PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF LINCOLN,
STATE OF NEVADA
May 4, 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. There is a quorum and the agenda was posted on 4-28-09 to comply with the open meeting law. The Invocation is offered by Ed and Tommy led the Pledge of Allegiance. County Manager John Lovelady is present as is District Attorney Greg Barlow.
#2 Approve/Deny minutes of April 20, 2009 Commission meeting.
#3 Approve/Deny change order for $11,541.32 for the Dixon Park Improvement Project for various items.
#4 Approve/Deny change order for $4,405.00 for the Pool Park Project for various items.
#5 Approve/Deny work release from Sunrise Engineering on the Meadow Valley Wash Project for final engineering and the bidding and project management phase in the sum of $604,330.00.
#6 Approve/Deny tax refund for Dale & Margaret Rumel APN 13-030-35, 3 year refund per NRS 361.768 factual error in size; 2006-07, $255.31; 2007-08, $263.95; 2008-09, $133.19; total is $652.45.
#7 Approve/Deny contract pay increase for Antoinette Pinkham, from $31,000 to $32,000 yearly, starting April 16, 2009.
#8 Approve/Deny pay increase for Trina Lytle from $13.73 to $14.41 per hour, starting May 1, 2009 (6 month probation is complete).
#9 Approve/Deny replacement of dispatcher Kelli Robinson, based on her resignation which is effective May 1, 2009.
#10 Approve/Deny amendment of agreement date May 1, 2006 between Lincoln County and Intertech Services Corporation for Professional Services pertaining to the Southeastern Lincoln County Habitat Conservation Plan. Amending period of service through October 31, 2009 and budget amount increased from $45,000.00 to $60,000.00. The Board previously agreed to give a pay increase to Antoinette Pinkham, after a certain period of service, of $1,000 per year; this decision is reflected in previous Commission minutes and today’s Item #7 is the formal action approving the change in pay. Ronda made a motion to approve the consent agenda; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.
Recorder/Auditor Leslie Boucher presented the vouchers. Ronda made a motion to approve the vouchers as presented; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.
#14-OFFICER/DEPARTMENT HEAD REPORTS
RECORDER/AUDITOR Leslie Boucher presented the cash balance reports. General County has a balance of $683,115.52 with estimated expenditures being $174,697.06. This leaves General County with a balance of $508,418.46. Transportation has a cash balance of $25,690.88 with estimated expenditures being $4,487.61. This will leave Transportation with a balance of $21,203.27. Nutrition has a cash balance of $21,998.06 with estimated expenditures being $6,636.39. This leaves Nutrition with a balance of $15,361.67. Detention Center has a cash balance of $140,297.57 with estimated expenditures being $80,397.75. Detention Center will have a balance of $59,899.82. Solid Waste has a balance of $80,810.65, with estimated expenditures being $17,250.00. This will leave Solid Waste with a balance of $63,560.65.
#17-PANACA TOWN TRUCK PURCHASE
Howard Fackrell presented a request from the Panaca Town Board for the purchase of a 1997 Ford Diesel One Ton Truck from Tyler Heaton in the amount of $6,000. Ronda advised that it would be better to pay for the purchase of the truck under capital outlay. Tommy made a motion to approve the purchase, to be paid from Capital Outlay; seconded by Ronda. All voted in favor.
#18-SEVENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT AGREEMENT
Ronda made a motion to approve the FY 2009/2010 Cooperative Agreement between White Pine, Lincoln and Eureka Counties, which comprise the Judicial entity known as the Seventh Judicial District of the State of Nevada; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor.
#12-BOARD OF HIGHWAY COMMISSIONERS
This item is handled under separate agenda.
#16-LINCOLN COUNTY FIRE DISTRICT
This item is covered under separate agenda.
