Minutes from the May 20 meeting from the Eureka County website:
The Board of Eureka County Commissioners met pursuant to law on May 20.
Present were Chairman J.J. Goicoechea; Vice Chair Michael Sharkozy; Commissioner Rich McKay; District Attorney Ted Beutel; and Commissioner Clerk, Jackie Berg. The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m. and began with the Pledge of Allegiance. The interactive video conferencing system was connected and utilized between Crescent Valley and Eureka for the entire meeting.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairman Goicoechea removed Item #2 under the Commissioners’ section and noted that some agenda items may be taken out of order. Commissioner Sharkozy motioned to approve the agenda as amended; Commissioner McKay seconded the motion; motion carried 3-0.
Chairman Goicoechea opened the floor for public comments.
EMT Course Reimbursement: Heather Eskandon inquired about reimbursement for the EMT class that she recently completed. Her license application was submitted to the State and approval is pending receipt of her driver’s license, which will be sent electronically. Goicoechea directed Ms. Eskandon to work with EMS Director, Kenny Sanders, to get the proper documentation to submit to the Comptroller’s office for reimbursement.
McEwen Mining: Mike Worley, Environmental Manager for McEwen Mining, addressed the commissioners expressing sincere appreciation for the Sheriff’s Office and EMS volunteers who responded to an incident at the Gold Bar Mine on Monday, May 13. Worley stated that he and McEwen Mining wanted to acknowledge the response, adding, “It’s great to know we’re in a good, caring, and supportive community. Thank you.”
Easements: Crescent Valley resident, Angie Shirley, asked about easements in Crescent Valley and the County’s policy on enforcing easements; for instance, if someone parks a vehicle in an easement or someone’s fence is built on an easement.
Public Works Director, Ron Damele, said the 60 ft. easement for County roads also serves as a utility easement. There are 60 feet easements between residences and a 30 ft. easement around the town perimeter. If a utility must be accessed, vehicles or fences would be removed.
Shirley stated that the sheriff had removed expired license plates from her vehicle while it was parked in an easement, and she wanted to know if this was a County-wide policy.
Sheriff Watts responded that her suspended plates were removed and turned into the DMV, along with another set that he removed that day. He added that this is a criminal justice issue and not a matter for the Board.
Goicoechea interjected, noting that Ms. Shirley can certainly make a statement during public comment, but no action is allowed. He offered that she can place an item on the next agenda if it is germane to this Board, but asked her to work with the district attorney and sheriff if the matter is in relation to law enforcement.
VETERINARY CLINIC LEASE
Lease Renewal: At the May 6 meeting, Darla Baumann, DVM, met with the Board to discuss a proposed lease renewal for property at 180 S. Main Street in Eureka. Ms. Baumann had expressed concerns that the lease was not renewable beyond five years. After some discussion, the Board proposed that the agreement be amended to include a purchase option.
The amended lease agreement was now before the board for consideration. Goicoechea asked Baumann if she had reviewed the amended lease agreement and sheconfirmed that she had.
Sharkozy motioned to renew the lease for property known as the Eureka Veterinary Clinic, located at 180 South Main Street in Eureka, with Darla Baumann, DVM, for an initial three-year term and one additional two-year term, including an option for lessee to purchase the property. Commissioner McKay seconded the motion. Motion carried 3-0.
Hiring Freeze Waiver – Dispatcher: Sheriff Jesse Watts completed a Hiring Freeze Waiver Justification, requesting authorization to fill a vacant Dispatcher position. Commissioner Sharkozy motioned to waive the hiring freeze and authorize the Sheriff to fill the position of Dispatcher I; McKay seconded the motion; motion carried 3-0.
Payment of Expenditures: Expenditures were presented for approval by Comptroller, Maureen Garner. Sharkozy motioned to approve expenditures in the amount of $285,590.01 for accounts payable, $357,830.20 for payroll and retiree related expenses, and $88.15 for Yucca Mountain expenses, for a grand total of $643,508.36. McKay seconded the motion. Motion carried 3-0.
Fund Balance Report: The board reviewed the current Fund Balance Report.
IT Director Job Description: A new job description was created for the position of
Informational Technology Director, which will be effective July 1st. Assistant Comptroller, Kim Todd, stated that Nevada POOL/PACT reviewed it and had some minor revisions. It was also reviewed by the IT Manager and District Attorney.
Sharkozy motioned to adopt the new job description for Informational Technology Director, effective July 1, 2019; Commissioner McKay seconded the motion; motion carried 3-0.
