Residents voice air quality concerns to commissioners |

Residents voice air quality concerns to commissioners

LVN file photo

Churchill County website:

Air quality complaints from residents along the Carson Highway have been heard by Churchill County commissioners before.

The topic was revisited Wednesday afternoon during the county commissioners’ regularly scheduled meeting when three residents of an area west of Fallon — Donna Jerman, Don Mello and Rich Wideman — voiced their concerns during the public comment portion.

“I have questions and so do my neighbors,” Jerman said. “It’s time; we’ve been way more than patient out there. We’ve come full circle; we’ve been through Carson City, we’ve been through the EPA and we’ve been sent back to you, that the commissioners can get something done.”

She also referred to information last year the projected the plant’s conversion to natural gas would hopefully solve issues with air quality in the area.

Mello expressed his view that residents have been “forgotten” by the county.

“This has been going on for six years and we’re getting the same odor we were getting back then,” Mello said. “When is their special use permit in violation? I’m really disappointed in what has happened. I’ve been fortunate because I don’t get it all that often where I live, but there are people who get it on a daily basis.”

County manager Eleanor Lockwood, who previously served as planning director, said complaints are still being received but noted the county has no authority to enforce environmental laws.

“I do empathize with you … we have not forgotten you,” Lockwood said.

She added that Bango postponed its open house until this year because the conversion to natural gas has not been completed. “There are still components that still haven’t been put up.”

Commission Chairman Carl Erquiaga noted the board is willing to look at any list of complaints.

“You have every right to be here; you are entitled to an update meeting,” he said.

Commissioners also discussed or took action on the following items:

Recognition of county employees for years of service, including Tammy Edwards, Assessor’s office, 10 years; Tom Bartel, Museum, 10 years; David Murray, Parks and Recreation, 15 years; Leonard Bogdanowicz, Sheriff’s Office, 25 years; Joyce Betts, Library, 35 years.

Approved the appointment of Mary Lou Lehman to the Planning Commission. Lehman was selected from a field of five applicants that also included Mary Anne Bonds, Rick Dentino, Anthony “Jay” Peper, Darren Simper.

Lehman fills the unexpired term of Cari Norcutt. Five applications for the position were received for the opening: Mary Anne Bonds, Rick Dentino, Anthony “Jay” Peper, Darren Simper and Lehman. The term is due to expire on May 31, 2015. The term is due to expire on May 31, 2015. Lehman is retiring on July 1 after 17 years with the Churchill County School District.

“You really did have some very good applicants,” commissioner Bus Scharmann said.

“We really did,” Planning Director Michael Johnson replied. “I hope if another opening comes up in the future they will come forward and apply again.”

Accepted the Churchill County Library Service five-year plan for 2013-17. “This document is a future road map for the library based on the needs of the community and county as we go into the future,” Director Carol Lloyd said in her presentation to commissioners.

Approved a contract between the county and Newlands Water Protective Association for a period extending to Feb. 18, 2015. Funding to NWP averages $5,400 per quarter. Associate Planner Terri Pereira informed commissioners the NWPA provides expertise to the Planning Department that is otherwise not readily available, such as the status of water rights and details of water rights and details of water rights transfers and sales.

Approved a motion for the position of Social Services Coordinator from part-time to full-time effective April 1. The position is currently part-time at a total of 28 hours per week. The position, currently held by Holly Padilla, will be full-time effective April 1 through June 30 (the 2013-14 fiscal year budget is still to be decided).

Approved a letter of support to the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents regarding the importance of keeping the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) and the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources (CABNR) independent of one another.

Approved the filing of a Writ of Mandamus in challenging the California Water Resource Control Board.

Approved amendment of Resolution 17-09 to establish an audit committee.

Approved county intervention in the State Board of Equalization appeals regarding Ormat Brady Hot Springs and Ormat Desert Peak. A public hearing has been set for March 25.

Heard an update of current activities, plans or actions related to the Bureau of Land Management’s Carson City District from Terri Knutson, BLM’s Stillwater field manager.

Heard an update from Ron Radil, executive director of Western Nevada Development District.

Heard an update regarding operations, activities and accomplishments at the Churchill County Senior Center from Director Jamie Lee.