Public Works Director, Ron Damele, reported remodeling for the Justice of Peace has been completed utilizing court funds and a vehicle has been purchased for court staff to travel to Crescent Valley.
Damele reported that at the recent SLAG (Soil, Lead, Arsenic, & Geoscopic) meeting the Engineering Evaluation & Cost Analysis (EE/CA) Removal Action Objective and Operable Units & Removal Action Alternatives is close to completion. Damele said installation of the water management system for the commercial fill stations will begin June 8th and is expected to take a week. NDF is offering one more Wild Land Red Card class in Elko, Saturday the 27th from 9 to 3. In getting ready for fire season, Damele said all six “rural stations are doing good.”
CLERK/TREASURER PREPARING FOR STATE MANDATED AUDIT
Bev Conley noted that each court according to the Administrative Office of the Court is mandated to complete and update every two years a review of financial operations and have an audit scheduled for July and mandatory for December 2015. Conley expects the County “will be written up on some things. There are things we won’t comply with; we can’t” as there are “lots of requirements that do not pertain to small courts.” Conley said, “This is what it is.”
Conley said, “This is the first audit that’s been scheduled this time for our court” and she’s already alerted Judge Debrescu and “he shows no concern whatsoever.”
District Attorney Beutel said, “I’m very sorry you have to go through that.”
Chairman Goicoechea reported that on May 22 he went to a NACO board meeting in Carson City and attended to “some last minute legislative stuff trying to herd a few bills through.” The 26th and 27th he was back in Battle Mountain at the BLM office for ongoing meetings related to Argenta permittees and the ongoing appeal processes “trying to get something worked out there.” He was checking his phone throughout the day in hopes there “may be something new.” On June 2nd he had a meeting with the D.A. Public Works Director and an environmental contractor regarding the Raine’s construction on Highway 50. The evening of June 3, Goicoechea attended the SLAG meeting with the EPA/NDEP and reported “good progress.” The morning of June 5, Goicoechea attended a meeting with the D.A. and Department heads going over scheduling and flex time.
Commissioner Sharkozy reported on June 1 he attended a luncheon at the Fallon Naval Air Station for the Joint Land Use Study and “they put on a dog and pony show for us: luncheon.” Commissioner Etchegaray also attended the luncheon and on the 2nd attended the ‘Rec’ Board.
Goicoechea will be travelling to Salt Lake City on June 8 in relation to wild horse and sage grouse issues. While the Chairman has been attending these meetings regularly, “this one’s a little different in that I’ve been asked to participate in a panel discussion” to be aired on FOX News which will include a Commissioner from Iron County, Utah and a representative from Utah Fish & Game in an hour’s discussion on the impacts of wild horses and the recent Eureka County EA appeal. Goicoechea may take his own car.
In an effort to effectively and consistently address ongoing budget constraints, the Commission is compiling a list of topics for consideration and possible action during regularly scheduled Commission meetings with topics to be explored including: retiree subsidies and fees for various County services: what they need to be, how to implement them for both ends of the County. The Commissioners will be looking at who’s using the landfill; who’s using water.
To determine where fees are deficient in relation to costs, Public Works Director Damele will be doing analysis over the next 45 days. Mike Mears noted that there is data related to EMS fees and other counties and fees for the Opera House and other facilities in comparison to other counties. Fees related to all Departments are being compiled.
Once the Commissioners have a list of fees they will lay out a time table for moving forward with adjustment. “The retirement subsidy,” Goicoechea said, “That’s going to be a big fight and that will be a couple of days of discussion.”
Department heads will be notified before the Commission talks about the fees in each department and will be able to be present when changes are discussed.
Goicoechea wants to “see what shakes out in Carson City.”
SAGE GROUSE EIS
Regarding the Sagebrush Ecosystem Program and Nevada Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Plan, Chairman Goicoechea related, “Where we’re at, the EIS is out in Final protest period” of 30 days and beyond that is the 30 days for the Governor’s Consistency Review. Goicoechea said the Review is “pretty important” as there are “a lot of discrepancies between the Final EIS and the Nevada State Plan” which are “not small discrepancies” and which will have a “big impact on the cattle counties and the mining counties as far as what we do economically and how we go forward.” There is a meeting on the 12th of the Sage Brush Eco-Council at which the only item on the agenda is to discuss the Governor’s Consistency Review “and to start laying our lines in the sand down if you will.” At the meeting on Monday the 8th in Salt, since the impact is westwide, there will be representatives from Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, and South Dakota, “trying to figure out what we’re going to do.”
There is ongoing legislation, with Senator Heller trying to get a ten year extension so that where states have plans they can have the time to prove them. Goicoechea said the extension got approved in the House but doesn’t think it will necessarily make it out of the Senate. While states have done what the Secretary of the Interior “asked us to do to demonstrate effectiveness,” Goicoechea feels it was “wasted time and energy putting plan together for the state and they’ll do what they want to anyway.” Goicoechea expressed frustration at what feels like “wasted time and energy putting the plan together for the state.”
Senior Centers Director, Millie Oram, reported that “everything is going smooth” as she oversees both the Eureka and Crescent Valley Centers. The Eureka Center served 802 meals in May, an average of 42 meals a day while the Crescent Valley Center served 573, an average of 29 per day. Together both Centers deposited $7713.95 for the month.
I.T. functions help
The Commission considered options, both temporary and/or permanent, to maintain and support Eureka County IT functions including, but not limited to: advertising for a replacement for the recently vacated IT Network Analyst position; requesting an RFP for IT contract services; and/or the formation of an IT maintenance and support process based on third party contractors in conjunction with key current County staff.
