Virginia City Highlands Property Owners’ Association

Monthly Meeting – Tuesday February 10, 2009

Virginia City Highlands Fire Station Training Room


Present:  Biederman, Morrow, Robbins, Tallent-Stewart, Lumos

Absent:  None

I.       Call To Order, Declaration of a Quorum and Approval of Meeting Agenda

President Biederman called the meeting to order at 7:10 pm.  All board members were present so a quorum was declared.

II.     Approve Minutes of the January 13, 2009 Meeting

A motion by Tallent-Stewart, seconded by Morrow to approve the minutes as submitted was approved unanimously.

III.    Financial Statements

A.     Review Financial Statements

Mary Tallent-Stewart reviewed the January financial statement.  Expenses for January  uhg were $2,237, which included $1,603 administrative expense, $3,256 for road maintenance and snow plowing, and a rebate of an $3,079 overpayment for insurance.  Income for the month was $32,562.  The ending cash balance as of January 31 was $188,756.  Total assets including property, equipment, and cash are $441,581.

Expected January expenses are $3,700.

Annual dues and assessments continue to arrive and a large deposit was made just prior to the meeting which is not reflected in the financial report.  There are still a large number of uncollected dues.  The bookkeeper is sending out 182 second notices. 

A motion by Morrow, seconded by Robbins to accept the financial report was approved unanimously.

IV.   Comments by Association Members (NRS 116.3108(3))

Karlyn McPartlin reported that several years ago she was informed that there was over $50,000 in the park impact fund.  She recently visited Hugh Gallagher, Storey County Comptroller, and was told that he was unaware of the fund.  After a call from Commissioner Flanagan the comptroller researched and found that there is about $29,000 in the fund.  She is going to meet with them further to ascertain the amount in the fund.  McPartlin believes that there are more funds available.

No work on the park can be done until the funding issue is settled.

V.     Committee Reports

A.     Architectural Committee

No applicants appeared before the committee so no formal meeting was held.  Mr. Glazier appeared as a volunteer for the committee and Chairman Lewis explained the process to him.

1.     Appoint New Committee Members

A motion by Lumos, seconded by Tallent-Stewart to appoint Sue Reynolds and Gene Glazier to the Architectural Committee was approved unanimously.

B.     Road Report

Bob Moore reported that not a lot of work was done during the past month.  Some tires had to be replaced, including one on the grader.  A used tire was purchased.

During the recent snow storm a U-haul truck went in the ditch on upper Cartwright and another truck slid into the fire truck that had responded.  Bob helped with sanding, etc.  All ended well. 

Old tires were hauled away from the yard for disposal.  Jim Stewart has been disposing of the extra telephone books and other trash left in the mail box sheds.

Andy asked if it is possible to do grading during the wet, stormy weather.  Bob replied that it would be too wet at this time.  He will grade near the end of the wet season.

Steve Morrow reported that he has been in talks with various companies that offer products for road stabilization.  The vendor that met with the road committee and talked about Lignin would like to put down a test section, but wants to be paid for the service.

The company that provided the mag. chloride last year has a new product, Durablend, that has a polymer mixed with the mag. chloride.  They will put down a test section for free when the weather is suitable and proper preparation has been done.  The testing shows that chloride is the chemical that holds the road together.  The polymers adhere to the soil matrix and keep the chloride from migrating away.  It should also be less slick during rain or snow events.  The product is the same price as the mag. chloride that we used last year.  The lignin is about three times as expensive.  Many of the mines are no longer using lignin, and are switching to the new product or mag. chloride.

Other companies are being contacted to learn about other products and applications.

There should be another road committee meeting within the next month.

VI.   New Business

A.     Proposed Storey County Wind Turbine Project

Austin Osborne, County Planner, gave a brief overview of the proposed wind turbine project.  He has recently visited the wind farm area near Tehachapi, CA, and saw 750 KW, 1.5MW and 3MW machines.  The largest towers are about four times as high as the Fourth Ward School, or 450 feet tall.  There are 75 machines proposed for the Comstock project.  The project will start near Gold Hill and stretch north to Geiger Summit.  The turbines are expected to produce power for 30,000 homes, likely outside of the county.  Storey County rates should stay the same if the project goes forward and may go up if it does not.  Each ridge top will have 5 to 7 mills.  The county has asked that the visual impact be lessened as much as possible.  A large portion of the project is in Washoe County.

Mr. Osborne is working on ordinances govern such development, including environmental issues.  There will be a number of workshops and public comment meetings before the ordinances are adopted.

In order to install the towers there will need to be many roads built to the sites to deliver the tower sections.   Lighting is another issue.  There will be beacons on the towers at intervals as required by the FAA.

Nevada State Law prohibits local governments or homeowners’ associations from refusing green energy projects.  Mr. Osborne has taken them to TRI and suggested that the project be moved to that area.  There is interest in that location.

The BLM will have a public information session on Feb. 19 at the Planning Commission meeting, 6:00 pm.  Public comments may be offered.

Osborne noted that the noise level at the Tehachapi site is akin to standing next to a busy freeway or airport.  There is a continuous road, even when the towers are out of sight.  The newer technology towers are quieter than the older ones, but still quite loud.

The County is taking a neutral position on the project at this time.  If approved after all studies, etc., are done, construction would begin in about five years.

VII.  Any Other Matters which the Board Members Wish to Discuss

Andy reported that he had talked to Chief Hames about the fire that destroyed the Blake house.  According to the Chief, the response to the fire was absolutely textbook perfect.  The independent third party that reviewed the fire gave excellent marks.  Chief Hames said the first fire crew was at the fire within four minutes of the first 911 call.  The second truck from Virginia City also was at the site within a few minutes of the first.  The house was 30% consumed when they arrived.  They took a defensive posture to save the surrounding properties since there was no way they could save the house.  People who were in the vicinity on the night of the fire questioned the response time.

Lieutenant Antinoro reported that the sheriff’s office recognizes that evacuation is an issue when large fire trucks are in the area.   Drills are planned for spring or summer and plans are being developed to deal with such occurrences.

More fire break work by NDF and Fire Safe Highlands is planned as well as possible controlled burns of slash.  Chief Hames suggested that the association might take action to remove dead trees from vacant lots. 

Jed Margolin asked if the post office had changed the locks on the mailboxes yet.  No progress has been made.  A letter has been sent to the postal service expressing concern and asking for a meeting to discuss ways of making the boxes more secure.  Antinoro reported that they have received a copy of the list of recovered property.

VIII.          Executive Session to discuss possible violations of CC&R’s

No matters were known to the board to necessitate an executive session.

IX.   Adjourn

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 8:45 pm.

Respectfully submitted,


Rita M. Lumos