Dear Editor,

I am writing regarding the “survey” that will be in your Pioche Public Utilities bill for this month. The Pioche Town Board is trying to get the Pioche community’s input so they can make a recommendation to the Lincoln County Commissioners, who would make a final decision as to what needs to be done to improve the utilities in Pioche. These are the options:

1) Keep the Pioche Public Utilities as they are now, and make improvements on our own.

2) Give the power system to the Lincoln County Power District and keep the sewer/water system in Pioche Public Utilities.

3) Transfer the electric to Lincoln County Power Dist. and the sewer/water system to the Lincoln County Water District.

I have attended all of the public meetings that have been held by the Pioche Town Board on this matter, and I strongly believe that we should leave both of the Pioche Public Utilities in the possession of the Town of Pioche. The power system does need repairs, but the Town Board will be able to structure and pay for those repairs over a 10-15 year period. The water and sewer systems in Pioche are in good repair. Why would we give away a valuable Pioche asset to the Lincoln County Water District? Ownership of water rights and water systems are worth gold in the West. Lincoln County Water Dist. has no employees, no equipment, and no experience. They have a lot of money in the bank and would like to have a place to start “their” business. The Lincoln County Commissioners, who will be making the final decision on these matters, also sit on the board of the Lincoln County Water Dist. !!! This is an absolute conflict of interest.

If Pioche was to give up its utilities we would have very little income to run the town. The only income we would have is from the tiny taxes that are collected on your property taxes. We would not have enough money to take care of a) the parks and all the public grass in town b) the cemeteries c) the streetlights d) maintain the town buildings and e) keep the pool open. We would probably have to shut down the pool.

I know the Town Board has expended a great deal of time and energy on this survey, and I am urging you to vote to keep everything in the Town of Pioche. IF there are issues that can’t be addressed by Pioche Public Utilities, we can always look at the above options in the future. If we lose control of our own utilities, we would be giving away our amazing and beautiful Town of Pioche.

Candice Mortenson