The Nye County Water District Board is officially back in business, holding two meetings in May to allow newly appointed board members to get their feet wet and discuss some key items needed.
With no staff to help run the district and an impending budget deadline, discussion of both a lead and the final budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year was the board’s top priority at its last meeting, held on Wednesday, May 18 in Pahrump.
While the announcement soliciting letters of interest from people interested in taking on the role of water district general manager is still active, the district had already received three such letters at the May 18 meeting. For Michael Lach, member of the Water Board, this represented an opportunity to consider selecting one of these candidates immediately, at least on a provisional basis.
Board chair Helene Williams agreed wholeheartedly, saying: ‘The office is closed, no one answered phone calls, no one answered emails. The website, access to some things is starting to close… I’m very frustrated as a board member… We have to do something please.
Member Bruce Holden, however, said he felt it would be premature to make a contract with anyone just yet, noting that the district had been essentially inoperative for almost a year. As such, in his mind, a few more weeks would not have much impact and he would rather wait until the application process is officially closed.
But Lach was not to be deterred, offering the council contract with someone on a 90-day interim basis, after which the council could review the contract and choose a new candidate or extend the contract with the one chosen this morning. . Member Ed Goedhart said he didn’t feel very strong anyway, but he thought giving the contractor some sort of test drive would be a good idea.
The three nominees included: Pahrump resident Brett Fish, whose background is in real estate; Mount Charleston resident Jimmy Alderson, current director of a small public water system at Camp Lady of the Snows in Lee Canyon; and Dann Weeks, longtime local journalist and former editor of the Pahrump Mirror newspaper.
Only Weeks was present at the meeting that morning and the board asked him to come forward to speak. Weeks clarified that he is a lifelong resident of Nye County and grew up in the valley. Throughout his career as a journalist, water issues have always been at the center of his concerns. His knowledge of the subject is deep, he explained, and he also has many administrative, communication and technological skills.
Asked by Lach, “It seems that the fun of this board is having a manager who will meet the needs of the board, not a manager who tells the board what to do. Would that be a problem for you? Weeks responded with a firm “no”.
In the end, the board voted 4-0 to contract with Weeks for a temporary 90-day term.
During the same meeting, the board also held a public hearing on its final budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
The Nye County Water District operates primarily with a $5 per parcel fee assessed on each property in Nye County, which earns the district about $300,000 annually. Added to the projected closing fund balance for the current fiscal year, the district should have $906,913 in cash in its general fund.
The final budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, prepared by the Nye County Department of Finance, projected expenditures of up to $563,338 over the next 12 months, most of which is classified as money for services and facilities. stationery. The water district has six existing contracts, which total $131,300, for items such as legal services, professional engineering reports, financial audits, and technical support.
The next Nye County Water District Board meeting is scheduled for 10am on Tuesday 21st June. The agenda will be posted at least three days before the meeting and can be viewed at www.nyecountywaterdistrict.net
Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at [email protected]