PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF LINCOLN, STATE OF NEVADA
June 21, 2010
LINCOLN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
Paul Mathews, Chair
#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.
Paul Mathews, Chair
Bill Lloyd, Vice Chair
Lisa Lloyd, Clerk
There is a quorum present and the agenda was posted on 6-16-10. The Invocation is offered by Ronda and Paul led the Pledge of Allegiance.
#2 Approve/Deny minutes of the June 6, 2010 and June 14, 2010 Commission meetings.
#3 Approve/Deny signature authority for the Welfare Set-Aside Grant for 2010-2011.
#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).
Tommy made a motion to approve the consent agenda; seconded by Ronda. All voted in favor.
Recorder/Auditor Leslie Boucher presented the vouchers and a cash balance report. General County has a balance of $704,845.93 with estimated expenditures being $165,092.64. This leaves General County with a balance of $539,753.29. Transportation has a cash balance of $22,352.97 with estimated expenditures being $3,045.50. This will leave Transportation with a balance of $19,307.47. Nutrition has a cash balance of $44,518.28 with estimated expenditures being $8,373.97. This will leave Nutrition with a balance of $36,144.31. Detention Center has a cash balance of $268,567.06 with estimated expenditures being $80,523.03. Detention Center will have a balance of $188,044.03. Solid Waste has a balance of $62,012.27 with no expenditures. The Solid Waste Fund owes $27,484.15 to Fund 87. Airport has a cash balance of $1,468.65 with estimated expenditures being $1,397.61. Airport will have a balance of $71.04. Ronda made a motion to approve the vouchers as presented; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor.
#10-ALAMO NONPROFIT RADIO STATION
Harvey Caplan presented information concerning a nonprofit radio station to be located in Alamo. The tower planned will support amateur radio communications. Everyone associated with this project is a trained amateur. Harvey advised the Planning Department has given them some guidelines, which included location of an open space that already contains similar structures. Harvey has met and offered services to several LC entities, including Emergency Management and Silver Trails. The tower is 18 inches wide and 55 feet tall. Harvey presented an endorsement he has received from Alamo Town. Paul questioned why this issue is in front of the Commissioners as opposed to going before the Planning Commission. Ronda commented that a Special Use Permit (SUP) is required. Ronda believes Harvey must still go before the PC to obtain an SUP. Harvey commented that he was told he must start from scratch with the PC and pay another $550; there is no guarantee that it would be approved. They are a nonprofit and can’t afford to pay the fees again. Harvey further commented that he isn’t rich; he’s had to borrow money for this project. Ronda advised there is a cost incurred
for PC to do business. Clint responded that the fees in place reflect the cost to do the review. Harvey commented the code provides for waiving the fee for nonprofit corporations. Paul made a motion to have Harvey go back through the SUP process, not be charged fees, and be allowed to include the modifications under the first application; seconded by Ronda. Don Shanks supports this effort and offered to aid with advertising funding. This station will be a benefit to the County. All voted in favor.
This item is covered under separate agenda.
#7-PANACA FIRE DISTRICT
This item is covered under separate agenda.
#8-LINCOLN COUNTY FIRE DISTRICT
This item is covered under separate agenda.
#9-SOUTHEASTERN LINCOLN COUNTY HABITAT CONSERVATION GID
This item is covered under separate agenda.