#13-PIOCHE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
Donnene Mathews, Ruth Scott and Pete Peterson presented this item. For many years grant money has been received to cover the Pioche After School Program. Last year the grant ran out and LC Commission approved funding. There are certain qualifications for the grants, which includes being a Title 1 school. Pioche is cutting teachers at Pioche and classes will be combined. Alamo has an after school program but Pete wasn’t certain how they fund it. Caliente and Panaca receive federal grants. Pioche is rated the number one elementary school in the state. There is much to be said for the extra help that the children are receiving. There is some discussion about the current budget crisis and the possibility that the county may not be able to fund any of the program for next year and that layoffs may be imminent at that time. Pioche has an average of 31 children per day, with a total of 73 eligible. Ruth Scott and Donnene Mathews are the directors of the program. Ronda reminded everyone that the strong possibility exists that county supplements will not be available next year. Phyllis advised that it might be possible to get a grant that will lower the need for $17,000, which would be used prior to the expenditure of any county monies. Every child in the school has taken advantage of the program at least one time. Most days, they have 7 of the 8 children from the 1st grade class. 13 of the 19 second graders attend the program as well. Tommy made a motion to approve the funding of the Pioche After School Program in the amount of $17,000, to be paid from the LC Land Act Education Fund, Fund 94; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.
#15-BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT SUMMER FIRE CONDITIONS
Ty Mizer presented an update from BLM regarding summer fire conditions. There continues to be an unstaffed water tender. 9 of 10 district engines are staffed. All of LC’s engines are staffed. The helicopter stationed in Ely is staffed stronger this year. There are a number of qualified individuals on staff. Jumpers will be available. Ty finished the wildland portion of the county’s structural firefighter one class; there were 14 students. This year there are a number of people who are from volunteer fire departments.
#14-OFFICER/DEPARTMENT HEAD REPORTS
LC HEALTH NURSE Jean Lucht reported on the swine flu. Jean has met with the hospital several times and she will be immunizing children today. Tomorrow Jean will speak with the school system, attend school board meeting. Jean will attend a conference in Alamo the following day as well as immunize children in the area. Washoe County has had one confirmed case, a 24 month old child. Jean has been advised that she will have swine flu shots in October. This particular flu doesn’t have the exact same markers as the 1918 pandemic flu. Jean is working to get everything in place in LC should there be an outbreak. As of Friday they hadn’t loaded our Tami flu onto a plane to get it here. Jason Bleak believed that it might have arrived yesterday afternoon. Tami flu isn’t a preventative; it only helps when one has the disease. Bill advised that H1N1 virus is the same one as the 1986 Asian Flu. Jean stated that each strain of flu is different. Jean believes that the reason LC hasn’t had an outbreak of influenza is because of the excellent healthcare that we have. Jean will attend the LEPC meeting tomorrow night and review the United We Stand Grant in the amount of $30,000. China has a SARS outbreak right now.
#19-PIOCHE WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT BID
This bid is for the construction of the headworks at the Pioche wastewater treatment plan, liners at the treatment ponds and a monitoring/leak detection well. Bids were opened 2 ½ weeks ago. Seven bids were received. Low bidders: Mills Construction $238,144.17; Cordova Construction $249,212.33; Pearson Brothers, $256,958.88. Low bidders (bid schedules 1 through 4 and additive alternate 1): Cordova Construction, $332,243.53; Mills Construction, $337,446.67; Pearson Brothers, $342,276.68. Cordova and Pearson wouldn’t provide more than a two year warranty. Mills is recommended and this will provide a five year warranty. Ronda made a motion to approve Mills Construction at $337,446.67; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.
#20-CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PLAN
Phyllis Robistow, Grants Administrator, presented this item. This issue concerns an application to Community Development Block Grant for the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The grant application is for $70,000. In-kind will be up to $15,000 of Cory, Phyllis, and Clint’s time. Ronda made a motion to approve the application; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor.
#21-CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PLAN GRANT MATCH
This item concerns the in-kind match for the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) grant application. This letter outlines the in-kind match. Ronda made a motion to approve the letter to Phyllis Robistow regarding the grant application in-kind match; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.
