The Ely Times

At a recent White Pine County Commission meeting, the White Pine Main Street Program requested support from the Commission in the form of a letter. Caroline McIntosh, who is part of the Main Street program, spoke at the meeting. 

“I’m here representing White Pine Main Street Program,” she said. “We have been approved by GOED, we are in process of applying for a  grant of $30,000.”

The grant is to apply for way finding signs and branding work for the downtown area of Ely.  

“What we are asking for today is an approval letter from the commission in support of the grant application, our image, consistent image, colors, the whole thing would have consistency,” McIntosh said. 

McIntosh went on the explain that the program is currently in the process of applying for their own 501c3. The Great Basin Heritage awarded $9,500 for the legal help.  

McIntosh said, “We are running through the Nevada Northern Foundation. And all were asking for is a letter of support.”

Chairman of the Commission Richard Howe said, “As you know I have a problem with this, always have, always will, I saw in the paper we gave you $25,000, the county commission did that, I don’t have  a problem with this, that was a vote.  

“I see you are getting ready to send four people to Seattle. Are you using that $25,000 to offset to pay the cost for those citizens to go?”

McIntosh, explained that the Governor’s Office of  Economic Development is paying for about 35 folks from Nevada to attend the conference in Seattle. Each person receives a stipend of $1,200.  

“I want to make it perfectly clear that, that $25,000 was not used to send four people to Seattle, because that’s not what it’s intended for,” Howe said. 

McIntosh said, “Nor will it be.”

Howe said, “I will ask the commission to vote on this, and I respect the commissions decision on every vote, I really do, sometimes I object, and that’s my right to do, and the way the commission votes is the way the law is gonna be written, but now I can sleep well knowing that our money did not go for a trip to Seattle.”

District Attorney Mike Wheable mentioned to the commission that this particular agenda item was for support of a grant with no match for signage and branding work for downtown. 

McIntosh said, “All it is, is a letter of support. We do have four other letters we were just hoping you would be on board with this since it labeled White Pine Main Street.”

Travis Godon made the motion, second by Stork. The item was approved with 3-1, with Howe voting nay.  

Another item on the agenda for discussion was for the possibility of opening prayer at commission meetings. 

Commissioner Ian Bullis, “so, not all that big of deal, I notice that city council does that, seems to me we have a pledge, one nation under God, and it wouldn’t hurt to invite him to the meeting, and I don’t have any plans on how that would look, I just wanted to open it up for thoughts and see what you guys thought.” 

Howe said, “I go to my own religion, I pray on my own thing, but I have an issue mixing religion with politics. I’m a religious guy as much as anybody else, more than some, I don’t think having prayer with meetings, I don’t think it’s a good idea.  I’m not against it, I’m a religious guy.”  

After much discussion, Godon and Stork noted they were impartial to having prayer.  

Stork said, “I have my own religion, but I’m not opposed to allowing them to take place here, I just don’t…I want to avoid anymore issues that we don’t need. I know someone will have an issue with it down the road, but we can cross that bridge when we get to it. I’m fine with it.” 

Howe mentioned to Bullis that if he felt like he wanted to put this item on the next agenda to vote on it, he could.  

 The commission approved a Resolution to Augment the White Pine County Road Fund in the amount of $231,146 for repairs of Long Valley Road from unanticipated revenues. .

Elizabeth Frances, Finance Director, said, “This is something that was anticipated during the FY19 Budget process but we hadn’t gotten final confirmation of the revenue from the mine.

“The mine is going to provide us with $231,146 to do repairs of the Long Valley Road.”

Bullis said, “I think my question was partially answered. I don’t know where WP03 is, I guess that must be out near the mine.”

Frances explained to Bullis that this particular road was located on the western side of the county. “It goes up to  Bald Mountain,” she said.

Howe and Stork both noted that the road goes to Bald Mountain mine, and it is a primary main road from US50 North towards the Ruby Marshes. 

 “This is a nice chunk of money that they are paying us,” Howe said.  

Bullis said,, “That is nice, part of me has some..it’s not enough to change my mind, but I have some heartburn about throwing 200 grand at fixing a road outside the city, why I feel like I drive in a third world country around other roads in the county, but we’ll address that at another time.”

 A motion to approve was made by Stork, Godon, seconded it and it was approved unanimously.  

Bald Mountain Mine is reportedly the largest gold mine in the United States. A mine that produced more than 282,000 ounces of gold in 2017.