PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF LINCOLN, STATE OF NEVADA
April 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 9:04. Clerk Lisa Lloyd called the roll with Commissioners Tommy Rowe, Ronda Hornbeck, Paul Mathews, Ed Higbee and Bill Lloyd being present. Commission Paul Mathews is absent at this time. There is a quorum present and the agenda was posted on 4-14-09 to comply with the open meeting law. The Invocation is offered by Ed and Ronda led the Pledge of Allegiance. County Manager John Lovelady is present as well.
3* Approve/Deny minutes of the April 6, 2009, April 7, 2009, Commission meetings.
4* Approve/Deny SNORE truck and buggy race scheduled for 7th through 9th of May 2009; race route starts and ends in Caliente and follows same course as previous years. Liability insurance naming Lincoln County as additional insured is in place.
5* Approve/Deny Change Order for Rose Park in the sum of $1,071.73 for a concrete apron on the gazebo.
6* Approve/Deny Change Order for the Pool Park Complex(Super Park) in the sum of $19,578.58 for various items.
7* Approve/Deny Change Order for the Dixon Park in the sum of $17,270.23 for various items.
Tommy made a motion to approve the consent agenda; seconded by Ronda. All voted in favor.
Ronda made a motion to approve the vouchers as presented with the exception of one for Holly Gatzke’s cell phone; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor. Tommy made a motion to deny the voucher for Holly Gatzke as the county doesn’t purchase cell phones; seconded by Ronda. All voted in favor.
Landfill issues are reassigned to Ronda and Paul. Insurance POOL/PACT, Senior Programs/LC Transportation/Social Services, and Airports are assigned to Ed. Ronda made a motion to approve the aforementioned assignments; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.
#9-BOARD OF HIGHWAY COMMISSIONERS
This item is handled under separate agenda.
#11-PANACA FIRE DISTRICT
This item is covered under separate agenda.
#12-LINCOLN COUNTY FIRE DISTRICT
This item is off.
Ronda made a motion to approve the resolution to augment Lincoln County General Fund (beginning fund balance larger than anticipated) in the amount of $148,491.00; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.
#15-OFFICER/DEPARTMENT HEAD REPORTS
LC FIRE DISTIRCT CHIEF Rick Stever advised that he will be attending a fire cooperators meeting in Ely on 4-28. Chris Hanefeld wants to review the fire initiatives with LC. LC EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COORDINATOR Rick Stever attended State Emergency Response Meetings in Reno; LEPC has been approved for a grant in the amount of $30,000. This grant covers any equipment relating to hazardous materials. Alamo asked for radios. Caliente requested a generator. Panaca requested computers, a laptop for on scene incidents and a desktop PC. Pioche requested gear for the firefighters. LC Fire requested a set of PPE and ¾ of the breathing apparatus, including mask and pack. Rick has made arrangements to borrow a tank. Rick will be attending a course on May 6-7 in Las Vegas concerning emergency operation center set up.
This contract is for county employees to have drug tests and other services at the hospital. Some of the rates have increased while some have decreased; the contract is mostly the same. The county will get a 20% discount for medical care for indigent. This contract also covers inmates and ambulance attendees’ physicals. Ronda made a motion to approve the contract for medical services to Lincoln County by Lincoln County Hospital District; seconded by Ed. Tommy disclosed that this agreement was signed by Melissa S. Rowe, his daughter in law. All voted in favor.
#16-COUNTY FISCAL OFFICERS ASSOCIATION (CFOA)
Ronda made a motion to approve Lincoln County as the host for the 2012 CFOA conference, which will be held in Pioche; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.
#17-LINCOLN COUNTY/CLARK COUNTY DETENTION CENTER AGREEMENT
Sheriff Kerry Lee presented and reviewed the agreement; it’s the same as before. The contract is for three more years; first year is still $70 per day and the remaining two years’ daily rate can be renegotiated. Clark County screens their inmates heavily prior to sending them here in order to make sure LC doesn’t receive any inmates that have severe health issues. Tommy made a motion to approve the agreement between Lincoln County and Clark County Detention Center for inmate housing; seconded by Ronda. All voted in favor.
