Churchill County Commissioners addressed a dusty issue between neighbors during a public hearing Wednesday afternoon at their regularly scheduled meeting.
Commissioners approved a motion at the end of a 92-minute hearing to set a timetable to resolve a nuisance complaint Mike Barrenchea filed concerning dust and sand on property on Shoffner Lane — (located in the county between Sheckler and Casey roads). The complaint alleged Shonna Wallin-Reed, who has a four-year rental agreement on the property, had cleared approximately two acres of land of native vegetation to develop a roping arena, and in the process created a dust control issue.
Rick Whimple, county code enforcement officer, noted he had been contacted about the complaint by Barrenchea on March 15. In his report, Whimple said, “one thing to note is that during high wind events, there is little to nothing anyone can do to reduce fugitive dust and sand movement.” Whimple added that “surrounding properties, including the complainants, that are sandy and contributing to the fugitive dust issue” and that Wallin-Reed has already been working with code enforcement to try and control dust and sand movement.
Commissioner Pete Olsen made a motion that declared a nuisance does not exist and that Wallin-Reed must continue to work with code enforcement “until the dust is minimized to negligible as with other properties in the area.” Also, all dust mitigation issues must be resolved by Oct. 1. The matter will be subject to review by commissioners in October.
“I think we’re trying to be reasonable here,” Olsen said before the motion was approved by a 3-0 vote.
Commissioners also discussed or took action on the following items:
• Heard a presentation from Planning Director Michael Johnson and GIS Technician Preston Denney on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) breach inundation analysis for the V-, L- and S-line canals and the potential for canals breaching to cause flooding conditions in Churchill County.
• Approved the appointment and two-year contract of Dr. Tedd McDonald as the county’s health officer. Under the terms of the contract, Dr. McDonald will receive $1,000 per year for his required duties, which will be directed for use by the County Board of Health for public awareness and education.
• Approved a $10,000 Union Pacific grant application to replace the current volleyball pit (on the west side of the indoor swimming pool) with a concrete basketball court at the Churchill County Fairgrounds.
“Those volleyball courts rarely get used, but any kid can pick up a basketball and go shoot around,” Parks and Recreation Director Jorge Guerrero said to commissioners. “I think it would be a great addition for the kids there and to give them a place to recreate.”
• Approved an agreement with Baxtin’s Inc. for services at the Sept. 21 Churchill County auction.
• Approved the county’s debt management plan after hearing a presentation by Comptroller Alan Kalt.
• Approved Resolution 23-2013 certifying the combined tax rate for the levy of taxes beginning on July 1, 2013 and designating the number of cents of each $100 of property tax levy for each fund.
• Acknowledged recordation of a conservation easement on property owned by Donald R. Travis Sr. and Simmie Dee Travis as co-trustees for property located at 2000 Berney Road.
• Approved a conservation easement and purchase agreement proposal for Carson Lake Livestock.
• Approved Resolution 24-2013 declaration a 1999 Jeep Cherokee as surplus equipment and donation of the vehicle to Churchill County Search and Rescue.
• Terri Knutson, field director for the Bureau of Land Management Stillwater Field Office, presented an update of current activities, plans or actions related to the BLM’s Carson City District.