PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF LINCOLN, STATE OF NEVADA
April 19, 2010
LINCOLN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
Paul Mathews, Chair
#1-CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL
Vice Chairman Bill Lloyd called the meeting to order at 9:00. Clerk Lisa Lloyd called the roll.
Paul Mathews, Chair (joins meeting at 9:15 am)
Bill Lloyd, Vice Chair
Lisa Lloyd, Clerk
There is a quorum present and the agenda was posted on 4-14-10 to comply with the open meeting law. The Invocation is offered by Ed and Tommy led the Pledge of Allegiance.
#1 Approve/Deny minutes of the April 4, 2010 and April 8, 2010 Commission meetings.
#2 Approve/Deny change order for the Pioche Upper Park in the sum of $9,964.35.
#3 Approve/Deny Tax Strike on APN 11-210-29, Salesi Lasike, 2155 assessed, refund $64.25, as there is no well on the parcel.
#4 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.
Recorder/Auditor Leslie Boucher presented the vouchers and a cash balance report. General County has a balance of $974,697.26 with estimated expenditures being $164,264.99. This leaves General County with a balance of $810,432.27. Transportation has a cash balance of $25,635.40 with estimated expenditures being $2,732.53. This will leave Transportation with a balance of $22,902.87. Nutrition has a cash balance of $64,458.10 with estimated expenditures being $9,072.16. This leaves Nutrition with a balance of $55,385.94. Detention Center has a cash balance of $260,442.25 with estimated expenditures being $78,576.15. Detention Center will have a balance of $181,866.10. Solid Waste has a balance of $78,429.50 with no expenditures. However, the Solid Waste Fund owes $27,685.40 to Fund 87. Airport has a cash balance of $1,955.25 with estimated expenditures being $437.27. Airport will have a balance of $1,517.98. Leslie asked if the Planning and Building Directors, who have separate contracts, will fall under the Personnel Policy. Leslie asked for further clarification on LCFD, PFD, PPU, and Tri County Weed District; do they fall under the Personnel Policy (PP)? The Planner’s contract expired June 2009; in the contract the annual leave is different than what is contained in the PP. All personnel will be governed by the contract unless the Board chooses to exclude them. The Tentative Budget is on file in the Clerk’s office.
Paul joins the meeting at 9:15 and assumes the Chair.
Tommy made a motion to approve the vouchers as presented; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor.
This item is handled under a separate agenda.
#9-PANACA FIRE DISTRICT
This item is covered under a separate agenda.
#10-LINCOLN COUNTY FIRE DISTRICT
This item is covered under a separate agenda.
#21-SOUTHEASTERN LINCOLN COUNTY HABITAT CONSERVATION PLAN AGREEMENT
Ken Dixon presented this item. Fish & Wildlife has agreed to all changes to the special permit conditions. Ronda made a motion to approve the Southeastern LC Habitat Conservation Implementing Agreement; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.
This item is discussed under a separate agenda.
#25-LC NUCLEAR OVERSIGHT PROGRAM
Jason Pitts, Brandon Babcock, Dantley Walker, Alyssa Huska, Jeremy Avery and Shelby Taylor presented the redesigned Lincoln County Nuclear Oversight Program website.
#14-LC SHERIFF’S OFFICE DISPATCHER
Sheriff Kerry Lee advised that he had to let a dispatcher go. The fellow that was working part time has been moved into that position. Kerry asked for permission to refill the part time position. This is not creating a new position and will not change the budget in any way. Kerry will hire from the hiring list; if this doesn’t work out he will re-advertise and retest. Tommy made a motion to approve hiring an employee to fill the part time dispatcher position; seconded by Ronda. All voted in favor.
#26-COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE
Connie Simkins presented a letter to University of Nevada Reno Chancellor, Dr. Milton Glick, asking that the College of Agriculture be kept open. Ronda made a motion to approve and send the letter; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor
.#16-MOU BETWEEN LC/BLM RE: TRANSWEST EXPRESS & GATEWAY SOUTH TRANSMISSION LINES
This item concerns a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regard the development of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Transwest Express Transmission Line and Gateway South Transmission Line projects. Ronda made a motion to approve the MOU for the Transwest Express Transmission Line and appoint Cory Lytle to participate in the proceedings; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor. Ronda made a motion to approve the MOU for the Gateway South Transmission Line and appoint Cory Lytle to sit through the proceedings; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor. Ronda commented that she’d like a representative from these entities to make a presentation to the Board concerning their projects.
#12-LINCOLN COUNTY FAIR & RODEO GROUNDS BUILDING
Three bids were received: Pearson Brothers ($47,350.00), Hardy Construction ($45,832.40), and Eagle View Contractors ($49,656.00). Tommy made a motion to accept the bid from Hardy Construction; secondedby Ronda. All voted in favor.