#15-OFFICER/DEPARTMENT HEAD REPORTS
SHERIFF Kerry Lee advised that they applied for the COPS grant, which is 100% funded for three years (the county will have to maintain the salary for the fourth year). This grant can be used for salary for existing, new, or laid off officer. This covers base benefits. The application was for approximately $250,000. Kerry hopes to know if the grant has been received within the next three months. A grant was received to get two more K9s. Funding levels for grants were increased to the 2006 levels. Most of the matches have been removed as well.
#18-FOOD EXPENSE FOR MEADOW VALLEY JUSTICE COURT
Tommy made a motion to approve the purchase of food and drinks for training provided by Administrative Office of the Courts, May 4-8, not to exceed $200 and to be funded through MVJC budget; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor.
#19-MEADOW VALLEY JUSTICE COURT
Ronda suggested that notice be published of the hours for this week. Ronda made a motion to approve the temporary modification of Meadow Valley Justice Court work hours, 7 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., then 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., for May 4-8 due to training Tommy; seconded by Ronda. All voted in favor.
#20-TRANSFER OF LAND TO PIOCHE FIRE DISTRICT
Ronda made a motion to approve the transfer of APN 001-201-09 by quitclaim deed to Pioche Fire District; seconded by Ed. Bill stated that the county shouldn’t be charged for any fires until the 6.7 acres is paid in full. All voted in favor.
Planning Director Clint Wertz presented these items.
a) Update—Clint continues to work on the public land policy plan; there is a meeting this Wednesday in Caliente. Letters/surveys will be going out to the general public within two weeks in relation to the Open Space Plan. The survey will go out with maps included. People will be asked to identify special places that should be protected. About 1,000 surveys will be sent out. The contractor for the GIS is in the process of putting together mapping programs for public safety/911. There will be a meeting in the next few weeks to outline the type of information that the Sheriff wants included. As the phone company is inputting addresses the tables for 911 are being repopulated. Clint expects to have a draft map project by the end of April. This will be similar to Google Earth, but will include the county’s data. One of the limitations is that the county has an issue with the current IT capacity bandwidth; there isn’t enough bandwidth. There will be a requirement to put fiber into the building. For many of these services to work and be self sufficient, the county is going to have to make certain investments. Phyllis advised that there are some USDA broadband grants, but the county will have to match the granted funds. Homeland Security could cover the LC Courthouse as this is the seat of security. Clint’sdepartment needs participation from the towns, Road Department, fire, Sheriff’s department and others to get the signs up for addressing. Clint advised that they will be applying for a USDA grant to purchase the equipment for the Road Department to make their own signs. Dawne Combs has been working on gathering information concerning costs. Dawne tried to set up a meeting to discuss this issue a couple of weeks ago but her attempts were unsuccessful. The towns have a role in providing for street signs. Clint has spoken with City of Caliente and they could participate as well if there was a sign shop at the RD in Caliente. Clint is willing to initiate a meeting but participation is very important. Clint needs someone in each town to inventory the signs so that it is known what is needed. Ronda said that this must be a mandatory meeting wherein every town will bring their inventory. Maps can be provided to each town
b) Request for $5,000 from Land Act Planning and Development Fund to replenish model development agreement (MDA) funds—Clint requested a budget transfer about six weeks ago to cover some various expenses. One of the requests that he made was for money to cover Mark White’s work on model development agreements. Mark was used to aid in the finalization of last fall’s development agreements; this ate away at the budgeted monies for the model development agreements. Clint is requesting the $5,000 to make the fund whole again and to finish the MDA. This will be spent prior to the end of July. This money will finish out the agreement with Mark. This money allows for Mark to put together a standardized development agreement. This will be usable as a template and is geared towards any large project. Tommy made a motion
to approve; seconded by Ronda. All voted in favor.
