WORKING WITH NEVADA HEALTH SERVICES
Garney Damele and Chairman Goicoechea met with Nevada Health Centers on Oct. 14 related to contract negotiations. NHC committed to showing what providing medical care for Eureka County is costing NHC and looking at ways to streamline without reducing services. “We are asking a lot” and “are at the top as far as what we’re asking for and what we’re paying.” They talked about the future of telemedicine and “I was very encouraged by that.” Goicoechea said he didn’t know about some of the demands being made. “I think we’re going in the right direction.” Garney Damele said she thought the visit was appreciated and said while the Health Insurance Committee “keeps coming to your Commission with penalties” against NHC, perhaps they ought to see “what we can do rather than bringing penalties forward.” If items can’t be met it would be better to take them out, Goicoechea said. “The big thing for us, is it’s a lot of money” and if the cost can be reduced they will. Goicoechea told NHC “we want to be a partner in this” rather than just penalizing NHC. Goicoechea found it a very productive meeting. Goicoechea said Eureka County is at the top of the scale for what they pay and those issues will be worked out. Goicoechea said NHC thinks they can give more service for less dollars.
SAGE GROUSE PLAN SUIT MOVES FORWARD
As Eureka County along with Western Exploration LLC, Quantum Minerals LLC and Elko County seek an injunction against the federal government’s Sept. 22 decision on land management concerning sage grouse habitat, Chairman Goicoechea reported, “We do have a date for the hearing on the injunction: November 12th, at 9 am in Reno.” Goicoechea said, “We’re gaining momentum: 7 confirmed counties; probably 9 by the end of the day,” including Washoe County. “Stay tuned, keep your eyes on the media.”
Mike Sullivan, EMS Coordinator, reported since last report, Eureka has had 13 calls for service, and Crescent Valley, 4 for a total of 111 for Eureka 48 for Crescent Valley for a year-to-total of 159 runs, ten over last year. Volunteer staffing remains stable with another driver in Eureka and one out in Crescent Valley, which is putting a great strain on the service. Sullivan said billing transition is progressing with the contractor working diligently to switch over the insurance accounts.
Abby Johnson worked with the EPAs public affairs person to notify the pulic about the EPAs public meeting on November 2nd for the EE/CA (Engineering Evaluation & Cost Analysis) for the Town of Eureka to be sent to residents of Eureka and Diamond Valley. The draft EE/CA document can be seen among other places at the Public Works office, the Senior Center as well as on the County website.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM
Andi Rossman, Cultural, Tourism & Economic Development Director, reported 24 children participated in the Missoula Children’s Festival. Upcoming events are the Holiday Bazaar on the 20th and 21st of November and she is looking at booking upcoming dinner theater performances. Rossman reported the Eureka County Economic Development Program Board is reviewing the County’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy and Rossman is working on the CDBG grant proposed for xray equipment for the Crescent Valley Clinic; and is waiting for Mike Sullivan’s grant proposal. Rossman noted at the most recent Great Basin Regional Development Authority meeting, Esmerelda County was approved for inclusion in the GBRDA, which will require amendment of the inter-local agreement. Rossman also reported the GBRDA will shortly have an executive director and a regional CEDS drafted. Rossman is submitting a quarterly report to GBRDA so it can be submitted to GOED.
Jake Tibitts, Natural Resources Manager, reported on Oct. 6 he met in the afternoon with the BLM who are moving forward with reseeding in Diamond Valley for 1900 acres with permittee Jim Baumann providing the tractor and labor and the ability to hire somebody to help; with range drills to be donated by the Conservation District. The seed will include crested wheat.
Tibbitts related that the State Engineer sent correspondence to Kobeh Valley Ranch regarding their Bobcat Ranch permits that granted them an extension of time for a year, going against what they were told directly by the State Engineer.
Tibbitts said wild horses are impacting private resources which needs to be forwarded on to BLM as horses on private land and outside of HMAs are priority. Reports from the Etcheverry’s are that as soon as they filled the trough and started pumping water the horses came in on private land. Wild horses are an on-going issue on the Diamonds where the entire east slope of the Diamond Range has wild horses. Fish Creek, Diamond and Roberts Creek horses are outside of HMAs and on private lands. Goicoechea has heard an estimate of 84 head. Tibbitts said there is no update on the Fish Creek Appeal. Goicoechea said he expects the BLM to start with fertility controls again and a letter will be written to the Ely and Battle Mountain BLM regarding horses outside of the HMA impacting private resources.
Tibbitts noted that at the last meeting the Commission approved sending a letter to Governor Sandoval asking for his support of Eureka County’s litigation and a letter was also sent to the A.G. Laxalt who has been looking at a way to lend support.
