PUBLIC WORKS UPDATES

Public Works Director, Ron Damele noted there will be an extrication training in Eureka on May 30. In Public Works updates, he said the Kobeh Basin bid specifications are complete. He met with Crescent Valley Town Advisory Board member Dawn Gann to go over water conservation ideas for the Crescent Valley park. Damele expressed concern that the sage hen may take higher priority over life and property for fire suppression. “That’s kind of disturbing,” Damele said. Water meter upgrades were completed in District 1 and conservation notices sent out to Devil’s Gate residents. Damele said May Clean Up has been going well and reported that the pool manager was at Red Cross training in Las Vegas the previous week.

COUNTY BALANCE

Bev Conley, Clerk/Treasurer, reported that the County began the month of April with $10,470,909, saw revenue of $606,462, disbursements of $989,859 and closed the month with an ending fund balance of $10,087,511.

CULTURAL, TOURISM & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS

Andy Rossman, Cultural, Tourism, & Economic Development Director reported she submitted a grant for $2500 in the first cycle of marketing grant applications to the state. As 280 grant requests were submitted to the state, as Director of the Pony Express Territory she’ll be participating in meetings to go through the grants to decide which to recommend which she’ll be participating in by phone as the meetings take place in Carson City.

REMAINING 2015 CRESCENT VALLEY ACTIVITIES FUNDS TO SUPPORT LOCAL GYMKHANAS

Angie Black came before the Commission with a proposal to utilize the existing 2015 remaining Activities Program monies to fund upcoming events at the Crescent Valley Arena/Rodeo Grounds. Black gave the Commissioners “a quick update” on the series of gymkhana events she’s organized for which she’s received “huge support” and donations from Action Trucking, Granite Construction, Major Drilling, American Drilling, Peggy’s, Hair Mania, Ace Hardware, Food Town, H&R Block, Ames, the Dean Ranch, Napa, Sunwest Silver, Barrick Gold, Klondex Gold. Donations provided included t-shirts, duffel bags, gift certificates, bales of hay, lunch boxes, water bottles, jewelry to raffle, and 60 riding helmets which were given to the children. On May 3rd at the gymkhana a raffle was held with 50% of the proceeds going to a local family that just lost their son.

With $3,000 in awards handed out for whole series and another $3,000 in “goodies,” Black said the gymkhanas are having “a good turn out” with excellent support from the Road Crew. Dates for future events have not been set but Black asked for the $2,120.39 left in the Activities Fund to support the fall series. The Commission approved the request.

NATURAL RESOURCES NEWS

Natural Resource Manager, Jake Tibbitts reported on May 11 worked with a small group on the Groundwater Management Plan and on the 12th went to Reno to the Desert Research Institute for a Biochar Field Day at which soils from Diamond Valley were used in experiments with biochar concentrations to see results. On the 13th he attended the DNRPCA irrigator’s meeting where there were 25 to 30 people with the primary discussion being over petitioning the State Engineer for curtailment in Diamond Valley. Tibbitts was there to provide information while they determine amongst themselves how to proceed. On the 15th Tibbitts attended the Humboldt River Basin Water Authority where State Engineer Jason King and Rick Felling of the Division of Water Resources discussed declines in the Humboldt River and the proposed capture model the State Engineer plans to use to determine if pumping in certain location is having on river flow. Tibbitts said the midel itself is not important, rather what he sees as important is what is determined to be done with the knowledge as far as how it will be used and ensuring people have lead time on state planning “rather than just pulling the rug out from under people.” Tibbitts said there will be on-going discussions over the next couple of years so everyone’s prepared.

On June 1, Tibbitts, Abby Johnson, members of the Planning Commission and Commissioner Etchegaray will be attending a Joint Land Use Study Meeting at the Naval Air Use Station. As the military’s operations extend over Eureka County and potentially impact land use, mines, surface occupancy, communication towers with no land use regulations, the military has been highlighting “incompatability issues” with Eureka County. Tibbitts stressed the importantance of developing understanding and clarity now so with leadership changes in the future the County does “not have surprises.”

In relation to the State Sage Grouse Plan, Tibbitts noted there has been a push in Congress to put in a ten year delay during which the Fish & Wildlife Service can’t move forward with sage grouse related rule writing if a state has adopted a plan and rather needs to allow states that have developed a plan to implement it. Tibbitts said while the House passed the measure attached to the National Defense Authorization Plan the chances on the Senate side “may not be good.”
Goicoechea noted the measure talks about Resource Management Plans and the BLM not being able to implement changes inconsistent with state plans and is not sure how that would occur or how it could be enforced.

Eureka County Commissioners approved
• Per request of Sheriff Keith Logan, replacement payment of $360.00 to Advanced Radiology Limited for an indigent medical bill for services incurred on behalf of an inmate on August 24, 2013 with the original check processed in September 2013, erroneously cashed, later reimbursed to the County, but never replaced;
• Shifting primary supervision to County Assessor, Mike Mears, and secondary supervision to the Acting Recorder/Auditor, Tina Hubbard, for a shared position between the Assessor and Recorder/Auditor’s offices;
• A six month contract extension, through Dec. 31, 2015, with Abigail C. Johnson, providing consulting services for the County Commission, Natural Resources, and Public Works, bringing expertise in environmental reviews, rural community development, project management and coordination, public information and writing without increasing the current contract amount of $63,000.00 of which approximately $40,000.00 remains in unexpended funds;
• Authorizing staff to bid the Steven’s Basin and Kobeh Valley Groundwater Exploratory Well Drilling, Construction, & Test Pumping Project, PWP No. EU-2015-188Funding for this project will be from the current Fiscal Year 2014-2015 budget to determine the quantity and chemical qualities of these waters;
• Adopting a Resolution to Provide Payment for Fire Engines Directly to the Volunteer Fire Departments with the Eureka Fire Protection District when Responding to Wildland Fire and All Risk Incidents The 2015 Annual Operating Plan for Cooperative Fire Protection Agreement between Bureau of Land Management, Battle Mountain District Office, Elko District Office, and Eureka County;
• Adopting tax rates for Fiscal Year 2015-2016;
• A proposed amendment to the Eureka County Personnel Policy, Section 3.A.500, Employee Costs for Health Insurance for Dependents, to modify language related to the percentages paid by employees for dependent health insurance coverage as outlined in a resolution proposed on April 13th by the Board of Eureka County Commissioners a copy of which has been available in the Commissioners’ office for public review and has been distributed to all employees for review and comment;
• Authorizing staff to bid the Steven’s Basin and Kobeh Valley Groundwater Exploratory Well Drilling, Construction, & Test Pumping Project, PWP No. EU-2015-188;
• Entering into formal agreement with Mark Pollot, Esq for legal representation on the appeal of the BLM Fish Creek Herd Manasgement wild horse gather and fertility control treatment with the monies already having been allocated;
• Requesting BLM State Director Review of the Final Decision for the Mt. Hope Project Plan of Operations Amendment;
• Amending the Eureka County Personnel Policy, Section 3.A.500, Employee Costs for Health Insurance for Dependents language related to the percentages paid by employees for dependent health insurance coverage for new hires to 50/50 coverage;
• Adopting tax rates for Fiscal Year 2015-2016;
• Accepting the Final Budget, and signing top sheets for Fiscal Year 2015-2016;
• Adopting Budget Augmentation Resolution for augmentation of the Assessor’s Technology Fund by $2,645 for the Fiscal Year 2014-2015 budget.