VIRGINIA CITY HIGHLANDS PROPERTY OWNERS' ASSOCATION
MINUTES – ANNUAL MEETNG, SATURDAY JULY 26, 2014
V.C. HIGHLANDS FIRE STATION TRAINING ROOM- 10:00 am
Present: Jay Carmona, Jack McGuffey, Joe O'Brien, Karlyn McPartlin
Absent: None
I. Call to Order, Declaration of a Quorum and Approval of Meeting Agenda
(Discussion/Action)
President Jay Carmona called the meeting to order at 10:11 am and declared
a quorum present. Carmona added Chris Klut from the Storey County Library
to the agenda. Items III and IX are deleted because there is no election. Two
positions are open and we had two applicants therefore no election is required.
Motion by O'Brien and seconded by McGuffey was approved unanimously to
accept the agenda with the addition.
II. Introduction of Board Members, Architectural Committee and Road Crew
All board members were introduced as well as architectural committee
members Rita Lumos, Jack McGuffey and Dave Morlan. Road crew members
Doug Fontana and John Sento were also recognized.
III. Appointment of Teller Committee to Count Ballots
Deleted due to no election being held.
IV. Comments by Association Members (NRS 116.3108.5)(Discussion Only)
No comments by association members.
V. Presentation by Invited Guests and Reports
Storey County Commissioners:
Marshall McBride as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners began by
saying that he came to the meeting to listen to our concerns. A resident asked
about the Sunny Hills development and how they were going to get water. He
wants to know where the water will be coming from. Commissioner McBride
explained that the development is a dead issue at this time. They have
decided to go back to the legislature next year with a new proposal. McBride
assured the residents that they will do nothing without the approval of the
Highlands residents. McBride was then asked about the cell tower that we
were told was being erected two years ago. Senior Director Ozzie Osborne
explained that the owner lives in California and has been occupied with
larger projects. Also he had been required to obtain at least three carriers
which did not occur. Osborne stated that they are planning to apply for
a new SUP allowing the tower to be built without the number of carriers
required. He said that they are expecting a new filing in late August.
A resident asked why the Sunny Hills developers went to the legislature first
without discussing the project with the county and the residents first.
Commissioner Sjovangen said they did not know why it was done in that
manner. The commissioners felt it was a major concern that the project was
done in that manner and that they did not know about it until about half way
through the presentation process. Commissioner Lance Gilman said that a
project such as this must be approved by the Legislature first then it is up to
the county to move and act as it sees fit. Sjovangen stated that boundary lines
have been changed many times over the years so the request is not unusual.
Jed Margolin stated that the counties Master Plan allows for orderly growth
but that the county needs to be involved. He also said that the new plan must
work with the Highlands and their concerns.
Bill Sjovangen told the residents that 90% of his work is done outside the
county on things that involve all aspects of their work. He discussed the
Margins Tax that would be very detrimental to businesses in Storey County.
It provided that the proposal of a 2% tax on gross is a business killer. The
county is opposed to it and is working to make sure all voters understand
how bad it would be for the county. He strongly suggests a NO vote in
November. Many businesses have stated that they will leave if it passes.
Dave Thomas further explained how detrimental it would be and to vote NO
on question #3.
Bill also spoke about the Land Management Commission on which he is a
member. They have put together a plan to take back approximately half
of the land currently owned by the Federal Government. If approved it could
bring $10-100 million dollars back to the state. The proposal will be
presented next month for approval. He discussed the Sage Hens. He said
that both Reid and Heller had voted to put them on an endangered list but that
the state had rejected it twice. The bill would effect about 1.3 million acres.
If put on the list it would put restrictions on horses, wildlife and cattle. No one
knows how many hens there are which make the question more complicated.
Concerning Medical Marijuana, the county has no place to put a outlet due to
regulations for businesses in Storey County. He then discussed water issues.
They are considering several options to help conserve as much as possible in
the county. Limiting or restricting building and wells, using gray water for
landscaping are only two of several options being looked at. A resident
asked if water storage tanks were allowed on our properties. He was told
that several residents already have tanks in place and they are allowed.
Sjovangen asks that any and all suggestions concerning our water issues be
brought to the commissioners. This is a serious issue and it affects every
property owner.
Lance Gillman also stated that our wells in the Highlands are at risk due to
the drought and usage. At some point down the line the county is going to
have to look at some way of making sure water is available to homeowners.
