The Pioche Town Board met on July 25.
During public comment, Carol White stated that she would like everyone to know that, in contrast to what she said board member Glenn Zelch told the Record, she is not just “carrying on about a journeyman lineman contract position which will prioritize electrical work.”
White discussed Pioche Public Utilities’ (PPU) operating loss for the month of June, including getting a pole test report from the PPU staff; she was also provided with a list of 13 poles which have been changed out since the study. She stated that it is important to know that only two poles were graded as failing; two were graded as warning; and two were unidentified or omitted from the test, along with 167 other poles that were not included in the test.
In another public comment, Peggy Decker asked if there has been any progress at the Rodeo Well; it takes 18 hours to fill the tanks so they can water the golf course. Town manager Nathan Adams stated that all the work on his side of the project has been completed and he is now waiting for the well installer to finish.
In town business, board secretary Tayler Reifsnyder read an email she received from a former lifeguard and EMT regarding the Pioche Pool. The person was pleased with the professionalism of the lifeguards.
In the financial report, Adams addressed the month of June, which looks bad due to the operating loss. According to his conversation with the auditor, June essentially ends up being about half of July. Thus, June will have three paydays in it and July will have one.
Adams also discussed the cash balance sheet. Board vice-chairman Tom Brown asked if Caselton is being tracked on an accrual basis or only monthly. At this time it is only being tracked monthly. Brown requested it also be tracked on an accrual basis.
Regarding appointment of a new chairman/ vice chairman, current chairman Phyllis Robistow made a motion to move this item until next month when board member Cameron Boyce is present. The motion died for lack of a second. Reifsnyder reminded the board that there is a meeting with the county commissioners coming up, so they may want to have a chairman and vice chairman elected by then.
Board member John Christian made a motion to elect Tom Brown as chairman and to hold off until next month on electing the vice chairman until everyone is present. The motion carried.
Reifsnyder then stated that, according to the open meeting law, Brown will serve as the chairman for the duration of Robistow’s term and a new chairman will then need to be elected.
Adams stated that the office manager has turned in her verbal notice and her last day will be August 17. He has spoken with the district attorney regarding the procedure to fill the position; they can promote internally or advertise externally. There was an extensive discussion between board members as to the pros and cons of both alternatives, including what was assumed to be the general public assumption that people are automatically promoted internally, so the public is unlikely to apply for the position. A person promoted from within would also have already have working knowledge of the office.
Adams added that there has been a discussion regarding having a closed session with all five members as to whether Kelbee Cheeney is competent to fill the position.
Suzanne Reifsnyder asked what the county policy states.
Tayler Reifsnyder replied that, at this time, they cannot make the decision to promote due to how the item is agendized. A motion was carried to hold a closed meeting on Aug. 6 at 10 a.m.
During that meeting Cheeney’s probationary period of employment was voted to be concluded and the business of filling the office manager vacancy was set for the next regularly scheduled meeting.
Cameron Boyce was also approved as Vice Chairman during the special meeting.
Back to the July meeting, discussion was had regarding utility hookups for the trap range located below Pioche. Larry Gearheart was present to represent the Lincoln County Trap Club. The only available money to the club is a fundraising raffle so paying the bill in one lump sum is difficult. A motion was passed to set up a payment plan with the office, along with a 20 percent discount as per a similar meeting held with the Lincoln County Golf Club.
Regarding Wyatt’s Removal Service removing trash at the park and around town during Labor Day weekend, the board discussed the increased quote from last year, to what is now $3,000. As such, board members debated whether the public should be allowed to submit bids, though it has always been done in-house thus far. After extensive back and forth, a motion to continue in-house was carried.
The board discussed adopting a policy regarding delinquent accounts and a motion carried agreeing to do so .
Another policy discussion was had, this one regarding custom sewer work and repairs. It was determined that the agenda needed to be revised to read the approval of a custom-work policy. Therefore, the item was tabled for a future agenda, with the changes to the wording.
Adoption of an hourly rate for custom work done by the honor camp crew was discussed. Reifsnyder stated that the rate will be determined at the end of each month and will be figured by the amount of days the crew is present and the number of hours they work at a custom-work job. Adams read a letter received from the camp; helping the PPU is very low on their list of priorities. No action was taken at this time.
Cleanup and safety issues in Pioche were brought up, but those who requested them to be on the agenda weren’t present. As a result, Brown stated that unless a request is made, this item should not be added back on to the agenda.
A motion carried approving a thank-you letter to the Lincoln County Road Department.
Adams discussed three poles which are going to be changed by contractors as Lincoln County Power District would not change the pole on Treasure Hill. Two companies visited the sites and made bids. There will have to be an outage to complete the work but the job should be ready to move forward by this fall. A motion to accept the low bid carried
An email from Dave Luttrell was read regarding adding an insert to July utility bills discussing ballot Question 3. A motion to do so was carried.
In other board news, Taylor Reifsnyder mentioned she contacted the billing software company website for the PPU/Pioche Town website, as well as an additional company. Billing software will allow customers to view their accounts and make payments online. The billing software company presented a proposal for a website at no cost because Pioche is already a customer. The other company would charge a fee. A motion to accept the billing software company’s offer was carried.
Uvada Wilkin was appointed to the Regional Transportation Commission board.
Adams presented his manager’s report. The new pool office camera has been installed. The reason for the power outage at Red Sands and the road department is still unknown. The summer help has been taking care of weeds, the parks, the cemetery, and gutters. Culverts have been clogged.
Reifsnyder and Adams met with the USDA. The water engineer is putting together a report to get funding; the people of Caselton already qualify, so no income survey is needed. The USDA would not discuss funding to turn the town hall into an office. They agreed to work with the board if a new building is constructed.