David Day presented this item and commented that this land was donated by his father in the late 80’s for a medical facility. David referred to the deed; if this land isn’t used for a medical facility it reverts to the owner. About $20,000 has been put into the park. Nurse Jean Lucht advised the facility that she uses in Rachel is located on this property. The power company moved into about ¾ of the building. Jean reviewed her present accommodations. A medical facility can’t be provided at this time, and David believes his father would have executed retrieval of the land several years ago. Ronda commented there has been park equipment located on the land for several years. Bernadine Day started an ambulance service there and this land was donated in order to get it to stay there. This land was donated by David’s father as he saw the opportunity to have a medical facility located there. Since then, things have fallen apart. Money has never been spent on this property since the initial buildings were put in place by the County. Everything has been done by locals. Quik Pik provided the water. The Co-op had a pump put in the well in order to use the water located on the land. The County Nurse has never used the building; she saw people at the Quik Pik or Little Alien, David commented. Jean had a key to the building. A call was made to David’s mother last September advising that Jean would no longer be coming out to Rachel. Paul asked if the money for the park could be used for medical facility. No, it can only be used for the park. Phyllis will have to go back to SNPLMA and the County will have to pay back the $20,000. David commented that he would entertain a proposal by the Board to start doing things in Rachel. The park was a good idea, but Rachel only has one elementary school kid. Ronda commented that David and his mother attended a meeting about the park and the SNPLMA grant; they never said anything negative about it. The community was in full support of the park. David commented he is in a bad spot, but he’s going by what his dad’s wishes were. Jean is now servicing the community once per month. Daniel commented that if there is a medical facility and the nurse is going out there once a month that means there’s a medical facility; it meets the medical facility classifications. David advised the irony is that it has never been like that before he made the phone call with Ronda. Paul stated the Board is happy to negotiate with David to come to some type of term. If agreement can’t be received, David shifts it to a different realm as to getting the property back. David doesn’t feel the needs of the deed are being met. Paul asked if David would like to meet with his family to come up with a proposal. David would like to speak with the community to see how they feel about it. David doesn’t want any more time wasted on this until it is satisfied. Ronda commented that all forward movement will be stopped. The septic tank permit with NDOW will go ahead, but everything else will be held, Phyllis said. David said the grant requires licensed contractors to do the work. In the meantime, David said, the fence has been removed. Cory commented that a licensed contractor is required for anything that requires a permit. Advertisements were requested to take down the fence as this was considered in-kind. Engineering on the septic was started this winter. Jim Medlin did the digging of the test holes for the percolation tests. Jim will not do the digging for the septic. Structural work will go out to bid and the work will be done by a licensed, bonded contractor. The only unlicensed work that has been done is the demolition of the fence and the perk test holes, Cory stated. David said the material is gone and it was supposed to have been purchased by the community or donated to someone in need. Paul feels the issue today is whether or not the County can satisfy the requirements of the deed. David requested this issue be postponed to the next Commission meeting. No action is taken.
This item is covered under separate agenda.
This is an ordinance establishing permit fees and procedures for special events throughout Lincoln County and providing exemptions from such fees and procedures. This item has been tabled to July 6 Commission meeting.
Ronda made a motion to approve the budget transfers ($10,000 from FILT to Ag Extension, $1,000 from General County to China Springs, and $6,500 from General County to Vehicle Capital Project); seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.
#18-RESOLUTIONS TO TRANSFER
Ronda made a motion to approve the resolution to transfer budget appropriations to Pioche Town; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor. Ronda made a motion to approve the resolution to transfer budget appropriations to General County; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor. Ronda made a motion to approve the resolution to transfer budget appropriations to Alamo Town; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor. Ronda made a motion to approve the resolution to transfer budget appropriations to Panaca Town; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor.
#16-REVENUE STRATEGIES REPORT
Carson Bise presented the draft Revenue Strategies Report.
This item concerns a resolution to support the construction and operation of “Electric Generation, Station” uses having structure heights of up to 850 feet above ground level in accordance with Title 15 of the Lincoln County Code, the Coyote Springs Development Agreement, and the Lincoln County Master Plan. Paul commented this resolution doesn’t bypass any licensing required for this project; it simply supports the project. Harvey Whittemore, Coyote Springs Investment, addressed the Board. Harvey supports the resolution and offered background with regards to the relationship with Bright Source. A lease has been entered into. The ramp up of lease payments is dependent upon tower height. Tower height can go from below 500 feet to 850 feet. The recommended height is 820 for efficiency purposes. CSI has applied for hazard/no hazard determination by the FAA. Harvey referred to Sisolak vs. McCarran Airport case, which determined that private property owners have the right to build whatever they want on their property between 0-500 feet. The FAA determination will not preclude CSI from building the facility as this is private property. Different tower locations have been offered below and above 500 feet. This resolution, if adopted, will