With Commissioner Michael Sharkozy chairing the meeting in J.J. Goicoechea’s absence, after the Pledge of Allegiance, public comment began with Sheriff Keith Logan who said, “I’d like to acknowledge the untimely passing of Deputy Michael Harder and his daughter, step-daughter, Haley Page, in an accident on November 25th. It’s an incredible loss for our agency, Eureka County and the entire Crescent Valley community. As you know Mike was a Marine, also worked for us at the Sheriff’s Office for the last four years; became a very important part of public service in Crescent Valley and all of Eureka. He was also a volunteer fireman, assisted with Search and Rescue and EMS, did a lot of things with community events. His wife, Shelly survived the accident, is still doing long road to recovery in the hospital in Las Vegas.” Sheriff Logan said, “I was just wanted to thank him for his service and know that it’s an incredible loss for all of us.”

Commissioner Sharkozy said, “Mike will be missed terribly in Crescent Valley for sure.”


Commissioner Sharkozy reported he attended a Fire Department meeting Tuesday, Dec. 1 while Commissioner Etchegaray said he attended a DNRPCA meeting on Nov. 30. Goicoechea, recovering from recent surgery, wasn’t in attendance.


Raymond Hodson, Road Superintendent, reported the Road Crew worked on Sadler Brown Road on areas that were holding water and almost closed the road down in one lane. The Road Crew has been blading on the JD Road; made a pass on the Fish Creek Road to remediate weeds; started the Robert Creek By-Pass Project that will take most of the winter and spent several days on snow removal. In the North End, the Dry Hills, Rose Ranch roads were bladed and the Road Crew is working on the Spa and Dann Roads and are setting up the screening plant to make some material in the Cottonwood Pit and also have had a few days of snow removal. Rather than using Les Schwab to assist with grading in the North End, Road Crew from Eureka went up and did the work and Hodson anticipates fulfilling future projects in-house that way to save money.


Public Works Director, Ron Damele, reported at the Eureka Shop they’ve been installing a new pump and motor on the fire engine stationed at McCloskey Ranch and have hauled the Dunphy tender to the Eureka Shop and will be working on it this winter. They’ll be replacing the metal roof on the Pine Valley Fire Station in January weather permitting. Damele said there have been few heat-related issues in the County buildings. The Opera House boilers are being worked on to get in-line for the winter. All 57 self-contained breathing apparatus have been registered with Honeywell for their replacement program. They’re reviewing civil improvement plans from the School District for sidewalk and storm drain improvements on Catharine Street which once installed Public Works will accept for maintenance.

As the State Engineer issued an order that the County provide proofs of all water rights held by the County and its entities by May 31st, 2016, Ron Damele told the Commissioners, “We feel that we need some help in reviewing all of our water rights to make sure they’re all in order and the points of diversion and places of use are in order” and need professional service assistance and requested the Commission authorize Damele and the DA to accomplish that. The Commission approved the request.


Garney Damele, Chairperson of the Medical Clinic Advisory Committee, told the Commission the Committee recommended a penalty of $6600 for “lack of medical physician” for a second provider under the performance audit based on the prior year’s contract.

Sharkozy asked whether there is “word on approval of the contract or anything?”

Damele said the negotiations are now between the Board and NHC and the MCAC is no longer involved in the negotiation process; rather John of Benefit Intelligence has been contracted to assist. The DA noted there was a proposal from NHC which is still being evaluated by John of Benefit Intelligence that includes hypothetical changes. “My expectation is the reason you haven’t come to make a decision” is that BI is supposed to make a recommendation upon which the Commission will make a determination. The Commission approved the penalty of $6600.


