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PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF LINCOLN, STATE OF NEVADA

March 15, 2010

LINCOLN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

Commission Chambers
Lincoln County Courthouse
181 Main Street
Pioche, NV 89043

 

Commissioners

Paul Mathews, Chair
Bill Lloyd, Vice Chair
Tommy Rowe
Ronda Hornbeck
Ed Higbee

#1-CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL/INVOCATION/PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Chairman Paul Mathews called the meeting to order at 9:00. Clerk Lisa Lloyd called the roll.

PRESENT:

 

 

Tommy Rowe
Ronda Hornbeck
Paul Mathews, Chair
Ed Higbee
Bill Lloyd, Vice Chair

Lisa Lloyd, Clerk
Rick Stever, Fire Chief
Greg Barlow, District Attorney

 

There is a quorum present and the agenda was posted on 3-9-10 to comply with the open meeting law. The Invocation is offered by Ronda and Tommy led the Pledge of Allegiance.

CONSENT AGENDA
2* Approve/Deny minutes of the February 24, 2010 and March 1, 2010 Commission meetings.
3* Approve/Deny grant award from Aging and Disability Services for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act categorical meals in the amount of $10,541.00.
4* Approve/Deny grant award from Aging and Disability Services for nutrition categorical meals in the amount of $9,281.00.
5* Approve/Deny Business Licenses with staff recommendations (an itemized list of business licenses is available for public review in the Building Department prior to the meeting).


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

#6-VOUCHERS
Recorder/Auditor Leslie Boucher presented the vouchers and a cash balance report. General County has a balance of $768,390.60 with estimated expenditures being $171,450.72. This leaves General County with a balance of $596,939.88. Transportation has a cash balance of $33,938.86 with estimated expenditures being $6,753.21. This will leave Transportation with a balance of $27,185.65. Nutrition has a cash balance of $44,449.82 with estimated expenditures being $7,892.67. This leaves Nutrition with a balance of $36,557.15. Detention Center has a cash balance of $254,302.29 with estimated expenditures being $70,292.71. Detention Center will have a balance of $184,009.58. Solid Waste has a balance of $79,873.30 with no expenditures. However, the Solid Waste Fund owes $27,685.40 to Fund 87. Airport has a cash balance of $2,522.89 with estimated expenditures being $617.64. Airport will have a balance of $1,905.25. The Sheriff’s Department submitted a voucher from Emergency Systems for outfitting a vehicle, Fund 42, in the amount of $3,076. This fund is in the red by more than $200. Sheriff Kerry Lee has advised they have another vehicle that has to be upfitted. Leslie would like to transfer money into this fund from General County as the ending fund balance came in higher than anticipated. Leslie will transfer $6,500 into Fund 42. $8,500 was budgeted for sales of vehicles but only $4,000 was collected. Ed made a motion to approve the vouchers as presented; seconded by Ronda. All voted in favor.

#17-DELINQUENT GARBAGE BILLS
Greg has a list of delinquents from Treasurer Kathy Hiatt. Greg will make formal demand on these individuals and then pursue this through small claims. Ronda made a motion to send these bills to the DA’s office to process; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.

#8-HIGHWAY COMMISSION
This item is handled under a separate agenda.

#9-PANACA FIRE DISTRICT
This item is covered under a separate agenda item.

#10-LINCOLN COUNTY FIRE DISTRICT
This item is covered under a separate agenda.

