will be a minimum of $9 million and 35 people. John Christian advised that the power lines are one of the most critical things that the county has in front of them. If the stimulus money could be obtained to put these in place it wouldn’t have to be passed on to the rate payers. This is an opportunity to get things built and put in place. There is some question as to whether or not the county can apply for things for the LC Power District. Paul understood that any project to be completed within a county should be prioritized. Government staff has instructed that we are to forward all potential projects within the county, this will include the power transmission lines. Ronda said that the projects that are absolutely ready to go need to be submitted. The Commission discussed the need to prioritize. LCPD’s projects can be put together under one heading. LCPD has prioritized their projects already. Phyllis advised that these funds will work similar to
grants. John is working on weatherization information for LC Courthouse and Alamo Annex. Panaca Fire District and LC Road Department both have submissions. The issue with Panaca Fire District is that they don’t have the land right now to place the building on. It will have to go through the entire R&PP process. LC Road Department has several infrastructure projects to include that are ready. Sheriff’s Office is requesting projects under the weatherization topic in the approximate amount of $100,000. Pioche Town has submitted a request for new substation, which ties in with LCPD’s Priority 3. Sunrise is currently working on engineering for a new substation, which will be built where the old line was. Ronda suggested that renovations to the LC Courthouse be included with the Sheriff’s office request for weatherization. The only new buildings that were addressed were schools. Paul suggested that each of the communities should prioritize their projects. Pioche’s projects are prioritized as follows:
1) Pioche power upgrades including transmission lines and
2) Pioche water upgrades to meet state guidelines for fire flow and
3) Pioche sewer upgrades and pond liners of current ponds.
Alamo projects are prioritized as follows:
1) construction of well and arsenic treatment plant and
2) construction of new treatment and storage ponds/liners.
Panaca projects are prioritized as:
1) new well and arsenic treatment and
2) new lift station and force main and distribution improvements.
Airports are prioritized as:
1) Alamo and
2) Lincoln County.
Weatherization is prioritized:
1) LC Courthouse and
2) Detention Center.
Airports and Road Department come under transportation. Lincoln County Power has prioritized their own list, which will be submitted in that order. Flood control projects will be put on last, to include drainage to Panaca. Ronda made a motion to identify and submit LC’s priorities as outlined in italics above; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.#24-PUBLIC COMMENT
There is no public comment at this time.
There being no further business for the Board to attend to, Ronda made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 3:40; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.