The Ely City Council meeting last week was short, but heated, and definitely informative.
The Nevada Northern Railway reported its annual ridership in 2017 was their largest year they have ever had with 16,026 passengers.
An agenda item to approve withholding an over-payment by Outwest Excavating and Grading owner Paul Holdaway, who holds the contract for the metal recycling pile at the landfill, was quickly removed from the agenda.
An agenda item that appeared to be a little heated was a item put on the agenda by City Administrator Robert Switzer for review of a survey report on sewer lines in the 600 block of Parker Avenue and Alternative Service Concepts.
The re-submission of a claim was sent on behalf of John and George Chachas for expenses that were incurred to unclog the sewer line at 681 Parker Ave. Basin Engineering did an anaylsis.
Switzer said, “It was the city’s desires to re-sbumit the claim.”
Councilman Kurt Carson said, “This was also brought before the utility board this morning, they made a motion to table this and instructed City Attorney Chuck Odgers to get with contractor Ahlvers Plumbing to see what percentage of the job was done on city side and the Chachas’s.”
Carson asked to make that same motion, a unanimous vote was received, and as Mayor MelodyVanCamp attempted to continue on, John Chachas stood up during the meeting asking the mayor to have the engineer read the report into record.
B.J. Almberg, city engineer, read the report into record. Chachas said, “I have a question, so does your report find that sewer line was installed to code and is functional with the way that it was installed?”
Odgers quickly said, “Madam Mayor I’m gong to object to the question, at this point and time, as far as I know this is not a hearing, as far as I know a motion has been made and passed upon and this is not an opportunity to attempt to cross examine a member of the City.”
John Chachas said, “I’m asking for clarification is all, before this goes to trial.”
Odgers said, “Then we’ll wait for it to go to trial, but I am going to advise Mr. Almberg at this time not to respond.”
And although a selection proposal for janitorial services for City Hall was put on the agenda by Switzer, Councilwoman Jolene Gardner, asked City Treasurer Janette Trask if there was money for that, and Trask advised the council not to approve the proposal. The proposal was for $361 a month. This agenda item died.
Switzer and Councilman Sam Hanson had an agenda item for discussion and possible action for a cooperative agreement for election services between White Pine County and the City of Ely.
Switzer said, “What this will do, is to be more efficient to have our elections. Savings in cost, 12,000-14,000 on election services for ballots, etc. and by this agreement with the County money will be saved.”
White Pine County Clerk Nicole Baldwin said “I don’t have anything to add, I think it’s in the best interest of the city and county to combine seemingly duplicative effort of election services, and more than willing to do this at a minimum cost to the city.
“I think it would benefit all of the citizens of White Pine County, but especially the Ely citizens by saving taxpayer money on elections.”
In December, an agenda item was placed on Dec. 14 city council agenda by Hanson, to request that White Pine County allow City of Ely elections be held in conjunction with White Pine County elections, requiring term extensions for mayor and Council Seats 2 and 4, seats held by Carson and Gardner.
This item was quickly removed. With this agreement being signed, it will be interesting to follow whether or not the City will be looking to extend the term of the mayor and those two particular Council seats.
The Ely Times sent an email to the Secretary of State elections division to inquire further into this topic.