#11-ORDINANCE #2010-01
This is an ordinance establishing permit fees and procedures for special events throughout Lincoln County and providing exemptions from such fees and procedures. Cory Lytle reviewed the proposed ordinance. Questions come in on a daily basis, and Cory spends a great deal of time on the phone trying to cover every happening in the County. Cory continues to work on resolving the questions that are being raised. There are many events that shouldn’t require permitting, but they will be covered under the County insurance and just an every day use of buildings. The big celebrations in the County are difficult to address as far as permitting and liability coverage. The large events, races, have been addressed. Cory advised the Board that the minor events are those that need to be addressed in this policy. Ed suggested that it be included in the ordinance that Cory can exercise common sense as to requiring permits. Rental for public facilities will be required. If it is a normal use of the facility, the event coordinator’s insurance should be covered under a standard policy that the County has already paid; user rates would be covered under the rental fees. Most of these special events that will be addressed in this permit process don’t include the use of County facilities. Michele Wadsworth is working on a list that will be approved by the Town Boards for uses that don’t qualify. If it will cost the County extra money, the Town Boards will have to raise the fees to cover the cost incurred for the insurance. Cory commented that the policy being considered today is “a different beast than a wedding at the Thompson Opera House”. John Crosthwait doesn’t agree with this policy. John referred to the cancer walk held in Eagle Valley; it’s based on donation only and doesn’t make that much money. If funds have to be taken out to pay for the permit, it drastically reduces the amount of donation. John doesn’t believe the County is big enough for special activities. John asked that the Board let this go as approving it will stifle any activities that might bring business into the County. John doesn’t think one person should be able to make the decision on this. Barbara Rhode discussed the Trails Day, sponsored by LC Trails Coalition. This isn’t anything beyond a group of people coming together to encourage people to come into the County to use existing trails. A waiver is signed prior to people leaving and going on the trails. These individuals don’t go out on the trails alone, they are guided. When Barbara talked to Cory about this it concerned her. Trails has such a small budget as it is and if they are required to pay insurance and a permit they will cancel this year until they can get all of their ducks in a row. Caliente also wanted insurance to use Rose Park; this is where the Saturday dinner is held. Barbara commented they aren’t sure what to do at this point; move forward or cancel completely for this year. Cory stated that no insurance in the world will cover personal participation. This covers spectators and supporters. The waivers have a certain degree of importance, but once you get into a legal situation the waivers don’t have the coverage that people think. Connie Simkins thanked Cory for his hard work on this policy. Connie has been involved in putting on many special events in the County and liability insurance is essential. The participants in the rodeo are required to have their own insurance; spectators are covered by the event. In the past, they’ve notified the County of a special event and a fee has been assessed for a certain period to be covered under the County. Fair insurance is handled differently. Connie attended a public park event this last weekend in Clark County. A catering company came in and Connie asked questions concerning this issue. The caterer is responsible for the insurance and rental fee of the park. Tommy agreed with John; we shouldn’t worry about the small stuff or anything that will stop potential visitors to the County. Tommy advised Barbara that we don’t have a policy as of yet so nothing should stop Trails Day. Tommy further commented that more research is required prior to adoption of a policy. Cory advised that, if something happens, it will come back to this Board and the question will be asked why nothing was done about it. Cory will continue working with Michele. There are races to be considered with two immediately pending. The County is listed as a coinsured party on the insurance that is acquired by the race entities. Greg discussed insurance coverage. If negligence were to be proven, if there is no insurance for the event then the County is self insuring. This means that if money is awarded, it will come directly out of general county coffers. Any event put on by a County entity will be covered by County insurance as would the use of the County facility. If any non-County entity comes in they would need to provide their own insurance. The small, personal events are difficult. Those that are doing a family/social event have to get insurance and this is part of it. Those who earn money aren’t complaining about the insurance requirement. Any large event coming in that is outside the normal course should require a permit as well as outside insurance. Neil Graham discussed Labor Day; insurance is provided by Dolan & Edwards. The bigger vendors that come in from out of town have their own liability insurance. Neil is concerned about the locals; we won’t have any local participants if they have to get their own insurance as they can’t afford it. Neil suggested the County could get insurance and then charge the vendors for the coverage. The permits are running the small, individual people out of business and preventing them from earning any money, John said. It simply isn’t worth people’s time to come up here as they don’t make enough money, especially now that permits are required. Cory suggested that County insurance could be used to cover Labor Day and the cost could then be passed onto the vendors. Cory continues to work on creating a list of events and types of insurance required with Michele. Paul suggested that a committee be formed to refine this policy. The sticking point of this policy is insurance. Ronda made a motion to table this item to the 4-19 meeting; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor.

