Goicoechea to be in documentary film
Chairman J.J. Goicoechea noted that he recently spent time with documentary filmmaker Cindy Meehl whose film Buck about horse trainer Buck Brannaman won the audience award when it played the Sundance Film Festival in 2011. Meehl’s working on a film called Unbranded about four young men riding horses from Mexico to Canada. Goicoechea said Meehl was addressing the wild horse situation and “was very honest that she was coming out here expecting something completely different than what she saw.” The Chairman showed her wild horses and natural resources damage and said Meehl “got to know a little bit about what the ranching operations really do” as she witnessed him baling hay.” Goicoechea said, “They think that what we do out here is the old west” while “it’s not.” The film due out in 2015 concerns four men riding mustangs from Mexico to Canada across the country. While the Chairman said wild horse advocates “started pushing on her to please get involved on the plight of the mustangs. She did reach out and see our side of the story” and “got to see snow.”
Road Department Supervisor Ray Hodson reported the crews have been working on the Antelope Road; got the screening plant back to town; picked up two loads of salt and are still working on the washed out road on East Antelope. In addition crews are still working on the JD Road but said “water’s become an issue” and the crew’s supposed to be getting water from the Barrick man camp and will be receiving training on how to get the water out and are down to using a ten liter capacity water truck. The Road Crew spent a day preparing for the drag race and finished up on Fish Creek Road but have to go back and touch that up since “a lot of water came through that.” The Road Crew on the north end bladed the geyser, finished blading on Maggie Creek, and Palisade and Barth, and spent a “couple of days around town fixing culverts” and “mowing around town.” Hodson offered the Commissioners, “Any time you guys want to go on a tour of roads, get a hold of me and we can get something scheduled.”
Eureka Senior Center Director Millie Oram reported, “Our senior center’s going great” and is “starting to decorate” for Halloween. The Eureka Center served 914 meals in September, an average of 46 per day. Together the Eureka and Crescent Valley Centers deposited $11,666.75 for September.
Oram said, “All the seniors are happy. Everything’s working good, and nothing’s broken down yet.”
Crescent Valley Senior Center Director Adell Panning said, “We had a little issue with not the generator but the power panel; it was an issue on NV Energy’s side and it’s been replaced and fixed.” The Center was experiencing power fluctuation but “fortunately, the only thing” effected were the battery back-ups on computers. Panning said, “When the power does go out, I just want to say that the generator is awesome because we have no loss.” The Crescent Valley Center served 692 meals in September which Panning noted is “down a little from last month” which “normally happens” as “people hurry to get stuff done before it snows.”
The two Directors went to Las Vegas to an Aging Disability Services conference which focused on disability and Clark County. The Directors got tired by the end of the first day of explaining where Eureka County is and said their peers “fell over” when they learned Oram has to travel 140 miles and Panning 60 miles to go to Elko to Wal Mart and that Eureka doesn’t have it’s own Wal Mart. Panning and Oram picked up the Carlin Senior Center Director on the way and they all went together. Panning said it was a “good trip over all” and “all my seniors are happy.”
Oram reported that Shirley Chantrill, Resource Development Specialist for the State of Nevada, Division for Aging Services, Department of Human Resources came to inspect the centers and the Directors shared the written report with the Commissioners. “There was a few things,” Oram said. “We have already solved them. I sent her a paper saying we corrected the things on them.” Panning said, “At our center she didn’t find any issues.” Panning praised the staff and explained, “This is an extremely high pressure day. The assessment that we received from Shirley is more extensive than the State.” Chantrill travels with the driver when delivering homebound meals, checks food temperatures and goes through all paperwork.” Panning said, “Overall, I’m pleased with what this report said.”
County Engineer Tom Young reported that work will begin the week of Oct. 14, on the Crescent Valley Playground Project when materials arrive for the restroom and the playground equipment. Young expects that then within two weeks the work should be complete. Young said the playground area will be well-fenced with a chain link fence to keep youth out until the playground is ready. On the Spring Waterline Project, Young said most of the spring work is done while water meters will be going in in the next couple of weeks.
Jeff Collins, Greg Lovato and Brett Loxley for NDEP and the EPA came before the Commission to give an update related to the NDEP and EPA cleanup of certain residential properties in the Town of Eureka for mitigation of lead and arsenic levels in the soil, including a discussion of the temporary storage of removed materials. In an effort paid for by the EPA, the agencies are according to Loxley about halfway through the intended scope of work. 19 properties were initially scheduled to be addressed and a few more property owners have asked to have samples done on their properties. Some sampling results are still being awaited. With an intention of doing 13 properties this year, 3 are completely finished with the residents, contractor and EPA signing off and 3 more properties are awaiting signatures. Loxley said 3 more properties are in the process of being back-filled and another will be ready to backfill later this week. The current work schedule continues through November 5th. The only problem foreseen involves the government shutdown. No one will be in the office paying bills until someone now on furlough goes back in. NDEP and the EPA are “relying on the good graces of our contractor’s line of credit” and “don’t have the time or money to get them all in now.”
Loxley said retaining walls are in some cases being put in to prevent material on slopes from sliding down.
Chairman Goicoechea said he’s been watching the temporary storage and noted “everything’s well-contained” but wanted to make sure they’re prepared for the worst case scenario of a 100-year flood. He said the contaminated soil “looks like it’s capped” and asked, “What are your plans for the winter?”
Loxley explained the material will be covered with rock with a berm around it rather than with something fragile like plastic. The material will leave next year once a suitable nearby repository is located which can take hazardous waste. Loxley hopes to find a place relatively nearby to avoid excessive transport costs as the storage alone is expected to cost $100 a yard “on a good day.”