Grants Administrator Phyllis Robistow presented these items.
a) Update—Phyllis presented the single audit as received Dan McArthur. Phyllis was requested by the Southern NV Mortuary to find a home for several cremated remains and one skeletal. Phyllis has had an issue with SNPLMA in regards to funding; they’ve reconfigured their software system. Anything that Phyllis had asked for in special account reserves is now there and Phyllis has sent for the money. The decision to allow the Sheriff to go to Detention Center funds as made at the last meeting is no longer necessary. The Governor has money through the Workforce Investment Board that might be available for use at the Caliente Youth Center, who will be closing beds. Natural Resources has $50 million for watershed rehabilitation that might be used for the drop structures. Information from CDBG has been received that the move for Sequoyah Shoars to work under Grants is acceptable. The outcome on the four SNPLMA projects for SAR money will be known at the end of the month. Clint and Phyllis will be working on the Capital Improvement Plan application for CDBG this week. Phyllis attended a webinar last week concerning grants for energy efficiency. Tommy attended the NACO meeting and brought back information that indicates that LC didn’t get on the list for what the county wanted under the stimulus funds. The list will be resubmitted to Jeff Fontaine by Phyllis. Phyllis originally sent information to Jeff and conversed with him concerning the list. Phyllis spoke with Steve Chouquer concerning the fact that chip/seal and oiling count under this project as well. The county had submitted more than $30 million in projects; it’s unknown what happened to LC’s submission.
b) Award bid for construction of new headwork at the Pioche wastewater treatment plant, liners at the treatment ponds and a monitoring/leak detection well—This item is off and will be addressed May 4th.
#13-QUARTERLY JAIL TOUR
The Board made the usual quarterly jail tour. Gust Electric has offered a new estimate on costs to rewire the dispatch center in the amount of $8,000. Currently there are 85 Clark County inmates and 6 Lincoln County inmates. The high school education program continues to do well and there are approximately 11 enrolled at this time. There have been some outbreaks of staph infection and some fights but all is under control now.
#26-LINCOLN COUNTY AMBULANCE SERVICES
Louise Buettner presented an update on the LC Ambulance (LCA). The billing system is up and running smoothly. $94,000 has been billed and the only issue with the billing is Medicare. The ambulance run sheets have been changed to correspond with the computer inputting that must be done with the state. As soon as the EMTs put the information into the computer the hospital can bill. Pioche’s ambulance is not up and running yet. Three people from Pioche took the class and passed but Louise is waiting for their certification from the state. Four people who took the class never took the test. Three passed in Caliente. One girl in Panaca took the class but hasn’t taken the test yet. There are two in Pioche that are EMTs but not licensed with the state. There will be another class for EMT-I. Louise will hold another basics class in the fall. Paul stated that he has noticed the Dixie Ambulance doing transports and asked why this is occurring. Louise isn’t certain, but stated that there might not have been any EMTs around or the patient could be going to a nursing home; often the nursing home will come and pick up their patient. Bill stated that often times there aren’t enough EMTs to do transports or they don’t want to do them. Louise reaffirmed Bill’s statement and said that it could be because no one was in town. There is a group of EMTs in Caliente that have been EMTs forever, but they choose not to run and will not do transfers. Those who do transports are paid. Attendants are paid a nominal fee for runs/transports. Theresa Stout questioned why this is a volunteer service as opposed to a paid service. Louise responded by saying that there isn’t enough call volume to support a paid service.