Site Supervisor Job Description: Ms. Todd met with Senior Centers Program Director, Millie Oram, concerning two supervisor positions classified at Range 108 on the County’s wage scale. Due to the supervisory duties tied to these positions, they should be reclassified to Range 115.
This will result in a minimal increase to the hourly wages because the affected employees will receive the Step on Range 115 that most closely correlates with existing rates of pay.
Sharkozy motioned to approve the updated Seniors Program Site Supervisor job description reclassifying this position to a Range 115 on the County wage scale, effective the next payroll cycle. McKay seconded the motion. Motion carried 3-0.
Update Report: Senior Centers Program Director, Millie Oram, reported on activities at the Eureka Senior Center and Fannie Komp Senior Center. In April, Eureka served 708 meals and Crescent Valley served 508 meals. A total of $7,819.50 was deposited for the month. The seniors had their first dinners of the season on May 9 in Eureka and May 14 in Crescent Valley.
Genesis Home Health Contract: The County contracts Genesis Home Health to provide skilled nursing services to qualifying seniors and disabled persons. Ms. Oram said there has been an increased need for these services and recommended that $5,000.00 be added to the contract.
Commissioner McKay motioned to approve the contract with Genesis Home HealthServices, Inc., for Fiscal Year 2019-2020, for a not to exceed amount of $15,000.00; Sharkozy seconded the motion; motion carried 3-0.
Consumer Direct Contract: The County contracts Consumer Direct Care Network to provide in-home assistance for qualifying seniors and disabled persons. McKay motioned to renew the contract with Consumer Direct Care Network for Fiscal Year 2019-2020, for a not to exceed amount of $20,000.00, including signing the Business Associate Agreement required by HIPAA. Commissioner Sharkozy seconded the motion. Motion carried 3-0.
Nutrition Grant Award: Commissioner Sharkozy motioned to ratify Notification of Grant Subaward from Nevada Aging & Disability Services Division for Nutrition Grant #07-000-57-NX19 in the amount of $1,136.00, with no match required. Commissioner McKay seconded the motion. Motion carried 3-0. This is a supplemental grant; $3,173.00 has already been received in this budget period.
Senior Centers Advisory Board: Two letters of interest were received for the Senior Centers Advisory Board. Commissioner Sharkozy motioned to make the following appointments to the Senior Centers Advisory Board – Cindy Culver for the remainder of a three-year term through December 2020, and Joy Snowden for the remainder of a three-year term through December 2019. Commissioner McKay seconded the motion. Motion carried 3-0.
AMBULANCE & EMS
Report on Activities: EMS Director, Kenny Sanders, reported that there were a total of 18 runs in April, split equally between the north and the south with nine runs each. The new ambulance was inspected, certified, placed into service (with a loaner cot), and has completed one run. The new gurney just arrived and was installed earlier in the day. Mr. Sanders is completing annual Ambulance Service Permit applications, due to the State by the end of May.
Volunteer staffing remains low, but no runs have been declined. Ms. Eskandon will become an active volunteer as soon as she receives her license. EMS is working to organize an EMT class for late summer or early fall and hopes this will attract new recruits.
Treasurer’s Report: The Treasurer’s Report for January was presented by Public Guardian, Pernecia Johnson, showing an ending General Fund balance of $27,298,222.24.
IT / NETWORK
Network Equipment: IT Manager, Misty Rowley, presented a quote from Quest for replacement of end-of-life equipment at County facilities in Crescent Valley and Eureka. Commissioner Sharkozy motioned to approve the quote from Quest, in the amount of $44,599.86, for network upgrades in County facilities, to be paid from monies augmented to the General Fund for capital outlay. Commissioner McKay seconded the motion. Motion carried 3-0.
CRESCENT VALLEY TOWN ADVISORY BOARD
Request for Scholarship: CVTAB Chair, Nona Kellerman, stated that the Town Board would like to make scholarship monies available for students who reside in northern Eureka County, but attend Battle Mountain High School, and they are seeking direction on the appropriate way to facilitate this. There are two seniors graduating from BMHS this year who reside in Eureka County. Chairman Goicoechea explained that Eureka County High School sends a letter to the Commissioners each year for its scholarship drive. The Board approves a donation and the scholarship committee determines the recipient(s). The Chairman offered that Battle Mountain High School should send a letter directly to the Commissioners if there are qualifying graduates Eureka County residents). Other criteria and recipient(s) can be determined by its scholarship committee. The Chairman will work with staff to relay this to Battle Mountain High School.