This is an ordinance governing special events permit fees and procedures. Cory Lytle discussed the insurance coverage. Michele Wadsworth commented that the County is covered for all County-sponsored activities and anything that is considered a “normal use” of the park. If the park is reserved for exclusive use then private parties will be responsible to obtain special event insurance. Entertainment Brokers International is the insurer; rates are broken down by Class. Much of what is being considered is controlled by the Pioche Town Board; they will set the rental rate at whatever the Board decides. PTB has been requiring this insurance for any event that isn’t considered “normal use”. Tommy commented that normal activity at the park includes weddings. Private insurance is another layer of protection not only for the person sponsoring an event but for the County as well. If an event isn’t on County property special insurance will not be required. Cory commented that he doesn’t even think permits should be required if events are taking place on private property. Michele suggested the Board could require special insurance for any non-sponsored event that is on County property. If events are not o County property, the need for special insurance will not apply. There is some discussion about the fact that the County can’t insure BLM or State property. There is some discussion about tracking every single event and the County paying the additional fees. A list of all events will have to be created and one person will have to track every single event, including how many people attend. Paul asked if there isn’t just some sort of blanket premium that can be paid and then the County can assume some risk. Paul is concerned that tightly regulating the facilities will prevent people from using them. A free use atmosphere needs to be created so that the facilities will be used. Why have these facilities if we’re afraid to use them. Michele responded that policy can be set to cover certain events, but special events can be designated if they are more than the County wants to be liable for. Labor Day events are covered; the vendors bringing things in are not covered. Wendy Rudder commented that local vendors come into Alamo for July 4th; this is an Alamo Town Board sponsored event. Wendy questioned whether or not they’ll have to charge these small local entities for insurance; if so, they will not have an event, just a parade. Neil stated that vendors will stop coming in for Labor Day if they are required to obtain insurance. John Crosthwait advised that you can’t add special events to home owners insurance. John is required to get additional insurance for the fishing derby. John further stated that requiring all of these fees will ruin the events and no one will be willing to sponsor them anymore. All of these events bring money into the County and all of these added regulations will eliminate the events altogether. John isn’t opposed to the requirement for enormous special events but is opposed to these regulations on small events. John said the second the County charges for a Special Use Permit the County accepts a certain amount of liability. John doesn’t believe permits should be required for private property events. Tommy agreed. Bill stated that it’s none of the County’s business what is going on with the private property events. Greg, Paul, Michele and Cory will meet to discuss the liability issues the County is facing. Robert Collins commented that he’s attended many events and the insurance was included and charged as part of the setup fee. Michele responded that this is a possibility. Ronda made a motion to table this item to the 5-17-10 meeting; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor.
#15-LINCOLN COUNTY TRAILS DAY
At this point, there is no impact to Trails Day as there is no special events policy in place. Trials Day should move forward this year as it always has. LC Trails Coalition isn’t a County entity. Tommy commented that Silver State Trails was developed through an act of Congress; some of these trails might be used for Trails Day. Tommy questioned whether or not these trails were designated to the County. No; they’re BLM. LC Trails Coalition has been rolled into LCAT, which is a nonprofit organization.
#17-ALAMO SEWER & WATER PIPELINE REQUEST
Kate Nelson, Far West Engineering, presented this item. Alamo Sewer & Water is requesting permission to run pipe in the County’s right-of-way for their waste water project. The affluent will be run to fields east of the ponds. The force main will be upgraded to six inch. The existing easement is in the backyards of Yoppsville. The force main was constructed prior to the homes being built. They would like to put the new force main within the 40 foot parcel that LC owns. Some of the fences will be moved and put back once the project is complete. This will cross Paradise Road. Ed made a motion to approve; seconded by Ronda. All voted in favor.
