COMMISSION UPDATES:

Chairman Goicoechea had a conference call with the Cooperative Extension Committee from NACO on March 22nd and April 5.”NACO is still trying to get their mind around the consolidation and get some questions regarding funding and budget approvals, etc.” Goicoechea said some Counties are “actually paying for their Extension Educator where we were told ‘no’ that’s coming from the University” while some counties are paying out of their General Funds. “There’s a lot of confusion about the money and where it’s going and where it’s coming from.”

Goicoechea said, “There’s a lot of angst right now. Eureka County has been in support of consolidation, but now there’s all these red flags flying up about ‘are we sure the money’s going where it’s supposed to be going. Clark County in particular is very nervous” as there are “millions of dollars they’re not able to account for properly.” Questions regarding the Reserve Fund still need to be answered. Eureka County has some $800,000 “sitting in there” and they have to watch to make sure “we don’t end up with a big sweep of these accounts.” On the 23rd of March, the Chairman helped with State FAA in Reno and helped with the Vet Med Contest. On the 24th he had the Public Lands Meeting with NACO by phone and on the 25th was in Carson City for the NACO Board Meeting.

Commissioner Sharkozy on the 22nd through 24th attended the Block Grant Review and awarding of Block Grants throughout the State. “Gave away a lot of money,” said Sharkozy.

Commissioner Etchegaray attended the Groundwater Management Plan on March 28th and the DNRPCA on the 29th.

WATER RIGHTS

For a number of years, Eureka County has required that when a parcel is divided that the owner include two acre feet dedicated to the County in anticipation of service. When development happens it assures that there will be water available to serve the parcel. “The problem with the approach we have right now is we’re keeping that and paying for extensions and administrative and it’s somewhat of a money nightmare to keep track of,” said the District Attorney. He said, “The idea for a long time was do we have some assurance that the State Engineer would allow us to basically grant that to them on the understanding that when and if there was a water system that served that additional parcel the water system would get credit.” Beutel said the question was whether the Engineer could hold “those for us so we wouldn’t have to file the Extensions; we wouldn’t have to track the  way we do now. He’s amenable to that idea so the question becomes whether or not this Board feels comfortable with that approach.” It would be in Crescent Valley and Diamond Valley alone.

Chairman Goicoechea asked, “What are the unforeseen risks” if the Water Engineer or State policy changes.

“The unforeseen risk is that the State will do what the State might do, which is lose track of these; or simply that the law will change and they won’t be available for a water system.” The D.A. “offered to the Board that unless Crescent Valley or Diamond Valley turn into Pahrump Valley where there is just this explosion of growth with these domestic wells everywhere; we probably don’t have too much to worry about because our systems won’t expand that far; or there won’t be the demand for them to get that far; but the risk is” that “they’ll just lose track of them or they’ll simply say ‘your request to get them back is denied’ because there’s been a change in the law or in the Administration of the State.”

Beutel said, “It’s not necessary that we keep them because the water system already has sufficient water already available to it; so it’s not like we’re in a problem area” and the “two acre feet can only be pumped at the time that parcel is served; it can’t be pumped at any other time.”

Goicoechea asked, “So, why are we holding it.”

Etchegaray asked whether the State will sign off “on it that they’re going to hold those two acre feet? That way if they lose the records…”

Ron Damele said there’s a form that the County will have a copy of.

Goicoechea said, “It makes sense today with the amount of water rights we have stacked” with the understanding that a representative of the Commission and the District Attorney will present it at a meeting upcoming with the State Engineer. The Commission voted to submit the Order.

SENIOR CENTERS

Millie Oram, Senior Center Director was in Crescent Valley on April 5th for Food Bank and the “staff is doing great. Everything’s running good and Eureka we served 882 meals, which has averaged out to 32 meals a day” while “Crescent Valley did 543, which averaged out to 24 meals per day.” Together, the Centers deposited $6,874.14.

ROAD DEPARTMENT

Raymond Hodson, Road Superintendent, reported, “The first part of the month we had the rubber pot back down here and we finished up Eagle and we done 101 from 9th to 12 and started down 12th but run out of time.” They finished the Antelope Road, Monitor Valley and 101, we’re working from 17th north down to Railroad, and we have a blade on Fish Creek Pass” and “that country.” Hodson said, “We’ve started the Roberts Creek By-Pass Project again, but being as short-handed as I am I’ve got one guy working out there. It’s pretty hard getting much done but next week Bill Hicks will start again and we can get going on that.” Hodson said they did “get the big culvert in” which is back-filled with 100 feet of 36 inch pipe in the ground. “We did have pretty good snow-storms which kept us busy all last week, and we’re running a water truck yesterday.” Hodson said on the North End the Dann Road, Rose Ranch, Palisade and Mary’s Mountain roads were bladed until they can get back with a water truck and blade. The screening plant was in the Cottonwood pit running all month with material to be hauled to put on the Barth Road. “They also had a few snow days dealing mostly with mud.” Hodson said there will be annual dozer training on April 14th at 10 am at the BLM yard.

