Agendas & Minutes


April 24, 2004

SPECIAL TOWN BOARD MEETING
BOB RUUD COMMUNITY CENTER
150 NORTH HIGHWAY 160
SATURDAY – 9:00 A.M.
APRIL 24, 2004

 


Agenda

Note:  There may be a quorum of Nye County Commissioners and/or Pahrump Advisory Board members present at this meeting.



1.    Call to order.
A.    Pledge of allegiance
B.    Welcome

2.    Public Comment (Action may not be taken on matters considered during this period until specifically included on an agenda as an action item (NRS 241.020(2)(C)(3).

3.    Discussion only regarding questions to the Town Board regarding ambulance and fire department issues.  The Board will accept questions from the public to be collected and answered at a later time.  Please present your questions in the form of a question.

4.    Adjournment.



POSTED IN THE PAHRUMP TOWN OFFICE, COMMUNITY CENTER, COUNTY COMPLEX AND FLOYD’S ACE HARDWARE

SPECIAL NOTE: Any member of the public who is disabled and requires accommodations or assistance at this meeting is requested to notify the Pahrump Town Office in writing, or call 775-727-5107 prior to the meeting.  Assisted listening devices are available at Town Board meetings upon request

 


Minutes

PRESENT:                        ABSENT:
Paula Glidden                        Jeanna Howard
Richard Billman
Charlotte LeVar

CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Paula Glidden called the meeting to order and led in the pledge of allegiance.  Ms Glidden welcomed all in attendance and thanked them for taking the time from their busy schedules to attend this meeting.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Lorrin Peterson commented that he has been to budget meetings for approximately six years at which he provides a standard speech.  Mr. Peterson stated that to be “if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”  Mr. Peterson said he feels the budget should have included a set of goals for the budget year.  Lorrin Peterson said he sees a sign of that appearing in the budget but does not see it as a hard planned rule.  

DISCUSSION ONLY REGARDING QUESTIONS TO THE TOWN BOARD REGARDING AMBULANCE AND FIRE DEPARTMENT ISSUES.  The Board will accept questions from the public to be collected and answered at a later time.  Please present your questions in the form of a question.

Paula Glidden explained that for those people not familiar with the rules, that there is a three minute rule.  Ms. Glidden stated that this is an information gathering workshop and no issues will be solved and no decisions will be made at this meeting.  Ms. Glidden explained that this meeting is for the purpose of getting questions from the public and the answers will be addressed in another meeting once the Town Board has been able to hear all the questions.  

Walt Kuver stated that he would be handing in two pages of questions regarding the ambulance.  Mr. Kuver said he feels the biggest issue to consider privatization.  The questions pertain to things that the community needs to answer.  

Is the community satisfied with the current level of service?  What would the service be like under privatization?  Would it be exactly the same?  Would they respond on every fire call etc?  Would there have to be a financial subsidy to a private company for them to operate?  

Special Town Board Meeting
April 24, 2004

Mr. Kuver said he would submit these questions regarding the ambulance side but does not have questions prepared for the fire side at this time.  

Lorrin Peterson asked if the Board would consider giving the fire and rescue service back to the County.  Mr. Peterson recalled the history of the ambulance service since the Town began to handle it.  Lorrin Peterson stated that the County gave us an orphaned baby and they ought to take it back.  The Town does not have the taxing ability or the ability to raise our own money Mr. Peterson said.  Lorrin Peterson commented that there is a movement to succeed part of the Town from the Town and go back to the County.  Mr. Peterson said he does not feel that is a bad idea as there is an urban group and a suburban group here.  

Charlie Gronda commented that he feels it would not be an advantage to the Town to privatize the ambulance service because the Town will still have the fire department and will still have to support the private ambulance service.  Privatization needs to be really looked into before doing it.  Mr. Gronda noted that when the County handled the ambulance service, they did not have paramedics and there were no people in the station at night which increased response time.  If the County is to run a service that is paramedic in Pahrump, the rest of the County will expect to have it as well which is unaffordable.  Charlie Gronda said if part of the Town separates into a city in the future, it will create a totally new problem with the budget.  Mr. Gronda suggested that the Town needs to increase the income for the fire department and the only way to do this is to go to the people and ask for an increase in taxes and see what the people want to do.  If they want it they will vote for it.  This would have to be done this year or else there will be another three year lapse to receive the tax money.  Mr. Gronda pointed out that when the fire service operated before; there were not the same number of calls that are being experienced today or the same population numbers.  

