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Wild Goose Bridge to be re-installed

Steve Ranson
LVN Editor Emeritus
Wild Goose Bridge sits on elevated blocks over the V-line canal just below Diversion Dam.
Anne McMillin

Churchill County receive an early Christmas present based on a solid comprehensive annual financial report for both the county and CC Communications at the month’s first commission meeting.

Chad Atkinson, a certified public accountant with Hinton Burdick, gave an audit presentation for fiscal year 2019, which ended on June 30. He thanked the county for its assistance and called the audit successful. The executive summary offered highlights of activities occurring in the county.

Atkinson said he spent time examining the county’s internal controls and cited no deficiencies. He said the county has worked “historically” on ensuring controls are in place. Furthermore, a report on compliance of statutes and administrative codes also showed no deficiencies.

“There are no instances of noncompliance or internal control deficiencies reported,” he told commissioners.

Based on his audit of federal funding coming into the county, Atkinson said the county has shown itself to be at a lower risk, which will make it easier to obtain federal grants and funding. He cited the county’s process in dealing with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in obtaining reimbursement for the flood mitigation performed during the spring of 2017.

Atkinson reviewed specific budgets and found each one to be in compliance. He said the road fund shows an improved fund balance as does CC Communications’ capital assets, which are up slightly due to investments.

“They’re stable and within the budget,” he said of CC Communications.

Atkinson said the waste water enterprise fund is stable.

Commission Chairman Pete Olsen and commissioner Bus Scharmann both commended the county staff for their hard work. Olsen said he was pleased to see the county achieve a lower risk rating for receiving federal funding.

Commissioners also approved the addition of four new positions (resource liaisons) and their job descriptions for Social Services. Originally, the positions were under the control of the Churchill Community Coalition, but Shannon Ernst, Social Services director and Public Guardian, said the coalition feels the positions and the grant funding are more sustainable with her department.

Geof Stark, Human Resources director, said the resource liaisons with the coalition were considered as contract employees.

“I wouldn’t see these as contract jobs with the county,” he said.

As a result of the county picking up the positions, Ernst said the county’s funding agreement with the coalition would go from $288,649 to $18,557 for the fiscal year. Commissioners approved the agreement.

In other agenda items:

Commissioners approved a proposal for engineering services by Shaw Engineering to perform a preliminary engineering report and environmental narrative to determine the feasibility of providing public municipal water service to the Churchill Hazen Industrial Park for $75,000.

Appointed to the Board of Equalization of Josh Berney as a regular member, reappointed of Charlie Arciniega and Phyllys Dowd as regular members to serve four-year terms through Dec. 31, 2023, and appointed of Alan Kalt as an alternate to fill an unexpired term through Dec. 31, 2021.

Approved a sending site application filed by Jeff and Karen Goings for properties located at 1255, 1257, and 1270 Dodgion Lane, Assessor’s Parcel Numbers (APNs): 006­692­19, 006­692­20, & 006­692­21, consisting of 39.84 total acres with 34.2 total acres of water righted property in the A­5 land use district, whereby the applicants propose to place a conservation easement on the property.

Approved a Merger and Resubdivision Parcel Map filed by Arlen and Shauna Baca and Coltan Hiatt, APNs: 008­492­23, 008­492­24 & 008­492­25 to merge three parcels and then redivide the parcel into two parcels.

Transferred $250,000 to the Churchill County Road Department FY 2020 Road and Bridge projects for the first quarter.

In a special meeting on Friday, county commissioners approved a bid from King Construction of Fernley for $493,030 to reinstall the Wild Goose Bridge on Pioneer Way below Diversion Dam, according to a county press release.

The county said the bridge has been unused since the county road department raised it by several feet during the 2017 flooding to allow water to pass more freely through the V-line canal.

Furthermore, the county said in the two years since the flooding, the county has gone through the application process for reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for much of the work done to mitigate the flooding throughout the county. A portion of the FEMA money received has been set aside to reinstall the Wild Goose Bridge at the raised level over the canal.

The county said the bridge work will be completed by March when water starts flowing through Diversion Dam and into the canals for the 2020 irrigation season.