Categorized | Advocate News

Geri Wopschall Around The County

Posted on 20 November 2017 by Howard Copelan

Philosopher Camus wrote “Always go too far, because that’s where you will find the truth.”

White Pine County Commission November 8, 2017

   Public Comment:

George Chaches “You need to address two lanes on Aultman.”

Richard Howe “There will be a NODT meeting, I believe on November 30th.”

   Discussion Only regarding Ely Disposal Services, Inc., their franchise agreement with White Pine County, and recent fee increases.

Art Meacham  “ I believe the letter we circulated was taken out of context. Our intent was to notify our customers that if the City decides to charge us by weight, our rates could go up. We would have to approach the Commissioners to increase if the City decides to do that. Basically everyone is paying for the use of the landfill and we are only transporting trash to the landfill. If we get an increase by weighing our trucks, we do have to pass that expense on.

   It was agreed to by the Commission,  some time ago that increases would be tied to the consumer index. The reason it kind of looks like we do not pay for the franchise, but in reality we do, because when we got a new franchise with the county, it was that we continue to pick up trash from the outlying areas. This practice is not profitable to us. We actually lose money on them. Four or five years ago we did get an extension on our  franchise for 20 years.”

  Perea “ We do not need you have a new agreement do allow you to pick up trash in the county.”

  Art “As for the paperwork I was unable to find a copy of our agreement. The fees that were looking at increasing would not be that much maybe as much as $2.75.”

(I do question the ordnance that provides for this 20-year franchise. I did take time to find the agreement and the minutes of the meeting that granted the 20-year franchise, but the ordnance does not match.)

County Fire


Calls 77

Medical  Emergency  19

Medical Assist   29

Care Flights  27

Hospital to Hospital

Fire 1 Widland

Public  Assist  1

District Fire Chief, Tim Woolever was away at training.

Public Hearings

Ordinance 480, bill number 10. 11. 2017, an ordinance amending title 17 to prohibit marijuana establishments as defined by the regulation and taxation of marijuana act.

   There would have to be an update and zoning for a marijuana sales.

It was reported that marijuana is presently being sold on the reservation, the DA said there was a difference between trust Land versus private land. The trust land is controlled by the Federal Government and the private land would have to be rezoned for the sales of marijuana.

  It will take 6 to 8 months to get the reasoning completed.

5/0 to start zoning process

   Discussion /action /possible approval of Ordinance 476, Bill # 0 8. 0 9. 2007; an ordinance adding Chapter 4 section 2 regulating the number of slot machines, games, gambling devices, race books are sports pools that are operated and played for value within the county.

  This ordinance may never pass, Stork, Bybee and Perea all have gambling in their establishments, this prohibits them from voting on this item. McKenzie does not like to have this restriction as to how many rooms must be provided for the number of machines. Howe would like to see this ordinance put in place, because we are the only county in the state that does not have a gambling ordinance. It will be on the ballot again on December 6th.

   Public hearing to nominate and our nominate public lands at are determined to meet County objectives.

4/0  to approve the Lands around Lund and Baker. .Perea abstained on one piece of property that was adjacent to his property.

   Discussion /action / possible approval how to install a new wireless communication facility, to include a 60 foot monopole Tower and a standby diesel generator at 25 Avenue F, McGill Nevada.

  Mark drain did State some concerns having the tower so close to the McGill Elementary School.

  There is already a 35 foot wooden Pole in the location. The new tower will be 65 feet which will prevent loss of reception. There will be a 6-foot fence around the facility and there is a possibility that they will not install a generator.

5/0 approval

   Discussion / action / possible direction as to whether the Department’s heads should continue to appear in person for presentation of their quarterly Grant reports to the county commission.

5/0 approval that the department heads do not have to appear in person.

( I fully agree with this decision. The department heads may sit in the meeting for 3 hours before their item comes up for discussion. And they are always approved.)

   Interviews for Sheriff

   One candidate did not show, but Penny Robinson and Scott Henroid did show and were interviewed.

