The only major thing that they left out of the published meeting summary was agenda items #18-22 which were resolutions augmenting the 2015 County budget for a number of entities. This is either covering checks we’ve already written or will write by the end of the month/ end of 2015 budget year because we’re over budget or because we haven’t spent all the money we budgeted. But, the $2 million dollar general fund transfer may or may not be for this year it may be for something further out in the future.
June 16, 2015 Storey County Commission Meeting Summary
By Nicole Barde
The County has already sent out their summary of the meeting so I’ll use that format to fill in any items they left out and add my commentary. You can find the full agenda package HERE
The only major thing that they left out of the published meeting summary was agenda items #18-22 which were resolutions augmenting the 2015 County budget for a number of entities. This is either covering checks we’ve already written or will write by the end of the month/ end of 2015 budget year because we’re over budget or because we haven’t spent all the money we budgeted. But, the $2 million dollar general fund transfer may or may not be for this year it may be for something further out in the future. The changes were:
VCTC=$146k ($94k for Fairgrounds seating)
General Fund=$2.2 Million
A couple of things here. First, every one of these resolutions EXCEPT the $2.2 million general fund increase had a detailed list as to what every penny was going towards. I asked what the general fund money was for and got an answer from Pat Whitten saying that it was for a variety of capital purchases. Essentially a non-answer. I asked if those things were going to be agenized so that the public could see what it’s going to buy ahead of time and also have the opportunity to comment and he said yes. I asked this since the bank building was never agenized BEFORE it had to be approved. It was rushed thru. We’ll see what happens with this.
The second thing is the VCH Park fund augmentation. If this is only for the 2015 budget year ending this month then the “available resources” shown on the park fund resolution as $18,772.00 is probably appropriate for 2015 but not for the TOTAL in the fund going forward into future years. I asked this question of Hugh and Jessie since Hugh determined that the VCH Park fund had over $74,000 in it after they did the audit. I don’t want them or us to lose track of what they owe us in total.
The Board of Commissioners approved Ordinance No. 15-263 providing authorization for partial abatements of plan review and building permits fees to promote economic development within the Tesla district consistent with the terms of Senate Bill 1 of the 2014 Special Session of the Legislature.
I asked about this the first couple of times it was presented this year and was told that we would be receiving revenue in the form of fees that start at $556k in 2015 and end with $302k in 2024. Remember, Tesla pays no property taxes for 10 years and no sales taxes for 20. This is a huge loss of revenue for the County overall but if Tesla pays for the infrastructure and other increased costs to the county and we are net neutral on costs it’s better than nothing. Still…..no revenue to roll back any property taxes as promised by Lance in December 2014. Remember:
December 2, 2014 meeting minutes:
23. DISCUSSION/POSSIBLE ACTION: Request staff to research implementing the first in a series of residential property tax roll backs given the economic prosperity on the horizon.
Vice Chair Gilman reported on economic results coming to the County from TRI and the Tesla transaction. Mr. Gilman described the Tesla facility which will be the largest facility of its kind in the U.S. Construction is underway with permits and fees being paid to the County. Over $300 million in payroll will be added to the economy every year. As a direct result of Tesla, many other companies are moving into Storey County and TRI.
Mr. Gilman discussed the direct benefits to residents. There is an immediate prospect of over 20,000 jobs added to this region. There will be increases in property values, as already seen in Lockwood.
Once the abatement period is over, there will be a massive infusion of taxes into operating school budgets. The State of Nevada is taking over maintenance of USA Parkway and will built the extension – this will no longer be the County’s responsibility resulting in millions of dollars in savings to the County over the next decade.
Mr. Gilman believes it is time to establish a plan for all residents of Storey County to share in the financial success of TRI and the Tesla transaction. Vice Chair Gilman is requesting County staff to prepare a plan specifying an amount of reduction in property tax rates that the County can afford, a time frame for the reduction, and any other reduction for fees and assessments that occur on an annual/routine basis that would be feasible. It is requested that a staff report with a proposed plan be delivered within 60 days, with a target date of the first Commission meeting in February.