Laurence Baker stated his question to be why the Town Board cannot put pressure on the County to have the developers pay for expansion of the fire department and ambulance service.  Mr. Baker noted that these developments will be adding a lot of residents to those homes and the fire department cannot keep up with what they have now.  
 
Paul Glidden said the Town has walked down that road a little but will be addressing it more in the future.  

George Gingell said he recalls that one County Commissioner made a statement that maybe there would be someone in the Town to follow up on forcing the County to pay off Pahrump Medical Center (PMC) and then putting a question on the ballot of putting a certain amount of the money collected for that and put it into a fire district or health district.  Mr. Gingell said it might be a good idea to put some pressure on the County.  The people working for the fire department are overworked and probably underpaid.  George Gingell said he does not want to see the ambulance service going to privatization because if the private one cannot make money here they will just pull out and Pahrump will be in worse shape than we are right now.  

Special Town Board Meeting
April 24, 2004

Ron Partridge commented that he previously worked at the fire department burn desk and was a volunteer fire fighter in Colorado and is a nationally certified Emergency Medical Technician and stated that although he enjoys the work he cannot do it any longer.  Mr. Partridge stated that if the Town goes to privatization it will cost the Town more and a private service would pull out within six to eight months as they will not enjoy taking people to Las Vegas and back.  If privatized Mr. Partridge feels that part of the ambulance service would go to the fire department as fist responders.  If the fire department were to go back to the County it would become all volunteers again.  If you have volunteers you will not have the response time and you will not have the people as well trained.  Ron Partridge stated his question as why would you want to do this?  

Ron Smith commented that it is a noble thing to try to save the world but it is also expensive.  Although the Town emergency services are not set up to be profitable there are ways to cut costs.  Mr. Smith made his comments about reciprocal agreements with Clark County.  Ron Smith stated that reciprocal agreements should be cash.  Mr. Smith said he feels that if Clark County wants Pahrump to handle this side of the mountain they should pay for it as most of the area is in Clark County and/or federal land.  Ron Smith said there should be some grants to compensate for this service.  Mr. Smith said that some of the doctors are using the service as a taxi cab as they are not life threatening situations.  

Dale Lynn commented that he is a new resident and a former Battalion Chief with 26 years service and is interested in the fire department.  Being senior citizens, he and his wife are also interested in the ambulance.  Mr. Lynn noted his main question would be is the public going to be present at any meetings where decisions will be made.

Paula Glidden replied that this meeting is scheduled from 9:00 a.m. till 12:00 p.m. The questions will be brought back to the next workshop which will answer questions and possibly start to formulate some future direction.  Ms. Glidden stated that the Board is trying to get vision from the town.  Paula Glidden said when this meeting is over, it does not end there.  If anyone has questions Chief Lewis is available although very busy, leave a message so he can respond to your questions directly or through the Town Board, or the Town Manager.  

Charlotte LeVar suggested that questions be put in writing via the internet to be assured it will not get lost in the shuffle.  Staff gave the audience the website address.  

George Gingell asked if anybody has looked into going to the Department of Energy for funding because of the danger involved with nuclear shipments.  

Lorrin Peterson commented that it is difficult not to be critical of the ambulance and fire service because they are going a good job and doing the best they can.  Mr. Peterson explained that while recently looking at the Nevada Revised Statutes he saw some requirement that there must be a fire station within five miles of the serviced area.  Mr. Peterson said he does not think the Town meets that requirement.  Lorrin Peterson suggested coming up with a plan that is phased
Special Town Board Meeting
April 24, 2004

over time and put a budget attached to it.  That brings up the cost effectiveness side.  How much improvement in response times, how many houses could be saved?  Government is not self improving; it has to be public pressure.  

Paula Glidden said she is hearing that this is a cost item and is the willingness of the town and what it wants.  
Sally Lynn commented that if anything is going to be done with regards to the fire department, or the paramedics, it will need people that are qualified to train people coming into this line of work.  Mrs. Lynn asked if training will be a consideration.

