Commission seeks firmer numbers
September 11, 2017
The Churchill County Board of Commissioners met last week to discuss a public hearing on an ordinance establishing a recorder's fee to provide legal services for abused and neglected children.
The fee used to vary based on the document, but a state senate bill was passed to remove that fee and install a flat state $25 fee. With additional state fee adjustments for foster children, guardianship cases and guardianship investigators, the new base fee totals $35; then it's up to each county if it wishes to install a county fee from $0-$6 to help recoup those costs to provide legal services.
Deputy District Attorney Joe Sanford and Recorder Tasha Hessey discussed the issue with the board including what other counties are doing, which varied from no decision yet to zero fee, to the maximum $6.
Olsen responded it's common the legislature gives unfunded mandates but this time counties have the opportunity to fund it. Commissioners Bus Scharmann and Carl Erquiaga tended to agree.
Comptroller Alan Kalt weighed in, saying the county fee money would help offset the newly incurred costs.
The mandate is to take effect in October, and the board decided to table the matter until the next meeting — so the numbers could be better clarified to back up a decision.
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"The expense is more to be incurred," Kalt added, mentioning it will far exceed the maximum of an estimated $30,000 collected ($5,000 per $1 fee increase, Sanford said is what has been estimated).
The board approved an agreement between the county's detention center, social services and New Frontier Treatment Center for mental health assessment services not to exceed $75 per hour, per request, from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31, 2018.
Sheriff Ben Trotter supported the agreement and said New Frontier is local and effective as well as how the new agreement would support a better method of assessing and supporting the concerned individuals.
The county also approved $1,500 in community support funding for the treatment center's upcoming Recovery Day/Family Fun Day on Saturday.
Churchill County High School alum Garrett Kalt phoned in to provide a positive and grateful update on how the first LEAD Green Leadership Summit held in August went, with the county's support.
Kalt said a memorable moment from the event was when keynote speaker, FitBit engineer and former Greenwave Shiva Rajgopal shared the quote: "Whenever life closes a door, go around back and smash through a window."
A lease agreement with Churchill Area Regional Transportation was approved, and Ernie Maguire, director of CART, said he was excited to be moving into a more open space that allowed for those needing transport to come, sit and wait for the bus.
A new Fernandez Disposal representative from Incline Village introduced himself during public comment.
"My main purpose today is to come here and show you who I am," he said, adding he hopes to be part of the community for a while, provided some expansion updates and encouraged reaching out with any questions.
The interlocal agreement appointment to provide regional public safety mutual aid between Churchill County and Lyon, Mineral and Storey counties was removed from the agenda.
The next meeting will be Sept. 20 at 1:15 p.m. in the chambers at 155 N. Taylor St.