#18-SITHE GLOBAL UPDATE ON PROJECTS
Tom Johns of Sithe Global presented an update on Toquop gas power plant and solar projects on Flat Top Mesa. Phase I of the Toquop plant will be a nominal 600MW combined cycle plant that will begin construction in 2012. Commercial option will begin in 2015. Phase II will be a nominal 500 MW combined cycle plant that will begin construction in 2015. This is an approximately $1 billion project. This will increase the tax base in the County by more than 12 times above the current total assessed value of property. Over $10 million annually in tax revenue will be generated. The natural plant will average approximately 400 union construction workers for the 32 month construction period, with peak employment of over 800 workers. Once operational, the project will have 50 full time employees. The direct payroll will average $275 million per year over the construction period and $5.2 million per year during plant operations. Construction is expected to begin in 2012 and operations will begin in 2015. The plant will use hybrid cooling that will result in reduced water consumption by 64 percent compared to a water cooled plant that had been proposed in 2003. The hybrid cooling will allow higher efficiencies and lower CO2 emissions than an air cooled plant. The Flat Top Mesa Solar Project is a proposed 50MW Photovoltaic (PV) power facility located 4 miles northwest of Mesquite in LC. The project will be constructed on up to 1,000 acres of private land that had originally been planned for residential housing. The project will begin construction in 2011 and is expected to cost $200 million. The project is being developed by Sithe Global Power, a privately owned international power plant developer with headquarters in New York and development offices in Houston. PV technology uses panels consisting of rows of photoelectric cells which convert the sunlight striking the cells directly into low voltage direct current (DC) electricity. Photoelectric cells are mounted in rows onto panels and covered with a protective coating that protects the cells from the elements, but allows sunlight to pass through. The panels are mounted in arrays that are connected to a voltage inverter that converts the DC current into alternating current (AC) electricity. The AC current output from a number of inverters then is passed through a transformer which increases the AC voltage. Once fully constructed, Flat Top Mesa will be one of the largest solar facilities in Nevada and the U.S. Employment will average approximately 200 union construction workers for the 12 month construction period, with a peak employment of over 300 workers. Once operational, the project will have 2-4 full time employees. PV plants do not require water for operations. Small amount of water will be used to periodically wash the PV arrays. Connie Simkins commented that Sithe Global has been very good to work with the ranchers in the area and encouraged the Board to support their project.
#19-FY 2010-2011 BUDGET AND TAX RATE
This item has been tabled.
Emergency Management Coordinator Rick Stever presented these items.
a) Update—The State Hazard Mitigation Committee is holding quarterly meetings throughout the state and they will be in Caliente on May 27th. They are requesting input from anyone that has information concerning County hazards.
b) Letter of concurrence with the State of Nevada Division of Emergency Management requesting permission for the State to use emergency radio frequencies—Tommy made a motion to approve; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor.
c) Grant from State Emergency Management to enable Lincoln County to hire someone for a total of 120 hours to help identify types of emergency response resources available throughout the County—Ronda made a motion to approve; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor.
#24-NUCLEAR ENERGY WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT & TRAINING WORKSHOP
Connie Simkins made a request for Vaughn Higbee and Elaine Zimmerman to attend the Nuclear Energy Workforce Development and Training Workshop in Augusta, GA, April 20-23, 2010. Ed made a motion to approve; seconded by Paul. All voted in favor.
#28-LC PERSONNEL POLICY
Dawne Combs advised that all of the updates have been incorporated into the policy. Ed made a motion toapprove the LC Personnel Policy; seconded by Ronda. All voted in favor.
Phyllis Robistow, Grants Administrator, presented these items.
a) Update—12.9% is the unemployment rate. We received the $300,000 from DOE to start work on the LC Courthouse. Once the permits are issued on the MSHCP the 2004 Question 1 grant will be finished. The annual HUD action plan for NV is up for review. Rick Stever, Dawne Combs and Phyllis will be attending a workshop in Las Vegas on May 11th for the Hazard Mitigation Plan.
b) Contract with GEM Engineering in the amount of $5,300.00 for soils and concrete testing at the Pioche Park—Ronda made a motion to approve; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.
Clint Wertz presented an Update—Clint will be getting on track with the public lands, solid waste, and open space plans.
Clint Wertz presented this item. This ordinance adds a Title to the Lincoln County Code regulating the development of the Alamo Industrial Park by establishing development by planned units pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 278A of the Nevada Revised Statutes, by enumerating zoning districts, by establishing minimum design standards, by establishing development application procedures, and by establishing specific design requirements. The average development rate is $48,000 per acre. Ronda made a motion to propose the ordinance and set the public hearing for May 17, 2010 at 1:00 p.m.; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.