Charlie Benzoate commented that the problems run deeper than what we have.  Mr. Benzoate stated that we have good people, personnel and good leaders, a great time and people that work very hard and are probably underpaid and under equipped.  Mr. Benzoate noted that no matter what we ask for it comes down to three things, no time, no money, and no personnel.  The bottom line is the money.  Charlie Benzoate said that the Town can go to the people and ask them to raise taxes and he is sure there are people that will agree with it.  Mr. Benzoate said what he hears is that people will ask what the Town is doing for us that we should give you more taxes.  Charlie Benzoate said the Town will have to go after all the grants available and make the move and be the leaders.  Things work in other places.  Mr. Benzoate asked why they don’t work here.  The problems run much deeper than these workshops do Charlie Benzoate added.  He added that when all this is figured out and we get two or three hospitals there will not be the same problem of running to Las Vegas.  Mr. Benzoate stated that the Town needs strong leadership.  With strong leadership, you will get strong backing.  Charlie Benzoate said he cannot believe, in a town this size, that there are not enough volunteers.  Mr. Benzoate said he was in favor of an all volunteer fire department.  

Basil Monroe said he had some questions for the Town Board.  Mr. Monroe asked if the town can get its own grants.  Mr. Monroe asked the Town Board members if they are for privatization.  Richard Billman said he does not know yet.  Paula Glidden replied that she does not know yet either.  Charlotte asked privatization of which portion.  Mr. Monroe replied the ambulance service.  Mrs. LeVar stated that if they can show her that the Town can have the same quality of service that we are receiving, or better.  Mrs. LeVar replied, absolutely.  Basil Monroe explained that there was privatization before and only lasted six to eight months.  Mr. Monroe said he is only trying to find out some facts.  Basil Monroe asked the Board again, are they in favor of privatization.  Richard Billman replied “unknown” and Charlotte LeVar said she cannot give a yes or no answer because she as not sat down with anyone that has come forward and said what they can offer such as a ten year contract.  Basil Monroe stated that the present, existing ambulance service is doing an excellent job.  Mr. Monroe asked if the Town Board wants a volunteer fire department.  With a population of over 30,000 and with a volunteer fire department, the same issue exists when waiting for services.  Basil Monroe asked if the Town can afford its own fire department.  Paula Glidden said that is what we are here to find out.  Ms. Glidden asked the people to not misunderstand the thoughts and values of the Board.  Paula Glidden said she does not lean toward privatization and that she leans toward the best fire
Special Town Board Meeting
April 24, 2004

department the Town can have.  Ms. Glidden said all the answers to the questions yet.  Mr. Billman said the Board wants to get the questions first before there can be any answers.  Basil Monroe pointed out that there have only been two people speak so far that were in favor of privatization and feels this should influence the Board.  Ms. Glidden said she agrees.  Mr. Monroe asked if the town has to go through the County for ambulance service and fire fighter service.  Basil Monroe asked if we pay through our taxes for Nye County firefighters, why the Pahrump firefighters are not paid through taxes.  Ms. Glidden stated that because we are an unincorporated township we must go through the county for many things including grants.  Paula Glidden said this will be answered when all of today’s questions are addressed at the next meeting.  Mr. Monroe had concerns regarding the knowledge of this meeting.  Staff explained how this meeting was noticed and where the notices were placed for the public to see. In conclusion, Basil Monroe stated the Town needs do something serious about having a professional fire department with men being paid at least like Clark County.  

Ron Smith said that he did not say if he was for or against privatization and stated that frankly, he did not care as long as we get what we are paying for.  Mr. Smith stated that buildings are being built without any impact fees.  There should be a big push on all the new construction for impact fees specifically for the emergency services.  Ron Smith said the services have always been as good as the Town could pay for.  Mr. Smith said the point is what can we do to get more finances available for our emergency services so we do not have to continue taking it out of taxpayer’s pockets.

Oyle Timmons commented that he has seen how the services are operated.  Mr. Timmons pointed out that free help is not much good and we cannot operate for free.  Mr. Timmons stated that if the fire department is not paid the people will not get the service.  

