The Pioche Town Board held its regularly scheduled meeting on Nov. 20.

Kelbee Cheney read correspondence received from the Lincoln County Authority of Tourism (LCAT)’s Keith Larson regarding bike racks. The bike racks will be available for purchase by all interested entities. Lincoln County High School is helping to build and design the bike racks. The cost of each will be $350 to $400, depending on design. The board discussed whether installing a bike rack at the pool would be beneficial. How many bikes can be held by the racks was another question asked and was added to next meeting’s agenda.

Pioche Public Utilities (PPU) Manager Nathan Adams discussed last month’s apparent line gain and the current month’s apparent large line loss. This was caused by reading meters on slightly different days than the power district, so Cheney put a two month combined line loss on the financial report.

Adams reviewed the meter history report, noting that the numbers are slowly increasing. John Christian stated he would like to see a quarterly summary of the meter history report presented on one sheet.

A request was discussed from 8-Mile Farms to acquire/lease 300 acre feet of water from PPU in the Patterson basin. Glenn Zelch stated he is in favor of leasing the water to 8-Mile Farms if the deal has no negative effects on existing water rights. Per a conference call with the state water engineer’s office, a temporary lease would not cause a loss of rights, but would have to be renewed yearly and would cost approximately $1,500 per renewal. A permanent transfer of water rights with a written agreement to have the rights transferred back to PPU is another option; however, there would most likely be a cut in the rights when transferring them back to PPU.

County district attorney Dylan Frehner noted that a resolution would have to be completed, placed in the paper for two weeks, followed by a public hearing.

Zelch stated that PPU cannot afford to pay the application fee to the state. Thus, the individual leasing water rights would have to be responsible for the fee.

There was extensive discussion on the matter, followed by a motion that carried to have a public hearing before a possible drafting of the resolution.

Adams stated that the water line in Caselton, which PPU has spent a lot of time and money repairing, needs to be replaced. Sunrise Engineering’s estimated the cost of construction materials at $56,000 and labor at $73,000. These estimates are based on a six-inch line, versus the four-inch line Adams originally thought would be sufficient.

The new line will enable PPU to take down the tank to perform needed maintenance. According to the USDA, who was in the office this month, this project would qualify for a low-cost income grant which could include the cost of build the new PPU office in the Town Hall. Phyllis Robistow stated that it is too late to apply for a CDBG grant.

A motion was carried to submit the construction drawings to the Nevada State Engineer’s office for approval.

Next, Margaret Garcia addressed the board regarding a call she received from PPU stating that her meter had been shut off due to excessive water usage of 506,000 gallons. According to Adams, there was a leak between the meter and the house, which is the customer’s responsibility. Garcia hired a plumber to replace the leaking line.

After discussing the matter further, a motion was carried to spread the $657 bill over six months.

Cindy Free reminded Adams that RTC budget time is coming and projects will soon need to be submitted.

Adams reported county planning director Cory Lytle is going to discuss the Scott Building project with the Nevada Department of Transportation.

The board discussed a surveyor doing some type of work in town this week. Christian reported that he went to the top of town and looked at where Lincoln County Telephone dug the trench. He didn’t see any evidence of runoff as Tom Brown indicated in the previous meeting. Brown stated he would go up with Christian and take a look at it.

Adams reported three pole change outs have been completed. More conduit has been laid down Buck Street.

Curtis Prestwich is leaving PPU. Nathan expressed his gratitude for his hard work.

The job advertisement has already been placed in the paper. The deadline for applications was Dec. 3. Interviews will be conducted and a recommendation for hire will be presented at the next meeting.

Free thanked the town crew and Honor Camp for the removal of the tree from her yard.

The meeting was adjourned with future agenda items to include the electrical engineer’s presentation, filling Utility 1 Worker position, determining Utility 1 worker’s job description, the reconnection policy, and the bike rack proposal from LCAT.