Virginia City Highlands Property Owners’ Association

Minutes - Monthly Meeting – Tuesday, November 12, 2013

V.C. Highlands Fire Station Training Room

Present:  Julian (Jay) Carmona, Jason VanHavel, Jack McGuffey, Jim Watson, Dale Morgan

Absent:   None

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

President Carmona called the meeting to order at 7:07 pm and declared a quorum present. 

Watson requested that the presentation by Fire Chief Hames be moved to the first item of new business in the agenda.  A motion by Watson, seconded by McGuffey, to approve the agenda as amended was approved unanimously.

II.      Approve Minutes of October 8, 2013 Meeting  

A motion by McGuffey, seconded by Morgan, to approve the minutes as submitted was approved unanimously.

III.    Comments by Association Members (NRS 116.31083.5)  

No comments were offered.

IV.   Review of Financial Statements  

Morgan reviewed the financial statements for the month of October.  Total expenses were $6,767; income was $615.54.  The cash balance at the end of October was  $249,380.  Estimated expenses for November are $2,556.

The complete financial statements are available on the association web site at

A motion by McGuffey, seconded by Watson, to accept the financial report was approved unanimously.

Morgan has investigated moving funds to a different bank from Bank of America.  Interest amounts are universally low, so he looked at customer service at a number of banks.  He was impressed with City National Bank.  He also stated that he has asked BofA to remove fees from the checking accounts due to the balance on hand and they agreed.

Pat Flanagan announced that he has recently settled his small complaint against BofA, in which they admitted errors.  He still has a larger complaint in process.  He is concerned with the possibility of bank failures.  He urges that accounts be established in more than one bank.

Watson said that some banks have limits on the amount of withdrawals per time period.  Morgan has checked on that with City National and does not see it as a concern.

Sharon Snell stated that she has had good luck with credit unions, and would not use a regular bank any longer.

VanHavel agreed that the funds should be in more than one financial institution to ensure accounts are covered under FDIC.

A motion by McGuffey, seconded by VanHavel, to move the operating checking and saving accounts to City National, and to split the Reserve savings between City National and Greater Nevada Credit Union was approved unanimously.  A sum of $150,000 will be deposited at Greater Nevada Credit Union.

V.     Committee Reports

A.     Architectural Committee  

Rita Lumos reported that one applicant had appeared at the November meeting.  The application was for residing and reroofing a residence on Empire Road.  The application was approved and no fee was applicable.

Lumos reminded the board that the Architectural Committee is one member short and a new person should be appointed by the board.  Preferably this would be a person familiar with construction drawings.  Carmona said that he would put a notice on the Yahoo site and put this action on the December agenda.

B.      Road Report  

Carmona reported that an inspection of the plow vehicles had been done and presented a report summarizing the condition of the vehicles.  A number of needed repairs were noted along with a need for new tires and chains.  The report is attached to this agenda as Attachment A.

Dave Abel asked if the trucks are likely to last through another season or two.  Rick Draper stated that the two Dodge trucks have in excess of 135,000 miles.  The GMC has about 70,000 miles.  One truck is used occasionally during the summer while maintaining the construction equipment.

McGuffey asked if these recommendations are from a mechanic.  Carmona stated that Doug Fontana had inspected the trucks and Carmona has taken pictures of worn tires, etc.

Some of the tires are on oversized rims, which can be replaced, and cheaper tires purchased.  The old rims can be sold to offset costs.

Jeremy Snell suggested that an estimate be obtained for the repairs and then voted on; however, weather concerns in the coming month may require quicker action.

Gary Hames suggested Pewag brand chains be used if possible.  They are used on the Fire Department vehicles and have performed well.

A motion by Watson, seconded by McGuffey, that estimates for tires, rims, and chains for all three plow vehicles, and brakes for the Dodges, be obtained immediately and purchased for the best available price was approved unanimously.

VI.   Unfinished Business

A.     Entryway Signs  

Karlyn McPartlin stated that she is working on the sign project.  The proposed signs will be constructed with two 8” X 8” posts with signboards between them.  Existing signs at the entrances will be consolidated to this structure.  She is still waiting for the DA to approve some of the sign language.  The County Commission will have to approve the design when complete.

