It seemed as though the holiday spirit was in affect at last week’s City Council meeting, as many items were approved unanimously, without much discussion. The meeting was led by Mayor Nathan Robertson, with four of the councilmembers in attendance, and Ernie Flangas being absent.
Robertson requested an agenda item regarding the horse corrals be moved up due to the amount of people from the horse corral association that were in attendance. Horse corral leasee’s sat together, some brought their children, displaying a strong presence in the crowd.
The agenda item was to approve a lease of the Ely city corrals to the Ely City Corral Association for $1 per year for the next 20 years. Kent Lynskey, the president and corral boss for the corral association, stood before the council asking for approval of the agenda item.
Robertson said, “This was something that was proposed awhile ago, there were recent events that came to light that the city has been involved in, and the current administration wasn’t aware the city was involved because of the past administration.”
Lynskey said, “As you can see by the people that are here, I have the support, we’d like to do this, and take over the corrals and make it a better place.”
Robertson explained that there was a draft of the lease, and liability insurance would be required. In the lease, there is also an out clause so that in the event something happens down the road the city would be covered as well.
Through research it was discovered that the county owns a portion of the land where the corrals are located, but rather than paying a surveyor $6,000 to have it surveyed, the city decided to quit claim deed the land.
“I think the corral association can do a much better job of taking care of this than the city has in the past, and there is a certain liability for us for taking money for these corrals, and not providing the oversight that I think the members of the corral association can.” Robertson said.
Alworth questioned Linskey on who would be in control of removing the waste, and Linskey replied that he would be, “that would be myself, as I have been doing for the past year.”
Alworth said, “So you are hauling from the corrals, to?”
Linskey said, “the corrals to the landfill.”
Linskey said he had been taking care of the arena as well, that has brought more people from the county in who are utilizing the arena.
City Attorney Bryan Pyle wanted to clarify the name of the association, and Linskey indicated the name had been changed to the White Pine County Corral Association from the City of Ely Corral Association.
Pyle explained to Linskey that until a nonprofit status is achieved, the lease cannot be granted. Nevada law allows the City of Ely to lease to nonprofits for a very reasonably low cost as long as they are registered as a charitable organization.
Robertson said, “We can vote to approve it, and as soon as they have their nonprofit status we can move forward and approve the lease.”
The corral association will be required to carry an insurance policy, and Pyle said it was suggested that it be in the amount of $5 million. The item was approved unanimously, and several association members stood clapping, thanking the council and mayor for the approval.
Mayor Robertson placed on the agenda for discussion and possible action to donate $2,000 towards the replacement of the R.S.V.P. van that helps benefit the sick and or elderly people in the community.
Councilman Kurt Carson asked City Treasurer Janette Trask her thoughts on this item.
Trask said she hesitated to donate money, but she did support this since it is a service to the community. The county does contribute towards this organization as as well.
Trask said she will have to figure out where the money will come from, mentioning it may be allocated out of the general fund.
“I will work the best I can to get it in there,” she said. “I just don’t want this to open the flood gates for people that think they can go to the city for just any donation. This is an extreme service to the people that I think it’s worth giving it to.”
Alworth said, “I too asked the City Treasurer where the money is gonna come from, and you mentioned the administration?”
Trask said, “Right now it’s looking like that is the most flush at this point, but is subject to change.”
Alworth also suggested setting up a contingency fund for something like this in the future. “As she indicated our budget is really tight, we may have to tighten down and make the budget work, but I agree with the Treasurer, it is a great benefit to the community.” The item was approved unanimously.
Approval to prioritize and select the CDBG projects for the 2020-2021 program year application submission had two items that were expressed as a top priority. One was a new extrication tool for the fire department and the other was for Phase II of the Murry Street sewer project.
Carson indicated that the Utilty Board approved the recommendation of the Phase II Murry Street project. Councilman Jim Alworth asked interim fire chief Pat Stork to explain the tool that the fire department is looking to get with the CDBG Project money.
Stork explained that the current extrication tool is from 1990. The tool is slowly getting phased out, it has hydraulic power, hoses require being stretched out to reach the accident area, and is costing the city a lot of money to keep up on the maintenance of it.
Stork said, “These tools are basically what everyone is reverting to, other tools are becoming obsolete. The new portable tool on a crash scene, is much more simple, it is leaps and bounds ahead of what we are using now.”
Alworth questioned City Clerk Jennifer Lee on whether the extrication tool would be in competition with the Phase II of the Murry Street project, and Lee explaining that it could be.
“The thing about Murry Street Phase II, the environmental assessment that we paid over $7,000 for is being completed for all phases of the Murry street sewer project. It’s good for five years, so that is a consideration,” Lee said.
Lee, went on to explain that best case scenariou would be that the city could get both.
Councilwoman Michelle Beecher asked if it would be detrimental to the one or the other if they submited both. City Engineer B.J. Almberg explained to the mayor and council that he didn’t believe it submitting both would hurt the opportunity for both.
“It very well good that when they prioritize, there may be $50,000 left, which may not be enough to cover the sewer project but it could be enough to handle this other project,” he said.
The council appoved unanimously to have the Phase II project be the first priority with the extrication tool being second.
The council approved unanimously for the disposal of tree stumps for commercial businesses to be charged $5 a ton. Stumps at any size will be taken in to factor with this approval. Carson didn’t think that this would cause a dramatic change the process.