#16-LETTER TO UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD RE: HABITAT CONSERVATION PLAN
This item concerns a letter of request to UPRR regard anticipated actions on the Southeastern Lincoln County Multispecies Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for the current and next fiscal year. It is estimated that the HCP will be completed in May. Due to lack of funding, UPRR is willing to pay a portion of their fees up front for take. Tommy made a motion to approve; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.

#13-OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL POLICY
Connie Simkins presented this item. Does prior approval for out-of-state travel apply to elected officials, employees, and contract personnel if said travel is to be funded by oversight monies? Wade Poulsen suggested that “teeth” be included in the policy to govern broken rules. Ronda commented that she doesn’t recall this policy applied to elected officials; it was directed at the contractors and employees. Wade recalled that anyone traveling out-of-state under nuclear waste funds was required to get pre-approval. The policy being discussed today applies only to nuclear waste. Wade also recalled that travel via nuclear waste funds was to be reviewed by legal counsel. The Board agreed that pre-approval is required. Tommy commented that this hasn’t been applied to all contractors as many of them have traveled using nuclear waste funds without prior approval. Tommy further stated the “teeth” of the policy would be that payment for the travel simply would be denied if procedure hadn’t been followed. Connie advised that she’s brought this forward due to the Blue Ribbon Panel’s first meeting on March 25-26; Connie needs to attend to become familiar with the members on the panel and
their processes. Connie would like to know how BRP will allow us to offer information. Ed and Bill agreed that it is extremely important for both Paul and Connie to attend the BRP meeting. If there is a short term travel decision that needs to be made it can be submitted to legal counsel. No action is taken at this time.

Lunch 12:02-1:00

#12-PERSONNEL POLICY
Recorder/Auditor Leslie Boucher advised that the sick leave accrual should match the LCLEA, Dispatchers Unit, Road Department, Road Supervisors, Road Department Assistant and Clerical agreements. There is some discussion about the history of the bargaining units with regards to mirroring the personnel policy after the bargaining units. Wade Poulsen stated that the personnel policy should be different than the bargaining unit agreements. The bargaining units have heartburn over the County policies piggybacking on their agreements. There is some discussion about continued changing of the personnel policy with regards to the changes made in bargaining agreements. Paul stated the policy wouldn’t be changed every time there are changes in bargaining agreements; it creates a level playing field for now. Some of the things in this policy will apply to only those who are non-contract employees and some will apply to all employees. There are sections in the bargaining agreements that refer to governance by the personnel policy. Daniel Hooge advised that bargaining agreements don’t have the 75% payout if terminated; pg. 72. The bargaining units get a higher accrual rate is different, based on steps. If you work 8 hours you now get 10 hours per month, after four years of consecutive service. Glenn Zelch feels the County needs to look at this seriously as it is too generous. Ronda made a motion to accept the 10 year incentive, to convert sick to annual; seconded by Tommy. An individual will have to have worked 10 consecutive years to be paid out sick leave. All voted in favor. Once the policy is accepted and put into place, it will apply to everyone — new or existing employees. Dawne Combs stated that no comments were submitted; she sent copies to every entity in the County. Greg discussed the cell phone and credit card sections. County credit cards are to be used exclusively for County business and only if a traditional purchase order results in higher cost. Cards may never be used for personal business. Monthly statements must be reconciled and submitted to the Auditor. Notification to the Auditor is required if a purchase of more than $250 is to be made. Violations may be prosecuted. Whoever has the card will have to account for it. Leslie is concerned about would be taxed; when purchases are made and put on the card the taxes are rolled into the charges. The County is tax exempt. Daniel commented the policy addresses this. It states if it is economically efficient to use the card, then it should be used. At any time using the card could save money the cardholder should certainly use it. The purpose isn’t to end run the PO system. The PO system should be the default system. The credit card should be reserved for use when there are special circumstances. Ronda made a motion to accept 2.20-Credit Card Use-as written; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor. The proposed cell phone section prevents using a cell phone while driving. Hands free devices can be used. If you’re getting paid for mileage and you’re on the County’s time, regardless of whether or not you’re in a County
vehicle, this policy prevents using a cell phone while driving. Daniel said if you’re in a County vehicle or on County time you can’t use a cell phone. Greg stated this is a liability, risk issue. Greg said eventually someone will get in a wreck, and there will be injuries and costs; the County is liable if the employee was on County time. Cory Lytle suggested that texting be added. Glenn referred to the probationary period covered on pg. 54. The proposed probation period is 180 days. The Sheriff’s Department serves one year. Departmental transfers are required to serve 180 day probationary period as well. If someone is promoted they can be terminated during the probationary period. Glenn asked if it is possible to promote someone simply to get rid of them. Language could be added creating an option to move the person back, if a space is available. Greg commented that the other side of the coin is whether you force the promotion or it’s accepted. The person accepting the promotion accepts the risk of elimination. During the interview for promotion individuals are told there will be a one year probation period, Kerry said. Some of the policies for the County are different than those the Sheriff’s Office uses. The Board agreed to add language stating that those individuals promoted may go back to their former position, if it’s available, as opposed to just being terminated. Wade discussed overtime, pg. 62. Wade suggested that overtime be defined as any time past 40 hours worked in one work week. Paul commented that a supervisor could control the hours. Kerry questioned who this policy is covering. Leslie cited that it is for nonexempt employees. Option B was removed from pg. 63. Glenn addressed Rehire, pg. 55. Glenn advised that this would prevent rehire to a lower class if that is the only position available. Greg will redraft this section. Wade discussed pg. 67, 4.12.3. This says if an employee isn’t granted a step one year, it can be doubled up the next year. The Board agreed to strike 4.12.3. Pg. 17 blank will read County Manager or individual designated by the County Commission. The pg. 18 blank will read the same. The blank on pg. 23 will read Sheriff’s Department and Department Head. Mileage section will be changed to reflect the County’s current rate. Greg will incorporate the changes and redistribute copies to all departments. No action is taken and this will be considered at a future meeting.