Dale Lynn stated that something near and dear to him is the fire department, having been there.  Mr. Lynn said there are many considerations to take into account when fighting fires such as time of day, wind, man power, etc.  Mr. Lynn asked if our Chief or any officers or any qualified fire fighters will be sitting in on the board to help decide which way the Town is going to go.  Dale Lynn commented that for a complete paid fire department, volunteers are great, they must be trained.  The Chief must be given the tools that he needs or he cannot do his job.  

Chuck Patti commented that a year ago he told the Board that they had a tiger by the tail and they would have to figure out how to let the tiger go or tame it.  Mr. Patti said you still have a tiger by the tail and what the people do not understand is that this is a complicated problem because it started in the year 2000.  The ambulance service and fire department was first acquired in 1999.  The first year of operation it was a volunteer service.  That cost the Town $83,000 for personnel.  Mr. Patti said that was not much money but they did a job and were all volunteers.  By the year 2000 there was some back door operation going on in this town that wanted to take and pay all the people in the service.  Along with that back door operation to pay all the people in the service there is also involved a combination of the ambulance service with the fire department making it all a tax paid, tax based operation.  The ambulance service began as an enterprise find Chuck
Special Town Board Meeting
April 24, 2004

Patti recalled.  An Enterprise fund, by law, is a business operated by living off the revenue.  They have lost money tremendously and this past year have lost $469,000 according to the auditor.  Previously the ambulance service was losing $20,000 a month and this past year they lost $40,000 a month.  Mr. Patti said the biggest problem that he sees regarding the ambulance service and the fire department is the fact that everyone is talking about PVFRS and lumping it into one organization.  It is really two.  Chuck Patti said he is thinks the fire department does a good job and thinks they ought to be paid.  Mr. Patti said he is not against putting more people on the fire department and is not against paying those people.  Chuck Patti said we pay our taxes for them to do that for us and is all for that part.  Mr. Patti continued, when it comes to the ambulance service, a totally different operation, it is a revenue based operation.  The ambulance service needs to live on their revenue and pointed out that if combining the two into a tax based operation is what is necessary, the answer to that is simple.  Mr. Patti suggested it be put on a ballot and see what it is the people want.  Chuck Patti stated that there will be some unintended consequences that would evolve from doing so.  Mr. Patti said if you think they are losing money now, wait until they are placed in a taxed based operation.  Chuck Patti continued that we do not pay for fire service if fire comes to our house, and we do not pay for the sheriff’s service if they come to our house.  Mr. Patti asked if people would pay for an ambulance after paying taxes to have them.  It will require a raise in taxes to keep them in business.  Chuck Patti said people are talking about a volunteer service versus a paid service.  Concerning the fire department, Mr. Patti pointed out that there is a community not too far away with a population of approximately 33,000 in the year 1999.  Chuck Patti noted that the demographics are close to the same as Pahrump.  Mr. Patti stated that the community referred to has forty firefighters.  Chuck Patti asked Chief Lewis how many the Town has.  Chief Lewis asked if he meant career and volunteer.  Chuck Patti said just fire fighters, not ambulance drivers.  Chief Lewis explained that they are cross trained and impossible to answer.  Chuck Patti stated that the community he is referring to has forty fire fighters, three paid people and all others are volunteers.  Mr. Patti said they have the lowest ISO rating in the country.  Chuck Patti stated that the difference between them and Pahrump is a mind set.  They want to save money and know what they are doing, not that we do not, but we are heading in a different direction.  Mr. Patti compared budgets.  Chuck Patti asked why are we not changing our mind set, looking at these people and learn from them.  Richard Billman asked which community he is referring to.  Chuck Patti replied that it is Fallon, Nevada.  Mr. Patti said that they handle many calls per year just as we do, although they do not do an ambulance service.  Chuck Patti stated that this information is available on the internet.

O. B. Perkins asked if the Town is aware that the ambulance people are also the fire people.  Mr. Perkins noted that there are seven people on shift, four are ambulance only.  Mr. Perkins asked if the Town expects to fight a fire with only three people. O.B. Perkins asked if the Town is aware that the ambulance people also do public assists and asked if a private company would do that.  Mr. Perkins said he agrees with the question regarding the developers pick up on some of the funding needed for this service.  O.B. Perkins stated that Pahrump needs a paid service, a paid fire department.  People cannot be expected to sit in a station all night as a volunteer as they have to make a living too.  