#24-YOUTH FARMERS MARKET 2009
Holly Gatzke presented this item. The farmer’s markets have been going very well and a permanent garden area will be set up for the Alamo kids pending funding. The Caliente market is going well and they are open now with some starter plants. The deer want to graze through so they are asking for funding to erect a fence to keep the deer out. Holly requested $4,500 to run the 2009 program. There are other people bringing produce in, which allows for more time to be spent teaching the kids to grow. The Alamo farmer’s market will switch to Saturday mornings. There is money left from last year for signage. Ronda suggested that Holly go to the Room Tax Board for advertising money. There are hints that the Miner’s Market here in Pioche might be interested in
opening something out in front of there store; Holly is working towards this end. Ronda made a motion to approve $4,500 for the 2009 Youth Farmer’s Market, to be paid from LC Land Act Education, Fund 94 (FY 2009-10 budget); seconded by Ed. All voted in favor.
#25-SUMMER YOUTH PROGRAM
This item concerns support of the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) in coordinating a Lincoln County Summer Youth Program in the form of a pilot teen drop-in center for 2009. Someone would be hired to basically take care of the facility and the teens. This person would set up activities based on what teens come in and what they want to do. The facility would be open from noon-8 p.m. Pam Teel is willing to provide a room inside the Caliente school to test this program. The trick will be finding a reliable person who will connect with the kids. Ronda suggested that Holly approach Caliente to request funds for this program since they will benefit the most. The games/materials will come back to Holly’s office for storage and use in other places within the county. Ronda would like to see an area for the youth to go to and somewhere for them to go. Last year’s project didn’t spend much of the allotted money so there is a carryover of $5,000. $3,350 is needed to complete the 2009 program, which will run to August 7, 20009. Tommy made a motion to approve $3,350, to be paid from Fund 72; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.
#22-LINCOLN COUNTY EMERGENCY RELIEF PROJECT
This items is in regards to a letter of approval for NV Department of Transportation (NDOT) Emergency Relief project in Lincoln County. John Lovelady advised that there is funding to do SR 317, Rainbow Canyon from 1 mile north of Elgin to US 93. The total is about $15 million. Susan Martinovich has written an amendment to the state plan, which modifies the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) for that period of time. They are requesting a letter/email. Tommy made a motion to approve and concur with the change as this will provide a safe route down the canyon; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.
#23-NUCLEAR OVERSIGHT ISSUES
Tommy made a motion to approve a letter to United States Department of Energy (DOE) re: Lincoln County comments to January 2009 Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management National Transportation Plan; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor.
#27-COUNTY MANAGER ITEMS
County Manager John Lovelady presented these items.
a) Update—John reviewed the new map of the Alamo Industrial Park. There is a current grading plan. Roads, power substation, and water utility are included in this map. The grading brings all of the parcels down to about 1%. John has approached the bank concerning a loan to refinance the Alamo Industrial Park. However, refinancing will not take place until the county is nearer to the end of the current payment due date. The interest that the county will owe in September is approximately $13,000. Ronda asked why the county would want to keep accruing interest if it is already known that this loan is going to be refinanced. The interest rate will be 5%, which won’t change anything. There is money from a grant to do the engineering, which will be completed by May 12. John discussed the Three Square program for Senior Nutrition. The savings that the program is realizing is incredible. NACO Legislative Committee meets regularly via telephone. The fund for hospital care to indigents has been reduced. LC needs to make sure that they don’t take any more. Legislature wants to sweep this fund again this year. John sent an email and letter to Legislative Leaders concerns this issue. John reviewed several other legislative issues. John addressed the tax abatements for the renewable energy projects. NACO has developed a position statement, which John
Doug Carriger presented an executive summary of solar energy. Doug stated that Coyote Springs is in support of the proposed legislative abatements for the solar projects and they believe it would provide a great deal of revenue to LC from CS’s projects. It is estimated that this will bring in about $8 million to LC.
This item is tabled.