#21-FY 2009-2010 NUCLEAR OVERSIGHT PROGRAM BUDGET
Connie Simkins presented this item and reviewed the proposed budget, which has been reviewed and approved by the JCCIAC. Connie has been informed that they are to expect the same amount of money in the coming fiscal year, $1.28 million, as they received last year. Connie and Elaine are willing to take any change needed to maintain the office in light of the economic crisis. No cuts were made but Connie’s salary was left at $55,000. The overall budget for the office increased by $3,000 as they are creating a nest egg to continue office operations should funding cease. All contractors have been advised that it is the preference of the JCCIAC and LC Commission to keep the office open in the event of decreased funding and not offer some of the contracts to contractors. City of Caliente is receiving $75,000 for staff and legal; the current mayor wanted to make sure that there was enough money to take care of the City’s interests when he is no longer there. Barry Neuman was hired for legal matters and he wouldn’t allow anyone from Caliente to be present during any meetings as Barry advised that he only represents the county, not Caliente. The $75,000 will be administered by Connie’s office; it won’t be administered under one lump sum. Many of the contractors that have done work for the county have excluded Caliente. Bill said that Caliente is about 1/3 of the population and he doesn’t see why they should receive half of whatever there is. Paul reviewed the goals of the committee, including meeting everyone’s needs. Paul asked if the unity of the committee will be broken down by providing an additional $75,000 to the City. Paul reviewed the compromise that was stuck in order to balance the budget this way; he isn’t completely excited about the line item for the $75,000 to Caliente, but many compromises were made to get there. Ronda cautioned the Board members that at the end of the year LC signs saying that the money has been spent in accordance with the guidelines. Caliente isn’t being given a blank check for $75,000 to go have fun; the expenditures must meet the requirements for expenditure. The money will be cleared to be spent properly and if Connie has any questions she will put them to Bret Whipple to ensure that the funds are being used properly. If Caliente suggests a contract with someone, the Board will have to approve/disapprove the contract within a
certain amount. Paul is content with the budget with the safeties that are in place. Bill stated that he feels okay with it as long as items are brought back for approval. Ronda made a motion to approve the proposed budget for the Nuclear Oversight Program for the period of July 2, 2009 to June 30, 2010; seconded by Ed. Ronda addressed the comment that Caliente doesn’t feel they’ve received fair representation. Ronda cited that Ace Robison’s group has spent a great deal of time working with the City of Caliente and seeing to their issues while Mike Baughman has spent more time working on county issues. Vaughn Higbee addressed the Board and outlined his perception of this issue. Vaughn feels that the issues that Barry Neuman was addressing at the time were appropriate. Robison/Seidler works with Caliente as does Mike Baughman and Connie Simkins. The ultimate boss in all of this is the Commission, cited Vaughn. Connie cautioned the Board that it is still unknown how much money will be received. Las Vegas sources are saying that the true figure will not be known until the end of May, but they believe it will still be $1.2 million. In the event that this doesn’t happen and no money is received, the program will be out of money by Christmas. There is still an outstanding balance of approximately $600,000 that hasn’t been received. All voted in favor.
#23-LINCOLN COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
Lori Cheeney presented this item. LCHS is marking their 100th anniversary on 9-27, and celebrating September 25-26. Lori cited that they are requesting donations to this cause as they are still so short of their goal. Letters to Alumni have been sent out for donations, which are trickling in. The committee’s idea is to offer the luncheon/dinner for free to the alumni. However, Lori doesn’t believe they will be able to raise that type of funding so a reduced fee will have to be charged. Some of the committee members project 2,500 guests. Ronda made a motion to approve the donation of $1,000 to the LCHS Centennial Celebration on September 25-26, 2009, to be paid from Fund 94, Land Act Education; seconded by Ed. Tommy disclosed that Lori Cheeney is his daughter. All voted in favor.
