Tuesday’s Pioche town board meeting was held at the town hall on Main Street, with most of the board in attendance.
With no public comment and no correspondence, the board dived right into the financial reports. The constant struggle of trying to keep the books accurate was brought up again, and the city manager noted that this is due to the fact that the county’s numbers for the town will always take a little longer to adjust, and since their numbers are up to date, they will most likely never perfectly match up.
During this discussion, it was requested that the difference between the two numbers be highlighted in the financial reports, which the town board’s secretary agreed to do.
A member of the public brought up that there was an $8,000-$10,000 monthly loss, according to the PPU reports, but the city manager explained that was inaccurate, since the numbers he was seeing for the entire year were much smaller than those kinds of losses would imply. The board agreed with that assessment, since they had the updated financial reports in front of them.
The next part of the agenda was the request by the city manager to relocate the PPU offices to the town hall, taking up the room that the town board meeting was usually held in.
The city manager noted that since the main issue with their current building (notwithstanding the poor condition of the back side of the building) was that much of the office was not up to ADA compliance standards. He said that due to this, he might be able to get a grant that could turn the town hall’s main room into a suitable office space by building a few walls and adding a few bathrooms. This would be cheaper than trying to make the board’s current offices ADA compliant, besides the fact that the old office is in disrepair and might need to be torn down due to the expenses of having to replace the roof on the back side of the building, according to a state inspection.
The board agreed and added that the old building could pose a liability. After suggesting some changes to the drawings, it approved moving the manager’s request forward to find funding to pay for the project.
Next up was the Castleton water system repairs, to include the removal and replacement of an old water line in town and the cleaning of the town’s water tank. Between these two projects, the bill was estimated to be over $20,000 in some instances, but that it could be as much as $80,000, depending on the state of the water tank.
Since the money to pull that kind of repair work is not in the budget currently, the city manager requested a survey that could possibly get them a few grants.
The board also mulled over the idea that it could make Castleton a special improvements area, and in the end, voted to let the manager see what he could find out about the exact cost of repairs to the water system.
The board then returned to a piece of business that seems to have a constant place in the agenda: the possibility of creating a disruption of the peace ordinance. A few members of the community have complained about animals in the town making noise in the middle of the night, but since there is only an ordinance to keep your pets within your own property and nothing to prevent them from making noise (according to the district attorney), the problem rests with the county.
It was noted that Caliente requires pet owners to have licenses for each pet, but the board seemed to think (due to some reports out of Caliente) that this was not the best course of action. In the end, it was determined that this was not a Pioche problem, but a Lincoln County problem, and should be brought before the commissioners.
Next, the board heard the request of William Haygood, who wished to put a septic tank on his property. According to Haygood, he had spoken with the building department many times, and felt like he had jumped through all the hoops necessary over the last few years to be able to properly utilize his land.
Haygood also claimed that he was misled on multiple occasions, being told that all he needed to do was get a engineer to come up with some plans, but that his plans were then thrown out. He decided to come to the town board, and according to an old agenda from years ago, the board had already agreed to assist him.
Most of the members of the board were willing to help with Haygood’s case, though there was some speculation as to whether or not his septic tank was a good idea or whether it was a short-term solution that, if repeated too many times, could result in a big problem for the town.
In the end, though, the permit to put in a septic tank rests with the building department, and all the board could do was give its recommendation.