This is the time and place set for public hearing on an ordinance to abandon the westerly portion of 2nd North Avenue in Alamo in favor of 3 adjacent parcels. Ed advised that he’s spoken with the Alamo Town Board and they don’t have any problems with this ordinance. Clint Wertz, Planning Director, presented this item. Paul read the ordinance by title. This is simply a clean up effort as it was approved a couple of years ago but not completed. Clint advised that he is still waiting for the mylar maps to be signed; no negative comments have been received from the public. Paul calls for comments or questions from the public; there are none. Ronda made a motion to approve the ordinance subject to the receiving of the mylar map and signature of the Commission Chairman; seconded by Ed. Greg reminded the Board that it is better practice, when these issues come for final approval, that all signatures are in place and final maps are present during the meeting. Prior to approval, these things should be complete. Greg advised the Board that they can act on this today, but reminded them in future to require completed maps. Planning Commission has seen the map, not the mylar itself but copies, and they’ve signed off on the copies. All voted in favor.
#14-OFFICER/DEPARTMENT HEAD REPORTS
PLANNING DIRECTOR Clint Wertz advised that he has put out word to any potential energy projects in the county that a use permit is required by the county. EPG called Clint this morning. EPG is doing an additional corridor that will follow the pipeline and they will be here on Wednesday to discuss this. The draft model development agreement from Mark White’s office has been received. Clint will send copies around for input. This agreement is modeled most closely to someone coming in for Toquop and is also set up for use on other large projects. This is a master development agreement. At some point in the future Clint present this in public meeting. The Open Space Plan survey was reviewed by Clint. There is a representative sample that will go to each area in the county. At mile 4.5 north of Coyote Springs a use permit for a cell tower was approved. Alltel will be putting a cell tower up in this area fairly soon.
Grants Administrator Phyllis Robistow presented these items.
a) Update—The lights at Dixon Park are part of the SAR request, incidental pathway lighting. Phyllis continues to work on projects through the stimulus package. Several projects were submitted to NDOT, none of which were over $450,000.
#27-COUNTY MANAGER ITEMS
County Manager John Lovelady presented this item.
b) Amendment to bargaining unit agreements—This concerns Road, Clerical and Dispatchers bargaining units. The Law Enforcement Association (LEA) still needs to get together and vote on this issue so it will be approved at a future meeting. Sheriff Kerry Lee advised that they are concerned that the LEA wouldn’t be able to meet. Kerry advised that this is supposed to be a cost
savings to the county. Kerry advised that if annual leave is doubled it will cost the county a great deal. Shifts have to be covered and this will create an overtime issue. Come December 31st if any of their time is denied, the county will have to write them a check for anything over a certain amount. Kerry believes that the cost to the county for CPI will be quite a bit less than doubling annual. Kerry stated that the question was asked to freeze salaries, now it’s coming back to double annual leave. Officers are entitled to 18 days off per year; with this agreement they will now be eligible for 36 days off per year and this doesn’t take into account comp time. The county is under a budget constraint and by the time everything is paid out for these changes more money will have to be supplement to various departments to cover costs associated with this. Bill stated that the Union will not budge on this and it’s going to result in layoffs if the county doesn’t go along with it. Captain Gary Davis said that this is a contract and LEA wasn’t included in this. Gary advised that they only received this MOU last Thursday and were told to sign. Kerry stated that they can do short shifts but if they have to call someone out it will be overtime. Kerry isn’t against it. LEA was the first association to come forward and offer to give up increases. LEA is now asking the Board if they really understand the full impact of what this will cost the SO. If this goes into effect, then the Department Head needs to have discretion on how the annual leave is used. Kerry said he isn’t here to be adversarial, he’s here to discuss the additional costs that could be incurred by this. Bill stated that he presented one additional week but the Union said absolutely not. Paul said that he would prefer to split the difference on pay increases, giving about 1.5% or something like that. Kerry and Clerk Lisa Lloyd agreed that if the annual leave is to be given they should be able to use it as soon as FY 2009 starts as opposed to letting them accrue it and start using it in 2010. The potential cost is $92,000 for the SO. Dan McArthur said that this is like a 6% raise and a 1.5% increase would obviously the less expensive way to go. Greg advised that they are forgoing and deferring salary increases, which can mean that at the end of the year they can receive not only the increase that they deferred but they will also receive the increase that is due in the new year. Greg stated that the wording in this agreement is incorrect; it should say that they employees will agree to “forgo” any scheduled COLA for 2009-2010 in paragraph 6. The Sheriff’s Office is telling the Board not to do this as they were willing to do less, Ronda said, and reiterated that the Board shouldn’t go forward with this. It will cost the SO $81,900 without overtime. Phyllis advised that for three weeks it will cost about $29,000 for next year; this is just the cost of an individual receiving an average of three weeks leave. There are no extra dispatchers at this time. Whenever a dispatcher is gone Kerry has no choice but to call in a replacement to cover the shift. There will be an enormous issue covering the dispatch since there isn’t anyone to pull from.
