The Ely Times

An agenda item on last week’s Ely City Council meeting was the approval of the First Reading of Ordinance 720, Bill No. 2019-03.  

The ordinance is to establish an ambulance services franchise for the City of Ely. This process is required in order to have the franchise, the terms and conditions before a franchise can be awarded.  

In addition, this would set forth the method by which patients can be billed and how those bills are to be set by the city council. 

City of Ely Fire Chief Ross Rivera expressed his opinion on the ordinance. He said, “I think it’s a good safeguard. If there was a big outing, people are always needing their own security, their own ambulances, in all kinda of situations.  

“This will not take away from the city’s daily operations.”

Councilman Kurt Carson also expressed his desire for this ordinance. He said, “I don’t know why we didn’t do this sooner.”

The item was voted and approved unanimously. 

The city also approved unanimously the counter offer from White Pine County for fire and EMS services. 

Approval was also given unanimously for a home occupation called Hey Caribou Firearms, which is a firearms dealer business. The permit was filed by business owner Steve Saunders.  

City Attorney Chuck Odgers explained that although Saunders is currently a deputy for the White Pine County Sheriff’s Office, it’s not a conflict of interest.  

Approval of the bid specifications for a building to be constructed at the shotgun range pursuant to the sub-grant agreement with Nevada Department of Wildlife was also approved unanimously. 

Odgers said, “As you recall you had approved the sub grant. A week and a half ago we had a discussion with NDOW, they are considering this a public works project.  The building is 40 by 60 or 40 by 100 feet in length in addition to the concrete work.”

Council members Sam Hanson and Jolene Gardner placed on the agenda the approval for a loan from First National Bank.  This is pursuant to the development agreement between the Nevada Northern Railway Foundation Inc. and the City of Ely.  

The loan would be a 12 months for up to $200,000.

Executive Director Mark Bassett stood before the council and noted that this was in the development agreement that was signed back in July of 2016.  

“It is the foundation that is borrowing this money, it is not the City of Ely,” he said.  “The loan is being made based on the foundation’s assets and not the City of Ely assets. Whereas the vast majority of the railroad are jointly owned there are assets that are solely owned by the foundation.”

This loan would utilize $170,000 for locomotive 81 and $30,000 on track issues. The goal is to have locomotive 81 operating by May 31, 2020, since locomotive 40 will be going in for maintenance that could take up to one to two years.  

“Having just one locomotive is not good,” Bassett said. “We would like to have it paid off by January of 2020. Last year we raised $390,000 in donations with 1$64,000 of that raised in December. We’ll be fundraising the rest of this entire year.” 

The council approved the item.