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Commissioners approve contracts at special meeting

By Steve Ranson Nevada News Group
County manager Jim Barbee, left, addresses the commission at a special meeting on Friday with Benjamin Shawcraft, chief civil deputy district attorney.
Steve Ranson/LVN

The first steps were taken at a special Churchill County Commission meeting Friday to begin work on a county civic center near the arena at the fairgrounds.

Commissioners announced at their last meeting the county is receiving a good chunk of CARES funding from the federal government. CARES Act Provider Relief Fund supports families, workers and healthcare providers in the battle against the coronavirus outbreak. Health and Human Services is distributing $175 billion, for example, to hospitals and healthcare providers on the front lines of the coronavirus response.

County Manager Jim Barbee told commissioners part of the building could be used for testing and the other portion consisting of 4,500-square feet could be designated for recreation or childcare.

 “A building like this could’ve been used during the train crash, flooding or prior earthquakes,” Barbee said in pointing out previous disasters when a building was needed to accommodate survivors or residents inconvenienced by a natural or manmade disaster.

Barbee said the fund amounting to more than $6 million must be dispersed to the county and the money spent by Sept. 30

The first step commissioners took was to approve a contract for $81,075 with Hammond Homes and Construction at the special meeting. The agenda item will allow Hammond Homes and Construction to perform work on the architectural and preliminary structural design.

The second passed agenda item approved an emergency/professional services contract with Lumos and Associates for $155,000 to perform civil engineering work.

According to the county, this is a public works project, and because of the short timeline, the first contracts will be considered as emergency contracts according to state statute, NRS 338.011. The Churchill County District Attorney’s office said the COVID-9 pandemic meets the definition of an emergency, and commissioners adopted a resolution on March 20 declaring a state of emergency in the county.

At the prior meeting on July 15, commissioners took action on the following:

• Approved a proposal from Johnson Perkins Griffin for $3,000 to provide professional appraisal services for the purpose of evaluating a Conservation Easement on the Minner and the Snow properties.

• Approved a proposal from John S. Wright & Associates for $3,000, to provide professional appraisal services for the purpose of evaluating a Conservation Easement on the Olivo and the Lawrence properties

• Reviewed a performance evaluation for Barbee. Commissioners said they were very pleased with Barbee’s performance as county manager and gave him 5s, the top number, on all evaluation criteria.

• Notified of apportionment of the fiscal year 2020 Federal Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) for $2,398,974.

• Approved Resolution 13-2020 providing for the transfer of Churchill County’s 2020 Private Activity Bond Volume Cap to the Nevada Rural Housing Authority. The requested transfer is for funds that have not been allocated to local projects and would otherwise revert back to the state.

Katie Coleman from NRHA said the county has been part of a successful launch of a statewide program that has helped more than 9,000 families, provided $1.8 billion in affordable mortgages and thousands in down payments. She said $44 million in has mortgages has gone through Churchill county.

Coleman said the Nevada State Treasurer’s office announced a CARES housing program and the funding will comes from CARES act. She said the NHRA will administer program to rural Nevada to help impacted renters. About $5million will be available through end of December to help those renters.