Special Town Board Meeting
April 24, 2004

George Gingell stated that Chuck Patti may be a good number man but may not realize that that the fire department or ambulance service cannot ask for insurance, credit card, etc.  These services must service everyone and feels the biggest problem is the collections. People feel that since these are tax based services they do not have to pay their bills.  Mr. Gingell suggested getting with the Town legal staff to force patients to pay their bills.

Paula Glidden commented that the Board knows that collections are a huge part of the problem.  It is a consideration that the Board would be improving upon.  

Jim Herndon said Pahrump would not be what it is today if it were not for our volunteers.  Mr. Herndon said he supports volunteers.  However, with regard to an all volunteer fire department, he is not in favor of that.  Regarding the privatization of the ambulance service, Mr. Herndon stated he was not for that.  Mr. Herndon relayed his experience with the billing aspects as relayed by his insurance company was not clarified and will not pay it until the billing is done right.  Mr. Herndon asked if something could be done regarding the ambulance billing process.  

Paula Glidden noted that the billing is done properly through the Abaris report although there is always room for improvement.  Ms. Glidden also stated that insurances love not to pay, as part of there operation is to keep the money for as long as possible.  Paula Glidden suggested that Mr. Herndon contact the ambulance service and the billing people and ask what exactly the problem is.  Mr. Herndon responded that his wife has already talked to them.  Ms. Glidden said this will be one of the questions to be discussed at the next workshop.  

George Gingell commented that he had the same problem regarding billing and feels that to help the billing process they should contact the different insurance companies and get the proper coding.  This seems to be where the problem is.  

Richard Billman explained that uniform codes are used throughout the billing industry.  What is needed are extremely aggressive collections.  Mr. Gingell suggested that maybe the billing company is not used in the right manner.

Paula Glidden said yes we can try to improve on collections but the insurance companies’ slow payments down for any reason.  Ms. Glidden asked if the answer hiring more staff to do collections and expand the department

Lorrin Peterson noted that this is not a rich community and asked what percentage of people are over 55 and need extended or more health care.  Mr. Peterson suggested when comparing areas it should be discussed how many poor and old people there are.  Lorrin Peterson said he was familiar with a Town that was volunteer, went to paid and back to volunteer so the Town should not be afraid to go back.  

Charlie Gronda asked if the Town went back to volunteers, are they going to be paid or not paid.  How are you going to attract the volunteers as there are laws that cover these situations?  Mr.
Special Town Board Meeting
April 24, 2004

Gronda pointed out that rules concerning volunteer and paid staff has changed dramatically over the years.  Mr. Gronda said he was familiar with Fallon, Nevada and spent a day with their Chief.  
The ISO rating 1 as referred to by Chuck Patti is only in the city which is 7,500 people and covers a 10 square mile area.  They also have three stations in the whole county and the fire department is a combination County and City fire department.  They also have strict rules with regard to attending fire call.  Charlie Gronda explained that they are not paid but get some sort of benefits.  Mr. Gronda stated that volunteers are good but there are many things in the world different than they used to be.    

Norma Jean Opatik asked if was considered, when paying the fire department, the influx of new residents coming to Pahrump and the result on the tax base.  Ms. Opatik stated that she received information last month that there were 1900 closings in one month.  Ms. Opatik stated that those moving into the community are a different and Pahrump is receiving a lot of new blood from those people that are working people.  

Lawrence Baker explained if there are 1,000 new units and each were charged a minimum amount of $1,000 per unit going in, it would generate $1,000,000.  There would be no problem with finances if there were a levy against the developers coming to the valley.  This would also solve the problem of excess water usage.  

Richard Carlgren asked who organized this meeting on one of the busiest weekends in the year.  Paula Glidden noted that there are no good dates and explained that this is the first in a series of meetings.  

Richard Carlgren stated that his question is; is the transport side of the service supporting itself?  Paula Glidden explained that today is for taking questions and the next meeting will be for answering the questions.  Mr. Carlgren asked if the fire department is supporting itself also.  Mr. Carlgren stated that this service cannot be a volunteer service as it will not survive.  

