Kim Todd of the Public Works Department noted that the Crescent Valley office transition in preparation for the retirement of Senior Department Assistant, Vicki Drenon, is underway and the water department in that office is implementing a new water meter reading technology; and that office coverage will be provided by the assistant full-time employee.
Todd reported that 48 days of the 90 day contract for the Robins Street Project have been completed, 52 percent while 37 percent of the funds have been expended and there have been no safety violations or incidents. The contractor began working on the Phase 3 utilities and will start working on the retaining wall near the swimming pool. Curb, gutter and sidewalk be in on July 12. In addition, the short stretch of defective pipe has been replaced.
Raymond Hodson, Road Superintendent, reported the Road Crew has been blading on Sadler Road and will then move to Diamond Valley. In addition, they have been blading in Antelope Valley where water is scarce necessitating getting extra water tanks set up. In addition, the Road Crew has been cleaning cattle guards and spraying thistle along Maggie Creek as well as having realigned the road at Palisade. On the North end, the Road Crew cleaned 5 cattle guards on Grass Valley Road, patched a culvert on Mary’s Mountain and bladed, watered and swept all the roads in Crescent Valley
Abby Johnson, Nuclear Waste Advisor, reported that Rex Massey of Envirotech just finished the 2014 update to the Yucca Mountain socioeconomic conditions and transportation report which is available on CD and will be posted on the County’s Yucca Mountain website. Johnson related that Rick Moore, the County’s Yucca Mt. transportation advisor, has been representing the County at national DOE meetings. Johnson said the Department of Energy is still moving forward on the 180C process, technical support for communities along the waste transport route. At the national level, the Yucca Mt. project is still in suspension although the House Energy and Water Appropriations sub-committee did put in funding for nuclear waste disposal; although Johnson said Yucca Mountain is a long way from having anything funded due to the Administration and Senate. Johnson related that the DOE’s attorney representing them in the licensing process has withdrawn leaving the DOE without independent counsel.
Steve Yopps, General Manager of Barrick’s Ruby Hill Mine reported that the geotechnical drill program has been completed which will serve as a guide in relation to high wall stability. Barrick is in the process of putting together the tactical aspects of a restart plan for the mine. Barrick is doing a series of test blasts with the first completed June 24th. Yopps said the blast on the 24th went well and the mine ended up with a “nice slope post blast.” Eight holes of a depth of 200 feet were loaded with explosives and Yopps said the test blast worked as designed. Barrick plans four more blasts with drilling for the second blast having begun on July 8th. That blast will involve a series of 8 holes to a depth of approximately 250 feet which Barrick plans to blast on July 15th. In August, 400 foot holes will be drilled for blasting, which Yopps expects will generate seismic activity in town.
Yopps said, “If things go well” mining could resume sometime mid-year in 2015, noting “safety is our primary priority” and Barrick will continue monitoring the slope with radar systems and will approach the slope “very delicately” and won’t bring on a mining crew until it is deemed safe at which point two additional crews will be brought in with mining projected to continue through February 2017.
Jake Tibbitts, Natural Resources Manager, attended the Mt. Hope 3M Plan TAC and WAC meetings where it was determined when vegetation monitoring would take place in 3 out of 5 areas with ten sites to be selected for monitoring vegetation changes, with four to be located at USGS monitoring sites. A weather station will be placed in the valley and high altitude precipitation gauges will be placed on Roberts Mountain as well as soil moisture monitoring. Tibbitts noted Eureka Moly reported on their data collection for the annual report and Tibbitts said “It is interesting to note is that there is already declining water tables specifically in the northern well field portion and around the pit area” even without any project pumping taking place. Tibbitts noted, “We are in a multi-year drought” and Tibbitts also conjectured there “may be some influences from Diamond Valley on that as well.” The high elevation precipitation stations will be put in place this summer and are built “ready to go.” Pressure transducers will be put on the flowing wells, artesian wells, this summer. Eureka Moly is asking for deferrals for components of their monitoring plans such as sentinel wells and biologic monitoring. Tibbitts said the discussion at the meeting revolved around the biological components such as vegetation and riparian monitoring.
On June 25 via phone, Tibbitts attended the State Conservation Commission meeting and was pleased to report the Eureka Conservation District received funding to build on to the pinon-juniper project for post processing of trees on the ground. Tibbitts said the funding will enable them to go in and help clean up some of that fuel loading with fence posts to be available and 100 tons of chipped material created for the biochar units.
July 15-17, Tibbitts will be going to Sparks to attend the Pinon-Juniper Partnership co-conference with the Eastern Nevada Landscape Coalition where he will be a panelist presenting on aligning industry with ecology related to the pinon-juniper work. Tibbitts noted that presently over 600 acres of trees have been done from “June through today.”
