The county commission took no action but discussed once again the issue of marijuana establishments, including dispensaries and cultivation, in Pershing County. Extended by two months in September, the moratorium on marijuana establishments gives the commission until December 1 to make a decision.
After more discussion, the three-person commission seemed to agree that no recreational or medicinal marijuana dispensaries should be allowed in Pershing County.
Commissioner Robert McDougal pointed out the prohibition does not prevent a dispensary from opening in Lovelock if allowed by city officials. He argued in favor of a marijuana grow facility.
“It does not prevent the city from choosing to allow dispensaries,” he said. “But, it's my opinion that we should have an ordinance that would allow for the legal production of cannabis within the county.”
Rackley agreed that marijuana cultivation and processing facilities would be acceptable. McDougal suggested that such operations be restricted to certain areas within the county.
“It might be reasonable to suggest industrial or commercial zoning,” he said. “We have some right near town and we have industrial and commercial (areas) along the freeway.”
District Attorney Bryce Shields suggested the board consider input from both himself and Sheriff Jerry Allen regarding the potential impacts of any marijuana facilities from the law enforcement perspective.
That input will be presented at the next meeting on October 18 with the first reading of a proposed county ordinance regarding marijuana establishments to be postponed until a subsequent meeting.
Water Resource Plan
A water resource plan for Pershing County is still in the works according to McDougal. After five years, the final draft could be completed in the next few months by Farr West Engineering.
“The desire is to get this wrapped up in the next three months or so,” McDougal said. “There will be some consistencies with other county water resource plans. They are not trying to reinvent the wheel.”
After a water plan is accepted, the county commission will enact new ordinances to enforce the plan.
“A big concern [is] groundwater exports out of counties to distant basins,” McDougal said. “They are going to try to address everything that would be of concern to us as a county.”
Big Meadow Conservation District board member Carl Clinger pointed out ongoing concerns over a groundwater basin shared with a neighboring county.
“There's a specific issue with a basin that's in Humboldt and Pershing County,” he said. “That basin is over-allocated and over-pumped. I'm very interested in how that will be handled.”
New voting system
The state will help cover the cost of a new, more secure electronic voter registration and voting system for the county, Pershing County Clerk Lacey Donaldson told the board.
“I would like to have it ready by the end of the year so that we are all trained and good to go by (candidate) filing,” she said. She explained why the old voting machines need replacement.
“Because they are old,” Donaldson said. “We don't have issues with ballots cast but we do have issues with the equipment. They are not requiring us to upgrade but it's for the security of our elections.”
New technology for high-speed, electronic voting returns will be next, she said.
“We are also going to purchase electronic poll books. So, instead of having those green sheets for people to sign, it will be on a laptop,” Donaldson said. “It integrates with our system so we'll know who voted where in real time.”