#23-PIOCHE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
Steve Hansen, Donnene Mathews, and Ruth Scott of Pioche Elementary requested a donation of $17,000 to continue the Pioche After School Program. This request has been granted before and funded through Fund 94. Ruth read a letter into the record signed by Kathy Wright, Stephanie Vincent, Jane Fiscus, and Kathy Wadsworth. Ruth commented that they realize the County is in as bad shape as the State. Alamo Schools are not losing any aides. Panaca Elementary will still have 2 full time aides. Caliente will still have 2 full time aides. Ruth and Donnene will be without employment. Pioche lost a teacher last year to budget cuts and this position will not be filled any time soon. Paul disclosed that Donnene is his aunt. Paul stated that he is concerned as a habit is being developed. The County helped the first year as the grant was short. The second year, the County paid an increased amount and this last year the County funded $17,000. There may be some potential for Pioche to get a grant in the future. Donnene stated that this program should be funded if the County can afford it; this is a good program and it is desperately needed by the children. Donnene worries about what will happen to the children if the program goes away. Fund 94 interest has decreased significantly. Paul asked that a broad scope plan be created if this is going to be a yearly request. Ultimately, there is either a long term or short term plan. Phyllis said this is something that has been left in her hands. Pioche is the forgotten entity when it comes to grants. As long as the County is funding this program, it will never be a priority for Pioche to seek grants. Pioche tried to get money from the Children’s Cabinet, but they are not funding new entities. Dawne Combs asked if the parents have been approached to pay a little each week. This was attempted in the beginning of the program. Ruth responded that many of the parents have already faced large pay cuts; they simply don’t have the money. Tommy asked if the County was providing money for a babysitter or for education. Ruth responded by inviting the Board members to come and observe the amount of homework that they accomplish each day. Sheriff Kerry Lee commented that many of the kids in the program would do no homework at all if this program didn’t exist. Steve stated that the School District doesn’t see any way to fund this program. The two schools with this type of program qualify because of socioeconomic status; the numbers of free and reduced kids determine this. Bill stated this is an excellent program and he feels the County should fund it. Paul agreed supporting this year, but by next year, they need to have some alternatives. Rick Stever suggested that the School Board be approached to see if they can fun part of this as well. Paul responded that Steve is very aware of the funding situation within the School District. Ronda commented that it is imperative that they approach the School District about this. Ruth said the SD doesn’t fund after school programs. Donnene has already asked about funding. Steve reiterated that there is no money. As an administrative team, they’ve looked for funding but to this point they simply don’t qualify. Wade Poulsen commented that the Commissioners get hit up for money throughout the year for various programs. Wade asked if this funding is approved, will it hinder or deter the possibility of some of those other activities being eliminated. Not at this time. Tommy made a motion to fund this program for one more year, not to exceed $17,000, from Fund 94; seconded by Bill. Ronda asked if they could work with partial funding. Donnene commented that they are being paid bare minimum for what they do. Ronda advised that this money will be used to fund the summer school program. Ronda asked if there is money left over can they not fund the summer school program. Ruth responded that the summer school program gives the kids one more month of education. The summer school program gives the kids something to do and they work on education. Ronda asked if the County can support another $17,000 if Alamo wants in on this. Tommy said this is an existing program and Alamo would be developing a new program, so it would be handled differently. Ed commented that he would like to see the parents more involved and see them pay some money for the program. The number of kids attending decreased drastically when they charged for this program a few years ago. All voted in favor. Dawne further commented that a letter should be put to the parents advising that we are in jeopardy of losing the program and asking if they have any ideas for fund raising.
#27-AMBULANCE SERVICE RATES
Louise Buettner presented a request for a change/increase in rates. The increase will be $6.45 with the per mile fee of $12.00 to remain. The current rate to the County will be 20% of the collections to Grover C. Dils Medical Center. The hospital will provide the first bill by April 19. Based on the agenda only the rates may be addressed. Bill made a motion to increase the rates from $6.04 to $6.45 with $12 per mile; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor. Changes to the service rates will be addressed at a future meeting.
Cory Lytle presented these items.
a) Update—Panaca Elementary School is underway. Cory continues to work on the various SNPLMA projects, including Panaca Park, Pioche Park, and the Rachel Park. Cory has received information on the roof repairs for both the LC Courthouse and the Million Dollar Courthouse.
b) Delamar Hare Scrambles-Wildbunch Motorcycle Club (M/C) and Motorcycle Racing Association of Nevada (MRAN), May 1, 2010—Things are in order for this race. Ronda made a motion to approve; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.
c) Eagle Valley Hare Scrambles-Eagle Valley Ridge Runners M/C and MRAN, May 22, 2010—Cory doesn’t have the BLM SRP, but he assumes it will be approved. The County committee has approved this. Tommy made a motion to approve, subject to BLM approval; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor.
d) Best in the Desert (BITD) Camp Valley Trail Ride, May 15-16, 2010—Tommy made a motion to approve with the correction of the race name to “Battle Born State 150”; seconded by Bill.
e) Best In The Desert Bilek Racing Silver State “300”, April 24, 2010—Cory doesn’t have the BLM SRP for this race. Tommy made a motion to approve, subject to BLM approval; seconded by Ronda. All voted in favor.
#7-OFFICER/DEPARTMENT HEAD REPORTS
COMMISSIONER RONDA HORNBECK met with BLM last week concerning patents on the dump site stations. We need to move forward with obtaining patents for all of the sites within the County that are lacking. COMMISSIONER TOMMY ROWE attended the NACO Board meeting in Carson City. The National NACO convention will be in Reno, NV, on July 16-19th and they would like to have a higher number of participants from each county in attendance.
Paul called for public comment. Marge Detraz presented a newspaper article from the Las Vegas Review Journal dated April 19, 2010. An overwhelming majority doesn’t trust the government. The soil in NV is so sandy a railroad could never be built from Yucca Mountain through Caliente.
There being no further business for the Board to attend to, Ronda made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 3:36 p.m.; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor.