Commissioner Update Reports:
Commissioner Sharkozy, a representative for Eureka County to the Great Basin Regional Development authority, reported that at the March 2 GBRDA meeting, Lander County announced it is most likely leaving the GBRDA and joining with Elko for regional economic development. The fate of the GBRDA is now uncertain and there will be a meeting with the Governor’s GOED office.
Chairman J.J. Goicoechea reported on Feb. 23, he participated in conference calls with the Department of Agriculture regarding agriculture legislative bills; as well as going over cooperative agreements with other counties like Elko and White Pine to get clear on how to do business during fire season with concern amongst the counties and agencies over who has agreements and who doesn’t. On Feb. 25 Goicoechea participated in a sage grouse call with the Lands Council who are concerned with proposed requirements. On the 27th, Goicoechea met with the Humboldt County Commissioners with discussion of the Sage Grouse Super Pac designations being considered. Goicoechea said all present were in agreement they don’t want any special land designations.
The morning of the 5th, Goicoechea participated in a 7 a.m. call with the Public Lands Council regarding ongoing lawsuits regarding wild horses.
March 23-27, Goicoechea will be going to Washington, D.C. and will be paying his own way with the Nevada Cattleman’s Association potentially buying his hotel room. Goicoechea said there is “too much stuff going on to not go back there.” He said he had enough points on his Southwest airlines card, so he “just bought tickets.” Goicoechea said he will be unavailable while back there and will not be spending any county money.
Goicoechea said the Sagebrush Ecosystem Council meeting had been cancelled for Feb. 11 as there had not been a lot on the agenda; not three hours after he as Chair cancelled the meeting, “stuff happened” precipitating much time on the phone. Goicoechea advised, “We’ll see an EIS pretty quick” and Goicoechea warned there “will be things in there we don’t like.”
Goicoechea said, “Thankfully…stuff that had been added to the State Plan without knowledge was found and correction made, but he doesn’t know how it happened. Presently, he’s working with the State Director whom he said is the only person more upset than Goicoechea. Goicoechea hopes when he’s in Washington, D.C. the 23rd through the 26th that there will be a good group representing the Western States communicating the “direction we want to go.” Goicoechea noted that the word is the federal agencies want to impose some travel restrictions on Eureka County roads and “plain and simple and we’re going to have to stand up on that.”
In regards to state legislative updates, Goicoechea noted that relative to the issue of raises for public officials, he wants Eureka County to have the option to opt out.
Eureka Senior Center Director, Millie Oram said, “Everything is going good at our center” with a February meal count of 838, an average of 44 per day. The Crescent Valley Senior Center said Director Adell Panning is also “going good” with “no problems at the Center,” having served 581, or 31 meals a day for the month. Both Centers together deposited $9,957.06. Panning said, “Every year we worry about meal counts but then they turn around and they come back up.” Panning said, “If one person if they’re not there every day that really drops that count. Takes one person to be gone but it really makes a difference.”
Ron Damele reported that the Public Works utility and maintenance crew have started ten hour days. The school parcel map is on its way to Eureka so it can be signed by all parties. The water tank inspections in Crescent Valley, Devil’s Gate and Eureka have been completed and all are in good shape. Damele said the Beowawe fire station roll up doors have been repaired with one door replaced and the good panels from one door taken out and placed in another.
In regards to the status of the appeal of the BLM’s Fish Creek Herd Management Area wild horse gather and fertility control treatment, Goicoechea said as of March 3rd, there has been no response and legal counsel is just waiting for the BLM to act.
The horses removed are presently at Palomino Valley where Goicoechea expects they’ll be held until the County has its day in court. Goicoechea noted there are wild horse related lawsuits in Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah and that there are presently some 28,000 wild horses in the State not counting those on Native lands. He said at the Tri RAC last week in Reno wild horse advocates showed up and lay on the floor and covered themselves with posters. In response, the BLM adjourned the meeting and sent everyone home.
Eureka County Commissioners approved:
• Expenditures of $1,079,641.85 with a pass-through to the School District of $465,675.19; and $2,779.95 of Yucca Mountain money;
• A contract with Benefit Intelligence for insurance broker services on behalf of Eureka County;
• Signing a two-year Intrastate Interlocal Contract between Eureka County and Nevada Aging & Disability Services Division, effective July 1, 2015;
• Designating Fred Etchegaray as the Commission representative for the Ruby Hill Community Advisory Committee;
• Directing staff to obtain a survey of APN 001-071-06, commonly known as 151 North Main Street in Eureka at a potential cost of $5,000;
• Ratifying grant application to the Nevada Aging & Disability Services Division for Transportation Services Grant #07-000-10-BC-15 with a County match of $2,206;
• Advertising for a casual summer employee for the Eureka and Crescent Valley Towns;
• Declaring May 7, 14, 21 and 28 as Clean Up Days in the townsites of Eureka, Crescent Valley and Beowawe for the following items: yard waste, furniture, white goods, tires and car bodies (except hazardous materials, household garbage, dead animals) with items to be located at the property line adjacent to the street and be separated according to each waste classification;
• Declaring May 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 as Free Dump Days at the Eureka Landfill and Crescent Valley Laydown Yard for the following items: yard waste, furniture, white goods, tires and car bodies (except hazardous materials, household garbage, dead animals;
• A contract with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Science Division for forensic services for Fiscal Year 2015-2016 at a cost of $3,000;
• Appointing Chaz Sastanovich as an alternate to the Eureka County Planning Commission;
• Making a donation of $500 to the 2015 Eureka County High School Grad Nite Celebration scheduled for June 5th;
• Submitting comments on the Draft EIS for Military Readiness Activities at the Fallon Range Training Complex authorizing the Chairman to sign it outside the meeting;
• Discontinuation of the services of the State Public Defender; and to not create an office for the Public Defender in Eureka; and approve the proposal from Kelly Brown of Ely for $40,000 to provide legal services for two years which can be terminated at any time by either party if things don’t work out;
• A response to protests of McEwen Mining water right change applications 84546 and 84547;
• Ratifying Chairman Goicoechea’s signing of a letter requesting that Governor Sandoval address potentially biased literature, restrictive grazing standards, and other items included in the RMPs and the Draft EIS for the Greater Sage-Grouse that are detrimental to the livestock industry and Nevada rangelands.