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

September 3, 2013

LINCOLN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

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

 

Commissioners

Adam Katschke
Ed Higbee, Chair
Paul Mathews
Phil Donohue
Kevin Phillips, Vice Chair

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

 

Chairman Ed Higbee called the meeting to order at 9:03 a.m. Clerk Lisa Lloyd called the roll.

PRESENT:

 

 

Kevin Phillips, Vice Chair
Paul Mathews
Ed Higbee, Chair
Paul Donohue
Adam Katschke (leaves the meeting at 12:55 p.m.)

Lisa Lloyd, Clerk
Daniel Hooge, District Attorney

 

There is a quorum present and the agenda was posted on 8-27-13. The Invocation was offered by Adam and Paul D. led the Pledge of Allegiance.

#2-PUBLIC COMMENT

Ed called for public comment. Adam presented a packet to each Commissioner from the FLDS church. Ed read a letter from Rosemary Thomas concerning the application for the Wilson Creek Wind Project, which has been appealed to the Interior Board of Land Appeals.

CONSENT AGENDA

#3 Approve/Deny minutes of the August 19, 26, and 30 meetings.

#4 Approve/Deny the advertising and hiring of a replacement part-time clerk for the Recorder/Auditor’s Office.

#5 Approve/Deny budget transfer of $35,000 from the Lincoln County General Fund to the Planning Fund.

#6 Approve/Deny original and renewed business licenses according to staff recommendations (an itemized list of business licenses is available for public review in the Building Department prior to the meeting).

Paul M. made a motion to approve the consent agenda, with the exception of minutes for August 19 and 30; seconded by Kevin. All voted in favor.

#7-VOUCHERS

Recorder/Auditor Leslie Boucher presented the vouchers and cash balance report. General County has a balance of $467,793.55 with estimated expenditures being $148,183.12. General County will have a balance of $319,610.43. Transportation has a cash balance of $65,164.51 with estimated expenditures being $5,626.72. Transportation will have a balance of $59,537.79. Senior Nutrition has a balance of $129,576.82 with estimated expenditures being $11,868.98. Senior Nutrition will have a balance of $117,707.84. Detention Center has a cash balance of $100,527.36 with estimated expenditures being $79,379.93. Detention Center will have a cash balance of $21,147.43. Solid Waste has a cash balance of $136,068.01 with expenditures of $22,431.05. Solid Waste will have a balance of $113,636.96. Solid Waste owes LC Water Special Projects, Fund 87, $27,484.15. Airport has a balance of $297.54 with no expenditures. Planning has a balance of $6,997.80 with estimated expenditures being $1,956.17. Planning will have a balance of $5,041.63. Paul M. made a motion to approve the vouchers as presented with the exception of the Mountain Merc, LCTS, and Meadow Valley Pharmacy vouchers; seconded by Kevin. All voted in favor. Adam made a motion to approve the Mountain Merc vouchers; seconded by Paul D. Kevin disclosed he is part owner of Mountain Merc and he abstained from the vote. Motion carried. Kevin made a motion to approve the MV Pharmacy vouchers; seconded by Paul M. Adam disclosed that he is the owner of the pharmacy; he abstained from the discussion and the vote. Motion carried. Adam made a motion to approve the LCTS vouchers; seconded by Paul M. Paul D. disclosed that he is an employee of LCTS and abstained from the vote. Motion carried.

