County Hears First Reading on OHV Road Ordinance

By Lukas Eggen Ely Times Staff Writer

The White Pine County Commission heard a first reading of Ordinance 450, Bill No. 05-08-2013 during its meeting last Wednesday. The ordinance deals with the use of off highway vehicles (OHV’s) on designated County roads.

County Commissioner Mike Coster said some restrictions were added in order to address concerns about noise and dust from various citizens in the county along with an age restriction that states operators of an OHV must be 16 years of age or older. Younger operators must be under the supervision of someone 18 years of age or older.

“Number two and perhaps the most important of the changes is a 10 miles-per-hour speed limit on any soft road when the operator is within 500 feet of a home, horse, a corral or stable,” Coster said. “That is intended to address the very real concerns about excessive dust. Thirdly, a specific provision about giving the right of way not only to riders, but also dealing with the dust issue is a requirement that operators must not generate dust that obstructs safe operation of an automobile, a truck, or a motorcycle that’s traveling on an adjacent road.”

A final requirement added would be that all OHV’s must operate with its lights on at all time or a flag.

Sheriff Dan Watts expressed opposition to the proposed ordinance, stating the sheriff’s office receives numerous noise and dust complaints concerning OHV’s and expressed concerns about those complaints increasing by allowing OHV’s on certain roads. Watts also said enforcing the ordinance is difficult because several OHV operators run.

“You don’t know their age, you don’t know who they are,” Watts said. “You can’t cite a vehicle.”

Commissioner Richard Howe supported the ordinance and said it will address many concerns that citizens have.

“Mike’s ordinance, though it be in the infant stages, is pretty good at addressing a lot of the problems that you’ve come up with,” Howe said. “We can designate roads and doing that narrows down the areas you’re responsible for and narrows down where they can and cannot ride.”

A public hearing on the item is scheduled for the commission’s meeting on Aug. 14.

The commission voted on the following items:

• Tabling on action to take regarding camping at the airport and possible violation of lease by the Ely Jet Center.

• Approval to form an ad hoc committee to assist with the issues of Comins Lake and other associated fisheries in White Pine County.

• Approval to provide a letter of support to Arizona Nevada Tower Corporation in response to a USDA Community Connect grant application in partnership with the Lund Town Board to develop a Community Computer Center in Lund at no cost to White Pine County.

• Approval to award WP02 Tennis Court proposal submitted by Renner Sports Surface to be paid solely by Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act WP 02 Construction funds in the amount of $55,252. Judge Gary Fairman will choose the colors for the court.

• Approval to award WP 02 McGill Ballpark abatement oversight and disposal activities during full asbestos removal and minor lead based paint removal services to McGinley and Associates at $14,373 and to A&B Environmental at $9,420, totaling $23,793 to be paid solely from SNPLMA funding with a construction budget of $155,000.

• Approval to accept a Federal Library Services and Technology Act Annual Reading Program grant in the amount of $3,500.

• Approval to accept a Federal Library Services and Technology Act cooperative video conferencing grant in the amount of $9,129.

• Approval to accept a grant from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Community Services Block Grant in the amount of $65,054. White Pine County will receive $52,385 and Eureka County will receive $23,669 as a sub recipient to White Pine County. There is no match required.

• Approval to discontinue the 5 percent wage adjustment for Jim Derrick as interim Fire Chief, effective May 20 of this year.

• Approval to promote Darren Wallace from Deputy/Patrol to Detective as of June 17.

• Tabling promotion of Michael Wheable from Deputy District Attorney I to Deputy District Attorney II.

• Approval of a contract with ACC Business to increase T1 bandwidth at the EOC to provide faster Internet services to offices Countywide at an additional cost of $268 per month.

• Approval to rescind award of QA/QC inspection and testing for the White Pine County Aquatics Center project to Angle Engineering based on corrected information that Summit Engineering’s bid could not be accepted because of a conflict of interest. The County then voted to award the bid to Summit Engineering.

The next County Commission meeting will be 9 a.m. on July 24.

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