Commissioner Sharkozy reported he met with Nevada Works on June 10 and attending the Crescent Valley Firemen’s meeting, Tuesday the 16th. Sharkozy went to the Legislative Committee on Public Lands with Jake Tibbitts. Chairman Goicoechea was in Washington, D.C., and Vice Chair, Commissioner Sharkozy chaired the Meeting.
AMBULANCE AND EMS
Mike Sullivan, EMS Coordinator, reported since last report Eureka has had five calls for service and Crescent Valley three, bringing Eureka to a year-to-date total of 59 and Crescent Valley to 27 with Eureka slower than last year and Crescent Valley a bit above last year’s numbers. Sullivan reported EMT staffing in Eureka is stable but staffing in Crescent Valley is a critical management problem.
June 27 there will be on-line training in the new EMS record-keeping system. Sullivan said Dr. Stefanko is supporting the change as it will make medical review and charting more efficient. Sullivan has been attending workshops on proposed changes to state license and EMT services which entail what Sullivan characterized as “unprecedented fees and fines by the Health Division” which Sullivan foresees will cause hardship to volunteers and said is designed to raise additional revenues. Initial license fees are to go from $10 to $61. Sullivan said he “can’t come up with any reason” this was done “other than want to be in line with Clark County and raise revenue.” Sullivan said more appropriate would be the County supporting increased funding by the Legislature to the State EMS Office.
Sullivan nstructed the Sheriff’s Office on use of the use of narcan, a medication administered to those who’ve overdosed on opiates. On June 16 Sullivan was attending a BLM Landing Zone Training with the EMS during which a serious EMS call went out and fortunately Care Flight was at the airport and they were able to swiftly utilize the service to transport the patient to Reno.
Dr. Stefanko signed an order allowing administration of Narcan. Sullivan related they have been able to give Narcan for over 30 years but previously it had to go into the vein while the new Narcan can be delivered internasally and puts in small droplets and coats the muccous of the nose so EMTs can administer the remedy “without worrying about needles.” Sullivan said it took the “current crisis with narcotics to get it pushed out in the field.” He said so far they have not had a “problem with it here” as Eureka is seeing “nothing like they’re seeing in the larger cities.”
The district attorney said if the county wants “to do a more formal response” to the raising of fees by the state to put it on for the commission agenda.
Sullivan reiterated that they “want to raise revenue” and while the EMS state office staffing has “been stable for 20 years” while there are “a lot more EMTs.” Sullivan thinks “the Legislature needs to fund the office at the rate it needs to be. My other problem with it frankly is the amounts that are proposed.” Sullivan suggested the vice chair “as an individual contact the State Medical Board or elected representatives.” Sullivan said two federal studies were done that said the Nevada State EMS Office was understaffed 20 years ago” and that comments on the revisions should be directed to the Nevada State Medical Board.
Raymond Hodson, Road Superintendent, gave the Public Works report, noting that May Clean-Up went well but said it incurred a cost of $14,467.40 in Crescent Valley and suggested that the Commission reconsider what is accepted. Radio reprogramming is underway. The sheriff’s office on Mary’s Mountain and on Tenabo had broken antennae. The EPA is reviewing the repository cap design and construction of the roadway has begun. Hodson noted all sewer and water systems are working fine.
Clerk/Treasurer Bev Conley reported the County began May 2016 with a fund balance of $13,452.63, saw revenue of $1,848,843 (primarily from net proceeds) and $820,521 in disbursements leaving an ending fund balance of $14,480,385.
The commission approved the abstract of the vote and canvass of the returns for the 2016 Primary Election. Of 868 registered voters, 455 votes were cast with 122 on election day, 131 from mailing, 28 absentee, and 174 early voters. Eureka saw a 52.42% turn out which was better than anywhere else in the State. Conley noted there is a special candidate filing for the TV District open from June 20 to 24
COUNTY FACILITIES AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Andy Rossman, Cultural, Tourism, & Economic Development Director, in her last appearance before the County Commission, reported, “This is it. This is the big one” as she finishes her tenure and prepares for a move to Nebraska. Rossman said, “All is well at the Opera House” and with Hwy. 50 signage up, Rossman noted, “We’re getting more and more visitors coming up” with foot traffic increased. Rossman said the transition with Public Works Director, Ron Damele coming in to supervise the Opera House and Sentinel Museum staff “is going smoothly.”
Commissioners Etchegaray and Sharkozy thanked Rossman for “all she’s done” for the county.
Natural Resource Manager, Jake Tibbitts, attended the Subcommittee to Study Water meeting June 7 in Dyer, Nevada which is right on the California/Nevada border, with part of the valley in California. Tibbitts said the meeting was well-attended with standing room only. Tibbitts presented on Diamond Valley and has been getting quite a bit of feed-back on that.
