PUBLIC WORKS UPDATE
Kim Todd of Public Works reported The Airport Runway Lighting Project is anticipated to be completed Dec. 14; Nov. 10 the SLAG group met and are waiting for the EPA Engineering Cost Analysis report and when that is received they’ll set another meeting. Todd reported that the “Crescent Valley Office transition is going well” with people making their water making payments by dropping them off and on-line. Todd said there is an issue with AT&T not allowing calls to transfer to the Eureka Public Work office during and they are working with AT&T to get that resolved. In the meantime, Todd said the message machine is being checked every day.
EUREKA ENDS OCTOBER WITH HEFTY BALANCE
Beverly Conley, Clerk & Treasurer, reported for October 2014 Eureka County began the month with $51,207,849.00 and had revenue of $3,905,822 with the two biggest sources being the receipt of second Quarter Net Proceeds and receipt of the second installment of Net Property taxes. The County ended the month with a balance of $51,045,148.
NATURAL RESOURCES UPDATE
Jake Tibbitts, Natural Resource Manager, reported that on Nov. 7 he went to Crescent Valley to help with the large domestic horse issue, on the 11th he attended the State Association of Conservation Districts meeting as the Eureka representative. He also attended the Nevada Leadership Institute training which with some 30 people in attendance, was a “good training”; on the 18th, Tibbitts attended the Crescent Valley FireWise meeting by tele-link. On the 19th Tibbitts attended the County NRAC meeting at which strategies were discussed regarding the main issues NRAC wants to focus on and address in the coming year. NRAC will have further discussion at their December meeting before bringing their ideas forward to the Commission for support.
On the 20th, Tibbitts attended the NACO Conference and participated in the Public Land Panel. Tibbitts stayed in Ely and attended a grant workshop involving a Forest Service grant for pinon-juniper wood utilization. As each state has been allocated $250,000 through NDF, the p-j bio-char work being done in Eureka County may be able to receive the lion’s share of the funding. Tibbitts is working to get the application done to meet the January 2015 deadline.
Tibbitts related that on Dec. 2 the Battle Mountain BLM will be in Eureka for a 3Bars Landscape Restoration Project meeting. The 750,000 acres involved, represents most of the BM BLM District portion of Eureka County. The County had submitted substantive comment and review on the Draft EIS, and as the BLM is pushing forward to finalize the EIS, Tibbitts expects the meeting to last most of the day on the 2nd. Chairman Goicoechea as well as an NRAC member will be attending as well.
On the Dec. 3 Tibbitts will attend the year’s last meeting of the Eureka Conservation District. Tibbitts noted the Gunnison Sage Grouse was listed by the Fish & Wildlife Service as ‘Threatened’ despite increasing population numbers. Tibbitts sees this is a precursor to the Greater Sage Grouse likewise being listed in a year which Tibbitts hopes will be a listing as ‘Threatened’ rather than ‘Endangered’ which would allow for more “flexibility.” Regardless, Tibbitts noted that a listing would “have a major impact on our economy.”
Tibbitts received notice from the BLM that the CMZ Exploration project out near the JD Ranch EA is out. Mining companies when exceed threshold have to go through NEPA analysis and EA. By New Legacy Gold out by the JD Ranch. Tibbitts is looking over the EA to have an idea what’s going on, and said there will be road impacts and he will keep track and approach the Commission as necessary.
Regarding recent grazing decisions by the BLM including but not limited to the Willow Creek Fire Closure, Tibbitts said he had no recommendation for actions for the Commission at this time. He said the Roberts Mountain Allotment Final Decision tipped “towards our perspective” and that NRAC felt the issues being challenged related to the Argenta Allotment are addressing concerns and counseled putting support behind that. Regarding the Roberts Mountain Allotment, Tibbitts said there were some positive changes made that “frankly we don’t get all the time.” Regarding the Willow Creek Fire Closure, no update has been received from the BLM as to how they’re going to make changes. He said the Battle Mountain BLM has committed to being at the Board meeting on the 5th and will stay over to meet with the Wildlife Board to address pinon-juniper thinning on BLM land.
