The Caliente City Council met Jan. 23.

Comments about the location of the taco truck as a safety and liability issue were brought up.

Mary Love, a business owner, said she thinks there should be a designated location for mobile vendors

“I think it’s a little unfair to have them there at the rate you are charging them,” she added.

Jack Horner with VFW Post 7114 requested to have their garbage bill reduced from $60 to $30. He said, “A problem right now with our dumpster is it is always full; it’s filled with trash, tree limbs, grass clippings. All the neighbors fill our dumpster. If nobody touched our dumpster at all, it would take two months for us to fill it.”

Councilman Tommy Rowe made a motion for the bill reduction and the motion passed. Horner also told the council the VFW sponsors teachers in the state of Nevada for Teacher of the Year awards.

“We sponsored three this year and I’m proud to say we’ve got two that made teachers of the year,” he said.

Horner said there will be a luncheon sometime in February to honor the teachers and he invited the council members to attend.

The council decided to follow the hiring committee’s recommendation to hire Charli Batt, who lives in Panaca, as the City of Caliente’s utility clerk. There was a discussion about the city ordinance stating that employees must reside in the City of Caliente. Councilman Jamin Hunter told the council, “In my opinion, it does make a difference, having someone who resides in the city. It’s in the city ordinance. I see a difference in the way people manage and work in the city.” Councilman Sean FitzSimons said, “I see both sides and trust the hiring committee. Two out of the four people who interviewed have to work with this person.”

Another person in attendance commented that people hired from outside contribute nothing to keeping the city running. “They take their paycheck and it goes out of town. It’s not fair to residents of the city.”

Sheryl Johnson asked if the application package states people have to be residents of Caliente. City Clerk Amanda Anderson said the utility clerk job description does state people have to live in Caliente. Councilman Hunter said, “I don’t think it would be right to go against the hiring committee’s opinion.”

Councilman Rowe made a motion to go along with the hiring committee and hire Batt as city utility clerk. A second was made and the motion passed.

The first reading and appointment of a committee took place to revise Bill No. 2015-01 Ordinance #179 in order to change the numbers of members on the planning commission from seven to five. It has been difficult to have a quorum for months. Currently, only five of the seven members are serving and there need to be four at the meeting to have a quorum. Decreasing the committee to five will allow for a quorum with a minimum of two members present. It was decided to have the planning commission look at the revised ordinance before it comes back to the council.

Regarding whether to approve or deny a location and daily rate for mobile food vendors, councilman Hunter said, “We need to have a discussion whether that’s a good location or not for any mobile vendor at the clock tower.”

Councilman Rowe said, “I agree the fees we are charging them are way under what we should be charging them. But I don’t agree with changing the location. We need to make stipulations they pull into the street the right direction and leave in the right direction.”

Public Works Manager Grant Perkins said he has thought about a few things that need to be addressed. “If we are going to raise the rate fee, maybe we need to charge a trash fee. They are dumping a few days a week in our dumpsters or maybe other business’ dumpsters. Also, fire; they cook with a lot of grease. Fire department fee, which would be $5.00.”

Mayor Steve Rowe said, “We are going to have to table this and put together a committee and decide on fees, get some business people on it, discuss this, and do this as soon as we can and come back by the next meeting.”

The council approved Sunrise Engineering applying for the Advance Assistance grant under the FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) grant program. Ken Dixon told the council this is an application through Sunrise for a $200,000 planning grant for the next phase of the Flood Risk Assessment Plan. One stipulation is the city has to match $20,000 of that grant.

“That’s a decision you have to make on this item,” Dixon said. “We have the opportunity and are eligible for a CDBG inter-development block grant to make an application for them to reimburse that $20,000. All the council has to do is give Sunrise authorization to process with the grant and we can make an application to reimburse the city the $20,000.”

Councilman Rowe moved to approve. Councilman Hunter made a second. The motion passed.

Regarding the possible action to review/revise connection/service fees within the City of Caliente, Councilman Hunter made a motion “to approve a $1,000 per utility [sewer, water, electric] plus parts and labor fee for all new construction. And the price of upgrading existing connections is the cost of parts and labor.” The cost prior to this was $2,500 per utility.

In the final public comment, it was announced that January and February are free radon testing months. A kit can be picked up at the Extension Office. The kit comes with a stamped envelope. Results come back in a few weeks. If no response is received by then, let the Extension Office know and they will check on it.

The next meeting will be Feb. 6 at 6 p.m.