Public Works Update: Public Works Director, Ron Damele, reported on Public Works projects and activities. All utility systems are in good working order. A draft Franchise Agreement and Independent Contractor Agreement were sent to Olcese Waste Services for review. The tree trimmer is in Eureka and has about one more week of work to complete.
Fire Testing & Training: Respirator fit tests were done with 10 volunteers in Eureka on May 14 and with six volunteers in Crescent Valley on May 15. Annual Red Card refresher training for wildland firefighting will be done in Pine Valley on May 23.
EQM: Public Works is working closely with EQM (Environmental Quality Management, Inc.), on planning and other issues related to the grading, slope stabilization, ditch armoring, and fence installation on the County-owned portion of the Richmond Consolidated Slag Pile.
Commercial Water Application: An application was received for a commercial water service in Crescent Valley. Damele affirmed that the system has the capacity to serve this and he recommended approval. Commissioner Sharkozy motioned to approve a one-inch commercial water service in Crescent Valley for APN 002-017-09; McKay seconded the motion; motion carried 3-0.
NEVADA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Noxious Weeds Presentation: Sean Gephart, Noxious Weeds Coordinator, gave an update and detailed presentation on noxious weeds affecting the State of Nevada and Eureka County.
There are currently 54 weeds listed as noxious in the State, broken down into three categories: A-limited distribution; B-established in certain areas; and C-widespread throughout the State.
Statute requires that every person owning, controlling, or occupying lands in the State and every county shall control all weeds declared noxious. Mr. Gephart said the Department recognizes that complete eradication is not feasible in most cases, but control is mandatory. Mr. Gephart is often asked if cheatgrass is a noxious weed, but no level of control can be expected with cheatgrass, and this is the reason it is not listed.
Gephart reviewed the noxious weeds found in Eureka County – one Category A weed, three Category B weeds, and numerous Category C weeds. He discussed the annual grasses that create a new thatch layer with each season, making it difficult to treat and creating a serious fire danger. Ventenata (also called wire grass) has been found in Elko County and Mr. Gephart felt this should be of concern to Eureka County because it is often found with Timothy Grass.
He talked about State and County collaboration, noting that the Department works with Weed Control Districts, Conservation Districts, and CWMAs (Cooperative Weed Management Areas). It collaborates with the US Forest Service and the BLM, and recently awarded a $28,000.00 Forest Service grant to be used over a four year period. It offers other funding opportunities, such as the Noxious Weeds Cost Share Abatement Program, which was created by statute and reimburses 80% of abatement costs.
Gephart relayed the numerous reasons noxious weeds are concerning. They encroach on native plant species and wildlife habitat; affect agricultural yields, property values, and water quality; cause increased rodent population, and ultimately impact finances.
Silver State Trail EA: Natural Resources Manager, Jake Tibbitts, was unable to attend the meeting, but prepared a draft comment letter concerning the White Pine County Silver State Trail Draft EA. This proposed extension and expansion of the Silver State Trail was discussed in detail at the May 6 commission meeting and was again discussed by members of the Natural Resources Advisory Committee at their meeting on May 8.
In addition to concerns discussed in these previous meetings, another concern was highlighted in an email the Chairman received earlier in the week, in his capacity as State Veterinarian. Delamar Valley Cattle Company had a pasture-to-pasture permit the week before to move 400 head of cattle from Nevada to Idaho. A road race on the Silver State Trail through Lincoln County left fences damaged, gates open, etc., and now all those cattle are gone.
This created a disaster for the ranch, which had to completely change plans on moving the cattle, and is now facing an unanticipated gather.
Sharkozy motioned to approve sending a letter to the Ely District BLM concerning the White Pine County Silver State Trail Draft EA, authorizing the Natural Resources Manager to make final edits and have the Chairman sign the letter outside of the meeting. McKay seconded the motion. Motion carried 3-0.
Correspondence was received from: Carlie Wells; Jeremy Rice; Cindi Culver; Joy Snowden; Natural Resources; Asst. Comptroller, Kim Todd; Television Dist. (2); Crescent Valley Town Advisory Board (2); CVTAB Chair, Nona Kellerman (2); Central Nevada Regional Water Authority; Nevada Assoc. of Counties (2); Genesis Home Health Services; Consumer Direct Care Network (2); Nevada Aging & Disability Services Div.; Nevada Dept. of Transportation; Nevada Div. of Child & Family Services; Nevada Attorney General’s Office; Special Advisory Committee on Private Activity Bonds; Nevada Div. of Minerals; US Dept. of the Interior-BLM; EQM, Inc. Certificate of Liability Insurance; National Assoc. of State Aviation Officials; and National Assoc. of Counties (2).