Dave Maxwell County commissioners approved a recommendation from the Pioche Town Board for a feasibility study to investigate the possibility of PPU merging with the Lincoln County Power District No. 1.

Dave Maxwell
County commissioners approved a recommendation from the Pioche Town Board for a feasibility study to investigate the possibility of PPU merging with the Lincoln County Power District No. 1.

A feasibility study by the Lincoln County Power District to see if Pioche Public Utilities might join with LCPD was unanimously approved by the county commissioners at the Sept. 8 regular meeting.

Pioche Town Board chair Tom Brown said they brought the request to the commissioners with the thought of “trying to see if we can improve the service for the people of Pioche.”

“Presently we have a big liability in the fact that we do not have a journeyman lineman installing services, working on high voltage, etc,” Brown said. “It’s very expensive to get a trained, qualified person, if we had to hire our own.” Pioche utilities manager Nathan Adams, although partially qualified, does not hold a journeyman license.

Brown added, “If we were to send him some place for the training, it would cost at least $150,000 just in wages alone, not to mention the loss of his time to the town.” In addition, he might possibly need to be out of town for several months attending training school.

Brown said having the feasibility study done is “well worth the effort, as the power system in the town is very old and in need of a lot of money to be spent on it, and we don’t have that kind of money.”

Lincoln County Power District manager Dave Luttrell told commissioners it would be a lengthy study with many items to be considered, but it would be “conducted by our own staffs, not hiring outside consultants.”

He said LCPD would have to look at the condition of the system, look at pole testing results, some of the clearance issues in town, etc “so we can quantify what we are getting into. The way I look at it, the study is going to answer a lot of questions. It will be good for the town, and the county commission also has a stake in guarding the service liability for the town. It can be a win win.”

Luttrell said he hoped that “somewhere in early 2016 we’ll be able to begin sharing results at the town level, the power board level and with the commission board.”