Jack Merangavich explained his background being a former Fire Chief in Long Beach, California.  Mr. Merangavich asked if the Town is willing to consider a subscription ambulance fee.  Mr. Merangavich explained a person pays $50 to $100 per year and get a number of free ambulance runs for that year whether it be to a local clinic or to a Las Vegas doctor.  The Town cannot compete with the companies that offer these types of subscriptions.  Jack Merangavich asked if the Town was ready to entertain private fire insurance.  There are several cities in the mid west and further east that provide fire insurance through the city.  It is paid for just as you would any other insurance and what they insure is private residences.  Did the Board know that there are private fire companies providing fire protection solely?  Mr. Merangavich stated that 80% of the state of Arizona is covered by a private company called Rural Metro.  Jack Merangavich said too much keeps being added to the fire department, first was Paramedic, then hazmat and even terrorism aspects along with many rescue requirements.  Mr. Merangavich asked if the Town had considered a sprinkler ordinance to better the ISO rating.  Either privatize the fire department or privatize the ambulance service but he feels they should be disconnected.  
Special Town Board Meeting
April 24, 2004

The dual role was tried to save money.  Some places it has worked and others it has not.  A paramedic service never does make its money back.  Jack Merangavich suggested that the Town get aggressive about its collections and maybe put a lien on people’s property for bills due.  Mr., Merangavich asked if the Town has ever considered fire permits or hazmat permits as a revenue source.  Jack Merangavich asked if the Town ever considered a sprinkler ordinance to help lower the ISO rating.

Charlotte LeVar commented that she has asked Chief Lewis to check with the Downey, California fire department concerning their program and agrees that it should have been the Finance Director to check into this.

Chuck Patti commented that he liked the previous comments with some exceptions.  Mr. Patti said there are lots of people that are upset about raising taxes or getting money from some place.  Mr. Patti suggested that what this Town needs is some Economic Development to get the taxes in to pay the services rather than burden the residents.  Chuck Patti expressed his feelings regarding the Town providing fire insurance and said it is just a tax by another name.  To solve the problems are one of two extremes to go to.  One would be an all volunteer service; the other is a fully paid service.  The compromise is someplace in between.  

Paula Glidden said that all the comments are leaning toward both extremes and the middle.  There are many points of view which were heard.  Ms. Glidden said we have to pay for what we get.  Paula Glidden asked what we want from the fire department and what do we want from the ambulance service.  Chief Lewis has been doing a great job looking for grants but there are many more that the County could help with.   

Richard Billman stated that for 35 years he has been involved in medical collections.  Mr. Billman noted that the biggest debtor he has dealt with has been Nye County.  Mr. Billman referred to the indigent funds.  Paula Glidden explained that the Town went to the County approximately one year ago and asked for some funds and the Town was turned down.   

Paula Glidden noted that the Board went to the County approximately one year ago and asked for some funds at which time they turned the Town down when asking for funds for fire and ambulance.  They could have been justified as Ms. Glidden stated the Town needs to go back and revamp its program also.  Paula Glidden said we cannot count on the county.  It time Pahrump grow up and take control of our own destiny in terms of these issues.  If we do have to go back to the county as our big daddy, that is fine.  That is the way it is right now.  If they are not willing to help us we have to find another way and go back to them with any sort of plan, even if they are willing to meet us half way.  

Chuck Patti commented on the state indigent fund which we pay on our taxes.  Mr. Patti said that the money is used by the state to cover the expenses of people who are traveling through the state from out of state.  Chuck Patti stated that the county indigent fund is paid to certified hospitals of which we have none in Pahrump.  This is the reason nobody has received any of that money.  
Special Town Board Meeting
April 24, 2004

Richard Billman added that the money does not go to the Las Vegas hospitals either.  Mr. Patti stated that Pahrump does not benefit from paying that money.  

Ron Smith asked if there were any of the indigent funds available to pay for the ambulance runs.  Mr. Smith suggested that the county put impact fees on the new buildings in Pahrump to help support our infrastructure and emergency needs.  Ron Smith noted that the more people that come in the valley the more services will be required.  Mr. Smith said we have to explore more such as DOE and other governmental agencies.  Mr. Smith stated the he feels impact fees should be the first and foremost to be pushed.  Ron Smith said that you cannot expand without being able to pay for it.