Signs will be placed at the entrances to the Highlands on Cartwright and Lousetown.

Flanagan has asked if anyone has talked to the HRPOA about cost sharing.  This will be done when costs are determined.

This item will continue to the next meeting agenda.

VII. New Business

A.      MOU with Fire Department regarding Fire Suppression Efforts and Grants  

Fire Chief Gary Hames explained that several months ago the Fire Department had applied for and been awarded a grant for fuel reduction in the Highlands.  The original fire suppression plan 10 years ago was to surround the exterior of the Highlands with a firebreak.  This has been completed and now the emphasis is on fuel reduction in the interior.

The planned first phase is work along Bonanza to Clemens, and continues on Empire to Harte.  Phase 2 is to be on Sazarac to the cul-de-sac on Silverado.  Many intersections have overgrown trees that block the view at intersections.  The plan is to clear within the road easements, around power lines, and intersections.  There is no plan to extend the work beyond the easements. 

Chief Hames said the grant is for $60,000.  He has gone out to bid and North Tree was the successful bidder.  The plan is to thin trees and foliage rather than limbing trees.  He requested that the board appoint someone to work with them on easement location. 

Watson suggested a Memorandum of Understanding be executed between the Fire Department and the Association, rather than a letter from the board, so that both sides are indemnified.  Hames agreed to work on drawing up the agreement.

Hames urged folks to contact the Fire Department if they have dead trees on their property.  They will have seasonal help to remove dead trees and dispose of them.  If trees are interfering with utility lines that can be corrected as well.

Hames has requested that an ordinance be drawn to allow them to remove dead trees from private property if the owners do not respond in an appropriate amount of time.  Many conditions would have to be met.  He is working with the District Attorney on this action.

B.      Community Chest – Storey County Library Project  

Pamela Abercrombie of Community Chest passed around fliers regarding an ebook program they have with the Carson library along with information and fundraising forms regarding the library project.

They have opened a small library with limited hours and are fundraising to fund the program to expand the library.  They have raised $39,000 to date which will allow for a part time librarian.  If they can raise $45,000 and receive matching funds they hope to hire a full time librarian and aide.  They intend to have a librarian in place by Jan 1, 2014. 

Community Chest is working to raise their program to minimum standards so they can be recognized by the state as a full library.  They want to expand services to all part of the county and are studying the needs for library services in the various communities in the county. 

With the current limited space they have no room for donations at the present time, but hope to be able to accept them when space expands.

Sharon Snell suggested that a report on the campaign be put in the newspaper so that folks can be aware of the library project.

A.     Employee Job Applications

Carmona stated that applications will be required for all positions employed by the association.  This will include the bookkeeper position.  The board plans to advertise the bookkeeper position.  Preference will be given to a VCHPOA resident.  Qualifications will be considered in any hiring.

Flanagan stated that job descriptions are also needed.  VanHavel has reviewed the descriptions Flanagan developed and suggests that there be an organization chart so it is clear how employees are structured. 

Morgan has asked Lydia Hammack for a description of all the tasks she completes.  He feels that he is able to do some of these tasks, such as banking and paying bills.

VanHavel feels that documentation is a risk mitigation measure for the association.  McGuffey asked if the board would have time to review the forms and vote at the next meeting.  There is a need to hire a bookkeeper and plow drivers very soon.

Watson suggested that Rick Draper be authorized to interview prospective drivers and assess their capabilities.  Crews need to be in place very soon to be ready for the snow season.  McGuffey suggested that a background check be required.  It is admissible to ask if the applicant can pass a background check on the application.

Draper stated that he had required workers to provide a DMV report in the past.

Watson wants to ensure the association is in compliance with all requirements of the insurance company.

VanHavel suggested that the current draft be used in the interim and any changes be approved at the next meeting.

A motion by McGuffey, seconded by Morgan, to accept the applications for the interim and review at the next meeting was approved unanimously.

