Nicole Barde

You can find the Agenda HERE and County Manager Pat Whitten’s summary HERE. If you want to listen to the meeting you can access the recording HERE.
The meat of this meeting for me was agenda item #24. It is yet another land swap in TRIC’s favor. In a nut shell, we paid for improvements on a parcel. It is insufficient or badly placed for the extension of the road in front of that parcel.  TRIC will extend the road and build a more efficiently placed cul de sac at no additional expense to Storey County in exchange for the parcel we currently have. It is called a “like trade”.
So far so good except that there is no financial analysis on this deal. Meaning how much did we pay to improve the existing parcel, how much will the parcel in trade cost to improve…..is it equitable or in our favor? The other thing is that the parcel we are trading is going to be part of a larger parcel that TRIC wants to sell so they will be getting a more valuable trade on which to make a tidy profit. Our County leaders are always very happy to help TRIC make a tidy profit….sometimes at taxpayers’ expense.
Sound familiar? No?  Let me review just a few other examples:
Our County leaders GAVE TRIC the portion of USA Parkway on which we owe TRIC a $25 MILLION DOLLAR debt so that Roger and Lance could sell it and the rest of USA parkway to the state…..at a tidy profit. Our debt was not reduced. The rationale was that it was a “burden” to maintain and that it is cheaper to just give it back……but we still have the debt….and TRIC  gets paid twice for the same land. Sweet!
Our County leaders helped TRIC get a boundary line adjustment with Washoe County so that TRIC could sell that land in “fast track” Storey County. Washoe feels robbed since they thought there would be a revenue share as part of the deal. But hey, we don’t care…we’ll do anything for TRIC. Oh wait…..will Washoe ever do anything for us again?
Our County leaders are going to burden the taxpayers of Storey County with a $35 million dollar bond payment to buy TRIC a pipeline which is rightfully a developer expense.
Stay tuned I’m sure there will be much more to come…….
I have no problem with TRIC or ANY BUSINESS making a profit….that’s capitalism….I’m all for it. What I have a problem with is when that profit comes at the expense of taxpayers, favors “special” people or is at the expense of other “non-favored” businesses….all this is done with the complicit help of the people we’ve elected to look after our combined interests. I just don’t see our combined interests being of prime importance when it comes to anything related to TRIC and the pipeline deal is the glaring example.
Still waiting for MY significant property tax cut as a result of all the money pouring into the County from TRIC.
During Staff updates Community Relations Director Cherie Nevin reported on the three flu shot clinics scheduled this month. They are:
Thursday September 7 at the VC Senior Center from 9-11 AM
Wednesday September 13th at the Lockwood Senior Center from 9-11
Wednesday October 4th at the Mark Twain Community Center from 11-2
Cherie also announced that FEMA is setting up a large call center in Carson City and has numerous job openings which pay about $19 per hour. These are temporary jobs and you can find a link on the Storey County Facebook page to get more information.
The VC Senior Center will be having an open house on September 21st from 5-7pm. There will be food and the long awaited, much anticipated and utterly glorious “Men of the Comstock” calendar will be available for sale!
Fire Chief Jeff Nevin said that the 6 Mile fire of a couple of weeks ago burned 185 acres and was quickly contained.  He also said that the next couple of days will bring thunderstorms and lightning and that we should all be aware of where the strikes hit.
Planning Director Austin Osborn announced that this month’s Planning Commission meeting will be held on September 14th instead of the regularly scheduled September 21st.
Austin also clarified a question about the use of the newly built courthouse parking lot. The county does not charge people to park in that lot…what it does do is allow some of the non-profits and the schools to charge nominal fees as part of fundraising activities when they have events.
During Board updates Commissioner Lance Gilman summarized the August 28th USA Parkway ribbon cutting ceremony. He noted that it was well attended by a “who’s who” of players in the state including the governor.  There were between 200-250 people
Lance noted that Storey County received a great compliment when the governor said that the “TRIC center is the economic engine for Northern Nevada”. Lance went on to cite an article in the Nevada Appeal (HERE) about recent tax revenues which stated:
 But the champ for the year was tiny Storey County, where booming business at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center fed a 466 percent increase in June and finished the year 568.5 percent up compared to fiscal 2016. Storey recorded $1.6 billion in taxable sales during the year from the huge investments by Tesla, Panasonic, Google, Walmart, Switch and Pet Smart among others.
Lance continued to promote the wonderfulness of that $1.6 billion dollar figure and how that will only get bigger and bigger when the other companies move in. I keep waiting for the perennially promised windfall of money to wash over me and significantly reduce my property taxes…..but that’s just me.
SIDENOTE: Later in the meeting Commissioner and Commission Chair Marshall McBride, to his credit, noted that we get practically none of that $1.6 billion since it is mostly abated taxes as part of the Tesla deal.
But I digress
Lance went on to describe some of the new tenants at TRIC which includes a substantial Nano technology R&D complex being called “Silicon Valley East” by some people as well as a Blockchain (new currency tech) complex.
Under the agenda items Emergency management Director Joe Curtis requested a proclamation declaring September as “Preparedness Month”. He noted that Storey County has the designation as a “Storm Ready Community” due to the preparedness efforts of both the county and the communities. He said that we have 5 areas which we have to plan for:
 1-Earthquake…since we sit on several faults
 3-Winter Storms
Joe also mentioned that we have numerous sink holes opening up in surrounding areas which are a safety issue and need to be dealt with.
Thankfully our guys are doing a good job of planning since the response time during last winter’s storms, flooding and our local fires have been very quick. Thanks Joe and team!!
The appointment of the new Planning Commissioner from the Highlands District was pushed out until the next meeting. They are still interviewing candidates.
The Resolution to restrict the discharge of firearms in wildland areas where the fire danger is high was passed with two votes. This is only a Resolution and not an Ordinance which means it really has no punitive “teeth”. During the discussion Commissioner Lance Gilman  stated that he was against anything that would restrict private property rights…meaning that if a property owner wanted to discharge their weapon that they have a right to do so on their property ( I agree with this) ..During public comment, residents  Steve Ayer and Jay Carmona both said that they agree with the Resolution since there are already other restrictions during fire season such as no open burning. Lance abstained from the vote and it passed.
The next two agenda items related to the County “loaning” the V&T Rail Commission $326k in funding to pay for storm damage until FEMA funds reimburse the Commission and to pay them $137k as part of the Interlocal agreement to offset operational losses.  The bottom line here is that the Commission has been bleeding money for years…it has finally caught up to them and they now have a cash flow problem as a result of some very bad decisions. Our Commissioners decided to wait until the new V& T Rail Commission is seated in October to make these decisions. Pat Whitten suggested that it’s premature to launch into a slew of repairs before an assessment is done to determine what is and is not critical to do.
Item #16 was about the formal creation of an actual Capital Improvement Plan. This is in contrast to the “written in invisible ink” list that has been used in the past. Apparently the Storey County Debt Management Board requested a more formal, and traceable, 5-10 year plan. Austin commented that the Master Plan has a capital needs element to it and it will be used to help create this plan. I look forward to seeing what process they will use to do this.
That was it!

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