NHC PENALIZED $15,000
Garney Damele, Chairperson of The Medical Clinic Advisory Committee, reported having met with Nevada Health Center’s Walter Davis and Monica Taylor. Damele advised the Commission that the Committee advised a $15,000 penalty for the 1st Quarter of 2015 against NHC and provided a detailed explanation of the penalty. A much larger penalty of $38,000 had been recommended by the Committee and then the Committee met with NHC before coming to the Commissioners. The penalty covers two areas of the performance audit: availability and quality of care. As part of negotiation over the penalty, the Committee waived a second provider penalty based on a clause on the performance side; but kept the remaining two penalties as far as an available physician and also included a penalty for quality of care related to lack of a provider available to provide CDL examinations. Prior to the Commission meeting, NHC had verbally agreed upon a flat $15,000 penalty.
Walter Davis communicated that upon further reflection NHC believed that the penalty should be $6,500 but said he didn’t “want to haggle over this.”
Monica Taylor deferred to the Medical Clinic Advisory Committee for $6,500 but wanted to discuss the penalty being assessed for Dr. Wells for the quarter for days he didn’t go to Eureka. Taylor related Dr. Wells provided NHC with notice and asked to serve his 90 days focusing on the Crescent Valley Clinic. Taylor did not feel NHC should be penalized as there was care during that time in Eureka. Taylor explained that had NHC pushed Wells to cover in Eureka, he would have opted out of his 90 days and would have jeopardized coverage for the Crescent Valley Clinic. She reiterated that the Eureka Clinic was also covered while not having the second provider. Taylor did not dispute the quality of care penalty of $6500 but disputed the approximate $9,000 penalty related to Dr. Wells.
Taylor noted, “There was never any compromising of care or providing of care for the Eureka County Center” which was open five days a week for the quarter with 24/7 after hours coverage every day and on weekends.
Commissioner Ithurralde said, “You agreed to that $15,000 at one time and then reassessed.”
Taylor and Davis both disagreed with the penalty assessed related to Dr. Wells but said they would accept the determination.
Commissioner Sharkozy said he had to go along with the $15,000 penalty and made a motion to affirm the Medical Clinic Advisory Committee’s determination and Ithurralde and Sharkozy voted to impose the penalty.
Commissioner Ithurralde commented that the “$15,000 penalty is cheaper than what it would cost him to get out of the contract.”
Eureka County Commissioners approved:
• Expenditures of 562007.97 a/p payr 280,140.28 and Yucca Mountain expenditures of $11,426.13; and an expenditure of $16,295;
• A write-off of certain uncollectable ambulance services accounts receivable in the total amount of $11,863.58;
• Accepting the job description for a full-time position to be shared 50/50 between the Recorder’s and Assessor’s offices;
• A letter/resolution in support of Assemblyman Ira Hansen’s request in his letter voicing concerns over law enforcement by federal land management agencies;
• Proposing an ordinance and setting a public hearing to amend Eureka County Code, Title 4, Chapter 50, County Room Tax, to clarify that there are no exemptions or exceptions other than those listed with a public hearing on 12/19 at 11:30 a.m.;
• Donating federal asset forfeiture funds of $394.83 to the Nevada Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial Commission;
• Signing a certificate of expenditures for Federal Fiscal Year 2014 relating to the direct payment grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for the Yucca Mountain Project;
• A contract for collection of fused batteries at the Eureka Landfill to the most responsible and responsive bidder to Eureka Hardware at $3.41 per battery;
• Signing a contract with Eureka Hardware for collection of used batteries and authorize the Chairman to sign the contract outside of the meeting;
• An application for new residential water service for Nila Copen located at 4067 Eureka Avenue in Crescent Valley;