Paul suggested that this agreement be tabled in order to get some hard numbers. If this is going to cost the county upwards of $100,000 Paul would prefer to cut the 3% increase to 1.5%. Ronda stated that Clark County gave their employees 1% as opposed to the 4% they were expecting. CC bargained for the 1% plus the time off. Bill stated that he suggested a one week increase in annual but Gary Mauger refused to consider it. The county is paying for both additional weeks annual. There is no savings to the county whatsoever. The point of this entire thing was to avoid layoffs. The only way to make this fair across the board is for all of the associations to freeze everything. Paul made a motion to table this item; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor. There is further discussion of this matter under item #31.
#31-FY 2009-2010 BUDGET
Independent Auditor Dan McArthur presented this item. There are some employees who are paying benefits out of their pocket. An employee can elect to pay half their pension costs. The savings to the general fund is $38,000. This will create an ending fund balance of approximately $220,000. The state is now projecting another $400 million dollar shortfall in taxes. Dan wasn’t certain as to the exact amount for taxes but guessed that consolidated tax would be $85,000 less. There is $13,000 remaining in the Panaca Town fund that has already been transferred into the Panaca Fire District July 2008. Dan will show this transfer as having happened. There is discussion concerning the BLM property. Department of Taxation is concerned about the ten year loan to pay it back; they would like to see a resolution saying that the county is going to finance the purchase of this land under a ten year loan and they would like the resolution to be part of the budget. Dan is going to see if DOT will accept a resolution that is effective in November. Dan reviewed fund balance numbers. General Fund $232,000; FIL $738,000; Road $250,000; Budget Stabilization $148,000 (this money will not be budgeted for use and it can’t be used if budgets fall short); LCLA and Water funds are ordinance driven; capital projects $178,000. The $232,000 for General Fund is with the salary freezes. The cost to put the steps and cost of living back into the budget is $93,611. The county statutorily must have a minimum ending fund balance of $184,000, which will run the county for two weeks. Right now, the ending fund balance is $275,000, with the scenario of no raises and everyone staying status quo. If salaries are put back as they were, and no one is frozen, the ending fund balance will be $181,000, which puts us below the statutory requirement. With the 6% decrease in consolidated tax it will take the ending fund balance to approximately $94,000. One of the things that was being looked at before was that the county could give everyone the money. Revenue versus expense we will be upside down $400,000; this eats away at the cash fund balance. When we go into the next year we will start with a $400,000 problem. The Board is not only looking to solve the problems of this year, but they hope to solve the issues of the next three years. Wade Poulsen stated that the Board will have to look at all of the programs in place right now if cuts are needed; every program in place can be cut down to a four day program, including senior nutrition, after school program. This will keep the program moving but cut costs. Wade’s other idea is to consider cutting back one day labor per pay period all of the labor/county employees that receive an hourly wage, with the exception of the SO. The elected officials would have to cover the offices in the courthouse for those days. The only other option is to layoff employees. If there is no other way to make ends meet the workforce will have to be decreased. Wade said there are four things to add money to the bottom line: cut programs, cut positions, cut wages, cut work time. If the employees take the freeze then the county is right at the statutory minimum. Greg suggested that the Commission cover itself with a transfer back into the general fund for only this year; this will allow for one year to deal with this. With an ordinance change money can be transferred into the general fund, but that would only take care of this one year. Ronda said this doesn’t make sense because we’ll still be in the same boat next year and when that money is gone, it’s gone. If no changes are made to what is sitting here today the budget is minus $250,000. $4,258,000 will be brought in but $4,597,000 will be spent (this is with the freeze); this is upside down $339,000. Expenditures must be cut. The Board either cuts expenses or they figure out how to generate more revenue. The interest from the special