#8-OFFICER/DEPARTMENT HEAD REPORTS

ASSESSOR Melanie McBride advised that she was here Friday for the special meeting that was canceled. She advised that nothing was ever posted showing that the meeting was canceled. TREASURER Shawn Frehner presented a job description for the deputy in her office for the Board’s consideration. Shawn has been analyzing several issues that have arisen lately, including Secured Property Taxes; she presented this information to the Board. Shawn has been investigating the Caliente fuel tax; she presented documentation to the Board concerning such. Shawn has presented this information to the DA, who has advised it isn’t legal to make the payments out of road funds. The legal opinion from the DA states that Shawn can’t make any payments from the road fund for fuel tax, but it states at the end that there are avenues to pay this tax. Ad valorem can be used to pay the fuel tax but Shawn wasn’t certain PILT can be used to pay this tax. The accountant isn’t certain it can be done either. The Board will have to discuss their options and make a decision. To date, Caliente hasn’t been paid for the money we’ve received for January-June, or $44,581.52. Daniel advised that this is the same thing we’ve talked about before; these taxes can be paid from general county but once it goes into road funds it can’t be paid. Shawn suggested that the Board talk to Dan McArthur concerning this issue as well. Discussions were held previously concerning setting up a separate fund for the fuel tax monies; nothing was ever formally decided so this will be on the agenda at a future meeting. Taxation revenue statistics were presented to the Board members. LC’s revenues have decreased significantly over a long period of time. Shawn analyzed the combined sales and use statistics. The current year is a little more consistent even though we are down. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COORDINATOR Rick Stever advised that Labor Day weekend included a great deal of flooding in Pioche. Rick has spoken with three different people concerning the levels of moisture that fell; Pioche received between 3-4 inches in an hour. An effort was made by the town, county roads, and state highway to clean things up as quickly as possible. Saturday afternoon saw a great deal of flooding and wind in Panaca. The dike showed its value and prevented a great deal of water from coming down through Panaca. Discussions to improve and save the dike need to be taken seriously. Rick advised that he didn’t notice any water running in the southern regions and he believes the water disbursed in the fields south of Panaca. There was some wind damage in Panaca as well. A few years ago Rick ordered sandbags but he doesn’t have any that are full as there’s no where to store them. The bags will deteriorate over time if they’re exposed. If there was a building or place to put these sandbags to allow emergency access to them it might be prudent to have them available to the public. Rick advised that his office is funded 50% by low level waste grants; we are on the transport route. 25% is funded through a grant and 25% is funded through the county. In the process of doing budget work and receive reimbursement for expenses it was discovered that the county has obligated $4,700 for this year’s budget. Rick received a bill for $8,758 and that was taken out of his account for insurance. The Board will have to make some adjustments to his budget. This amount has never been discussed nor was it budgeted in the grant portion for reimbursement so Rick is unable to turn it in for such. BUILDING/PLANNING DEPARTMENT COORDINATOR Cory Lytle reminded the Board that Transwest comment period is tomorrow. Cory is working with Western Elite on various issues. The rain storm Friday filled the parapets up so much that the courthouse roof leaked. Building Department remains busy.

#9-HIGHWAY COMMISSION

This item was handled under separate agenda.

#10-LINCOLN COUNTY FIRE DISTRICT

This item was handled under separate agenda.

#11-ENGAGED LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

This item was tabled.

#12-LC HEALTH NURSE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

This item concerns the hiring of an administrative assistant for the Lincoln County Health Nurse as well as the determination of hours for this position. Nicole Rowe, LC Health Nurse, was present. The AA has already been hired, but Nicole advised this item concerns the difference between part time and full time. Nicole presented copies of the existing contracts for both the county and the school district. The contracts specifically state that both entities will provide a secretary for clerical duties. The county is providing a secretary but the school district isn’t. Sometimes, the LCHN has 20 patients per day. The county has been paying for a part time person, but this position really should be full time. LC needs to get with the school district to work out an interlocal agreement to decide who will pay what and how it will be paid. Daniel will work with the school district on this issue and it will be discussed at a future meeting. Nicole presented documentation outlining costs for a full time position. All of the other counties in NV have a full time secretary as well as the same contract with the school district wherein the school district contributes. Paul M. stated the school district is a good option, but other than that, where’s the money. The county budgeted very tightly and Paul M. stated that he doesn’t know where the county would come up with more funds. If the school district matched the $13,000 the county already pays it would bring the salary to $26,000 but this isn’t enough to cover benefits. Paul M. advised that the county continues to field the burden for issues the state used to pay for; the county is paying an additional $90,000 per year. If the school district could come up with the other half more hours could be discussed. Paul M. commented that right now it would be great to have more help and more hours, but the problem is where we will get more money. Nicole asked a representative to be present at this meeting but no one was there. The school district is saying the same thing as the county; budgets are set and it is unknown where the money will come from. Based on figures, it appears that the LCHN is doing more and more work every year. Nicole stated it is impractical to have a part time secretary. It isn’t possible for Nicole to take 20 patients per day and complete all of the required paperwork as well. Daniel stated that the school district contract is exactly the same so the county should only have to shoulder half of the burden. Kevin suggested that Ed call the superintendent to address this issue. Ed responded that he would be more than happy to contact the school. Nicole said the school district is aware of the contracts. Shawn stated that it sounds like the state needs to contact the school district to address the lack of funding; the county is upholding their end of the bargain. Nicole has a three tiered office, and only one other office in the state is set up like this. Nicole handles three different support groups. Nicole is making a huge different but the office can’t continue to progress without the necessary support. No action was taken and Ed and Paul M. will contact the school and invite a representative to the next meeting.

