Eureka County Commission News – March 30, 2017

BUDGET CONSIDERATIONS

In considering Fiscal Year 2017-18 revenue projections, the County received finals from the State and Kim Todd said, “It looks like they’re keeping it right about where it was; it did go up a little bit; you’ll see on the first page the secured and unsecured is at $788 and the net proceeds is at $246, bringing us to $1,034,728,897; so we will calculate revenue based on the pro forma from the state” which “will be out next week, which is where they will figure the abatement, so we will budget those figures in the budget.”

Todd said, “We’re still at that $200 million on the assessed value; and yeah it didn’t look like the motor vehicle fuel tax, any of those one cent; any of those cents increased; so those all seem to remain the same in this final projection from the state.”

Todd said, “The CTAX went up a little bit; they estimated $5,099,885; it went up just about $10,000 or so; last year on the CTAX we budgeted $4.5 million and I’m still recommending that we budget about $4.5 million on the CTAX.”

Chairman Goicoechea said, “Isn’t that rosy? So, Ron how much road can you build for $15,000?”

Ron Damele, Public Works Director, said, “Not very much.”

Todd said Net Proceeds are projected to be “roughly $4 million, but you have to figure $1.7 million goes to the school; $700,000 and some goes to the state; so we’re looking right about $1.6 to $1.7 million for the county in Net Proceeds.”

Goicoechea said, “We are going to budget for zero again.”

Next the Commission reviewed the tax allocation worksheet.

Todd explained 1 cent has to be allocated to the Ag Extension from the General Fund as mandated by NRS and the tax rate is going to remain where it is now.

The county is working to offset the anticipated increase in health insurance premium paid by employees and prohibiting increases to salaries and wages and how to not take money out of the employees hands.

In considering how to save money, the commissioners looked at merit, longevity, and the 3 percent elected official pay allowed by NRS.

Goicoechea said, “I’ve got to say something for my own conscience; I can’t in good faith support a 3 percent elected official’s increase when we don’t have money to put fiber in; we don’t have money to put our roads in; we don’t have money for a lot of things. I would love; I would love to give everybody a raise, but I can’t and I won’t support it that way; I’d like to see what it was for merits and longevity; but I just don’t feel it’s responsible at this time to give ourselves one and not give our employees one, but that’s my thinking.”

If everyone got merit pay and everyone eligible got longevity and the 3% elected and appointed officials salary increase would total $91,000.

Presently there is $125,000 in the capital outlay fund. Goicoechea said, “This is one of the big ones that when I looked at it, it scared me; ca we’re gonna take half of what we have in our ending fund and spend it; and we’re not gonna put anywhere near that back in” and “if this thing doesn’t balance like we’re hoping it was gonna balance, or even thinking it was gonna balance; we’re in big trouble” and “then we start closing down buildings instead of worrying about if we’re paying mileage; let’s look at it with that off; let’s take that off.”

Goicoecha said, “I just think we need to hammer this down a little tighter on the tentative; on the preliminary budget.”

So they eliminated budgeting $50,000 for a generator and $50,000 for vehicles.

Goicoechea said, “So everybody knows I went through looking at big ticket items trying to figure out exactly where we were; anything else; so I think the biggest discussions we have today are, what its gonna do salary benefit-wise, based on this.”

YUCCA MOUNTAIN

Turning to Yucca Mountain, Johnson, County Nuclear Advisor, said, “Now that we have a budget overview from the new Administration, we have an idea that Yucca Mountain is back on the table.” Johnson said in “the President’s skinny budget…quote, “The President’s 2018 budget provides $120 million to restart licensing activities for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository and initiate a robust interim storage program; these investments would accelerate progress on fulfilling the federal government’s obligations to address nuclear waste, enhance national security and reduce future taxpayer burden” so we don’t have a breakdown on that yet that I can tell, that I can figure out; and I don’t know, what of the questions is for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to restart licensing and people I’ve talked to so far, nobody knows about that yet; so I’m still working on that part; it seems as though the strategy is to have Yucca Mountain go forward, but also to have some sort of interim solution going forward, like there’s a private fuel storage repository in Texas where they want to take on the high level waste; and one of the reasons they want to do that is over, since Yucca Mountain, the Yucca Mountain process stopped, actually since 1998 when the federal government said they were going to take the waste from commercial power plants and they didn’t, taxpayers have paid $30 billion in fines, paid to the nuclear power industry because the government didn’t take the waste as promised; so that’s part of what’s driving this interim and permanent at the same time; it also gives the interim place some comfort that it won’t be there forever, although it’s a little hard to tell; there probably is a need to amend the Nuclear Waste Policy Act which gets complicated; and you know stay tuned, fasten your seat belts for that one. One thing that’s not clear and may become clear in May when the full budget is revealed is whether there will be funding from the Administration recommending for funding for Affected Units of Local Government, so we don’t know that yet. We believe that there’s no way to restart licensing for DOE to go forward with that; without making sure that the parties to licensing have the funds that they need; but that, we really don’t know.”

Johnson said, “Moving on to the state level, there is a renewed, the renewed vow to continue to be opposed to the Yucca Mountain project at the state level; today the Assembly is hearing AJR10 which is a resolution of opposition; it’s important to recognize that this has the support, the resolution, has the support of both the Government and the Attorney General; the agency for nuclear projects, the State Nuclear Waste Project office has a $3.6 million budget for the biennium to do the licensing because they do anticipate the licensing will restart; I want to make available to you two explainers that are really good: there’s an article from the new news organization the Nevada Independent, which has a sort of, in case you forgot about M here’s where it started, here’s where it went and here we are now; it was a really good summary article; that’s on the yuccamountain.org website.”

