Lincoln County Water District has moved into its new facilities in the Panaca Town Center building.
Two classrooms of the old Panaca Elementary School have been remodeled for the water district. One room is office space, for manager Wade Poulsen and administrative assistant Laura Heiselbetz, and another room, when completed, will be the boardroom. The conference table has not arrived yet.
The Water District for a number of years had one single office in the basement of the Lincoln County Courthouse in Pioche. Poulsen said it was really a jail cell when the jail used to be there.
Being in Panaca now, Poulsen said they don’t have all the action of the courthouse to be around, “But we were down there in the dungeon anyway, and the action took place over above us.”
The county health nurse office is also in the Panaca Town Center, as is the nuclear oversight office, health and human services and senior nutrition. “But there are not as many people here as there was at the courthouse,” said Poulsen.
He said the larger offices will be of benefit to the communities of the county, “because if you are going to be relevant you have to have a place of operation. At the courthouse, we really didn’t have our own space. As the water district is a subdivision of the state, not of the county, this office separates us, even though the water board is the same as the Board of County Commissioners. Technically, our board, our budgets, our operations are all done through a state level, rather than a county level.”
Poulsen said he did not know if water district board meetings will continue to be held at the council chambers at the courthouse, as they are now. “The board will determine that,” he said, “It might just stay where it is.” As it is now, the monthly water board meetings will immediately follow a county commission regular meeting.
Poulsen added he “wants to be a good neighbor, and if the Panaca Town Board wanted to come to use the water district conference room, they would be welcome.”
There are more open spaces in the Panaca Town Center for other offices, but Poulsen said he did not know what might go in there. “I’m sure the commissioners are anxious to get them filled.”
With Coyote Springs beginning to look more at getting some building going, as the water provider for CSI, the water district is, “looking forward to being a part of that process,” he said, “as well as work to provide water in the Toquop area, as well as other water purveyors in our county.”