Council member Nancy Rogers announced the firm to empty the toxic water in the swimming pool would be here Thursday, mobilize on Friday, start work on Monday and finish on Friday. There were questions on whether to keep something in the pool to keep it weighted and Kathy was asked to pull the work order. Cost of the vandalism at the park was said to be several hundred thousand dollars - $250,000 to abate the hazmat in the pool, not counting damage to plywood doors and glass.
There was an inconsistency and it will be reviewed by the State and be amended to include a mobile home issue.
Assistant Chief Robert DeMartini warned the audience to be careful; fire season is upon us. The department has had 112 calls, mostly medical.
Council member Joy Markum said the budget was quickly depleted with costs of broken water pipes and recommended they put a freeze on all but emergency spending and specific to every department. “People are going and buying and putting on their accounts and charging us,” she stated which brought heavy discussion. Mayor Sarah Jackson stated to enforce purchase orders and Joy stated she’d tell the local hardware not to allow charges. It was passed by concensus.
Review of past due accounts
Letters have been sent to 15 accounts still under State-wide emergency order where the city can’t discontinue service. Six accounts were said to be on payment plans and they are all in owners’ name, not renters.
Nancy Rogers addressed leaks which keep “popping up.” Maintenance workers are learning cold patch and backhoe on digging. The cost on Church and Beckwith was $7,000 and on Main Street, more expensive. The City has to hire operators as its maintenance don’t use the backhoe. Farr West is exploring a grant along with the Merttons. The mayor told of taking steps to get better skills.
County Supervisor Terry LeBlanc interrupted the meeting to report yet another water leak in front of his house.
Robert DeMartini reported the fire department was just then sending an engine to Chico.
Wildland fire response
One maintenance worker is a wildland firefighter and discussion was over his out of area fire response without approval. Robert explained it’s a commitment of 14 days and could be 21 days. The mayor explained she has to coordinate his job is covered as 750 residents depend on him for water & sewer. From the audience, Doug Lawler compared it to the military and Jackie Mertton suggested a letter in the employee’s file. Joy suggested getting permission from the mayor with a signed form. The mayor explained when he’s gone, they’ve “got nobody.” They need licensed personnel. It was approved the employee must get approval from the mayor for out of area fire response with Joy worrying about pipes breaking.
Out of service agreement
The mayor told of meeting with attorney Gross on an out of area service agreement and he stated they don’t need it as the water was never turned off and it still has service. She told of “moving forward” with a letter to LAFCO and a commitment to serve the former mobile home park property. Property owner Doug Lawler told of funding the agreement for LAFCO approval and asked the Council to reconsider as “it doesn’t bind you.” The mayor told of County grants for capacity studies around Loyalton for utility services which would commit grant funds for that kind of service.
Sewer rate increase
The Council approved a $2.68 sewer increase from $67.00 to $69.68 then 4% yearly increase on a 5-year plan. There will be a 218 protest letter sent in mid-October which must be approved by 51% of registered voters, followed by two public hearings. Council members seemed to approve the increase in increments and Mayor Jackson stated it was “less painful.”
Delinquent utilities for Loyalton Mobile Home Park
The Council approved writing off two old accounts as part of the audit, totaling $320,511.57. Mayor Jackson told of being in the early stages of each unit having its own meter and dedicated easements to enter properties to turn off utilities.