Goicoechea asked, “When you pull out for the winter, is somebody going to check on that?”
Loxley said he’d like to “take a quick walk and make sure it’s okay” and doesn’t anticipate driving out here to check on a pile of dirt but I’m open.”
Returning to the topic of soil remediation later in the meeting, the Commission determined there is a piece of county property they’d like to have tested for lead and arsenic as the EPA has volunteered to do the testing while they’re in town with their contractor at no cost to the County. Goicoechea said, “Let’s take advantage of that. If we can cultivate this relationship with them I’m all for it.” The Commission approved allowing the EPA to do some soil testing on county property “so we know going forward what is present and that will be shared with the public.” The testing will be done as the Chairman said based “on their workload and the remaining time that they have in Eureka until the snow flies. Let’s see what we get back from them.”
Commissioner Ithurralde agreed, “Well, the price is right.”
Natural Resource Manager, Jake Tibbitts, reported that on Sept. 25 he attended the BLM scoping meeting at the Opera House for Midway Gold while on Friday the 27th, he attended the Nevada Land Management Task Force Meeting before being in Washington, D.C. all last week.
In particular, Tibbitts is “ramping up for the Ruby Hill Bio-Char Reclamation Project” for which a gentleman from Colorado is currently on site building the boxes.
Tibbitts related, “The Naval Air Station in Fallon invited us to participate in their scoping process” as their flight activities impact Eureka and Crescent Valley where they are allowed to do sonic booms over Crescent Valley. In certain parts of Eureka County, the Navy has a land use fly zone right down to the ground. There will be a workshop Wednesday, October 9th in Fallon and then the Technical and Oversight Committees will be meeting. Tibbitts expects to attend by conference line. Tibbitts said in Diamond Valley there are actually “those air spaces that go all the way to the ground.”
Commissioner Sharkozy related that when he was in Vietnam a pilot flying an A6A Intruder “came back with tree branches stuck in his fuselage.”
Tibbitts said typically air space issues don’t have a “huge impact” but there could be “impacts to land use that may conflict” with County interests.
Also on the 10th is the Eureka Conservation District meeting and on the 24th of October the Conservation District’s annual awards dinner to which he invited the Commissioners.
Friday, Oct. 11, Tibbitts will be attending the State Land Use Advisory Plan (SLUPAC) meeting as the Eureka County designee; on the 15th, with the 3 Bars Public Draft EIS out, he’ll be attending the BLM’s public meeting at the Opera House starting at 5 p.m., and on the 16th during the day he’ll be at the Ely BLM’s Cooperating Agency internal scoping meeting. That evening he’ll attend the Natural Resource Advisory Committee meeting and on the 17th he’ll be going on the tour hosted by the Central Nevada Regional Water Authority of Inouye County in Owens Valley to understand mitigation measures. On Friday the 18th, Tibbitts will attend the Great Basin Water Forum to talk about general water issues which will include counties from Utah and California as well as from Nevada.
• Purchase and installation of video cameras at the County Courthouse to be located at the network room and exterior doors;
• Write-off of uncollectable ambulance service accounts receivable, in the total amount of $10,727.90;
• A parcel map submitted by Barrick Cortez, Inc., to divide a 34.172 acre parcel from existing APN 006-110-01, as approved by the Planning Commission on October 1st;
• Proposing an ordinance related to the Eureka County Fire Protection District to eliminate NRS 473 District and institute NRS Chapter 474 District and scheduling a public hearing for November 6th at 1:00 p.m.;
• A capital outlay request to replace fire turn-outs including helmets, gloves and boots for the Pine Valley Fire Department, not to exceed $16,941.20 under the State of Nevada contract with LN Curtis & Sons, Contract #7997;
• Adopting a resolution to secure land for the installation of utility and roadway infrastructure within the Townsite of Eureka;
• Ratifying the Notifications of Grant Award from the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division for a Congregate Meals Grant in the amount of $17,043 with a County match of $1,733; and a Home Delivered Meals Grant in the amount of $22,659 with a County match of $3,255.00;
• Accepting the Treasurer’s Verified Return of Sale and Reconciliation of Trust Property for the Tax Delinquent Properties Auction;
• Adopting a resolution directing the County Treasurer to execute and file Quit Claim Deeds for record with the County Recorder and to deliver said Quit Claim Deeds for properties sold at the September 28th auction;
• Budget transfers for the Eureka County Television District;
• A capital outlay purchase of a Hobart 20-quart tabletop mixer from Central Restaurant Products, for the Eureka Senior Center at a cost not to exceed $5,300.00;
• A capital outlay purchase for eight folding banquet tables from SICO America, Inc., for the Fannie Komp Senior Center, in the amount of $6,230.00;
• Based on the recommendation of the Economic Development Program Board, scheduling for October 21st at 1 p.m. a contract negotiation with the top-rated candidate, Intertech Services, for completion of a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for Eureka County;
• Following a public hearing, approving the amendment of the Eureka County Code, Title 2, Eureka County Commissioners, Chapter 40, Uniform Collection and Removal Procedures for County Accounts Receivable, Section .030, Collection Procedure to delete the requirement that invoices must be sent by certified mail;
• Sending comment drafted by Jake Tibbitts and signed by Chairman Goicoechea outside the meeting on the BLM-Battle Mountain District Resource Management Plan Preliminary Chapter 2/Alternative Matrix, reserving the right to comment substantially when the County has it in context with the other chapters;
• Committing to a contribution of $3896.50 to NACO for a contract to produce a study for the Nevada Land Management Task Force that will meet the requirements of AB 227.