CONGRATULATIONS AND A BIG THANK YOU TO SHAUN GRIFFIN OF COMMUNITY CHEST FOR REALIZING A 20 YEAR VISION FOR A MULTI RESOURCE COMMUNITY CENTER! ANOTHER GROUNDHOG DAY WORK CARD APPEAL BY A MUSTANG RANCH BROTHEL WORKER, THE COUNTY HAS NEGOTIATED SOME FUEL COSTS FOR CITIZENS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF, AND SPEAKING OF FUEL….AN INCREASE TO THE GAS TAX WILL BE ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT….IF YOU WANT TO BE ON THE COMMITTEE THAT WORDS THE “FOR” AND “AGAINST” ARGUMENTS FOR THAT BALLOT CONTACT THE CLERKS OFFICE.
By Nicole Barde
This was a jam packed agenda and a long meeting. The June 7th meeting was canceled due to the USA PKWAY opening ceremonies on that same day. A photo-op for the governor.
To start off…..there were a whopping 57 new business licenses on the list for first readings. Dean Haymore must be hopping and it should add to the County’s revenues but not enough to avert the deficit budget we have going forward.
Shaun Griffin the Executive Director of the Community Chest and Storey County Library went first with some exciting news. Phase two for the Community center has been funded and Shaun brought the architects to review the plans for the building add-on. This took a while later in the agenda but what was important was Shaun’s description of what it took to get this far. He had a vision 20 years ago and has been pursuing the means to accomplish that vision. On this day he was proud to present to the citizens of Storey County the plans for a fantastic Community center complete with a kitchen, a 100 person theatre/performance stage, ½ basketball court, climbing wall, library and multipurpose room. He also hopes to have a daycare center if funds allow. WHAT A GIFT! We have Shaun to thank for his perseverance in getting this done and to the generous donors who have funded it. The 25th anniversary celebration was scheduled for Thursday the 23rd at the Red Dog.
Cherie Nevin, Community Services, announced that the annual Health Faire will be held in Mark Twain this year.
Stacy Bucchianeri from Community Development stated that there will be boardwalk inspections in about two weeks. This is to ensure that the merchants aren’t spilling out of their stores with merchandise and impeding foot traffic as well as to maintain as much of an historic look and feel as possible. This was an issue brought up during public comment at the last meeting.
Mike Nevin, Public Works Director, reported on a number of issues that are being worked including the reopening of the pool, road and easement work in VC, and striping on 6 mile. He also reported that the gazebo roof in the VC Highlands Park would be done by Public Works since it can be done at a fraction of the cost of an outside bidder. The VCH and Lockwood basketball courts will be striped soon and the Cartwright cape slurry bids are out.
County Manager Pat Whitten reported that a groundwater study for the Highlands and Mark Twain is being looked at. He also noted that although loan rates for new construction are very low that the costs for building the annex to the Courthouse will be quite high despite those low rates.
Board Comments were brief. Commissioner Jack McGuffey reported that the NACO workshop on Social Media was quite good, and that the V&T Rail Commission passed a “breakeven” annual budget. Board Chair, Marshall McBride invited everyone to participate in the 4th of July festivities.
We had yet ANOTHER work card denial appeal from a Mustang Ranch brothel worker. I don’t really want to go thru the lengthy blow by blow since it is as it always is: the Sheriff is too strict, I didn’t remember to put it on the application, it’s not fair, blah, blah.
This appeal was accompanied by a lengthy letter (page 94 in agenda packet) written on the applicant’s behalf by Don Roger Norman, TRI developer, where he accuses Sheriff Antinoro among other things of “serial harassment and abusive treatment of people…” with respect to the many work card denials and resulting appeals.
For anyone who has heard the back and forth between the workers and the Sheriff in the Commission meetings you know that what is presented by the worker isn’t always fully true. As an example in this case the worker said that two deputies just showed up to ask that he surrender his work card with no explanation…the Sheriff showed that the worker had been given a document at that time that explained why the TEMPORARY work card was being pulled back. After listening to the worker’s reasons for not fully disclosing or forgetting to disclose what was required, and his statement of financial hardship in having to pay the fee a second time, County Manager Pat Whitten tried to be conciliatory and stated that he would see if the second fee for re-application could be absorbed by his office. At that time the worker said that he didn’t want to work in Storey County anymore given how he had been treated and also stated that he had done his own investigation of the Sheriff and didn’t know how he could have been elected to office. At this point both the audience and the commission table objected to those comments. To his credit Board Chair Marshall McBride told the worker that he would not allow that type of behavior/talk in these meetings, that he was out of line , that he would not be getting a work card and ended the discussion. Good for you Marshall!
Marshall also told the Mustang Ranch representative that he has got to work with the employees on fully and completely filling out the applications, that this can’t keep happening. Perhaps do a pre-check on the backgrounds before submitting the applications.
Next, Val LaBel Flatley a Highlands resident and VRWPA member, was next and did an excellent job of giving an update on the Virginia Range Horses and the various activities that VRWPA and the other groups are involved in.
Next the county approved the awards for the fuel bids.
The propane bid went to Ferrell Gas. The price per gallon over rack is: 15 cents for the county, 50 cents for employees and 65 cents for residents. There is zero tank rental and fees/hazmat/fuel surcharge. Pat mentioned that the Highlands seems to have better rates for propane.
The diesel bid went to Thomas Fuels for VC and the Highlands. Regular unleaded and dyed diesel #2 is 6 cents over rack rate for VC and 10 cents over rack for VCH. Golden Gate Petroleum won the bid for Lockwood and TRI with regular unleaded and dyed diesel #2 being 8 cents over rack. All of the usual federal and state taxes are on top pf the fuel costs.
The Commissioners approved the appointment of members for PRO and CON committees on the ballot question relating to the increasing of the motor vehicle fuel tax in Storey County. If you have an interest in writing these arguments contact the Clerk’s office.
Sadly, I had to leave after this item……it was 1:30 and I had another meeting to get to.………..the rest of the agenda was fairly procedural