PUBLIC WORKS

Public Works Director, Ron Damele, told the Commissioners “all the utility systems are working good” and “the service upgrade to the two wells in Crescent Valley was completed last week and they’re back on on the new service; that all went well.” Damele said, “Red Card training is tomorrow night for Eureka; Wednesday from 8 to noon for Public Works road crew and whoever else can make it and then Wednesday evening in Crescent Valley for Crescent Valley and Beowawe. The airport fuel system: we’re almost ready to change that over to the county; we anticipate we’ll be able to do that tomorrow; if there is a glitch we’ve got some contingencies in place so people can get fuel until we do get it switched over; it wasn’t as easy as we thought it was gonna be.”

EMS

Mike Sullivan, EMS Coordinator reported since Feb. 21 Eureka had 10 calls for service and Crescent Valley had 4 bringing Eureka to 20 and Crescent Valley to 9 for a total of 29 year-to-date which is 19 below 2016 numbers. Sullivan said staffing remains stable with the “good news is we have several applications up in Crescent Valley and we are starting to process and train those people as we speak.”

clerk

Clerk/Treasurer Bev Conley reported the month of February began with a General Fund balance of $16,291,518, saw revenue of $1,702,286, disbursements of $783,981 leaving an ending General Fund balance of $17,209,823 due mainly to 4th quarter installment real property taxes.

Eureka County Commissioners approved:

Minutes of the Feb. 21 commission meeting;

Payment of expenditures of $618,729.41 which includes Yucca Mountain expenditures of $96.95; and a pass through to the School District for $17,340.53;

Changing payroll from semi-monthly to bi-weekly and directing staff to prepare draft language to be included in the personnel policy;

Renewal of an Intrastate Interlocal Contract betw Eureka County and the Department of Health & Human Services, Aging & Disability Services Div, for provision of services for children with intellectual disabilities;

Subcontracting with Richard Moore, PE, to provide Yucca Mountain related transportation advisor services not to exceed $10,000.00 to be funded by the US DOE direct payment grant to Eureka County as an Affected Unit of Local Government;

Declaring May 4th, 11th, 18th, & 25th as Clean Up Days in the town sites of Eureka, Crescent Valley, and Beowawe for yard waste, furniture, white goods, tires, and car bodies (excluding hazardous materials, household garbage, and dead animals) with all items to be removed to be located at the property line adjacent to the street and separated according to each waste classification;

The Nevada Division of Water Resources FY2017-2018 budgets for special assessments to be collected by Eureka County on behalf of the Nevada Division of Water Resources for the necessary expenses related to supervision over the following waters in Eureka County: (a) Diamond Valley Groundwater Basin; (b) Crescent Valley Groundwater Basin; (c) Maggie Creek Groundwater Basin; (d) Lower Reese River Groundwater Basin; (e) Boulder Flat Groundwater Basin; (f) Humboldt River Distribution; (g) Whirlwind Valley Groundwater Basin; (h) Pine Valley Groundwater Basin; and (i) Kobeh Valley Groundwater Basin;

Declaring May 6th, 13th, 20th, & 27th as Free Dump Days at the Eureka Landfill and Crescent Valley Laydown Yard for yard waste, furniture, white goods, tires, and car bodies (excluding hazardous materials, household garbage, and dead animals) from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for Eureka Landfill and 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon for the Crescent Valley Laydown Yard with all items to be separated and disposed of according to each waste classification;

A capital outlay purchase for a new utility pickup at a cost not to exceed $46,000.00, utilizing Devil’s Gate Water available capital outlay funding to be made under the State of Nevada Fleet Vehicle Purchasing Agreement #8475;

A capital outlay purchase for a new Road Dept pickup at a cost not to exceed $42,000.00, utilizing Public Works available capital outlay funding with the purchase to be made under the State of Neva Fleet Vehicle Purchasing Agreement #8475;

A capital outlay purchase for a used semi-tractor, at a cost not to exceed $75,000.00, utilizing Road Department available capital outlay funding to be made pursuant to NRS 332.146 Auction;

Proceeding with the application for a Fiscal Year 2018 Rural Marketing Grant for $9,600.00 funded through the Nevada Commission on Tourism, a matching funds grant, with Eureka County matching in-kind services valued at $4,800.00;

A residential ¾-inch water service, requested by Albert Snowden in the Devil’s Gate General Improvement Dist 2, to serve APN 007-396-01;

Authorizing the Clerk to sign a proposal/contract with VOTEC agreeing to pursue purchase of Election Management Software at a cost not to exceed $12,000.00 for the initial year;

A contract renewal with Dr. Greg Barker of Rehab Services of Nevada to provide Tuesday and Thursday services to Eureka;

Allowing the School District to partner with Eureka County on the 2017 Street Maintenance Project;

A request to utilize a County facility and waive the facility fees to hold Alcoholics Anonymous & Narcotics Anonymous meetings twice monthly in Crescent Valley;

Making a donation of $500 to the 2017 Eureka County High School Grad Nite Celebration scheduled for June 9th;

A contribution of $1500 to the Eureka County High School annual scholarship drive for the Class of 2017;

$700.00 from the North End Activities Fund to be utilized for an Easter event on April 15th in Crescent Valley;

Authorizing the Eureka County Economic Development Program Board to pursue a Nevada Commission on Tourism grant application for an advertising/marketing grant of up to $5,000.00, with a County match required;

Accepting the resignation of David Hicks from the Health Insurance Advisory Committee;

Appointing Marcial Evertsen to the HIAC representing the Sheriff’s Office for the remainder of a two-year term through Dec 31, 2018.

The Liquor Board approved:

Renewing quarterly liquor licenses with the addition of Eureka Restoration Enterprises;

Minutes of the March 6, 2017 Liquor Board meeting.

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