Then the follow-up:
February 17, 2015 meeting minutes:
“13. DISCUSSION/POSSIBLE ACTION: Status of the proposed property tax rollback per Mr. Gilman’s request in the Dec 2, 2014 meeting, agenda item requested by Nicole Barde.
Comptroller Hugh Gallagher said a determination is needed to ascertain how much 1 cent of ad valorem would generate in tax dollars. The Department of Taxation pro forma property tax projection published on March 25, 2015, will include all abatements. Until the projection is reviewed, we cannot disclose what 1 cent of ad valorem will cost the County. Assessed valuation and abatements are not available at this time. It is recommended to wait until after March 25th to give direction to the Board on whether to roll back the tax rate or not.
Storey County resident, Nicole Barde: It’s understood that we will have to wait until March or April during the budget process to really know.
Vice-Chairman Gilman said we will have to wait for the Department of Taxation to provide the information needed to make a decision.
Mr. Gallagher explained there are many other items to be considered before making a decision, including the effects of Tesla and what the Legislature will do.
Tom Gransbury said the importance of the Department of Taxation pro forma is that it will give the abatement amount. This report will provide a net revenue number. This will provide an easy calculation of what 1 cent generates.
Vice-Chairman Gilman stated the County has been very successful in economic development over the past year. The new businesses will generate a large amount of revenue over many years. The County is in a very sound financial growth position. Mr. Gilman feels a small rate reduction should begin in 2016-17 year, rolling in further periodic reductions over the next ten years. Mr. Gilman believes the time is right to make a plan but will wait for County and staff recommendations.”
The Commissioners approved aGeneral Services Agreementbetween Storey County, the Storey County Fire Protection District and Tesla. This Agreement provides for Tesla to reimburse the County for Government Services including fire and emergency medical services over a period of nine years.
Tesla has agreed to essentially fund the operations of the Fire District and other services at TRI and for County personnel dedicated to Tesla for the first three years. In years 4-9 it’s a prorated amount based on other TRI occupants kicking in as well. Tesla will also reimburse the county for costs associated with the purchase of unique equipment to meet their unique building needs. For example it’s taller than most Fire Equipment can handle.
I am wondering if this is the same Fire Station that Storey had to commit to open and fund as part of the Boundary Line Adjustment (BLA) with Washoe County last year. If it is then this is pretty slick on our part.
Recall that in exchange for Washoe County “giving” us the Washoe portion of the TRI property (thru a boundary line adjustment), we agreed to provide all fire protection and services for the land Washoe has up to the Lyon County line. At the time I couldn’t understand and asked the Commission why Storey County would pay to get Lance/TRI that parcel of land. There was nothing in it for us really and it would have been a cost burden at a time when we were still struggling with the budget. Well, if Tesla pays for the fire station and some of that manpower, it defrays some of the total cost we would have had to shoulder. I don’t know if our guys KNEW it would work out this way at the time and although its still it’s a cost burden to get Lance/TRI their land ……this Tesla kick-in makes it less of a burden.
The Nevada Department of Transportation gave an annual presentation including an update on the Annual Work Program projects scheduled for the coming year. The County was honored to have State Controller Ron Knecht attend the meeting for this presentation.
NDOT gave us the total budget it will be spending in Storey County and it totaled approximately $77,743,000. . Of that total $77,700,000 is to extend USA Parkway from US 50 to I 80 and $43,127 is for SR 341 guard rails on the truck route.
Approved a resolution authorizing transfer of funds to theVirginia City HighlandsProperty Owners Association for crack-sealing of privately owned portions of Cartwright Road in conjunction with the County’s community grant program.
My only comment about this is that the other communities did not know they could tap this fund and now the fund is “gone” for 2015. Pat Whitten says it’s there for this new year beginning July 2015 but I didn’t see it on any budget that was passed. Maybe I missed it.
Approved bid award for thecape-seal project on approximately 12.31 miles of selected streets and roads in the County.
Mike Nevin provided the following figures:
Approved a licensefor use of County property between Storey County and Mark Twain Community Center.
Approved the contract between Storey County and the State of Nevada, State Public Works Division of the Department of Administration for continuation of providing water service from the Marlette system.