The latest Picho Town Board meeting discussed the Curb and Gutter Project on 4th, Gold and Silver Streets. Public Utilities Manager Nathan Adams has been advised to go back to the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC). He was originally granted $20,000 dollars for the curb and gutter project. Paul Donohue is going to call a special meeting and Adams has requested to be on this agenda to re-ask for money to help with this project. He originally asked for $50,000. Now that he has had a chance to review and go over the project again he thinks the project will cost closer to $60,000 and intends to ask for this amount. There is some money in the town grant fund, which amounts to around $10,000 a year. The town hopes to work the project with the Lincoln County Road Department (LCRD) to help lower the cost for both parties.
Robistow was curious on if the money is granted will there be enough time to do the project before winter. Adams is optimistic that it can be done. Zelch made a motion to proceed with going back to RTC in any method necessary to get the job get done. Free said at the last board meeting it was decided to use the money if needed from the town Capital Improvement fund in the amount of $10,000. However she feels that rather than piecing the jobs together she would rather do the project all at once. She feels that the town has a good chance of getting the money from the RTC. Zelch also feels this is a better solution than piecing things together and reiterated that Adams to go back to RTC and ask them for funding. Brown stated that Pioche should have $20,000 already saved up and another $10,000 as of the July 1, so $30,000 should be dedicated to Pioche already. Plus, the $10,000 that the town can pitch in.
Cindy said the $10,000 should pay for the surveying costs. Zelch amended his motion to authorize Adam to go to the RTC to request a total of $60,000 dollars in funding for the project on 4th and Gold. The motion was seconded by Robistow and all voted in favor. Christian thanked Adams for his effort in getting this project going.
The board also discussed a cost of living pay adjustment for employees. Robistow pointed out that a few of the employees are topped out on the current pay scales. She would like to take a look at the current scales and update them if necessary. Zelch said that there is a difference between merit raises and cost of living allowances (COLA).
Free would like to see evaluations on each employee by the next meeting. She would rather see raises based on merit than on COLA. She requested to the secretary to add on next month’s agenda a merit raise for the office manager.
Adams pointed out that the county employees are receiving COLA plus their normal step raises this year. Zelch suggested that the board get a copy of the county pay scale and compare to ours. Zelch made a motion to approve a 2 percent COLA increase as presented by Adams and to reanalyze the current pay scales, but motion died for lack of second. Robistow stated she feels that the board owes it to the employees to have an individual private review with them where they can express their thoughts and opinions to the board. Christian suggested that if the board wishes to do this that it be a totally separate agenda not a regular board meeting. Free explained how the current pay scales read; the manager will do an evaluation of the employee then recommend to the board based on the evaluation.
Brown requested that the COLA increase be added back on the agenda when they do this special meeting. Christian asked that work be done with the district attorney (DA) to get the wording correct for the special meeting. Free volunteered to serve on a committee with Adams to review the pay scale. No action was taken on his item.
In other business, the board approved waiving the event fee for the Pioche Labor Day Committee.
A special use permit for Darrin and Janine Woodworth to operate a short-term home located at 291 Highland St. was approved.