Mike Mears, County Assessor began by discussing “where we are today.” Previously, Eureka County had an IT person physically present who had the capability to “touch anything in the county remotely.” Even after he moved to Arizona he was able to handle most issues, but he resigned in March. Since that time, the County has relied on Advanced Data Systems for IT support which Mears characterized as a “rough journey” with a “learning curve to understand the complexity of issues” and the ADS team is “doing the best they can.” Mears noted, “This isn’t working.” Mears noted he may be responsible for overseeing IT issues but he is not expert in the field and knows “just enough to go and get me in trouble.” Mears noted it is bugeted for a salaried position if the County can successfully recruit a candidate. Mears said, “We need somebody here” as every morning he has IT-related emails and phone calls and ADS’ “Rick can’t be physically here every day.” With that, Mears brought Mike Rebaleati to the table, characterizing the former Recorder/Auditor as having “more experience.” Mears said, “His expertise is needed as we try to move forward.”
Mears had invited Rebealti to the meeting, and said, “Mike has far more experience with the network systems that we have and how that’s expanded from when it originally began.” Mears said, “I think his expertise in all of that area is needed as we try to move forward and try to figure out what our solutions are.”
The County plans to recruit an IT person at a salary of $125,000 but has not yet begun advertising. With a job description ready, the Commission directed Mears to go ahead and begin advertising. Whether the County will employ outside contractors and have an IT person in-house has not been decided.
“Now back to a band-aid,” said Chairman Goicoechea. “We need something right now while we’re looking for someboy. Are you interested in helping us, Sir?” he asked Rebaleati.
Rebaleati, who’s not in Eureka all the time, said he can help when he’s in town and can make sure things are covered on a regular basis. Earlier that morning Rebaleati spoke with Rick of ADS about County ‘firewalls’ to help him understand the system. Rebaleati noted the salary offered would prove problematic in finding a qualified person to come to Eureka.
Rebaleati also suggested finding someone within the community who could be trained with the aptitude.
Rebaleati noted many of the switches and routers are “becoming legacy” as the County has “done very well getting PC’s last 6 years.” He said he can help with the plan of getting everything arranged and help plan to make sure it’s working.
Asked to get a proposal for his services together, Rebaleati said he will get with the District Attorney.
Mears related, “You need some key personnel at the various facilities we have.” He related how Deputy Marcial Evertsen was able to help resolve a Crescent Valley IT issue as he “was able to identify the switch” to get a got problem resolved. Mears said the Sheriff’s Office has problems on a daily basis” as does the Administration building.” Mears suggested getting “people trained up” to help ADS determine what needs to be done.
Mears noted that Lester Kaiser of Business Continuity Technologies that does all the network and IT work for White Pine County and has a large group of IT technicians is making a presentation to the School District and does similar services to what ABS is doing. Mears said if necessary using a “couple of vendors” could “take pressure off of Rick.” Mears plans to “hear him out” and see what type of service they could provide.
Rebaleati said he knows of another IT provider in Carson City and will make himself available to help get “you guys through” so “workers have what’s needed.”
Goicoechea expressed the hope to get “somebody in this county living and working here.”
Rebaleati agreed “getting somebody here on the ground will be the best alternative.”
Mears advised to “be patient here and give the advertising an opportunity” to see if an appropriate IT person responds.
Eureka County Commissioners approved:
• $4,226,654.37 in expenditures including a $3,704,560.36 pass-through to the School District and $669,788 in payroll; $4,379.95 in Yucca Mountain Expenditures;
• Signing letter extending the contract for services of independent contractor, Abigail Johnson, as approved on May 18 ;
• Signing letter to John Carlson, Benefit Intelligence Services, outlining modification to existing contract ending June 30, 2015, and upcoming contract beginning July 1, 2015, for additional services as approved on May 18
• District Court Minimum Accounting Standards;
• A two-year Interlocal Contract Between Public Agencies between Eureka County and Department of Health & Human Services through the Division of Health Care Financing & Policy and the Division of Welfare & Supportive Services for the Medicaid Match Program, effective July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2017;
• Accepting renewal proposal from Nevada Public Agency Insurance Pool, and approve payment from Fiscal Year 2015-2016 funds;
• Authorization to hire a replacement casual position for the Fannie Komp Senior Center;
• Ratifying grant application to Nevada Aging & Disability Services Division for Nutrition Grant #07-000-04-21-15 for home-delivered meals in the amount of $22,659.00 with a County match of $3,999.00;
• Ratifying grant application to Nevada Aging & Disability Services Division for Nutrition Grant #07-000-07-13-15 for congregate meals in the amount of $17,043.00 with a County match of $3,008.00;
• A Memorandum of Understanding Between Eureka County & Nye County for Minimal Maintenance & Snow Removal from Roads Shared by both Counties, and all matters properly relating thereto in a renewal of an existing MOU that has been in place since 2004;
• A six-month contract extension through Dec. 31, 2015, with Richard C. Moore, PE, the Eureka County Transportation Impact Advisor for the Yucca Mountain Project, and all matters properly relating thereto in an extension of time request for this contract using unexpended Yucca Mountain direct grant funds, of approximately $14,000.00;
• Adopting a resolution to address request by Raines LLC, c/o Scott Raine, for commercial water, sewer, and storm drain connections to serve 901 North Main Street in Eureka, APN 01-221-08;
• Appointing Jim Ithurralde to fill the vacancy for an alternate member on the Eureka County Planning Commission;
• Accepting the resignation of Justice of the Peace, Susan Fye, as set forth in a letter dated May 7, 2015 effective midnight June 30;
• Accepting and signing Amendment #1 to Interstate Interlocal Contract between the State of Nevada, Department of Motor Vehicles, and Eureka County Assessor;
• A request from Chase Green for funding of $1,000 to assist with costs to attend the 2015 National Junior High Finals Rodeo scheduled for June 21st-27th in Des Moines, Iowa.