#15-EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
Rick Stever, Emergency Management Coordinator, presented this item.

a) Update—The Local Emergency Planning Committee has submitted a grant to the State Emergency Response Commission. Notification has been received that the Governor is contemplating dipping into these funds. Rick has subsequently notified all the entities that requested funding that this is a possibility. The LEPC is required to have at least one HazMat drill in the County per year.

#19-GRANTS
Grants Administrator, Phyllis Robistow, presented these items. a) Update—At the end of December unemployment rate was 9.3%. January saw a rate of 12.4%. Phyllis is working to find places to store the food purchased with a grant for a food bank. The food will need to be kept under lock and key. Toni Pinkham is attending training this week. Grant funds for Meals on Wheels truck have been received and the truck has been ordered. LC is receiving a transportation bus on March 23rd. Transportation and Homemaker have applied for grants; it’s unknown if they will be awarded to LC. Phyllis believes mental health services will be lost here in the County based on State budget cuts. A contract was signed with Division of Health and Human Services for the public health nurse in August 2009. Changes were made that benefit the County. Instead of having the Board vote on the contract again, they simply made amendments. Phyllis will check with the DA as to legality. $200,000 was awarded to LC via Save America’s Treasures; this requires a match. Phyllis requested funds through SHPO. Ron James advised that LC can have $40,000 which was de-obligated. This brings us to $165,000 for the match. Phyllis will budget an additional $10,000 for the match. All told, it will have cost the County only $35,000 for a $400,000 project.

b) Sub-grant award through the Nevada State Office of Energy from the Department of Energy for energy efficiency repairs to the Lincoln County Courthouse in the amount of $300,000.00 — This is American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money. Ronda made a motion to approve; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.

