ELKO — The county will consider contributing up to $15,000 for the study of a possible transfer of public land from federal to state control.
The Nevada Land Management Task Force, a 17-member board made up of one representative from each county in the state, was created after the last legislative session ended.
Its purpose is to study the fiscal impacts of a land transfer, determine how the state would manage public lands, and decide which public lands would be best in state control.
The bill that established the task force was met with some resistance in the Assembly last session because of anticipated costs. But it was amended to make clear that the counties would foot any bills, and was then unanimously voted out of the Senate.
Studying a land transfer over the course of a year could cost more than $66,000, according to a memo by consulting group Intertech Services Corp.
The firm did a similar study for Eureka County in the 1990s. The task force is asking for an updated version.
Divided up equally, each county would need to contribute about $3,890 to cover the total estimation. That’s how much the task force is asking from each county.
But Elko County anticipates more costs will arise before a final report is submitted to the Legislative Committee on Public Lands next September. The county commission will consider appropriating more funds at the upcoming commission meeting.
“(County Commissioner) Demar (Dahl) and I talked, and there could be some additional costs,” County Manager Rob Stokes said. Dahl represents Elko County on the task force and serves as its chairman.
“They’ve got such a short time frame to make a report to the Legislature, our thought was instead of trying to piecemeal this, get a certain amount approved now,” Stokes added.
If the commission approves the money, most of it will come from the county’s contingency fund, Stokes said. Approval does not require the county to spend the money, however. Unspent money will go back into county funds.
Many commissioners believe if public land is in state control, the county will see significant financial benefits.
The county commission meets 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Nannini Administration Building.
Also on the agenda:
• Recognition of the Nevada Outfitters and Guides Association for Wounded Hero Elko Project.
• Presentation of a plaque of appreciation to Karen Cracraft on her retirement after 25 years of service with the district attorney’s office.
• Presentation of a plaque of appreciation to Lenwood Van Natter on his retirement after nearly two decades of service with the sheriff’s office.
• Update from a City of Elko liaison.
• Update from the sheriff’s office.
• Review bid for a 10-wheel truck with snow plow and sander for the road department.
• Expenditure request related to predator control trapping on the Devil’s Gate Ranch for the county’s sage-grouse pilot project.
• Request for $40,000 for a Ruby Mountain cloud seeding project.
• A dentist geographical license request for Dr. Shelton Chow.
• Appointment of Dr. Harry Leo Duran as the county health officer with a $500 monthly stipend.