accounts is the only revenue coming in over and above taxes. Paul suggested that the Board approve the tentative budget and then make changes in two weeks to cut expenses. $38,000 change will be made based on pensions. Ronda made a motion to approve the changes to the tentative budget; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor. The county is saving nothing by giving extra vacation time to the bargaining units. With everyone taking two days off per pay period, without pay, the savings will be $129,000 (this excludes the SO). For the bargaining units this is a pay cut as opposed to a pay freeze. Ronda doesn’t believe that the bargaining units are looking for layoffs; she believes that everyone is willing to help. Paul stated that the best course is to go back to Gary Mauger and advise that the additional leave will not help. Kerry stated that Mauger loves to use Boulder City, but there is no comparison whatsoever, they have much more money that LC. John will talk to Gary Mauger and advise him that this agreement just will not work for the county. Kerry stated that the county can approach the associations without going to Mauger. It is suggested that the County Manager call a meeting for all of the employees to discuss the current situation. John said the quickest solution is to go directly to the union. The final vote belongs to the members of the union, not Mr. Mauger. Wade advised that the Board can’t bargain with the unions without going through the union representative. Wade further stated that if the Board has an issue with any of the units as a whole they approach the union representative first, who then presents the issues with the members of the unit. Each unit should’ve taken a vote on it. Lisa advised that she doesn’t know if the clerical unit voted on the issue of the additional leave, she only knows that they were told they aren’t allowed to take part in the phone conversation. Gary Davis suggested that all employees need to be explained the nuts and bolts of this situation by Dan; the Board should invite Gary Mauger as well. This would be a “state of the county” meeting. If all of the employees are going to be impacted by this they should be part of the solution. Dan advised that he is worried about step raises even one year from now. Ronda made a motion to hold an informational meeting for all county employees concerning the current status of the FY 2009-2010 budget on 5-18 at 9:30 a.m., prior to the regular public hearing on the budget, and a letter will be written and sent to all employees by the county manager; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.
Ronda made a motion to go into closed session; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor. Tommy made a motion to go into open session; seconded by Ronda. All voted in favor.
Tommy announced that he declined to attend the trip to Florida in regards to nuclear waste. Ronda advised that the Wilson Creek Power Partners, LLC, has filed for the placement of wind generators on Mt. Wilson, White Rock down into Atlanta, and Table Mtn.
Norcal would like to present an amendment to the contract on 5-18. The amendment will entail the terms that they’ve discussed with the Commissioners the last couple of months. Norcal will draft the amendment and send it to Greg for review. The rate for the public was suggested at 6-18%; the Commission suggested a much lower rate. The other 27% not charged to the public needs to be accounted for in some system so it goes on the book. Norcal believes they are close to the L.A. deal and they need to show longevity. Norcal believes this is a win/win situation for both. If the L.A. deal isn’t landed, the deferred monies for LC will be written off. Greg wants to see it in writing and he will run it by Mr. Grossbeck. Norcal wants LC to give them a good review to the L.A. deal. BLM doesn’t consider that there is an existing landfill in Delamar Valley. We have a deed to the ground and an EPA permit. If the county has permitted, deeded ground this is a different story. BLM can’t find it as it is patented. Compared to other rates it appears that the county is doing alright. In a sense this is a sham; how can they claim it as a loss as LC doesn’t owe them the money?
Paul disclosed that his wife is going with him to Florida and he’s paying all of her expenses.
There being no further business for the Board to attend to, Ronda made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:12; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.