be viewed by the finance partners of Bright Source in a very positive manner. It will show that LC is supporting CS’s energy project. Harvey outlined the manner in which the FAA arrives at its determination. Department of Defense (DOD) is concerned about the impact on the use of the existing corridors to the west of US Hwy. 93. Those corridors allow for military transport vehicles used in mission training. Harvey reminded the Board they’ve already received approval for a major hotel facility on the Clark County side that will be under the 500 foot level. This resolution will be used to continue discussions with the existing tenant. The transmission issue still needs to be resolved. Harvey will meet with NV Energy and LS Power concerning the implementation and development of the SWIPP line. Harvey believes the transmission system will commence construction within the next six to twelve months. From CS south there will be a delivery system in place to CA. Bright Source has two existing PPAs with two major California utilities (PG&E and Southern Cal Edison). Harvey is committed to going through the normal licensing process and to showing different options to the Planning Commission. Bright Source will be pursuing the 820 foot option to determine the efficiency of the design. Harvey has asked that filings be prepared to show various heights above and below that. Ronda is concerned about the standard of 800 feet being set through this resolution; this limits the project as well as the future. Harvey commented this is a cap at 850 feet; it isn’t a particular height. Language reads “up to”. 150, 200, 250 meters are the cap that CSI has placed on the height. The towers are typical power plants. CSI isn’t asking the Commission commit to support a particular tower height. Colonel Steve Seroka from Air Combat Headquarters, Langley Air Force Base, VA. Colonel Tom Browning, Rob Hunt, Deb McNeil, and Captain Price are present from Nellis Air Force. Col. Seroka appreciates the economic situation and the need for renewable energy. The Air Force has training needs and concerns about the solar development on and in the vicinity of the NV Testing Range. This range is a DOD critical asset and it’s one of a kind in the world. This technology will impact military ops on the ground. It is highly likely that military ops will have impact on the solar project. Numerous studies are being conducted to understand ways to coexist. AF supports compatible renewable energy. AF requests that the Board not pass the resolution. AF’s opposes tower height as it has various affect on flight operations on the range. In addition, the facilities, people, equipment and wavelengths prevent super sonic flying. Vibrations from a super sonic flight could affect the equipment. There is some expectation that the pounds per square foot will be withstood by the mirrors. There is significant concern over the development of living conditions in this area as well. Development of technology in this area is a concern as well and will be a challenge to work with. Col. Seroka reiterated that any of this project will have an impact on the range. With the current administration, this is probably the first of many projects that will impact the AF, Paul said. Deb McNeil addressed the Board and cited the difference is that there is a minimum requirement to avoid structure by 500 feet. The minute development is put in this area restrictions will be placed on the AF. The difference in many cases is that the range has been here since 1941, but many of the communities have been here long before that. In the case of CS, the development was purchased after the AF was in the area flying supersonic operations. This creates an additional restriction that didn’t exist. The key is to find an area where development can exist within the County. The challenge is that this isn’t a small impact, it’s an immediate impact and it’s over a greater area than just 9,000 acres. It is similar to putting a school zone in the middle of a freeway. Paul commented the private land already exists and asked why we can’t plan for other parts of the County that don’t have a land mass within them be used as compensation for those private areas we already have. Co. Seroka advised they are pursuing a study. There are some ways to mitigate the impact with the technology that is used, but there will still be an impact to the range. This is in a pristine area of the range and they could be jamming their Wi-Fi that controls their mirrors.
At what point is the land completely unusable for what it’s been used for, Col. Seroka asked. Paul isn’t opposed to the idea of working with the AF in regards to future applications. Deb commented their main concern with the height is that once it gets over 400 feet it is in national airspace. AF is asking that the County not approve a height that the FAA hasn’t made a determination on. While it doesn’t stop a project, it impacts funding for grants and private property insurances. At this point, it is premature to approve a tower height of 850 feet until the FAA and AF determinations are made. If there is a determination of hazard then the County is supporting something the FAA has determined to be a hazard. Ronda reiterated that she doesn’t mind approving a supporting resolution, but would like to leave the height off. Ronda is a supporter of keeping the nation free. She also supports letting our servicemen get out there and do what they need to do in order to prepare to defend our country. Ronda acknowledged the AF’s need to be careful in flying over structures. Ronda hates to put her name on something that says 850 feet. If the County is lending support to CSI’s project, Ronda asked why it is imperative to put the 850 feet on the resolution. Ronda suggested that it might be possible to include the height at a later date once determination has been made by the FAA. There are about 80,000 flight sorties at CS per year. AF has asked FAA to look at the glare and other potential problems for the pilots as this is new technology that doesn’t exist in other locations. Bright Source is willing to look at helping with these tests. Bright Source continues to look at efficiencies. Col. Seroka stated the corridor in question, Sally Corridor, is for more than transit to and from airspace. This airspace is used for a variety of missions across the corridor. This is a highly used bit of airspace for more than just transit. Tommy stated his favorite people are the US Military