The Pioche Town Board met Aug. 20.
Carol White addressed the board about a disconnect notice someone received stating her utilities were going to be shut off. At that time it was determined the property owner had a past-due balance. The property manager was contacted and the bill was paid to the best of her knowledge. Thursday, the person was out of town and the power was shut off. She attempted to contact town manager Nathan Adams and Chairman Tom Brown but was not able to get through.
White stated there is a policy in place to prevent such occurrences, in case a tenant is on oxygen or has a pet present. Adams explained 48-hour notices posted on doors are a courtesy and not required.
Brown said the reason he didn’t answer the call was because he didn’t recognize the number.
White remained upset and stated these types of issues need to be addressed and policies need to be tightened up.
Next, Linda Rollins addressed the board regarding the status of the Greenfield trust email sent to Pioche Public Utilities (PPU) July 15 pertaining to how PPU plans to proceed with the Caselton Project. Rollins stated she made phone calls to PPU regarding this matter and was informed the office manager would give the message to Adams.
Adams explained he was unable to answer any of the questions referred to in the email as he is not familiar with the terms. Therefore, he has requested that Sunrise expedite the matter. As soon as Sunrise gives PPU the green light to start the project and all concerns have been addressed, he will move forward with the project and will keep Caselton residents updated.
Bevan Lister then addressed the board regarding water bids. He stated he was surprised when he read in the local paper that the board had received bids, as he was under the impression the board was going to create an agreement before bids were accepted. He clarified he is still interested in leasing water from the town.
Office Manager Kelbee Cheeney presented a tentative financial report, stating the county is unable to produce financials for her to compare totals to confirm the numbers are correct.
Board member Phyllis Robistow explained how the reporter/auditor system establishes a cash accrual system. She stated she does not believe any accurate figures should be expected until sometime in October.
Cheeney and board member John Christian discussed the pros and cons of PPU keeping its own set of books separate from the county records. Christian asked that QuickBooks reporting be put on the agenda next board meeting to discuss how to proceed with correct balances separate from the courthouse. Lister recommended PPU keep a record of its own accounting system while the county gets financial reporting issues resolved.
Lister and the board recommended closing out previous accounts and starting a new set of records as of July 1, 2019. Cheeney pointed out PPU does custom billing and those accounts are revolving. Further options were discussed and then the matter was tabled for discussion at another meeting.
Brown expressed frustration about the review of PPU’s Electrical Distribution System Capitol Facilities and Work Plan being continuously tabled. He noted he has been unable to get a response from Dan MacArthur.
Christian said he understood the frustration but would like to inform town residents about the recommendation, the rate increase and how this plan will be implemented. He said he did not feel comfortable moving forward without the numbers from MacArthur.
Brown said he would call a special meeting to update the townspeople and then make recommendations to the commissioners. Lister asked about the Lincoln County Power District monthly maintenance agreement.
Then Christian and Carol White discussed her concerns with the water reporting. Adams explained he calculated the figures regarding the average amount the parks water usage. Christian asked Adams to bring those figures back to the board.
Cheeney stated board member Glenn Zelch researched different possibilities about leasing 300 acre feet of water annually, but since he wasn’t present at the meeting, the matter was tabled.
Adams explained PPU qualifies for a CDBG grant. He would like to submit a project for funding curb and gutter on Airport Road. Thirty-four feet of curb and gutter are not present down the street. The project has already been engineered by Sunrise with the flood control survey completed. He explained he discussed the project with county Grants Administrator Elaine Zimmerman and she felt this would be a good project to request grant funds for. It is beneficial economically to the county and community. Robistow’s motion for the Airport Road flood control project to be submitted for a CDBG grant was passed.
Next, Christian made a motion to adopt the corrected Operations and Maintenance, Emergency Response, and Cross Control Manual. The motion carried.
Adams explained the Cross-Connection Flow Manual and the different commercial properties that the backflow regulations affect, as well as how they are maintained and tested. The plan is backed by government and manufacturer regulations. After discussion, the board and staff agreed commissioners will also receive a copy of the manual.
Secretary Tara Washburn stated every water company is required to have a conservation plan on file. The board and staff discussed corrections and wording that need to be addressed within the plan. The item was put back on the agenda for next meeting.
Adams gave a brief report, stating he will continue to follow up with the engineer regarding the Caselton Water Project. The pool is now closed. The Buck Avenue project no longer has a summer crew due to school starting. Adams and Christian will be working on a Labor Day garbage cleanup.
Robistow stated she attended the commissioners meeting concerning all matters involving the Storm Area 51 event and how the county is preparing for the event. She said it might be in the best interest of Pioche to get involved, as visitors will also be coming from the north to attend.