Paula Glidden responded that the realtors see the impact as well.  Ms. Glidden explained that it has been brought before the county and the county did not want to do anything at that time because they were beginning the zoning process.  It was recently brought to them again and it was suggested to go to the Regional Planning Commission.  The RPC has been keeping the impact fees on hold.  Ms. Glidden stated that the Town needs to be proactive on this issue.  Someone from the audience suggested placing the question on the ballot.  Paula Glidden replied that could be what we need to do.  

Bob Little commented that he came to this meeting as he heard there would be discussion regarding plans for the fire department and emergency services.  Mr. Little asked if there was any back up for what the proposal might be.  Richard Billman explained that this session is just for taking questions and concerns that people have.  Mr. Little asked if there is a built out plan as to what the fire department is going to need such as for stations and do we know how many there will be or where they will be.  Bob Little asked if there is a plan for the staffing of these stations.  Mr. Little commented that if you know where you are going to end up, you can figure out what the cost will be.  Then you can look at your tax base and see if it will ever meet those projections.  

Paula Glidden explained that this will be a series of meetings or workshops for the fire department.  Ms. Glidden said there have been plans in the past and there are future thoughts.  It appears currently that they are not workable in a lot of ways for various reasons.  The idea of these meetings is to have questions come out, put them into a format for the next meeting and answer the questions.  From that we can begin formulating that plan.  

Bob Little said he understands the reason for meeting because of being a government entity.  Mr. Little stated that impact fees are a great idea and there are approximately 20,000 homes that can still be built in the valley as he has discussed with Ms. Glidden previously.  An impact feel of $1,600 for these 20,000 would generate $32 million one time.  Where will the ongoing revenue come from for these plans?  

Charlie Benzoate commented that he sees the three problems as money, time, and power.  Mr. Benzoate said his personal opinion regarding the answer is incorporation.  
Special Town Board Meeting
April 24, 2004

Charlie Gronda said he forgot to mention a question from the Abaris meeting.  Mr. Gronda suggested that Bob Little should get a copy of the report from Abaris as that had the answers to a lot of Mr. Little’s questions.  Mr. Gronda said he was asked about his taxes previously.  Mr. Gronda noted that last year he paid $1,383 on property taxes and $86.78 of that comes to the Town.  Mr. Gronda explained that the rest is all part of other funds.  Charlie Gronda mentioned before that if that portion of the tax was doubled, it would increase his taxes to $1,470.  

Dale Lynn said he was told that since January first one realtor has sold 80 homes.  This is 80 more homes that require being looked after by our emergency services.  Mr. Lynn said something has to be done.  Dale Lynn asked if there could be a higher percentage of the taxes kept in Pahrump.  

Chuck Patti commented on the information supplied by Charlie Gronda.  Mr. Patti said no one has heard what the new rate is going to be for taxes.  Chuck Patti said that what Mr. Gronda proposed is not a viable situation to solve the problem.  There are caps set by the state on how much taxes can be increased.  

Basil Monroe said he appreciates all of the comments and has a few questions.  Mr. Monroe stated that there is an old adage of plan you work and work your plan and understands that to be part of the effort in this meeting.  Basil Monroe noted that we are moving into the future and cannot operate with the special interest groups that want to control the Town.  Mr. Monroe said he fells there is no representation from those special interest groups present for this meeting.  Basil Monroe asked if is possible that when a new resident moves to Pahrump that a questionnaire be given to them as to using the emergency services and how would they be willing to pay for services.  

Paula Glidden said most people want to do the right thing and circumstances occur that makes it difficult to do the right thing.  The majority of people would say yes they will pay for it but when it comes down to it will they pay the bill.

Ron Smith said he hears a lot about raising taxes to pay for stuff will not be the answer.  Mr. Smith said he believes that the Town of Pahrump does not have the authority to raise the taxes.  Ron Smith stated that the only authority to raise taxes is the County and there is no guarantee it would come back to Pahrump.  Mr. Smith suggested that there could be an impact fee on the resale of real estate.  More time should be spent looking for the money than it should be spending it before you get it.  

