Under Public Comment, Brooks Mitchell verified the $236,000 to be spent on Church Street. Craig Fassbender questioned the archery club taking over the pool building and was told by Councilman Mark Marin they were getting a contract for a floor that won’t be permanent and can be removed and used for something else. The archery club pays for it all. Phyllis DeMartini told of the dishwasher leaking at the Senior Center. It was explained the dish sanitizer is being worked on. Ray Belli wanted to know if they could replace VanDaam speedier than the last vacancy. Mayor Nancy Rogers said they’ll fly the position 30 days and hope for a decision in 60 days. They will check to see if they can use the same candidate list as last time. Council member Joy Markum stated, “We’re looking for good people.”
Fire Department Report
Chief Shawn Heywood told of a crew coming home from southern California after a 14-day assignment which was a good training opportunity. He said the fires are a benefit for volunteers and create a reserve account and next spring will allow the department to buy a “new to us” water tender. He told of quality trainings taking place. He didn’t know much about the annexation with Sierra County Fire Protection District #1. Markum stated there is paperwork and a letter of intent to LAFCO to start the annexation process and bring back to a meeting January 9th at 6 p.m. at the Sierraville Firehouse. Loyalton is not included; will be isolated but the department will always be Loyalton Fire Department.
There’s a new Barn Quilt on the City Center and Annie Fassbender questioned the locations of the Barn Quilts, which had been created from a contest and are now being placed by Brooks Mitchell.
Marin called this a “sore subject” and gave a history of taking the nearly $5,000 a month out of contingencies, explaining it as “little by little dwindling funds” and how this council didn’t create this problem. Bookkeeper Tracy Smith said the 2017 total paid is $59,789.88, mostly funded by savings. She found it “sad the City general fund is at $16,000.”
There was discussion over meetings and agreements and attorney fees. Legal fees from July 1 – December 13, 2017 totaled $104,242.80. Marin continued to question where to get the money for another month.
Experience helps and former Council member Brooks Mitchell spoke from the audience, pointed out the $6,000/week paid the Enterprise Loan Account, suggesting they put $1,250 a week into the retirement account which would make the loan account short but any difference in the CalPERS payment of $4982.49 could be made up out of the general fund.
Brooks further pointed out a Wastewater Construction Fund balance of $6,762 which had been set aside ten years not used and could pay the current charge.
Markum moved and it was approved to continue discussion and come up with an agreement and meet December 28th at 1 p.m.
A second motion approved was to pay the $4982.49 monthly retirement payments out of the Wastewater Construction Fund.
Marin read proof of a letter he suggested the City send to Sierra County Board of Supervisors on returning service agreements for building inspection, planning, flood plain administration and other tasks to save money.
Brooks Mitchell gave history, with the City taking over planning when there were 12-16 permits still open at the County and it was no cost to the city, and having John Benoit as planner. He said contractors were happy the way it is.
Rebekah Perez of Sierra Brooks told of the Grand Jury report findings of a County backlog back to 1986 and with the City doing permits, “such a service for Loyalton.”
Sharon Dryden of Sierra Brooks spoke as a contractor and a concern with the City having no staff and not knowing the building processes.
Markum’s concern was with snow plowing. After the first $5,000 the State pays 60% of the cost. Mitchell said the County will not plow for free and suggested they hire expert plowers and the city employee needs trained.
It was agreed to rewrite and discuss the letter to be sent to the County.