B.   Mileage and Maintenance Logs for Association Equipment  

As a protection for the association and the employees, it is beneficial to maintain mileage and maintenance logs, including fluid levels.  Draper stated that is currently done every day a vehicle is used.  VanHavel would like to have a log located in each vehicle. 

A motion by Morgan, seconded by McGuffey, to institute vehicle logs was approved unanimously.

C.   Annual Road Closure  

Carmona stated that the annual road closure should be done before the Jan. 1.  The sheriff’s office should be notified.  In the past they have participated. Fliers can be passed out explaining the closure. 

A motion by Morgan, seconded by VanHavel, to do the closure on Dec. 7 was approved unanimously.

Volunteers are needed to be at the entrances during the closure.  Carmona said that he would organize this effort.  The closure will be from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

D.   Purchase of Association Printer  

Carmona stated that in recent years the copying of agendas, minutes, financial reports, etc. for meetings has been done by Dave Thomas at his office.  It is the association’s responsibility to provide this service.  He suggested that a black and white laser printer be purchased and entrusted to the board member responsible for printing these documents.  Tracking the location of the printer will be a board members responsibility. 

Morgan will explore various printers and find the best available.

A motion by Carmona, seconded by VanHavel, to authorize the purchase of a printer, paper, and toner, for an amount not to exceed $500 was approved unanimously.

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

Jim Watson stated that a registered agent must be identified for the Secretary of State’s office as part of the corporation filings.

Morgan volunteered to be named in this capacity until the next filing in the spring.

Watson asked if there is a meeting scheduled with representatives of the Sunny Hills proposed development.  If so, it should be a meeting separate from the board meeting.  Watson recommends against the association being involved in setting up any such meeting and suggests that the County Commission be in charge instead.  Karlyn McPartlin said it is up to developer to set up meetings, not the associations. 

C.      Comments by Association Members (NRS 116.3108.3(c))  

Jeremy Snell stated that he affirms the actions of the board and said that owners feel free to speak at the meeting.

D.     Executive Session to Discuss Possible Violations of the CC&R’s, if Necessary  

No executive session was held.

E.      Adjourn

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:07 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Rita Lumos, Recording Secretary


Attachment A


2000 Dodge 2500

  1. Steering System

Excessive play in the steering system due to a worn Pan Hard.

  1. Lack of Power: 

Turbo hose was disconnected.  Turbo appears to be a replacement and was connected using the wrong nuts and bolts.

Turbo needs to be replaced with proper high temperature nuts and bolts. Due to improper connection of the turbo hose, the potential for failure is very likely.

  1. Power Steering System:

Power steering system fluid was extremely low.  Added fluid

  1. Plow Frame:

Found to be broken.  Broken welds were repaired and additional supports were welded on.

Other Recommendations

Needs new tires, rims, and chains

Oversized tires and rims are installed, which is causing the chains to rub and eat away at the body next to the wheel wells.

Needs brakes

Needs pan hard for steering

Sandbags/weight is needed in the bed of the truck.  The truck is running heavy in the front.

2001 Dodge 2500

1.      Power Steering System:

Fluid extremely low – added fluid

      Due to extremely low fluid, integrity of power steering pump is in jeopardy.

2.      Plow Hydraulic Pump Assembly:

Fluid level low – topped off fluid

Pump assembly was falling off; bolted back into place

3.      Plow Frame:

Found to be broken, broken welds were repaired and additional supports were welded on

Other Recommendations:

Needs new tires and chains are worn

Needs alignment

Needs brakes

2000 GMC 2500

  1. Cooling System

Coolant system was 2.5 gallons low; coolant filled.

Probable water pump replacement

  1. Wiring for Sander Unit:

Wires were exposed and damaged, contacting bare metal on truck body.  Wires repaired

  1. Sander Unit:

Fuel delivery system cleaned

Carburetor serviced

  1. Plow Hydraulic Unit:

Hydraulic oil was extremely low.  Fluid added.

  1. Sander Unit:

Sand bin was not covered.  Plywood cover was installed to keep sand dry and usable.

Other Recommendations

Needs new tires.  Mismatched tires will cause probable drive train damage if not addressed.