Cindy Beutel, Eureka Activities Coordinator, came before the Commission to ask them to consider a $25,000 electrical sign to be placed at the County-owned railroad car on Main Street proposed to be done with grant money with “no money” to “come out of the County budget,” targetting Economic Development Program and Recreation Board monies. Beutel intends to write a grant request of $12,500 to the Nevada Commission on Tourism and wants to ask the ECDP for $6,000 out of the $3,750 the ECDP gets every quarter through the Great Basin Regional Development Authority and to ask the ECDP to sponsor the project and to ask the Recreation Board for monies as well. Mrs. Beutel said the rush is the opportunity of getting the NCOT application for $12,000 done by January 2nd . She said it would be a way to get information out to people about upcoming activities and that if the ECEDP and Rec Board don’t approve funding it will “just go away.” Mrs. Beutel said it could be turned on at 7 in the morning and turned off at 9 when the “whistle blows.” Beutel said the sign at the Fairgrounds that announces events isn’t seen by people in town and that the electronic sign would be visible to people driving through Eureka in both directions. Mrs. Beutel felt it would help in getting the word out about upcoming events.


In considering the Draft Water Resources Master Plan, Tibbitts noted, “We’ve never had a comprehensive water resource master plan. We’ve had general policies and some kind of open-ended language in our master plan but this is a product of a few years worth of work; and Dale’s [Bugenig] had time between all the other tasks we’ve given him. He’s had a copy in front of me for quite a while now and we’ve finally gotten to the point where the document is bound, ready to go: it’s the draft document. It’ll be handed out to the NRAC on Wednesday for them to start their review as an advisory commission and it will go to the Planning Commission for their first meeting in January.” Tibbitts said there is one copy to provide to the Commission for the record, but he and Bugenig after comments have come back, will then prepare the draft version so they can move forward with the hearings for adoption and copies of that draft will be available.

Bugenig said after all the County comments have been incorporated it will be sent out.

“You’ll be receiving the copy after it’s gone through the Planning Commission and NRAC” and then there will be a formal hearing by the Planning Commission and County Commission.

Bugenig said, “I’m looking forward to the comments both from NRAC and the Planning Commission and then incorporating that and then putting a second draft in front of the Commissioners.”

Bugenig acknowledged it was a lot of work. “By my own admission, I think there’s a lot of good information in there that will help people understand everything from the geology to the basis of water rights to where there’s water available in the County for future development.”

Bugenig said he tried “to make it kind of a stand-alone on more than just a water resource master plan but a primer in terms of water rights; how water rights are acquired; where there’s water, where there isn’t; how the geology controls where the water is; what the water quality is; where there are areas we have water quality problems. I identified the flight zones.” Bugenig at the end provides “for alternatives for water resource management and it will be up to the boards and the citizens as to whether or not they want to follow those recommendations. So, it gives you some options at the end.”

Tibbitts said, “I’ve learned a lot from this as well. You look through; you wonder, you kind of have a general idea of water availability and the water resources” in the County “but this covers every single basin” within Eureka County. “Dale’s gone through the available water; the committed rights; if all the rights were used consumptively to their full amount. It’s very extensive. I think it will serve the County very well for many years in planning.”

Eureka County Commissioners approved:

Minutes of the November 20, 2015, Commission meeting;

Expenditures of $673,405.91 which includes Yucca Mountain expenditures of $3,759.74; a pass-through to the School District of $16,597.58; $2500 to James Riley; Nevada Dept. of Taxation for $385.18; Nevada Division of Minerals for $4,199; Nevada State Comptroller for $4,646.17; and Washoe County Sheriff for $293; and Crescent Valley Market for $118 with total pass-throughs of $28,738.93;

Adopting a Proclamation designating January 2016 as National Radon Action Month in Eureka County;

Selection of an independent contractor to serve as Budget Director from December 2015 to May 2016;

Authorizing staff to hire independent contractors to evaluate the status of all water rights held by Eureka County and its entities;

Waiving the hiring freeze and authorizing the Clerk/Treasurer to hire a replacement Deputy Clerk/Treasurer;

Appointing Nona Kellerman as the senior member and Karen Bowser as the non-senior member representing northern Eureka County on the Senior Center Advisory Board;

Waiving the hiring freeze to authorize Sheriff Keith Logan to hire two replacement Deputy Sheriffs with one to serve as a Detention Deputy and one will serve as a Patrol Deputy (preferably to fill the vacancy in Crescent Valley rather than in Eureka with the death of Deputy Michael Harder);

A revised Comptroller job description to include accounts receivable and accounts payable duties;