The Pioche Town Board met June 18.
Carol White addressed the board stating that Nathan Adams is not the town manager. She asked the board to remove the Chamber of Commerce logo off the front of the ICPE Electrical Study and brought attention to the Fair Laborers’ Standard Act. White further expressed her opinion that the current difference in wages between a part-time worker and full-time worker with seniority is unfair.
White also stated that she believes transferring the power to the Lincoln County Power District (LCPD) would be in town citizens’ best interest. She believes it is a conflict of interest having D.A. Dylan Frehner giving the town legal advice while representing the Lincoln County Water District.
White stated she has researched the water usage report. She feels that the difference in the amount of water being used versus the amount of water being charged for is a significant amount and needs to be investigated. Chairman Tom Brown and White discussed the difference in reported water usage.
Louie Benezet then spoke, stating he is attempting to save the Mt. View Hotel and hopes to get citizens involved.
The board and Office Manager Kelbee Cheeney discussed how vouchers are reported on the new system the county is now utilizing. Cheeney explained she is working on finding all of the numbers and reports necessary to complete the financial reports.
Brown explained the board has been working for four years on reviewing a plan of action regarding Pioche Public Utilities’ (PPU) electrical distribution system capitol facilities. During the previous board meeting, the board decided to research the contract Caliente has with the LCPD.
John Christian, Brown and Adams met with Dave Latrell to discuss the issues PPU Power is facing. Latrell reported that the Caliente power system has had a significant number of improvements and maintenance done on it in recent years.
Brown stated he does not feel the cost is something the town can consider.
Adams responded that he feels the line loss is the first priority; creating the electrical loop will be the largest cost and most important priority. Adams and Glenn Zelch discussed options available to complete the project. Christian expressed doubts about PPU being able to complete a project of this size, and more importantly how to cover the costs involved, including the cost to have the project engineered. Unless there is a large benefit for the town’s customer base, the board needs to consider other options regarding the power system.
There was an extended discussion on the subject with the board ultimately asking to have this subject be brought back on the agenda for the next meeting.
Trent Adams introduced himself to the board as Nathan Adam’s son. Trent explained he would like to complete his Eagle Scout Project by repainting “Dinkie” the steam locomotive displayed at the town park. He required the board’s approval to complete the project, and asked the town to purchase and provide the paint and supplies including a weed barrier, decorative rock, paint and painting tools. The estimated cost of the project is approximately $500.00.
A motion was passed to fund the project.
Brown discussed a request by a member of the public to have a crosswalk put in at Lilith St. across SR 322/Main St. for individuals to get from the south side of town to the park/pool. Brown expressed his support for the request. The town will need to draft a letter stating the board’s request to have a crosswalk put into place. Zelch stated that within that same letter the town also needs to ask to have the curbs and gutters updated.
Phyllis Robistow suggested including the county commissioners in the letter. Cindy Free suggested also contacting the local Nevada Department of Transportation supervisor to bring him on board to assist with the project. Adams stated he would draft the letter.
PPU employees have not received a raise for several years. Adams asked how the board would like to proceed. The last raise in 2015 was a COLA for some employees and a merit raise for other employees. There was extensive discussion between all board members before Brown brought the motion forward for a flat three percent raise. The motion carried.
A motion was also carried increasing the honor camp crew custom work rate to be effective July 1.
Regarding a review of proposed bids to lease up to 300 acre feet annually, Adams informed the board that a bid has been received but not opened. The board discussed opening the bid to consider options before next month’s meeting. Brown opened the bid. The bid was proposed by Ed Vincent for $5,555 for 160 acre feet of water. The board will discuss and take action on bid during next month’s board meeting.
Brown requested Adams submit a list of prioritized projects to the RTC board. Free suggested Adams create a list during budget time and submit to the RTC board every year.
In his manager’s report, Adams stated he is planning to use a fire hose to flush out culverts. He reported the parts bids for the approved Caselton project came in cheaper than expected. Adams explained he spoke with Bob Rollins about obtaining easements to complete project and requested permission in a letter granting PPU easements. He read the correspondence out loud, discussing environmental hazards created by excavating material. Zelch and Adams discussed how to address the concerns.
Adams further discussed progress the crew has made regarding parks. A semi-truck hit a power line which created a small power outage. Adams will be starting requested service hook-ups. He will be contacting the road department to inquire about any hot or cold mix purchased to fill in some road cuts that have been made.
Vice-Chairman Cameron Boyce informed the board that there has been a road created on BLM-managed land creating issues and is being addressed.
Future agenda items will include PPU’s Electrical distribution system capitol facilities and work plan, merit increases and a review of proposed bids to lease up to 300 acre feet of water annually.