#13-JIM DEVLIN/BILLY CONN CONCERNS WITH WATER FLOW AND HOME IN PIOCHE

Jim Devlin and Billy Conn addressed the Board. Two weeks ago the water went off on Thursday/Friday and was off for about ten days. PPU is responsible for getting water to the meter, which is on the street below Billy’s house. There is no water available at the house; there is a pump at the house but no water to pump. Jim and Billy are paying the water bill but living there without any service of water. There’s a vault that the people who live above Billy put in; there’s a chance that they might be able to use it but it belongs to that other house. The state highway runs right in front of it. Something must be done as there are times now when Jim and Billy are running out of water. Getting the water to the meter isn’t a problem; the problem is getting it from the meter to the house. Jim has spoken with Nathan Adams, who told Jim that PPU only is responsible to the meter. Jim hasn’t approached the Pioche Town Board. Nathan has told Jim to get a plumber. Rob Phillips, the plumber, told him there’s water at the meter but it isn’t enough to get it to the house. There is no pressure to push the water over so the pump can pick it up. Nathan has worked for PPU for 13 years and he was always told that the location of the green house vault is the highest location that PPU will serve. The reason that Jim/Billy don’t have water pressure is due to elevation. The elevation on the ordinance says 6,150 feet. 6,155 feet is the elevation of Billy/Jim’s house. When the tank goes down they lose water. PPU works to keep the tank full. Last week a power pole went down and the well didn’t reset itself. The tank went completely dry. Jim stated that two weeks prior to the tank going dry is when they went without water for 10 days. Jim stated that they can’t live like that. Billy Conn, property owner, stated that several things are being left out. Jim was told the meter isn’t in the vault. The meter is next to the vault. There is a meter on top but it isn’t read. Billy stated that the meter isn’t being ignored. For 20 years people have lived in that house with no water issue; now all of a sudden it’s an issue. Jim was told that water is being sold out of the tank and it’s lowering the gravity. Billy stated the people before him put a booster in to give it pressure; there has always been water to the house. He’s never sucked water up to the house. Billy is questioning what is happening now, there were never problems before. Billy was told there’s a vault but he doesn’t own it so he’ll have to work something out with the people that do. Billy stated that Mike Rydberg put two big 6 inch pipes and installed a pump room. Mike will be pumping 6 inch pipe water up and over the mountain all the way to his mine, 1.25 miles away. If Billy has a problem today getting water to his house through a one inch line, what will happen when this 6 inch line goes in? Mike Rydberg is installing a personal water tank that PPU can use for fire. Billy stated that he can also install a 20 thousand gallon tank on his property so he has plenty of flow to his house. Mike has two high efficiency pumps to carry the water away. When the Board hears about this issue in the future they will need to see if they are selling too much water. Does Billy get a vault? Why isn’t PPU reading the meter where they used to read it? PPU says they’re only responsible for reading the meters where the water is. Billy’s property values have decreased. Billy asked the Board to investigate the problem and see what they can do for him. Billy has water today but water hasn’t been sold to the big trucks in a few days. Billy asked when PPU quit reading the pump on his place. Nathan stated that it had to be dug up at the bottom and he was told that they only own to the meter at a certain elevation. The town sells 50 million gallons of water per month, so 750,000 per month isn’t that much. PPU is running two wells during the summer now due to all the new houses with grass. The next step is to approach an engineer to see what has to happen now. 4-6 inches of water will be run from Hollingsheads across the bottom of town; this will take away volume from those up the hill. Jim stated another tank is needed to service the low times. Billy stated there has to be a cost effective way to get the water to his house and this is all he asks. The people that live higher than Billy have their own vault, which was installed in 1980. The ordinance that wasn’t signed reads that all houses above 6,150 in elevation shall be paid for by the water user. Glenn Zelch stated that Billy needs a booster pump so he would have water all the time. Billy stated this is the problem, he was told he doesn’t own it so there isn’t anywhere to put the pump in. Glenn advised he would go up and look at it to see where the pump could be located. Paul M. wondered if a step had been skipped since this issue hasn’t been addressed by the Pioche Town Board. Billy was more than happy to go to the town board to discuss and resolve this issue. Nathan and Glenn can meet with Billy to discuss the options for solving this problem. Jim doesn’t feel the vault should belong to the person who installed it. Jim understands that when something is installed the public utility that is responsible for supplying it owns it, regardless of who installed it. The vault should be part of PPU’s. Billy said that if PPU owned it he would’ve fixed it. If the town doesn’t own the vault then the people in the green house do. The people in the green house struggle with the equipment in the vault and it’s possible that they may be happy to team up with Billy on the maintenance. Billy would like a permanent fix, not a handshake deal that can be negated if the property is sold. Billy would like a permanent solution. PPU doesn’t pay for the vault as the people of Pioche would complain that they are subsidizing two houses. Billy commented that he doesn’t believe this is the end of people complaining about the lack of water and the problem. Billy stated that Nathan has inherited some problems and he’s trying to fix them with no money. No action was taken on this item.