Storey County Sheriff's Department
Sheriff Jerry Antinoro gave us a “report card” for the Highlands. He said
there was a total of 1306 incidents total in the past year. These included 37
traffic citations in the Highlands and 150 in the county. This also included
citations given on state road 341 and within the Highlands. In VCH there
were 5 accidents and 11 arrests made. 86 crime reports taken. There were
32 animal incidents which includes horses, dogs barking etc.
With traffic excluded, VCH is one quarter of the total calls and actions in
the county. Our numbers have remained consistent compared to last year.
Storey County is overall down 2% while the State is up. He reminded us
that there is no hunting or trapping on private property. The home invasion
that occurred a few months ago is still an open investigation that they will
continue to work on it until solved.
The remains found in the 10's has been surrounded with many rumors
and misinformation. So that there is no question as to what happened the
entire case has been turned over to an outside agency for a complete and
independent investigation. They will report when the report is completed.
The human remains found in a well last year have been identified.
They know that the crime occurred in Washoe County with the remains being
put in the well here in the Highlands. The crime occurred over 30 years ago
but the investigation continues trying to find the person who committed the
murder. A memorial service is being held in Fernley in August.
On August 5th the National Night Out will be held in Virginia City.
Many groups and agencies will be there and he encouraged all citizens to
attend. This is held to announce that we will not tolerate crime in our area.
Neighborhood Watch is still asking for volunteers. This is a community
driven program that always needs more residents involved. Everyone
becomes the eyes and ears for the Sheriffs Dept. We are encouraged to
call dispatch if we see anything out of the ordinary. He also wants us to call
if we are going on vacation and they will do drive bys to check on our homes.
He encouraged us to call his office if we have any questions and they will
help us in any way needed. A year ago the Community Response Team was
formed. They are an extension of the Sheriffs Dept and help in many aspects
when the community needs more individuals to contact the community.
Storey County Fire Department
Storey County Fire Chief Gary Hames gave us a report on what the fire dept
is doing for us and where some of our tax dollars are being spent. He reported
that about 25% of the departments calls are in the VCH. This is about the
same as in the past several years.
The Fire House is fully staffed with the addition of 3 seasonal employees.The
department has upgraded the water truck this past year to a 4,000 gallon tank.
He encouraged us to continue using the slash pile stating that it is very
important that we keep all areas clear of dead wood and weeds. There are
trailers available to use when we do any work on our properties. When we
call the department and reserve a trailer they will bring it to us and remove
and dump it when it is full. If we are doing our own clearing he asks that we
fill out the grant form which is available at the fire house. We are credited
$20 per hour spent clearing and cleaning properties that can be used as credit
towards a grant to pay for clearing purposes.
Then he discussed the importance of clearing all driveways. He said if we
can't get out their equipment can't get in if there is an emergency. Please
keep all driveways as clear as possible. Also address signs are needed
so that a house can be found quickly and accurately. If you need a sign or
need to replace a sign contact the fire department and they will provide one
to you. There are forms in the training room to fill out and give to anyone
on duty. The cost for the sign and post is $15. The Volunteer Fire Dept will
install the sign for the homeowners Our ISO is to be done August 8. We are
currently a 3. The Department has worked very hard to maintain that rating.
The ISO rating influences insurance rates for all homes. Results are expected
in about 6 months.
Volunteer Fire Department
Al Drake, chief of the Volunteer Fire Department states that the Annual
Spaghetti Feed will be held August 16th this year. A time share has been
donated in Lake Havasu, Arizona. A raffle will be held. The tickets are $25
each. Half of all the monies will go to the Volunteer Fire Department while the
other half will go to the 5th grade class at Gallegher Elementary. This money
will stay with the class through graduation. The winner will receive one week
in Lake Havasu, air fare for two and a rental car for the week. Contact Al if
at 847-0229 to purchase your ticket. The winning ticket will be pulled at the
Spegetti Feed.
Storey County Planning Department
Ozzie Osborne Senior Planning Director, thanked everyone who
attended the Master Plan Workshop meeting. They are in the process of
updating our Master Plan which determines the growth of Storey County.
He will be announcing future meetings some of which will be held here in
the Highlands. There has been discussions about extending Lousetown
throughout the entire county. He said that most of VCH does not want
Lousetown as a thoroughfare. He invited anyone to call him at 847-1144
anytime with questions and that he welcomes any suggestions we may have.