#22-DRY STORAGE INFORMATION FORUM
Connie Simkins presented this. Keith Larson, Mayor Kevin Phillips, and Commissioners Tommy Rowe, Paul Mathews and Ed Higbee will go. As long as the Commissioners do not meet formally, do not discuss or take action, three Commissioners may go. Tommy stated that if a quorum of Commissioners are going then it will have to be agendized. DA Greg Barlow outlined that the three members may go since they aren’t meeting, it isn’t a defined meeting under the code, they aren’t discussing anything towards deliberation nor are they voting on anything. Greg cited that the Board members are entitled to go. The county doesn’t do any business with this group, it is simply educational. Greg advised the Board that they may go. Wade Poulsen cited that this is the same thing as when the Board goes to NACO. Wade further stated that this is an extremely educational trip and encouraged the Board members to go. Ed stated that if there is any doubt about attendance at this forum he will bow out and not attend. Marge Detraz stated that she is opposed to the whole trip. Ronda made a motion to approve five people to attend the Dry Storage Information Forum May 11-14, 2009, in Bonita Springs, Florida; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.
#24-LINCOLN COUNTY COMPREHENSIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
This item concerns the LC Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy and related transmittal letter to Economic Development Administration (EDA) and is presented by Dr. Mike Baughman. Ronda made a motion to approve; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.
#25-NUCLEAR OVERSIGHT ISSUES
Dr. Mike Baughman reviewed this item and advised the county provides funding to complete the Development Authority to complete certain tasks. This report fulfills the obligation under the agreement between Development Authority and Commission. Tommy made a motion to accept the report entitled “Economic Impacts and Opportunities related to Department of Energy Yucca Mountain Procurement: 2008 Annual Update; seconded by Ronda. All voted in favor.
#15-OFFICER/DEPARTMENT HEAD REPORTS
DISTRICT ATTORNEY Greg Barlow advised that the trial for tomorrow has been postponed and he believes that the one for next week will as well. COMMISSIONER TOMMY ROWE advised that he spent part of last Friday with Legislature. Tommy discussed SB331, renewable energy projects. Tommy was led to believe by many of the people that it is a bad bill for LC. Tommy discussed this bill with Dr. Mike Baughman, who suggests that this might not be such a bad bill for LC. The bill exempts any companies from 75% of their taxes for up to twenty five years, this includes property taxes as well. Any of these types of projects that don’t require a great deal of county infrastructure might not be so bad for the county. Mike Baughman advised that the final details of the bill haven’t been resolved. This has been an issue for all of the incentives that Economic Development provides. The renewable energy industry, particularly the solar people, want to enhance the incentives. These are investments that are revenue neutral to the county. The county doesn’t lose anything through abatements. What the county loses is a piece of what the county would’ve gotten when these projects came here. The issue of what it will cost the county for these abatements needs to be considered. Mike doesn’t anticipate that a great deal of services will be required for solar projects. A coal plant would employ a great many people and the county wouldn’t want to see an abatement put in place. At the end of the day, the thing that must be considered is whether or not the county will see a net benefit. As long as it is still more than what it costs to provide services, the county sees a net gain. There are continued discussions in Legislature concerning these things. Ronda read a report that someone in NV just brought in a solar plant and they were offered all of the incentives but have only one employee. Ronda feels that offering all of these incentives is out of line. Tommy said that new technology on these types of projects will have these obsolete by the time the twenty five years is over. At that time, the companies will either change names and go bankrupt or just leave all of the equipment there. Most of the counties in NV are opposed to the extreme nature of what’s been proposed. There is a per kw charge per hour, which is being proposed to go to the state not the county. COMMISSIONER RONDA HORNBECK advised that she will meet with Dr. Mike Baughman tomorrow concerning HCP issues. Ken, Ronda and Mike have met with Clark County’s HCP department to discuss positives and negatives of their HCP. Ronda met with BLM concerning payment of the HCP.
