By Collin Anderson
On Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, the Pioche town board was able to meet to discuss the issues facing its hillside community. Once the entire board was in attendance, the meeting started with public comment, of which there was only one.
A member of the public said that she was outraged by the way she and her daughter had been treated, since her daughter, who works with the board, was told to have her mother sit away from where she had positioned herself in the last meeting. This demand came from an unnamed board member, and according to the aforementioned member of the public, it was offensive to her and her daughter.
The board responded that there would be no real response given, due to the fact that there could be no action taken in this meeting when it came to matters of public comment, but they appreciated the comment nonetheless. Next, due to a request from the chairman of the board, the group decided to tackle the financial reports. It was reported that there were some minor changes to the financial reports to better reflect where the money was going, whereas before it would be a little less detailed. This was an issue that the board was happy had been corrected, but another small issue came up during the discussion.
Due to the fact that there were two people reporting the town’s various funds, there was a significant difference between the two reports. The variances were explained, though, since one report accounted for payments before they were added to the funds and one did not. The two numbers would never sufficiently balance out, so the board asked if both numbers could be added to the financial report to better reflect how much money there was in its funds.
After this, the board was given a small presentation to explain the problems facing the electrical system of the town. It was explained that there were some very serious fluctuations in the voltages around town, most of which were happening at peak times. This voltage issue was accompanied by the fact that a large number of electrical poles were failing the power district’s tests, which meant that the wood that they were made out of is in bad shape. While the town has over eight hundred poles, over ninety of them were either completely failing (meaning that they were a safety hazard) or were in a cautionary state (meaning that they needed to be fixed or replaced soon).
The board was told that there was no way to repair existing poles, and that there was only enough money in the budget to replace three poles a year. Finally, the last electrical problem was brought up: the recloser at the top of Main Street. This recloser (which acts like a giant fuse for that entire section of the town) was in disrepair and has been for some time.
Once these issues were explained, their solutions were proposed: for the recloser, they needed to purchase a new one, which could cost them $25,000 to $30,000. For the voltage issue, it was proposed that an engineer be hired to help figure out a suitable solution to the voltage fluctuations, which the board agreed to once the city manager determined what qualifications were needed for such a position.
Lastly, regarding the poles, the town requires more money to replace the poles in a timelier fashion.