He will sign up up for the Planning Dept alerts to receive emails about their
meetings, agendas and minutes.
Neighborhood Watch Program
Neighborhood Watch Program coordinator Jack McGuffey spoke about this
new program in VCH. Deputy Mendoza is working with the group to help
them get organized. McGuffey stated that they are looking for as many
volunteers as possible. To date there are no volunteers in the one acre assn .
If there is a problem everyone is asked to call dispatch. There are window
stickers available from him. John Mendoza is the head of the Community
Outreach Program and works with the Neighborhood Watch Program as well.
He says that their mission is “to improve the quality of the neighborhood.”
Mendoza assured us that all reports will remain anonymous.
He said that we need everyone to watch out for our neighbors and our
neighborhoods. If there is any problem use 911 or dispatch at 847-0950
day or night. He reminded us that if we are going on vacation please call
so that your home can be watched while you are away.
Fire Safe Highlands
In the absence of a speaker, residents offered suggestions and comments.
Resident Joel Smith is concerned about the amount of growth of vegetation
on the sides of the roads especially Cartwright. He and others pointed out
that hot exhaust pipes could potentially start a fire. He suggests that
homeowners clean up the easements to cut down on the possibility of a fire.
Chief Hames stated that he is looking into the purchase of equipment that
would help clean up the edges of the roads.
Resident Valerie wanted an explanation about why trees were cut down by
the fire department. Chief Hames explained that the trees were removed in
a fuel reduction project. All property owners that were affected were contacted
by his department before any work was done. The homeowners agreed to the
removal before the work was done. He again emphasized that if it is difficult
for the homeowner to enter the property then it is also difficult or not
possible for fire equipment to enter that property in case of emergency.
Dave Thomas also discussed the ongoing problem of White Top especially
on Cartwright. It is very important that it be removed. It is a very invasive
weed that can take over very aggressively if not taken care of.
Virginia Range Wildlife Protection Association
Bob Macarrio spoke about several projects that the group is involved in.
They are working with the Department of Agriculture to allow VRWPA to
take care of horses when needed instead of the state. He urges everyone
to contact the Governors office. Public pressure is the most effective way
to allow this change to happen.
VRWPA is also trying to consolidate all the various horse organizations and
create one umbrella group. Feeding and birth control are being done
aggressively at this time. There is not a definitive count of horses on the
Virginia Range at this time but a good estimate is somewhere in the
1200-2200 range.
Storey County Library
Chris Klut told the attendees that they have signed a one year MOU
library agreement. Some of the services being offered are; if there is a
book that they don't have they will order it from Carson City or another area
and have it delivered to Virginia City. The HAWC clinic has closed so
they have moved downstairs. ADA access is available. They need volunteers.
If you want to help out contact her and she will be happy to work with
hours you can give. If you currently have a library card from another area
she stresses that it is good all over the state including VC. She provided a
table of information for everyone to use at the meeting.
VI. Unfinished Business
None
VII. Committee Reports
A. Architectural Committee
Committee Secretary, Rita Lumos, reports that during the last year the
committee lost two long standing members. One has been replaced but
two more are needed. If you have a background in planning, construction
or building you are asked to please volunteer. The commitment is only
about 1 hour a month but is a very important part of the community.
During the year 6 new homes were approved. Five additions were also
approved.
B. Road Report
President Carmona also serves as our road manager. This year the crew
has put road base down on over 7 miles of the one acre roads. So far
the base is holding up well even with the unusual rains of late. There
are several roads such as Sazerac and Empire which are main
thoroughfares that will need constant up keep. The 2 members of the
road crew are working 2 days per week. They continue to monitor
all roads and use the grader, water truck and roller as needed. They
have also cleared or created many ditches that are doing the job of
taking the water away from the roads. The continuing plan is to
inspect, correct and maintain all the roads as necessary. Next year
more road base will be applied to roads that require it and to roads
that did not receive any base this year. With only 2 employees we are
bringing our roads back to solid surfaces that are holding. As more
material is added they should only improve. Carmona thanked our crew
for their hard work and dedication to the association. The major issue
concerning road surfaces is speed. Excessive speed causes wash boards
and pot holes. It is everyone’s responsibility to drive at 20mph or slower.
