WATER AND SEWER RATES FOR VIRGINIA CITY AND GOLD HILL RESIDENTS ARE SET TO INCREASE BETWEEN ONE AND TWO AND A HALF PERCENT FOR WATER AND UP TO THREE PERCENT FOR SEWER FOR 2021-2024
IT IS FLU SEASON AND EACH OF OUR COMMUNITIES HAS A FLU SHOT CLINIC SCHEDULED IN OCTOBER
COMPTROLLER HUGH GALLAGHER WILL BE RETIRING IN APRIL 2020 INSTEAD OF OCTOBER 2019…..TOO MUCH TO DO TO LEAVE NOW
IF YOU USE DIESEL AT YOUR HOME FOR HEATING OR GENERATOR USE PLEASE CONTACT MIKE NORTHAN AND TELL HIM THE SIZE OF YOUR TANK AND USAGE….IN ORDER TO GET A COUNTY WIDE DISCOUNT FOR RESIDENTS HE NEEDS TO KNOW THE SIZE OF THE USER MARKET HERE …CALL HIM!
Staff updates were short just like this meeting and covered in Austin’s summary. Here are a few just for emphasis:
Eric Shoen, Executive Director of the Community Chest, talked about a feature/service that the CC is offering. “Telehealth” is a remote service which connects you to a doctor via the internet and CC has this on Monday afternoons 1-4. You go in and someone will connect you thru the facilities connection for diagnosis with an MD. This is in addition to the 9-4pm Wednesday clinic run by Leslie where she will see you in person. Eric mentioned that they will have to get a better and faster internet connection to make this work better but that farther down the line it will become a phone app and you can call in yourself from home.
Just to highlight though…FLU Season is here…..the schedule for the community clinics is as follows:
- Lockwood Senior Center October 2nd, 9-11
- VC Senior Center October 3rd, 9-11
- Mark Twain Community Center October 16th, 9:30-11
- VC Highlands Fire Station October 16th, 4:30-6:30
Mike Northan, Projects Manager, said that the county’s diesel provider is open to negotiating a rate for residents in addition to the County but needs to know what the volume will be. If it is too low it may not be worth their while. The propane contract was easy to do in that respect since there are hundreds of “ known” tanks but the same is not true for diesel tanks. SO…..people will need to call Mike Northan at 775- 335-6991 and tell him if they have a tank, how big and approximately how much diesel they use per year.
Austin indicated that the discussions are proceeding with the Lousetown and Cartwright road easement. The County owns Lousetown and they have to determine where the centerline is to lock in the actual property and they are still looking at the legalities of assuming the easement from the Highlands HOA’s so that they can take full responsibility for the maintenance.
Farr West gave their report on their study of rates and assessments for VC and Gold Hill customers. They determined that in order to cover the expenses of both the VC and Gold Hill sewer plants and water service that it will require between 1 – 2 1/2 percent increase in water rates from 2021 to 2024. The sewer rates will increase by as much as three percent for the same time period. In 2025 the rates will go back to the regional CPI index….but it was mentioned that the rates are already above that index so a decrease may not happen. Farr West also said that they looked at the VC, Storey County rates in comparison to surrounding areas and that we are not the highest. Rates are compared to the percent of the median household income number for the area. Our rates are at 1-1 ½ percent of that median …as compared to surrounding areas which are at 1 ½ – 2 percent of median.
Cherie Nevin, Community Services Manager, noted that the County has spent around $20 million dollars in water infrastructure in VC and Gold Hill. That only the beneficiaries of that infrastructure can pay for it …it can’t come out of the general fund. There is a small base of people to spread that cost to. Additionally, the issues in our unique area always pose a problem with these types of projects due to our topography, the great age of the existing infrastructure, archaeological considerations, and unique requirements from SHIPO, EPA, and the BLM ….all in all, $20 million dollars, much of which is from grants, isn’t a bad number for all of the improvements.
The TRI GID easement item was approved. TRI GID needs an easement thru Louise Peri Park in Lockwood for the effluent pipeline to get to the GID. The county was deeded the park in 1981 by the federal government which has as a condition of that it remains a recreational area. The lawyers are trying to figure out if the easement violates that condition and then how to get around it.
Lastly, Comptroller Hugh Gallaghers October retirement has been pushed out until April 2020. After reviewing all of the work to be done to finalize the huge finance system transition that is currently underway it was decided that Hugh should stay to ensure that all goes well. The agenda item was to make a few changes to the terms of his PERS buyout. The amount remains at $73k but the terms of the buyout have changed. This was approved unanimously.
During the conversation, Austin noted that there was a pool of candidates that he was reviewing to replace Hugh as Comptroller.