By Collin Anderson
This past Monday, the town board of Panaca met once again to discuss various projects and plans they had in mind for this coming month. After the usual business and no public comment, the board was able to vote on a chairperson to represent the board. They ended up choosing Andy Free, a long-time resident and active member of the community.
After this, the board handled the business of bills.
Next up was the constant subject of what to do with the post office. Unlike past weeks, though, there was some new information gathered. According to reports from the county commissioners, the county could only pitch in $30,000 to help with building or remodeling of the town hall. While the possibility of getting a loan is still there, the board noted that until the postal service approves the plan, there’s no going forward. Since there is little else the board can do at the moment, they opted to look at land and see if there were any spots that could serve as a good location for a future post office, though building a whole new office has its own issues.
One of those issues is that some of the property being considered may be used to build a road from the highway to the fire station, but until such construction is finalized, the board was still considering the land as available. In the end, the subject was tabled until more information could be gathered.
The board then discussed a recent accident where a pole in town was heavily damaged, and the town was left a substantial bill that they reluctantly paid. It was revealed, however, that such bills were not supposed to be paid by the town board, even though the bill was actually for the shut-off of power along the street where the pole was located, and not for the repair of the pole itself. The board is also aware that they may be compensated by the county, though they haven’t heard when.
After a report from town maintenance that detailed a few projects that they’re working on (including the gopher problems around town and in the outlying areas, as well as the addition of some bathrooms to the cemetery), the board opened up the meeting to public comment. Two comments were then heard, the first of which was a simple request to move some logs away from the cemetery, and possibly have it processed into firewood.
The second concerned the tax rate in town. According to the board secretary, the town’s tax rate was the lowest in the county. The tax rate was increased recently, adding up to a total increase of $5 per household per year.
This discussion came up because the county clerk notified the board secretary that the town could change their tax rate now, but only if they did so within the week. While the idea of increasing the tax rate was an interesting thought to the board, they decided that they were given too little notice and that they would rather give themselves and the community more time to consider the change. As a result, the subject was tabled for a future discussion, possibly in December.
The board was then adjourned, with the next meeting scheduled for March 12.