Commissioners approve billboard lease for county-owned property |

Commissioners approve billboard lease for county-owned property

Steve Ranson
LVN Editor Emeritus

Commissioners approved a lease agreement for a small sign on county property next to U.S Highway 50 near Harrigan Road, which will be replaced by a billboard.

Churchill County Commissioners found themselves in a unique position during March's first meeting.

Normally, meetings last upward to 3 hours, but with only one agenda item appearing before commissioners and individual reports before adjournment, Thursday's meeting took less than an hour to complete.

Commissioners approved an agreement, 3-0, with GP Global LLC to lease a portion of county-owned property on U.S. Highway 50 across from Harrigan Road's intersection east of E.C. Best Elementary School. GC Global proposed to reconstruct and maintain an advertising billboard on the property.

Deputy District Attorney Benjamin Shawcroft said GP Global holds a permit for the sign and approached the county for a lease agreement although the piece of land is small. The original lease was for more than 40 years, but Shawcroft said the county was hesitant to have an agreement that long without increments. Commissioner Bus Scharmann said he was also concerned about a penalty after 10 years.

Shawcroft, GP Global and rancher Ernie Schank, who farms most of the property, agreed on a lease for that duration with three increments that determines penalties if the lease is broken. Currently, a small rectangular sign hugs the perimeter near the highway and a new billboard will be tall enough for Schank to farm underneath the structure.

A second agenda item was pulled before the meeting. It dealt with a presentation by Eglet Prince, a law firm, regarding lawsuits being filed by local governments against opioid manufacturers.

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In their reports, Commissioner Pete Olsen said the United States Geological Survey took mercury samples of the Carson River at the Weeks Bridge near Fort Churchill and below Lahontan Dam. He said the findings from the 2017 survey show no public health hazards.

Olsen said he attended a meeting to determine needs for the Fallon Municipal Airport and for a new fixed-base operator (FBO). Olsen said the current building is old and in need of repair.

Commissioner Carl Erquiaga attended a Carson River Subconversancy Water meeting. He said general reaction from members was favorable for a recently conducted joint water meeting with county commissions from both Lyon and Churchill counties as they look ahead to water needs.

Scharmann said he will serve on a search committee for a new superintendent for Churchill County School District and also attend a meeting to begin the process of hiring a new director for the Western Nevada College Fallon campus.