people. His favorite colors are red, white, and blue. Tommy asked for specifics as to the impacts. Will it cause them to have to move over half a mile, for instance? Tommy further stated that a PUD for this area has been approved and he asked if the AF will be here requesting something different once permits begin to be issued. There is a big difference between restricting private land versus public land. Tommy asked if the designated areas for solar, as delineated by Senator Reid, will impact the AF. Yes. The AF is working on quantifying the impact of this area on flight operations. Impact to people and infrastructure on the ground will occur. Harvey commented that 45,000 homes are removed as a result of designating the 9,000 acres for solar. In 1996, the AF hadn’t said anything about retaining a navigation easement, Harvey said. If this had happened, CSI wouldn’t have purchased the land and gone through the subsequent hoops. CSI respects the mission of the servicemen. There is no question about being a good neighbor, Harvey comment. Harvey reviewed a map outlining the fact that CS lies right in the middle of the Sally Corridor. Harvey commented that 98.6% of the land in LC is owned by the federal government. This is one of the few pieces of private property that can be developed; the rest are subject to restrictions. A development agreement and contract are in place to enhance both CSI’s and LC’s positions with respect to this. This resolution is designed to cap the height of the tower at 850 feet; to put an upper limit on it. Harvey commented that this is not military airspace. It might be national airspace, but the big hotels in Las Vegas paid absolutely nothing for national airspace. Harvey has the right to build his property. If he can’t build, then it becomes an issue of “taking”. CS is trying to cooperate. The support of this limited height is for those who will financially support the project. This resolution says the County will continue to support the development, cap it at 850, and come in with three alternatives. Harvey will deliver, to the record, all of the efforts DOD has made in anticipation of CS being built out, to modify and move these corridors. In 1988, DOD should’ve advised Harvey that he wouldn’t be able to put anything out in that area and he shouldn’t invest one dime in this area. Harvey advised that this resolution will convince Bright Source that CSI and the County are serious about this project. AF hasn’t started to move off the Sally Corridor. Operations will remain unchanged with the exception of the 500 feet restriction that is based in the Federal Aviation Regulations. They will stay above 500 feet obstructions in uncongested areas. AF will have to place more restrictions over the airspace due to the project. Technology has developed to the point that more airspace, more altitude, and more things on the ground are needed for training than what was necessary in 1988. We have a very small force and they have to be better than anyone else. Deb commented that since 2002 the AF has engaged on the Clark County side. AF must continue to train, so they require disclosures to homeowners that this is a supersonic area, has been and will continue to be. AF hasn’t made any representation that they will change their operations other than to meet existing standards. While the size of the range hasn’t changed, its effectiveness has been diminished by the aircraft. There is no requirement in LC to give up a navigation easement nor is it presently imposed. Harvey stated that the AF has been a good neighbor and it’s time to begin negotiations about drawing a “bubble” around CSI in LC. Clint Wertz was approached by a CS representative concerning this issue. Clint sent a letter advising of the process for determining a land use standard, which requires, at a minimum, a land review. Clint cautioned the Board on making the decision as they are taking a land use action on something. Clint reminded the Board that, earlier today, they took action to refer a 55ft tower back to the Planning Commission (PC) for consideration. Paul disagreed as so much preliminary work has already been done on this project. Clint disagreed; the Board would be setting precedence without going through the proper process. There is no application on file and it hasn’t gone through the PC. This is circumventing due process. There are other property owners that have the same right to due process as CSI has. This is the wrong forum to approve something that says 850 feet and it shouldn’t have come to the Board in this fashion, Clint advised. Ronda reiterated her concern about showing support of 850 feet as stated in the resolution. In CC, this issue would have to go before the PC prior to being heard by the County Commissioners. Ronda is concerned about this process; LC has a PC that was put in place. Rules and regulations should be followed. Further, Ronda commented that respect needs to be shown to the PC; it should go before the PC and then be brought before the Commission. Ronda asked that the Board require this to go through the proper process. DDA Daniel Hooge has concerns about the resolution as some of the language seems to eliminate the need for the PUD process. Harvey remarked that it isn’t their intent to avoid the PUD process and the resolution isn’t designed to preclude the PUD process. Daniel will endorse the resolution once the first paragraph, second page, is removed. Harvey agreed to removal of the paragraph. Deb commented that it is putting the cart before the horse by approving the 850 without the benefit of the FAA determination. The way that it reads now, it basically says that LC supports up to 850 feet, Daniel said. Lower heights can be restricted based on findings. Once this goes through the planning process all of the facts and hard evidence will be vetted. Harvey acknowledged that the evidence can come back in at varied heights, but this resolution shows the support of the project, up to 850 feet. Ed disagrees with government telling private property owners what they can do with their land. Ed said if he errs, he will do so on the side of private property owners. Tommy made a motion to approve the resolution with the first paragraph on the second page removed; seconded by Bill. All voted in favor. Connie Simkins remarked that she strongly supports the military and thinks that the AF is short changing their
pilots in that they can’t take out 9,000 acres and trust their pilots to avoid these areas.