   Steve Stork made the comment that “I do not want more of the same.” He then nominated Penny Robinson. There was no second so the nomination died. Scott Henroid was then nominated and was voted in.

Approval  of resolution 2017 – 56 to utilize $7,000 of Contingency to provide for juvenile transports.

   The juvenile transport are at an all-time high this year and the state requires that we have this money available for transportation.

5/0 approval

Discussion / action splat / proposed possible approval of resolution 2017 – 57 utilize $2,500 of Contingency to provide for appraisal of County property.

   This property needs appraisal for a lease possible by contract with a Solar Company.

5/0 approval

Special Joint Meeting Commission and Ely City Council

Discussion/Action/Possible Approval all the legality of collecting landfill fees from County Property Owners, with the approval / direction to move forward with preparing revised County ordinances, and an amended interlocal agreement between the city of Ely and White Pine County to allow for the legal collection of both outstanding and future landfill fees by placing said fees upon the county tax rolls pursuit to NRS 318. 201, and NRS 244. 157 with remittance to the city of Ely.

    Mike Wheable (DA)

   “The reason the city and county are discussing placing the monthly landfill fee on the tax roll instead of sending out monthly bills to all owners of inhabitable structures is because there is a good percentage of owners in the county who do not pay their monthly bill and are in arrears hundreds of dollars. Unlike city residents who have to pay it or risk having their water service turned off, the city has no mechanism (like turning off water service for failure to pay) to the majority of County residents because County residents for the most part get water elsewhere. The City could sue or put it to collections but there are apparently way too many past due accounts to make that an effective way to collect. The County has an ordinance in place requiring all county residents to pay the monthly fee either to the treasurer or to the city. Failure to pay is like theft of services and is listed as a misdemeanor offense.

   The City has asked the County to consider placing the fee on the tax roll in an effort to collect from those who do not pay.

If this plan happens County residents won’t be paying on a monthly bill any longer, but the same fee would be paid with taxes….. supposedly.

Also, the city Landfill is owned and operated by the city as an FYI.

So, in a nut shell: The City has approached the county seeking assistance with collections claiming that the current billing system is not working

   Also, this is not going to happen soon because to legally place it on the rolls the County has to Draft and pass new ordinances, negotiate and draft a new interlocal agreement, and adopt a “solid waste plan”

   The Treasurer and I have concerns about doing this but the County Commission voted 5-0 to have me move forward with drafting these things and want me to help the City Attorney collect and or prosecute those who  are in arrears…..”

Ely City Council

November 9, 2017

(Three council members present, Ernie Flangas and Tony DeFelice are absent.)

    Public Comment

Two citizens complained about problems they were having, 1 was reporting a street light that has been out for a while and the other is still having problems with sewage backup relating to the county jail.

    Fire Chief

Calls – October 19 – November 2

20  Medical  Transport  (3 county)

3  nontransports

1 EMS Standby

3  Jail Check

1 Public  Assist

2 28 Total Calls

     Judge Coster “ The last time I saw you I was on my way to my second judges training. This was the last required training for new judges. There is a $2,000 allotment for judges training next year.” The Mayor ask Judge Coster if he got an A in the class, the judge replied he got a double A Plus. The classes were on ethics and security.

   The report that is normally given on the second meeting of each month, is not finished and will be provided to the council in December.

  The Judge also complimented the mayor for the city looking better than it did the last time his family came. The mayor replied send me some more offenders and they’ll be more weeds gone.

    City Administrator

We have already 12 applications for the utility Clerk. We will be continuing our interviews and make a choice, so that person can start at work Monday morning.

    We will be getting help with the cost of euthanizing animals with ejection. So we will be getting help having these animals euthanized by a veterinarian.

    Water and Sewer – Carl Siemer

Digs: 8th & Ave G replace an 8-inch main valve

Install 6-inch main valve at the corner of 13th and High Street,

On the 700 block of Avenue B and on 1000 block of Avenue H.

Wells –  RW – 6 and – 7 are both up and running, 17th & Ave M  Well still in auto.

Monthly coliform samples complete.

