The Ely City Council meeting drew quite a few residents who currently have leases at the Ely City Corrals.
The item was requested by Tony Defelice who was not present at the meeting. The item was for acceptance of Kent Lynskey’s proposal to work in the capacity of a contracted service provider as the Corral Boss for a $1,000 a month.
Linskey stood before the council and said, “ I thought I would propose this as a solution to the recent article in the paper about the conditions of the corral. We no longer have a corral association, there hasn’t been any members for a year, and it’s not required to have one. So, being a lesee, I propose this solution to get things cleaned up and keep them cleaned up for the animals and the people.”
City Councilman Sam Hanson made the motion to accept the proposal so that it could be discussed. “Not saying I’m voting for it, but I’m going to make that motion so we can discuss it.”
Hanson said, “My only question is do we have the money to pay him a $1,000 a month?”
City Administrator Robert Switzer said, “No, this is an unfunded expenditure,
Odgers explained that there is a lot to this item, including the fact that there is no ordinance regarding the corrals.
“Let’s be realistic the corrals bring in about $16,000 a year, this proposal would cost $12,000 a year, plus the $3,500 interim budget to maintain the roads down there, you’re in a deficit,” Odgers said.
Odgers suggested to the city council members that the first step is to create an ordinance that will outline what the requirements are stating that the bylaws and lease never came before the city council.
“I believe that you need to have someone down there, because we don’t have enough staff to do it and take care of it, and there may be a way to make that compensation available. But, I think you’re putting the cart before the horse with, put your rules in place so you can enforce it, because Kent won’t have any authority to do anything about it down there anyways. “ Odger said.
Mayor Melody VanCamp asked the crowd if anyone wanted to comment.
Jennifer Trice spoke before the council and explained why the corral association dis-banned. She mentioned that she was very sick and unable to hold her position as president.
Trice stressed the importance of the proposal being accepted. “The reason why there isn’t an association anymore is because there’s really not much help down there anymore. I came to Bob a few times to get the arena drug, because we can’t ride our horses on the public arena. There have been times that I sat down with Bob and Chuck and said hey can we get it drug, and they are more than happy to help but the city doesn’t have the equipment.
“Kent has been the one that has drug it himself. The dirt is so hard, if someone rides, their going to get hurt. Not one time until that newspaper article came out did the city come in and even scrape the roads, they didn’t plow the roads. I got stuck in my truck when I was 7 months pregnant because the plows didn’t come. I am hoping that you guys will accept this and look at Kent who has put his heart and soul in here because he loves those animals.”
Hanson made the motion to direct the city attorney and staff as necessary to look into the appropriate drafting of a city ordinance to allow him to have the authority to do what needs to be done, and also, to make whatever changes, need to occur to provide for adequate financing for his position.
Council woman Jolene Gardner said, “There’s no monies.”
Hanson said, “I know that, that’s why I just said what I said.”
Linskey suggested a partial solution to the money factor, “instead of raising the corral rent we charge a $5 per corral maintenance fee which would bring you up to $18,000 a year, which would be $6,000 in the city coffers.”
Odgers said, “That again, has to be done because we don’t have the funds, a resolution to create that additional fee, so we’ll have to….the way it’s funded still can’t be done the way at this point in time, there is no ordinance, there is no statute to allow for that.
Gardner couldn’t believe that in all the years the corrals have been around that there has never been an ordinance.
Hanson modified his motion by saying, “Let’s revisit that draft ordinance, and also to allow this funding to take place so it’s not to inhinge upon the city’s already strained budget.”
Switzer explained to the council the cost of the corrals being $20 a month, and mentioned that the county charges $75 a month, but with different amenities.
Hanson said, “Based on the testimony we heard it’s not even safe enough to use it down there because it’s not sufficiently maintained.
Switzer said, “I think that’s part of the problem over time, there was a and has been strong corral association, they policed themselves, they collected association dues, the city basically took a hands off approach to it other than a few basic things. And that has changed now, to where we need to make a decision as a community is this a valuable resource that we need to be able to house livestock horses and so on for city residents. That’s where we need to go from there.”
There are 62 corrals and only 10 vacancies. But from the looks of it, it looks like there are more than 10 vacancies. Corrals aren’t all numbered, many have weeds 3 or more feet tall. Trash collected in homemade trailers, making it all safety threat for the animals at the corrals.
Carson and Gardner both stressed that something needed to be done. Carson noted that it could take a while for the city to come up with the money and that it might have to wait until next years’ budget.
Odgers suggested that the council and mayor look at coordinating with the county since they have extra equipment.
Gardner said, “Something has to be done, it needs to be cleaned, do what’s right, because it’s not going anywhere.”
Hanson said, “Oh it’s going somewhere, it’s going downhill.”
Another agenda item that was placed on the agenda by City Councilman Sam Hanson and City Attorney Chuck Odgers was to review the title search in regards to ownership of the real property known as Avenue A and was listed for possible approval to accept the transfer of Avenue A from Ely Securities Company to the City of Ely, including the City of Ely paying necessary appraisal costs, survey fees and transfer fees.
Odgers spoke first by explaining that when he first started in 2015, Mike Lemich was the owner of Ely Securities. Since then, Lemich has approached the city regarding a transfer of Avenue A to the city.
“There is a lot of unknown. The title search that was completed by Ely Securities, which shows that Ely Securities has the ownership rights to Avenue A,” Odgers said. Odgers noted that he was aware that the Nevada Northern Railroad foundation is hoping to get the city’s approval on this, so that they can move forward on the SNPLMA grant, for an expansion that is going to impact Avenue A.
Odgers said, “The problem that we have is that Lemich is also wanting to be reimbursed and I was not able to get any of those funds, of how much. If we are to purchase the ground, Under chapter 37 there is a long process we have to go through. 60-90 days if we have the ground appraised, we have to pay fair market value.”
It was made clear that Odgers needed the county to grant him the authority to legally move forward.
Mark Bassett, Executive Director of the Nevada Northern Railway said, “We had discussions with Lemich on this and it does appear that Ely Securities owns Avenue A. We have multiple concerns, we don’t have street access to the railroad, and we are working on a SNPLMA grant, and you can’t spend public money on private land. We have a $1.2 million grant and what we need to do is tap into the sewer and in order to do that we are going to have to dig through Avenue A and that’s a problem we have.”
A motion was made by Sam Hanson, it was second by Kurt Carson, to grant Odgers to move forward with the legal process.
This item was approved unanimously. The big question will be is how much Lemich is going to sell the property for, and can the city afford it?