Our main problem is vendors. Please remind them that we have a 20mph
limit and that it is enforced.
Carmona also said that he is working with the county to seal and chip
coat Cartwright. It should give us a few more years before it has to be
paved again. The cost to pave is over $3 million that the residents will
have to pay for. The cost of sealing is about $35,000. Jack McGuffey
again asked for a letter that was sent out in the 80's to all VCH residents.
It stated that the county would be responsible for the upkeep of Cartwright.
If anyone has a copy of that letter it is imperative that it be given to the
board. It would mean that the county would pay for the paving.
Joel Smith stated that the sealing that the county did on the first mile of
Cartwright is holding up well. When asked about how the cost would be
split, Dave Thomas said that previously it was a 60%-40% split with the
ten acre association. Commissioner McBride stated that they tried to seal
Cartwright last year while the county roads were here but that the board
did not want to at that time due to the second election issue feeling that the
expenditure was for the next board to decide on.
C. Park Report and Capitol Funds
Karlyn McPartlin reported that after 8 years the question of the monies
that should have been in the Park Fund has been answered. She thanked
the various departments in the county that worked hard to put together
20 years of receipts and what paperwork could be found to find how much
money should be in our park fund. She explained that in 1984 a separate
interest baring fund should have been created with money collected from
each new build in the one acre and ten acres areas. The monies had been
put directly into the general fund and due to lost files could not be
accounted for after so many years. Finally the current Board of
Commissioners asked that an accounting be recreated to find out if there
should have been a balance. The findings were that there should indeed
be a rather substantial balance. The exact numbers will be known
shortly. The fund had to be interest baring so the only task left is to
compute that interest over the years. When finished the monies will be put
into a separate fund to be used for capitol expenditures in our park.
In April she headed a meeting of all residents of the One Acre and Ten
Acre owners. At that meeting everyone was asked to help create a
wish list of what we would like to see in the Highlands that would add
comfort and value to our area. The item most wanted was a Community
Center. VRWPA has graciously agreed to donate a ten acre parcel located
next to the fire house on which a community center and other things
of interest to us could be built. It was suggested that the community center
could consist of a large meeting room, a kitchen, a bathroom and two
other smaller rooms to be used for visiting vets, a small library and other
needs as they arise. The funding for this project would be from grants that
the head of Community Services, Cheri Nevin, is going to try and get for
us. As a non-profit association we could be eligible for some funds.
Also there is a new fund of $10,000/year that the commissioners voted for
each of the 4 major communities in Storey County. This fund will be a
yearly distribution for the foreseeable future. We will be allowed to use
it for any purpose that we choose. There will be more meetings scheduled
in the future for ongoing planning for improvements in the Highlands.
VII. Financial Report
Our bookkeeper, Tommy Sargent, was out of town on family business so
Carmona presented the 2014-2015 proposed budget. The budget can
be reviewed in the Financial section of the web site at
http://www.vchpoa.org/Financials.shtml. The total expenses for the
coming year are projected to be $178,600 with the ending cash balance
proposed to be $271,900. Carmona stated that because the Association
is over funded at the present time the assessment of $100 per lot would
be lowered to $50 per lot for the coming year. At the end of the year
the assessment will be revisited to make a determination if the cut can
remain for the following year. The reduction is in line with the NRS
116.3114 basically stating that the association cannot keep surplus
funds and that they must be given back to the property owners. The
board decided that the best way to meet this law would be to lower the
assessment.
IX. Report from the Teller Committee
Deleted. No election necessary.
X. Any Other Matters which the Board Members Wish to Discuss.
Karlyn McPartlin invited everyone to the Annual Picnic at the park
immediately following the meeting. Also to date approximately 800
stickers have been sold. She stated that it is important that every
vehicle and ATV/motorcycle in the Highlands has one. This allows
the sheriffs dept to see immediately if that vehicle belongs in the
Highlands. We have a severe problem with outsiders using the
area as a personal playground especially on the weekends. To get
stickers contact the secretary at
secretary@vchpoa.org.
XI. Any Other Comments from Association Members
Resident Carol Olverholzer suggested that considering our severe
water issues, we should look into obtaining an in-depth report that
would educate all of the residents and perhaps give us a direction to
go in to controlling our water in the future.
XII. Adjourn
With a thank you to all attendees the annual meeting was adjourned at
12:32pm by President Carmona.