George Gingell suggested that something should be placed on every County agenda to get more equipment.  Mr. Gingell said that the equipment being used is worn out and belongs in the scrap yard, not on the road.  George Gingell stated that the county cannot pay for salaries, but equipment come from the special funds.  Mr. Gingell commented that the Chief needs equipment and it does not matter how good they are if they do not have the equipment there is no reason to fight fires.  
Special Town Board Meeting
April 24, 2004

Mr. Timmons said there has been talk about a lot of stuff and wondered when Pahrump was going to incorporate.  Mr. Timmons said we will get out money here if we incorporate.  

Sioux Carlgren commented said she has a couple questions as they concern her as an employee.  Mrs. Carlgren said there is discussion regarding going volunteer again.  Sioux Carlgren asked if the fire department or ambulance were coming to your house, would you want to depend on a volunteer coming from their own home to the fire department to respond to your residence or would you rather have a staffed fire department.  Mrs. Carlgren noted that the Chief responds to many types of calls all the time.  Sioux Carlgren asked if you will find a volunteer that will do this.  This applies to the Paramedics as well.  They can do things that basics and intermediates cannot do.  Without the paramedics the town would be moving backwards.  If the paramedics are not paid on this service they will be forced to look elsewhere to make a living.  Mrs. Carlgren noted that the mortality rate was quite high before and can attest to the difference having paramedics have been to the service.   

Charlotte LeVar said she said she was going to reserve her questions until the end and asked if she may do so at this time.  

Mrs. LeVar said she has heard many good comments, but not one of her eleven questions was ever brought up.  Charlotte LeVar said she would turn those questions over to staff.  Some of Mrs. LeVar’s questions included were; is the fire department doing safety inspections? Charlotte LeVar continued with other questions as noted.  She said the fire department has a grand station on Kellogg that is now housing BLM people and they will not respond to any of our fires in the community.  Mrs. LeVar said she went to the internet and found all sorts of information regarding volunteers, such as National Volunteer Fire Council and others.  Charlotte LeVar said she only went to a few sites to find information on how volunteers and paid personnel work together.  There is a definite bond that can be made with the volunteers and paid staff as it has worked in other places.  Mrs. LeVar said she has been asked where the volunteers are that worked in the department before.  Jeanna Howard asked if Charlotte LeVar could elaborate on that some as she would like to hear more of what she pulled from the internet.   Ms. Howard said she feels we need to know why we have a problem with that.  Mrs. LeVar replied that what she found was fact finding and said all you have to do is go to the internet as that is where she found it.  Charlotte LeVar said she asks other individual to go out and find information for her regarding volunteers.  She said she found them in Ask Jeeves and other places.  

Paula Glidden explained that Mrs. LeVar has stated some of her questions and will handing them over to staff.  Those will be submitted with all the others.  Ms. Glidden her question would be how does the union contract affect volunteerism.  These questions will be answered at the next meeting.

Carla Perkins commented that there seems to be no argument that the people in the community are willing to pay for the fire department but not necessarily the ambulance department.  Mrs. Perkins continued that if the Town were to have a paid fire department, has it been considered
Special Town Board Meeting
April 24, 2004

how many personnel would be hired for fire.  Is the Town aware that the present set up is that there are seven people on shift twenty-four hours per day every day?  Those seven people are also firefighters and EMT personnel.  If the town does away with ambulance personnel are the people going to be replaced body for body with firefighters.  Has there been consideration of the budgetary differences.  Currently the personnel are dual trained and doing dual duty for the same money.   

Richard Billman commented on what was indicated earlier about people in Nye County not paying their bills as opposed to people in Clark County.  Mr. Billman stated that statistically there is no difference in the rate of collection in Clark County as opposed to Nye County.  There are no more problems here than in Clark County.

Paula adjourned the meeting noting that the next meeting will be scheduled and posted and in the paper.  

Respectfully submitted,

Charlotte LeVar, Clerk


cc:    Town Clerk                    
Nye County Treasurer            
Town Board                    
Nye County Planning
Nye County Commissioners            
Nye County Clerk    
Cristina Hinds        Dan McArthur                        /cw       

 


Backup

There is no backup posted for this meeting.