#14-GRANTS

Trina Lytle advised that the Homemaker Grant is in trouble; the state didn’t award the amounts that they have in the past and they’ve also made it a fixed fee. This is a core program that needs to be protected. The state pays $15 per hour if the Homemaker works. The grants is for $25,500 and the Homemakers could work several thousand hours per year but the state will not give any more than that grant amount. This is approximately $7,200 less than last year. At this time, Toni’s salary comes out of CSBG and Fund 11 and Trina’s pay comes out of Funds 10 and 11. The Division has told them they have no choice but to take 1/3 of their wages out of both Homemaker and Nutrition. Toni has fought with them about this but the Division is insistent. There is money in the PILT Grant Match fund that can be used to subsidize this program. One of the main problems they have is hiring people and keeping them working. There are two drivers who are interested in working full time. They would become full time employees with benefits. A half portion of Trina’s wages were coming from Homemaker before this year; now they come from Transportation. Paul M. commented that funds were budgeted out of PILT to contribute to Senior Nutrition. Because state grants go away the county starts to inherit more and more costs. If it’s this year out of PILT Grant Match, will we have to budget more and how will that be done? In the long term, this is an additional cost to the county, who continues to incur more costs to keep programs running. There are two issues here, a decrease in funding as well as employee turnover. Moving people to full time requires greater expenditure and it isn’t clear if moving people from part time to full time is the best resolution. Many people are able to stay in their homes longer if someone can come in and clean for them. Moving salaries from other funds complicates matters. Paul M. asked how moving the money hurts the other funds. Fund 10, Indigent, would not be used. The grant doesn’t support the wages in Transportation. Paul M. stated that there is an ordinance against spending PILT funds for salaries. It is a short term answer to take it out of Grant Match and the proper, long term resolution is to budget for it next year. Paul D. made a motion made a motion to approve the funding of $8,744.58 (paid from PILT fund); seconded by Paul M. Adam was absent for the vote. Motion carried.

#15-INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN BIKE ASSOCIATION

Paul M. made a motion to pay $5,000 from PILT Grant Match into the International Mountain Bike Association; seconded by Paul D. Adam was not present for the vote. Motion carried.

#16-COMMISSION CHAMBERS REMODEL

Due to lack of budgeting, Paul M. suggested that the Commission Chambers remodel be postponed until next year. Paul M. made a motion to table this to the next budget process providing that estimates are taken into consideration at that time; seconded by Kevin. Adam was absent for the vote. Motion carried.

#17-PIONEER PARK

Paul D. made a motion to approve and sign the contract with Sunrise Engineering for the Pioneer Park Phase II project in the amount of $49,700; seconded by Paul M. Kevin disclosed that his son is a
principle engineer at Sunrise; he abstained from the discussion and the vote. Adam was absent for the vote. Motion carried with Ed, Paul M., and Paul D. voting in favor.