#18-PLANNING ITEMS
Planning Department Coordinator, Dawne Combs, presented these items.

a) Update—None.

b) Termination of Summit Engineering contract—Tommy made a motion to accept the resignation; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.

c) Basin Engineering Corporation contract—Ronda made a motion to approve this contract for one year; seconded by Tommy. Ed and Bill are opposed as they’d like to see this go out to bid. Motion carries 3-2. Doug Carriger suggested that if this was opened up it might be possible for the two local surveyors to check each other’s work, which would eliminate a conflict of interest.

d) White & Smith, LLC,contract—Mark White’s contract has expired. Mark has completed the draft development agreement. Clint would like to see another contract signed with Mark White for time/materials in the event we ever want his services. Mark would be employed on an as needed basis. Ronda stated this contract gives the right to terminate, but not the contractor. This should be consistent across the board, in all fairness. Mark would review submitted development agreements or land use applications upon request. If these documents are being reviewed for legality, Paul said, it should be run through the District Attorney. Mark White has a degree in planning but he’s also an attorney. Approval by the Commission will be required prior to hiring Mark for review projects. Paul commented it is important to not incur unnecessary costs during this difficult budget cycle. Dawne suggested that “no work can be organized with Mark without the Board of County Commissioners’ approval” be included in the contract. Ronda made a motion to retain White & Smith, approve the contract for one year, no work can be started without the approval of the County Commissioners, and the termination clause needs to be corrected; seconded by Tommy. Coyote Springs has objected to the County’s use of Mark White. Ronda commented that CSI has their “people on retainer to look at theirs” and the County needs to take control and not just rely on someone else’s knowledge. The County needs to look at what we are doing for us. Ed said it is important to protect our constituents. Mark White has worked for Nye County as well. Ronda feels that hiring Mark will aid the County in providing expertise from the County’s side. Ed and Bill are opposed. Motion carries 3-2.

#20-BUILDING DEPARTMENT
Cory Lytle, Building Department Director, presented these items.

a) Update—An arena is being built in Alamo in hopes of increasing tourism. Invitation to bid for the Fair Building will be advertised this week. Cory met with Gary Elmer, Panaca Town Board Chairman, to review changes to Panaca Pioneer Park. Building permits have been low.

b) Cost recovery rates for business license invoicing from other departments—From here on out they will be doing a cost recovery rate for each quarter. The recovery will be for both Dawne Combs and Cory’s time spent on processing business licenses. This rate could apply to any department. Phyllis suggested that this be done to the penny. Tommy made a motion to put this to the penny; seconded by Ronda. All voted in favor.

#14-OPEN AIR CINEMA INSURANCE
This item has been tabled to a future meeting.

#6-VOUCHERS
Ronda made a motion to approve the transfer of $6,500 from General County into Fund 42; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor.

#21-PUBLIC COMMENT
Paul called for public comment. Ronda spoke with Tom Johns of Sithe Global; they are moving forward with the purchase of Flat Top Mesa. The entire mesa will be used for solar and Sithe will work with the County on this. Sithe has decided not to move forward with a coal fired power plant; they’ll use gas. Paul advised that NDEP wants a solid waste management plan for LC. Phyllis commented this was a project Clint was going to work on. All agreed this project was listed on the Planning Department’s project list. LC has until April 5th to respond. Ronda advised that she’s been in contact with Senator Reid’s office concerning the National Conservation Area proposed for LC. Cory Lytle stated he’s been elected chairman of the County Game Board. Dahl Bradfield is in the process of resigning, and Ray Schmutz might need to be replaced as well due to health issues. Cory has been appointed to a State Mule Deer Restoration Committee. Cory will go to Elko on 3-25 to meet with this committee. Cory discussed the Mule Deer Foundation banquet on March 27th. Marge Detraz asked if the meeting concerning Mike Heizer’s property was held. Yes, on March 10th. No decision was made at the meeting; it was for public comment/input only. Marge inquired, who from Robison/Seidler asked Paul to fly to D.C. to check on the Blue Ribbon Commission? Vaughn Higbee.

#22-ADJOURN
There being no further business for the Board to attend to, Ronda made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 3:58 p.m.; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.

Attest:_______________________________________

Approve:_____________________________________


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