#21-HELICOPTER LANDING PAD IN ALAMO
Pahranagat Valley Fire District is requesting use of the vacant area west of the Alamo ambulance barn for an emergency medical helicopter landing pad. The landing pad will be available for use by all emergency helicopter service providers. PVFD will construct the landing pad in cooperation with Mercy Air. Gerry Julian, Business Development of Mercy Air, addressed the Board. They are moving an aircraft to Mesquite in mid-July and this will increase the service to this part of the County. Currently, they are using the highway to land the aircraft. This isn’t the safest environment for landing. Dimensions will be decided upon by aviation management. Tim Perkins commented their primary concern is safety and convenience. This is County owned property. PFVD is very supportive of this, Tim said. It is believed there will be no public opposition. Ed made a motion to approve; seconded by Tommy. Tommy offered the assistance of the LC Road Department. All voted in favor.
Clint Wertz presented the draft ordinance to update Title 12 of the Lincoln County Code (LCC) and to adopt new DFIRM (floodplain) maps to comply with federal guidelines to remain active in the National Floodplain Insurance Program (NFIP). Paul read the ordinance by title. Ronda made a motion to set this for public hearing on July 19 at 1:00 p.m.; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.
#22-LINCOLN COUNTY GAME MANAGEMENT BOARD APPOINTMENT
This item has been tabled to the next meeting. No action is taken.
#23-NUCLEAR OVERSIGHT PROGRAM
Connie Simkins presented a request for approval for Paul Seidler, Keith Larson, and one County Commissioner to attend the Blue Ribbon Commission meeting on July 14-15 in Richland, WA. Total cost for the trip is $3,371.16. Ronda made a motion to approve; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.
This item is tabled.
Phyllis Robistow, Grants Administrator, presented these items.
a) Update—$17,500 was rolled over from the DOE grant last year for an Emergency Management vehicle. Phyllis will be doing a supplemental grant application for ¼ salary for Rick and Phyllis that will get us through September. In that application, Phyllis is requesting another $32,500 to go towards the vehicle (no match required). Nevada has the highest rate of unemployment in the nation. Phyllis checked to see if the asbestos had been removed from the Pioche Locomotive. Bechtel removed all of the asbestos from the engine in the 90’s. The Airport Vice Chair, Wendy Rudder, got the airport group she belongs to to fund $32,000. In-kind would be used so the left over amount on this could be used to erect a fence at the LC Airport. Currently, LC has $22 million in open, active grants. They are not all worth that amount, but the work involved is the same regardless of how much money is left in them. Phyllis advised that some of these projects need to be closed down prior to starting new grant-funded projects.
b) Replacement grant award for the energy retrofits in Lincoln County in the amount of $675,000.00 — Ronda made a motion to approve; seconded by Tommy. All voted in favor.
c) Contract with Sunrise Engineering for design and engineering on the following projects: Million Dollar Courthouse, Lincoln County Courthouse, and Lincoln County Detention Center—This item is tabled.
Cory Lytle presented these items.
a) Update—Richard, Cory, Dawne, and one other person are taking CPR/first aid training on the AED next week. Cory continues to work on Pioche and Panaca Parks. Cory has been busy with inspections. Panaca Elementary is moving along swiftly.
b) Letter to County entities regarding capital improvements, maintenance, and repairs — Tommy made a motion to approve; seconded by Ronda. All voted in favor.
c) Recorder’s Office air conditioning/heating unit. Repairs are estimated to be $2,500.00 — Ronda made a motion to approve, to be paid through Fund 95; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor.
AED training is needed for those that have them.
Senator Ensign contacted Ronda. He is going to try and stop the bill concerning solar legislation as there is opposition from Nellis Air Force Base. Since it wasn’t properly vetted, and until it is, Senator Ensign will stand firm in trying to stop it. Southern NV Water Authority has also offered comments; they want to ensure there is either low or no water usage on any of the solar legislation.
Paul called for public comment. The Air Force mentioned better coordination with regards to certain issues. Tommy invited them to attend a Tri-County meeting this Friday. Tommy will mention it to other TC members to see if they are willing to participate in coordinating with other agencies. Vaughn Higbee commented that legislation has been introduced to do energy parks; it will be limited to NV Test Site and areas affected by nuclear. There are discussions about trying to get money for planning for the counties adjacent to the AULGs for energy parks; this will be to offset the impacts of Yucca Mountain. The legislation introduced is for the Hanfords and NV Test Site situations. Ronda will meet with Senator Ensign’s office regarding the solar legislation. Ronda will meet with Sarah Adler concerning biomass. An email has been received from Jeff Fontaine concerning language to be put on the ballot this November. It concerns consent of the local government before the state can act to decrease local revenues. Cory Lytle has spoken with Nathan Adamson regarding the deer problem at the sewer ponds. The state is going after funding to get the fence fixed.
There being no further business for the Board to attend to, Tommy made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 4:26 p.m.; seconded by Ed. All voted in favor.