#29-COUNTY MANAGER ITEMS
County Manager John Lovelady presented these items.
a) Update—John gave a quick Legislative overview. John needs to set up training for members of town boards concerning parliamentary procedure, county policies and open meeting law. John has a meeting on Wednesday with the bank concerning the refinancing of the Alamo Industrial Park to longer term. It appears that the county can do a loan for about five years. The county will have to come up with $186,000 in interest to refinance the $406,000. A proposal for amendment to Clerical, Road Department and Dispatch contracts has been drafted. Until the county knows how the vote goes within these groups the information remains confidential. It appears that there aren’t any serious issues or opposition with the agreement. The savings to the General Fund from the no increase policy is approximately $250,000. The cost for the deferred compensation is about $28,000. This issue will be on the next agenda for discussion/action. Ronda asked if DA Greg Barlow put the business license ordinance back on the agenda. Paul advised that the ordinance was tabled to May 4th for public hearing. Part of the agenda on May 4th will include budget hearings.
b) Refinancing of the Alamo Industrial Park—John continues to work on this.
A letter was submitted by Bevan Lister concerning attendance at the LC Fair & Recreation Board. Bevan cited that in his attendance at public meetings locally within the last 15 years he has never witnessed the rudeness, antagonism and incivility as he saw in the Commission chambers last Friday. The conduct of two of the board members was embarrassing and offensive to the citizens present. Bevan hopes that those offending individuals will step down from their “golden throne” and offer public apology for their behavior. These two members are LC Fair & Recreation Board members. Commissioner Bill Lloyd stated that he wasn’t able to attend this meeting; he was at the doctor and therefore didn’t conduct the meeting. Bill further stated that it has been called to his attention that one of the members of the F&R Board is supposed to be from the City of Caliente. Bill cited the law, which requires that one member comes from the incorporated city. Ronda stated that Caliente has their own Room Tax Board. Bill reiterated that statute requires a member from Caliente as opposed to at large since the City is incorporated. Vice Chairman Higbee did her best to control the situation that day, but there were definitely some emotions thrown around. Paul suggested, at the meeting, that they try to overcome their communication differences and workshop to improve. Paul stated that a workshop will be held this Thursday at 6:00 p.m. in Panaca F&R. The F&R is taking steps to overcome some of the problems that they’ve been having. Paul would like the DA to give a legal opinion concerning the makeup of the F&R board. Marge Detraz cited that she’s asked to be on the agenda and was refused. Marge further cited that she’s been removed from public meetings. Marge is 82, was born and raised in LC, and her parents started the LDS church in Caliente. Marge has lost eight members of her family to cancer and her sister Peggy is now battling leukemia. Marge is wholly opposed to nuclear waste. Marge stated that the NV Delegation will never let the county bring Yucca Mountain and the nuclear waste in. Marge referred to various articles in the Vegas Review Journal. The articles discuss Yucca Mountain’s demise and yet the Board just approved the Nuclear Oversight’s budget for this upcoming year. Marge stated that she and Louis Benezet have done two audits and the county can’t use the money for the things that they are using it for. NV and the people in it have never wanted Yucca Mountain; only the LC Commissioners and the counties that Mike Baughman works for want it. You can’t use nuclear waste funds to lobby and yet Mike Baughman is a registered lobbyist. Marge has been attending Commission meetings for thirteen years and she’s never taken one dime of nuclear waste money. Ed Wright and Eve Culverwell started the whole nuclear waste program, Marge cited. Marge has been advised by many people in the community to continue her efforts to fight nuclear waste. Marge further cited that Ronda and Tommy continue to be members of the Central NV Protection Working Group. Ronda said that the only meeting she
went to was the one that Marge attended. Marge disagreed and said that Ronda was at a lot of the meetings for the CNVPWG. Marge has copies of the meetings. Marge cited that this is going to be taken to Catherine Cortez Mastos. Paul advised Marge that public comment is limited to five minutes and her time is up. Paul requested Marge to yield the floor as policy says that public comment is limited to five minutes. The Board signed the finalization of the Carter Ledyard contract today and made final payment. Theresa Stout thanked the Board for asking for discussion/input from the audience during meetings; it isn’t something that usually occurs as discussion is usually limited to board members. Theresa hopes that other public members will give Board members the respect that they are due.
There being no further business for the Board to attend to, Paul adjourned the meeting at 2:56.