US EPA and NEVADA DIVISION OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROECTION
Jeff Collins, CEM, of the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Corrective Actions reported that in collaboration with the EPA to date this year, 16 Eureka town-site properties have been cleaned of lead and arsenic contaminated soil bringing the total of remediated properties to 34. Collins noted over 40 additional properties have been sampled this year including the 13 county properties. Collins said the “majority of those folks” approached EPA to have their properties sampled of which 7 fall within the “immediate action level” meaning there are 7 more properties to clean up than the Agencies expected. Collins said the EPA requested and received additional funding from Washington, DC to accomplish those clean-ups and pushed the schedule end-date from July 4th to the end of July. 2 of the 7 additional properties are county properties up on Wells Street. All the properties will be cleaned like all the others have been with one foot of soil removed and landscaping replaced. Collins said the agencies are doing a literature review and looking at the site history with archaeologists going out to look at sites before clean-up, identifying whatever they find, and sending a letter to SHIPO in Carson City. A tribal monitor will be on site for clean-up with anything historical found on site itemized and belonging to the property owner. In addition, an engineering evaluation is being performed to look at a town-wide study of the lead and arsenic contamination and considering the slag piles and what it would take to clean up the remainder of properties. Collins characterized the evaluation as “a way to put in a nutshell what’s going on and put a price tag on it.” Collins expects a draft of the plan to be complete by the end of the construction season in late July/early August to be discussed at the September 6th Commission meeting. With a $6 million budget cap on the project, $3.4 million has been spent thus far.
Walter Harvey of Nevada Health Centers at a joint meeting of the County Commission and the Medical Clinics Advisory Committee related that two of the providers at the Eureka Clinic resigned. A panel of providers to select from will be available for public evaluation during the hiring process.
Chairman Goicoechea asked Harvey the projected time-frame for providing a new permanent doctor. Until new doctors are found, locum providers will be serving the public both in Eureka and Crescent Valley. Harvey expects a few months but related there are people interested in coming to Eureka County. “It’s picking the right personality.” Harvey intends to fulfill the requirements of the contract between Eureka County and NHC in terms of NHC’s contractual service obligations.
Eureka County Commissioners approved:
Expenditures of $2,210,649.52 which includes payroll of $434,878.90 and a pass-through to the School District of $138,417.00; and Yucca Mountain expenditures of $40,300.99;
Adopting a resolution setting the Fiscal Year 2014-2015 tax rates, as approved by the Nevada Department of Taxation, for all tax districts under the legal jurisdiction of the Board of County Commissioners for Eureka County;
Ratifying all Fiscal Year 2014-2015 wage and salary scales for classified and unclassified employees, effective July 1, 2014;
Setting Fiscal Year 2014-2015 compensation rates for special positions including Fire Chiefs, Agricultural Extension Weather Reporter, Budget Director and Webmaster, effective July 1, 2014;
Setting the final base rates, including dependent subsidies, on selected plans for health insurance premiums for benefitted employees for Fiscal Year 2014-2015;
Setting the final rates for retiree health insurance subsidies for Fiscal Year 2014-2015;
Ratifying the Closure of Open Burning implemented by the Nevada Division of Forestry on July 1, 2014 for Eureka County;
Ratifying the Notification of Grant Award from the Nevada Aging & Disability Services Division for a supplemental Nutrition Services Grant #07-000-57-NX-14 in the amount of $4,177.00 with no match required;
Ratifying the Notification of Grant Award from the Nevada Aging & Disability Services Division for Transportation Services Grant #07-000-10-BC-15 in the amount of $22,500 with a County match of $2,206.00;
Accepting the Fiscal Monitoring Report completed by Nevada Aging & Disability Services Division for the following Nutrition Services Grants: #07-000-04-24-13, #07-000-07-13-13, and #07-000-57-NX-13 for the period of October 1, 2012, through September 30, 2013;
Signing the Seventh Judicial District Court Cooperative Agreement for Fiscal Year 2014-2015;
Approving the County applications #83948 and #83949 for water in Kobeh Valley and Stevens Basin filed by Karen Peterson involving 6,000 acre feet in Kobeh Valley and 76 acre feet in Stevens Basin;
Submitting comment on the Notice of Proposed Action for the Water Pollution Control Permit for Newmont’s Gold Quarry-James Creek Project;
Submitting comments to the BLM on the Midway Gold Rock ADEIS and Barrick Bald Mountain ADEIS;
The proposed parcel map, submitted by Homestake Mining Company of California, to divide three equal 2.82 acre parcels from existing APN 007-397-04, including but not limited to the required acre feet of water rights to be dedicated to Eureka County, access/approaches;
The remediation agreement with NDEP/the EPA for the two Eureka County-owned town-site properties;