Goicoechea reported, “Bill Miller over in Ely, they had their compressor running on Duck Creek Road” because “they were going to seal it” when NDOW employees showed up mid-morning and told them they “had to stop blowing out the cracks on the road because it was noisy and it was disturbing the sage grouse up Duck Creek and this was mid-morning.”

Hodson said, “You’re not supposed to start until 9 o’clock.

Goicoechea said they’re trying to find out “at exactly what time and what was said.”

PUBLIC WORKS

Ron Damele, Public Works Director, reported, “We began reading meters for the base reading this month” and had a property damage accident at the Annex when a semi tried to turn around on the front lawn “during a snow storm. Can’t really blame him. “It’s hard to tell what’s going on when you’ve got 18 inches of snow on the ground.”

Damele will be meeting with the Ely BLM on April 18 to discuss resource coor- dination for fire fighting in Newark Valley with Eureka, Diamond Valley, Newark Valley and White Pine County attending. They’ll also talk about water resources since they were limited last year on the Pinot Fire. There will be a Wildland Red Card Refresher Class at the Crescent Valley Fire Station beginning at 9 a.m.

Damele’s been working with the EPA on the design of the Repository and with contractors on the Diamond Valley Basin Adjudication suit.

PUBLIC NUISANCE HEARING

A public hearing was held at 11:15 regarding abatement of a public nuisance at 366 Third Street, Crescent Valley owned by Richard E. and Rebekah E. Knight. Comment was made that corrections were made in compliance with the Health Department’s requirements. The Commission motioned to postpone indefinitely the evidence.

Eureka County Commissioners approved:

Expenditures of $978,870.37 which includes Yucca Mountain at $3100 and a pass-through to the School District of $33,614.03 and to the Nevada Division of Minerals for $297.50 and Nevada State Controller for $362,864.44 and the Dept. of Taxation/Room Tax for $251.19;

A resolution proposing changes to EUREKA COUNTY PERSONNEL POLICY, SECTION 4.A.200, to eliminate the 10-hour holiday pay benefit and provide for an 8-hour holiday pay benefit for all eligible employees; and schedule a public hearing May 20 at 1 p.m. to consider adopting the final resolution with the draft resolution to be circulated to all employees for comment before being considered at the public hearing;

A donation to the 2016 Eureka County High School Grad Nite Celebration scheduled for June 10;

Cancelling the April 15 quarterly meeting and placing all quarterly agenda items on the agenda for the July Quarterly meeting;

Renewing the contract with Consumer Direct Personal Care, LLC (dba Better@Home), for Fiscal Year 2016-2017, for a not to exceed amount of $15,000;

Authorizing filling the vacant Road Maintenance Equipment Operator II position vacant due to retirement;

A capital outlay purchase of a Konica ImagePilot CR LS-19, a digital x-ray machine, for the Crescent Valley Medical Clinic for a not to exceed amount of $37,000.00;

Accepting the resignation of Randy Stucki from the Health Insurance Committee ;

Appointing Jaime Halpin to the vacant seat representing Public Works/Road Department on the Health Insurance Committee for the remainder of a two-year term ending December 2016;

Appointing Roger Hubbard to the vacant alternate seat on the Health Insurance Committee for the remainder of a two-year term ending December 2017;

The Nevada Division of Water Resources Fiscal Year 2016-2017 budgets for special assessments to be collected by Eureka County on behalf of the Nevada Division of Water Resources for necesary expenses related to supervision over the following waters in Eureka County: (a) Diamond Valley Groundwater Basin; (b) Crescent Valley Groundwater Basin; (c) Maggie Creek Groundwater Basin; (d) Lower Reese River Valley Groundwater Basin; (e) Boulder Flat Groundwater Basin; (f) Humboldt River Distribution; (g) Whirlwind Valley Groundwater Basin; (h) Pine Valley Groundwater Basin; and (i) Kobeh Valley Groundwater Basin