The county road department reported that it received several reports of excellent snow removal during the recent spate of heavy winter weather during the White Pine County Board of Commissioners meeting on Jan. 27.

County snow plows spent eight hours clearing 75 miles of road on Christmas morning, assisting the City of Ely with two trucks and a blower. The department also reported discovering a car in a mountainous area buried in four feet of snow. Inside, a woman and child waited while the woman’s husband made the four mile hike back into town for assistance.

As the County Road Commission, the board approved the formation of a committee to study Assembly Bill 191. Enacted during last year’s state legislative session, the law allows counties to vote on possible fuel tax increases. The committee will then decide whether to put the question on the general election ballot on Nov. 8. The law would increase the county tax on motor vehicle fuel, starting Jan. 1. The law would also allow the commission to continue to increase the tax annually for the next 10 years. Fuel tax revenues fund the county road department.

The commission established a committee to develop a five-year master plan to improve the emergency telephone reporting system, and to impose a surcharge for that improvement.

District Attorney Mike Wheable asked the commission to create the position of a new Civil Deputy District Attorney. Wheable’s civil caseload has remained constant while the number of criminal cases has steadily increased. As of the 27th day of the new year, he has 35 new criminal cases to prosecute.

“Now, I don’t think that the crime rate is rising,” Wheable said. “I think we’re better at identifying them.”

Commissioner Richard Howe voiced his full approval.

“This is vital,” Howe said. “This is absolutely necessary. We need to address what we’re funding and what we’re not. Here, we could fund an essential mandated position.”

The commission proceeded