COUNTY ASSESSOR AND OFFICE RECEIVE GIS RECOGNITION AWARD
Michael Mears and the Eureka County Assessor’s Office received a Recognition of Special Achievement in GIS award from the Environmental Systems Research Institute. Mears came to work for the County in 1997 to develop the County’s GIS system; over the first two years developing a parcel data base that saw Mears and Damele GPSing county roads and pulling in data from other resources. Over the past two decades, the County has been at the forefront of GIS technology statewide and has evolved over time. The County’s GIS is used for natural resource work and evolved from a CAD-based system to what is known as a ‘parcel fabric’ developed with the ESRI, a system which the County was beta testing. “Part of this award is because we did that” and the “biggest part of the award” is because of the County’s monitoring the technology over the past 15 years and being a leader in GIS development in small counties. Mears said he has presented to several other counties while they determine how to deploy a system. “The data we have now, we have an immense data base” with a lot of “tools at our disposal” and share data with all sorts of agencies. The project was initially funded by Yucca Mountain monies to analyse the impact of the Carlin Corridor. Thanks to the County’s GIS work, they were able to show a large number of private land-owners would be impacted by the Carlin corridor. GIS mapping has been used for such things as mapping Mormon cricket infestation. Mears said the investment has “paid signficant dividends since we first got it going” and he is proud of the County and himself getting the award.
Pulic Works Director, Ron Damele reported the Jutice Court remodel will begin November 5th and will take one long weekend to complete. Damele said the parks in Eureka have been weatherized. The Crescent Valley Dump Day received 29 loads of debris. The extrication equipment service will take place on October 26th and fire restrictions will be listed on Nov. 1. Damele will discuss pool and landfill reduction in hours on Nov. 6, and will also present proposals on water rate increases looking at moving in some measure towards making rates match expenditures.
SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT THIRD QUARTER INMATE NUMERS DOWN
Sheriff Keith Logan reported the 3rd quarter of the year saw 20 new bookings, and 26 inmates, 1.89 inmates per day which is 40 percent of the same quarter last year. Logan said the jail currently has 2 inmates one of whom will be in District Court on the 6th; and the other is not yet scheduled for Court. The quarter saw 2,789 incidents, and 1160 calls for service, 331 traffic stops, 29 arrests or citations and 102 animal calls including dog bites with “zero canines” presently in the shelter with all adopted out. Logan noted there were also 125 pocket dials.
CRESCENT VALLEY WILL OFFER EUREKA CITIZEN’S INSTITUTE
Crescent Valley Town Advisory Board member, Dawn Gann, told the Commissioners she would like to go forward with Fred Steinmann’s Eureka County Citizen’s Institute. Gann reached out to Steinmann who can’t offer the program until after the first of the year. With the Commission’s approval, she’ll go ahead with talking to Steinmann to get it set up.
Eureka County Commissioners approved:
• Minutes of the Oct. 6, 2015 Commission meeting;
• Acceptance of the Eureka Airport Master Plan Update (MPU) and Eureka Airport Layout Plan;
• Ratifying the response to Nevada Association of Counties in support of the merger of UNCE (University of Nevada Cooperative Extension) and CABNR (College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources);
• Proposing an ordinance establishing the duties for the position of Comptroller with a hearing set for Dec. 7 at 1 p.m.;
• A proposal from Abigail C. Johnson, Consultant, for County oversight services relating to Commissioner, Yucca Mountain, Natural Resources, and Public Works issues for a two-year time and materials contract, not to exceed $222,000.00 ($111,000.00 in 2016 and $111,000.00 in 2017), and all matters properly relating thereto with the Yucca Mountain portion of this contract, $162,000.00, to be funded by the US Department of Energy direct payment grant to Eureka County as an Affected Unit of Local Government;
• Adopting a Red Ribbon Week Proclamation commemorating a drug-free community;
• Request from CVTAB to have the County target weed treatment along Crescent Valley town roadways, specifically those that are overrun with puncturevine (aka ‘goatheads’);
• Authorizing the CVTAB to use Crescent Valley Activities Program funds for the following activities in December: (a) $450.00 to purchase Visa gift cards to be awarded as prizes for the Christmas Home Decorating Contest; (b) $450.00 to purchase Visa gift cards to be awarded as prizes for the Parade of Lights; (c) $100.00 to purchase trophies and ribbons for the winners of the Home Decorating Contest and Parade of Lights; and (d) $200.00 to purchase a Christmas tree-cutting permit and decorations for a Town Christmas Tree;
• Waiving the facility fee for the Crescent Valley Community Center for activities related to the Parade of Lights (in December;
• The CVTAB to sponsor a bonfire Dec. 19 for the Parade of Lights, and to have Public Works clean up the burn site with Crescent Valley Volunteer Fire Department members present to ensure that all safety measures are adhered to and the VFD responsible for extinguishing the fire.