Tibbitts said Barrick Gold’s Horse Canyon/CortezUnified Exploration Project preliminary Environmental Assessment is close to being finalized and sent out for public review which he has had an opportunity to review and Tibbitts and county hydrologist, Dale Bugenig, met with Barrick on June 8 and Tibbitts sees a “good path going forward” without a lot of issues to address once the draft goes to public comment.
Tibbitts noted the planning commission met to go over and accept final suggested revisions to the Water Resource Master Plan with a public hearing scheduled for August 1 before being forwarded on to the Commission for review and possible adoption.
Tibbitts received written notification from the BLM that American Vanadium has filed for bankruptcy and withdrawn their application for permitting.
Tibbitts noted the BM BLM on June 14 moved forward with an oil and gas lease sale and auctioned 3765 acres of public land to move forward with gas and oil exploration at a cost of some $20 an acre to lease the lands. While none of the lands were in Eureka County, Tibbitts foresaw a possible spill-over of employees and potential impacts to Eureka County. Tibbitts said the Elko BLM does have lands that spill over into Eureka County that haven’t been offered up for lease.
A new cell tower is being erected on Tompkins Summit which Tibbitts noted will improve cell coverage on SR278 and Highway 50. Originally the tower was proposed on the Lander County side, but due to sag grouse issues, the Tompkins Summit site was selected. Tibbitts said it appears a county road is involved with the concern being the BLM’s imposing a right of way on the county road. Letters from the BLM regarding the EA were never received regarding a 15 day comment period; but on June 6th a letter was received saying no comment had been received and “lo and behold” on “a portion of the county road” the company needs to get a right of way. Tibbitts had a “quick phone call with them and highlighted this issue” and the BLM is “moving forward with amending the right of way” which has to travel “all the way up the chain to Washington, DC to get authorization to remove the segment of road.” Tibbitts expects to “see more and more of these because of the sage grouse stipulations” and said “if this one had slipped through” it “starts a time frame” requiring the County to prove its rights under a twelve year statute of limitations and if that twelve years runs by without such proof “we no longer have the ability to say that’s our road. Tibbitts remarked, “It’s hard not to be a conspiracy theorist when you don’t get the letter and all of a sudden the road gets put through.”
Regarding the lawsuit the County is involved in regarding the BLM’s Land Use Plan Amendment related to the Sage Grouse, Tibbitts reported the opposition to the Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment was filed by Attorney Laura Granier with one of the points raised being the county gravel pit now based on Land Use Plan Amendment stipulations the County being unable to use six months out of the year and having pointed out to the Court that the gravel pit is right on the road and literally an extension of the disturbance of the JD Road. The Commission approved $10,000 in funding towards the litigation with $5000 coming from NRAC and $5,000 from the Commission.
Tibbitts related that having trimmed “everywhere we could on the budget,” the weed contractor was out the first two weeks of June focusing in Diamond Valley following the Weed District Board of Directors intention to keep white top and weed leakage in town contained. The main drainage out to Diamond Valley ws treated as was Eureka Canyon, Simpson Creek, and New York, Windfall Canyons and the canyons outside of town to do their best to keep weeds from migrating out. Public works did the paved roads and the contractor followed up with all the gravel roads, driving every road in Diamond Valley “until we ran out of funding.” Tibbitts noted the Commission approved vouchers “north of $20,400 that was two weeks worth of work.” After July 1, there will be new funding which will allow treatment of puncture vine in Crescent Valley.
Tibbitts worked very hard to pursue BLM funding to assist with spraying on lands that cross over BLM lands and thereby benefit the BLM and the BLM has agreed to give Eureka County $35,000 and “at some point this next year” the Commission may need to “do some augmentation to give the spending authority to spend that $35,000.”
Eureka County Commissioners approved:
2016 General Election ballot language related to AB191 which will include the ballot question, explanation, arguments in favor of passage, arguments against passage, as required by Assembly Bill 191 which was enacted during the 2015 Nevada Legislative Session and requires all counties, except Washoe and Clark, to place a question on the 2016 General Election ballot, which asks voters whether to authorize their Board of County Commissioners to impose increases to taxes on certain motor vehicle fuels;
Accepting the Fiscal Year 2017 Eureka County Work Program as presented by NDOT;
Accepting the resignation of Nona Kellerman as Casual Crescent Valley Town Board Department Assistant, effective Aug. 15, 2016;
With not all matching funds approved, provide direction to Eureka Activities Coordinator to discontinue efforts to purchase and install a message board/sign and send a letter to NCOT relinquishing the grant of $10,000 received;
Accepting the Medical Clinics Advisory Committee recommendation of a non-performance penalty of
$11,400 to Nevada Health Centers;
Out-of-state travel for the Natural Resources Manager to attend the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, & Teaching (CARET) Western Region Meeting in Bozeman, Montana, July 11th-14th with Tibbitts’, who has been appointed as a NV CARET delegate by the Dean of the University of Nevada, Reno College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, & Natural Resources (CABNR), full expenses for travel, lodging, meals, and per diem to be paid for by CABNR.