Pat Whitley had called for less attorney time yet Legal Counsel Steve Gross attended the August 18th meeting at a cost of $200/hour.
Councilman Ernie Teague had concern with the 3-hour meetings and some items discussed “at length” and suggested cutting back with a time limit. The meeting started at 6 p.m. and was continuing with five items left at 9:30 p.m. The Council cut the agenda short and adjourned at 10 p.m.
For public comment, Ray Belli had a good idea of retrofitting the pool building for bicycle camps or Bike Academy. He called it a “piece of the puzzle” with the museum and Boca line.
Concerning the City’s website, Finance Director Kim Lombardi told of needed software updates by Barbara Jaquez for $250. Mayor Pat Whitley called it “hard pressed to find money after the settlement.” She wanted Finance to look for it. City Clerk Tracy Smith called the site “embarrassing” it was so outdated. Pat didn’t want a deficit and members emphasized it was just $250. Ernie moved and Brooks Mitchell seconded to take the funds out of the general fund. Pat said they’d scrape the money. Kim was asked account totals and she stated checking and savings total was given $485,556.17 after the $41,000 payment.
The Council approved $74,297.94 in bills.
On water use, Councilman John Cussins said usage is quite high; 700,000 to 800,000 gallons a day which is usually 300,000 gallons per day, almost 2.5 times per capita.Stephen J. Rocklidge, PhD., PE-State Water Resources Control Board, Drinking Water Division serving Sierra and Plumas Counties was back and stated Loyalton was being judged by 2013 meters. He had been before the Board previously and asked for a 25% reduction. Data is collected for a water loss which can be used for repair using revolving grant applications. He said to go to two (2) days’ watering and the current ordinance has provisions for odd and even days through August. The CITY COUNCIL Continued....
Council was to meet in special session August 25th to adopt a resolution for two days’ watering as long as the Governor’s resolution is in effect.
On the park well repair, John told of a lost main electrical control switch with wrong fuses and new ones coming from Illinois.
The Finance Committee was also to meet August 25th over a proposal the mayor wanted in taking $8,000 rather than $6,000 a week as a reserve amount for the enterprise fund as reserve for fixing the wells. John wanted it kept the same.
Under Auditorium fees at the new City Center, the mayor said it had been decided $65 with kitchen, $30 without, yet Ernie wanted it clarified for non profits. Pat talked of expenses and being fair. Ernie asked about charging Loyalton High School. Kim and from the audience, Jackie Mitchell, told how the schools give back. Steve mentioned gift of public funds and told two conditions, public benefit or to get compensation or consideration and this situation sounded like a benefit to the public. Ernie said last year the City earned $1,430 on social hall rental fees.
From the audience, Annie Fassbender told how she and husband, Craig, had remodeled the kitchen and asked for one dance. Pat interrupted her, “Not true,” stating she hadn’t said one time. Brooks said go one time, “We said yes.” Tracy verified it, “to try out the floor.” Jackie stated before the Council, Annie “doesn’t get things right. She gets confused.”
Annie walked out of the meeting.
From the audience, Marilyn Whittaker questioned cooking at the multipurpose room in the former middle school and Jackie said there was no venting. A certified building inspector is coming next week. Pat said it is not a commercial kitchen and Kim suggested pulling the stove so no one will use it. Steve told of the needs to serve the public with a license by environmental health but they could keep the stove for staff but don’t charge for it and limit its use.
Discussion on the repair of the Senior Center had John question a 5-day bid and Senior Board member Don Yegge say they’d tried three bids. Pat told of only one proposal and John questioned scope of work. Brooks asked Steve over the City’s existing emergency of the thrift shop. Steve said if the City had spent more than $5,000 but could declare an emergency procedure, make a finding and declare emergency, go to competitive bid. With one bid, he suggested they suspend it and pay prevailing wages and use contract regulations with the State. He said it’s not within their ability not to comply. John brought up advertising, stating, “City has an obligation to do it the right way.” Steve talked on competitive bidding. John said after five days’ bid, everything would be “up and running.” Council would meet Monday in special session to accept a bid.
Ernie held discussion on administrative policies, specifically on requirements for mayor. The Council approved giving any member the chance to be mayor and not waiting the current two years. Brooks voted no. In other policies, Steve stated the City should have a point person for communication. John wanted it so everybody can talk to State agencies. Steve suggested power to contact outside agencies but not to make financial decisions. John said it was a “benefit to the City” for him to talk to Steve. Pat didn’t want to duplicate calls. The council unanimously passed committee chairs taking the lead and adding chair powers.
On Loyalton Mobile Home Park, Steve explained the City provides utility service through a master meter. To terminate, give notice to every unit and ability to establish service as a customer if it’s legal to provide service with policies in place. Pat said the City doesn’t own meters, shut off or hydrants. Brooks said it owns the water. Mark told how the water bill gets bigger and bigger. John asked about talking to HUD. Steve stated the “manager” has no legal holding. The ordinance says no service if not paid and he said to go by the guidelines. He called it “one customer.” Mark made a motion to shut the water off and Pat questioned health issues. Steve said to either turn water off entirely and some will be harmed or continue to take a loss. “Accept as much as you can take,” he advised. John will call HUD.