  October Wastewater Plant and lab report – Bruce Ashby

During the month of October, We performed weekly task of lubricating pumps and blowers, cleaning and acid washing retro screens, changing oil in the screw pump Gear Drive and adjusting drive belts. We resolved the issue with the centrifuge by replacing a vibration transmitter. The centrifuge ran a total of 10 days through the month. I worked with the plant on the holiday, took water samples from Fay Avenue and High Street and analyze them. The lab analyze 57 samples. Majority of the samples were the cities due to loss of pressure in a public water system. Quarterly samples were taken from the monitoring Wells and clarified and shipped to water lab, quarterly dmr’s are submitted to the state.

     Landfill Department – Tom Lawrence

During the month of October we did daily operations as usual. Class 1 year-to-date totals tons 6135.38. Year-to-date daily average 19.06 tons. Landfill crew is still hauling dirt daily from the class III expansion area and hauling to the top of class one for daily cover. 938h landfill  loader engine recondition is complete. Machine  was delivered to the landfill on 11-1. During the month of November we will be working on the drainage ditch and the South Pond. Landfill scale has a bad load cell )under warranty,) part is in and will be replaced on 11-2. All equipment was greased as needed.

   Street Department report – Dave Berkey

Patched potholes, swept streets around town, Dora patched all of Avenue C between 8th and 9th Street with a complete overlay.

Finished wiring white snow plow, put lift cylinder on City grader (broke again and had to send it back to get fixed). Reinstalled lift cylinder.

We helped the water department on 2 water digs.

   Parks, Cemetery & Recycling report – Mike Crarcraft

Everything’s been winterized and we’re ready to start plowing snow.

During October we had four services, the cemetery crew did an excellent job.

Recycling center – during October we resurfaced the ground with millings from the road department to curb the mud this winter. We have 22 bales of cardboard, 8 bales of paper, 7 bales of plastic & 4 bales of aluminum. We will be sending a load within the next week.

We’ve begun to remove dead flowers from the Planters and Mayor VanCamp is placing Pine boughs in the Planters, which we will keep watered we continue to repair street lights as we are notified.

   Building Permits – City

There are seven new permits issued – $1,1200.25 permit fees and $682.91 plan review fees. Totaling 1800 $3.16.

Building Permits- County

There were 16 new permits issued – $4,500.84 permit fees, $1,992.83 plan review fees and fuel fees $720.02 totaling $7,213.69

   Discussion/For Possible  Action consideration of water rate increase, as recommended by Nevada Rural Water Association.

   It had been recommended by Northern Rural Water Association to raise the water rates in Ely up $10 a month. The city council realizes this is a big jump and would rather take small steps. It was decided to gear the rate increase to Social Security cost of living. This would mean the rate would go up approximately 2%(.26) per month. If Social Security does not get a raise then the water rate does not go up.

    Discussion of possible action – approval of denial of claim letter to George Chachas and John Chachas regarding their August 21st, 2017 request for reimbursement of expenses incurred to unclog the main sewer line at 681 Parker Avenue in July 2017.

   The Chachas brothers demanded to see the contents of the claim that was turned into the insurance company and would like to have their statements included. This claim should be resubmitted to the insurance company.

     Review of the proposed map designating access routes within the city of Ely to OHV trails.

   This would provide access on certain roads to allow people on OHVs and ATVs to access stores, gas stations and trails outside of town. The city is quite willing to work with this plan.

    Discussion / for possible action review and possible acceptance of traffic study by the White Pine County Sheriff’s office regarding designated Murray and Mill Street as one-way streets based on traffic flows.

  Having Mill Street and Murray Street as one-way streets would impede the flow of traffic. Mill Street and Murray Street will remain two-way traffic.

   Discussion / for possible action approval to refer outstanding bench warrants to Valley Collection service of Glendale, Arizona to begin the collection process.

  The bench warrants go back to 1998 NR in the amount of $150,000. Not all of these warrants will be collectible, but many will be collected. The ones that are not collectible can now be removed from the record as non collectible and will not be an outstanding item on the records.

Geri Wop

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