#18-PIONEER PARK

Elaine Zimmerman, Grants Administrator, outlined the process for acquiring the land for the Pioneer Park Phase II. It will cost $8,500 per lot, or $25,500 total purchase price. Budget change request still has to be made. Mr. Thiriot is considering accepting the offer. Originally, Mr. Thiriot offered the land at $3,000 per lot. Fair market value must be paid when using grant funding and an environmental is required. Using the funding to purchase the land will remove all of the type II for the parking lot, but Panaca Town Board prefers to purchase the land. Kevin made a motion to continue the process to acquire the property; seconded by Paul M. Adam was absent for the vote. Paul D. was opposed. Motion carried 3-1.

#19-GRANTS

Paul M. made a motion to approve and sign the Senior Services Nutrition notice of grant award from the Aging and Disability Services Division for a supplemental amount of $7,883; seconded by Kevin. Adam was absent for the vote. Motion carried.

#20-LC NUCLEAR OVERSIGHT

Connie Simkins advised that NV has filed a bunch of court cases, as have Nye County and South Carolina. NV has asked to have the hearing here and they support the reappointment of Allyson McFarland. NRC has asked to have everyone state their positions between now and 9-30. Nye County is opposing McFarland’s reappointment. Some of the European countries, post Fukushima, have started to shut down some of their
nuclear power plants. They are in a quandary as to what they will do with their waste. Connie presented a copy of “A Role for Nevada in Safety, Equity, and Incentives in Yucca Mountain Related Issues” dated September 2013. Nye County and Ed Mueller will present this information at NACO. At the last meeting Adam asked for information on Interstate 11; Connie proffered handouts concerning this subject. We are in the planning stages and there are four ways for it to cross NV.

#21-INTERTECH SERVICES CONTRACT

Kevin made a motion to approve Task 5.2 of Intertech Services/Dr. Mike Baughman regarding LC approach as an Interested Government Participant in Yucca Mountain related licensing proceedings; seconded by Paul M. Adam was not present for the vote. Motion carried.

#22-INTERTECH SERVICES CONTRACT

Kevin made a motion to approve partial Task 5.3 of Intertech Services/Dr. Mike Baughman to prepare and participate in Atomic Safety Licensing Board hearings; seconded by Kevin. Adam was not present for the vote. Motion carried.

#23-WILD HORSE REPORTS LETTER TO NACO

Paul M. made a motion to approve the letter to Jeff Fontaine, Nevada Association of Counties, endorsing the Wild Horse Reports re: “An Assessment of Economic Effects Specific to Livestock Grazing” and “An Assessment of Economic Effects Specific to Wildlife and Wildlife-based Recreation”; seconded by Kevin. Adam was not present for the vote. Motion carried.

#24-COMMISSIONER REPORTS

COMMISSIONER PAUL MATHEWS attended the Labor Day parade in Pioche; he stated we have a tremendous amount of volunteers who put in time and effort to grow our resources and communities. He offered his thanks. Paul M. has been trying to get ahold of Dan McArthur concerning Sheriff’s negotiations; he will continue to work on getting answers to questions. COMMISSIONER KEVIN PHILLIPS met with representatives from Pegasus Energy concerning biomass. Kevin met with Sheriff Lee, Captain Davis, Lt. Neighbor, and several individuals from Clark County. We have about 85 Clark County inmates right now. COMMISSIONER PAUL DONOHUE has been involved a great deal with the flooding in Pioche and Panaca. Paul D. asked Mr. Cluff to provide an estimate to clear the weeds back ten feet and spray them at the LC Airport in Panaca. It cost $600 and has been done. Mr. Cluff is going to provide an annual contract to take care of the weeds at LC Airport. Paul D. also asked for a price to have Mr. Cluff clear/spray the weeds at the fairgrounds; the estimate hasn’t come in yet.

#25-PUBLIC COMMENT

Ed called for public comment. Treasurer Shawn Frehner advised that they need to have another landfill meeting; it will take place on 9-16. Connie Simkins reminded the Board to attend the Transwest Express draft
EIS meeting tomorrow. Elaine Zimmerman discussed the insurance being taken out of Rick’s fund (Emergency Management). This money had been taken out of general county previously but this year it was from different accounts/different departments. Elaine stated that there might be several whose budgets are completely blown due to this new deduction. This issue will be on the agenda next meeting.

#26-ADJOURN

There being no further business for the Board to attend to, Ed adjourned the meeting at 2:59 p.m.

Attest:_______________________________Approve:_____________________________


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