Agendas & Minutes


February 9, 2004

SPECIAL PAHRUMP TOWN BOARD MEETING
BOB RUUD COMMUNITY CENTER
150 NORTH HIGHWAY 160
MONDAY – 6:00 P.M.
FEBRUARY 9, 2004

 


Agenda

1.    Call to order.

A.    Pledge of allegiance
B.    Welcome

2.    Announcements.

3.    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).

4.    Discussion and  possible action and decision regarding the Abaris Report

5.    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:
Rick Ewing
Paula Glidden
Charlotte LeVar
Jeanna Howard
Richard Billman

CALL TO ORDER

Las Vegas Fire & Rescue who assisted with the report information and Jonathan Wills, Senior Analyst of Abaris who also worked on the study. Chairman Rick Ewing called the meeting to order and led in the pledge allegiance.  Mr. Ewing welcomed all those in attendance.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Sally Devlin announced that there will be a bridal fashion show on February 14, 11:00 am. until 1:00 p.m. at the Pahrump Nugget Steak House as a benefit for the Nevada Silver Tappers.

Ms. Devlin also announced the Toastmasters humorist speech contest at Dr. Duek’s office.

Sally Devlin announced the Pahrump Arts Council will be held February 20 through the 22 at the Community Center.

Pearl Dearborn announced the Guns and Hoses Blood Drive will be held on February 13 from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.  and on February 14, from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

PUBLIC COMMENT

There was not public comment concerning items not on the agenda.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION AND DECISION REGARDING THE ABARIS REPORT

Mr. Ewing explained the rules of conduct for this meeting.



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Mike Williams, President of The Abaris Group, gave a power point presentation concerning the Abaris study method and the conclusions of that study.  Mr. Williams introduced Ken Riddle, Assistant Chief

Mr. Williams explained where his information came from such as on ride-a-longs, interviews, documents, surveys, etc.  

Mike Williams noted that he supplied a summary of conclusions.  Mr. Williams explained that the Pahrump Valley Fire-Rescue Service (PVFRS)(fire and EMS service) is in an appropriate balance to meet the community’s needs.  Mike Williams stated that it was unlikely that a private provider would be willing to serve the community without some change in the variables.  A subsidy from the Town would make it more interesting to private providers.  Increase in population would also make it appealing to outside providers, as well as possible reduction in service.  

Mr. Williams reported that his findings of the current budget, based on reasonable needs for the community shows an approximate $200,000 annual short fall.  This is a reasonable estimate based on the numbers provided and the auditor reports available.  

Mike Williams noted that the current fees for service, that is charging patients and the insurance companies and expecting payment from those insurance companies is a very fragile way to run an essential service of this nature.  Mr. Williams explained that the payers are constantly reducing their payments, delaying payments and changes in the make up of the payers causing catastrophic events.  An example of this would be the change in the Medicare and Medicaid providers this past fall.  Services of ambulance, fire-rescue service are needed 100% of the time not when the revenue is there to make it happen.  

Mr. Williams stated that the short and temporary option is to raise ambulance rates.  And although the fee schedule is fragile there are some revenue opportunities by raising the rates to a level consistent with cost.  Mike Williams noted that with his calculations it would close the $200,000 gap for the short term.  There are also some modest billing opportunities for the billing operation.  Mr. Williams stated that Abaris was very impressed by the billing operation and is not normally what they expect during this type of review.  Mike Williams said they have very few recommendations for the billing department.  One suggestion would be going after auto insurance, homeowners insurance, and not contracting with payers that are discounted.  There should be a no discount policy with payers.  These strategies would not fill the gap but could substantially close the gap.  Mr. Williams pointed out that “fees for service” as the sole funding source for an essential public service is a very fragile way of going.  

Mike Williams stated that the community is underserved by fire and EMS operational staff.  Mr. Williams explained that they calculate at a minimal level that another suppression unit is needed and recommends that when the revenue sources stabilize that the Town consider in the planning process adding another three person suppression unit.  Mike Williams noted that their conclusions indicate the current units are stressed and a Chief running calls on a twenty four hour basis.  
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Mr. Williams noted that the proposed capital improvement plan (CIP) for equipment and housing is believed to be appropriate.  Down sizing inventory, concentrating on the best assets, reducing maintenance costs, and cashing out on equipment no longer needed is the best way to go.  

Mike Williams pointed out that one of the biggest challenges in this community is that there is no clear vision on what the Town wants for fire and EMS services.  Mr. Williams explained that all the individuals Abaris talked with believe there should be quality services, but there is a significant variation of how to get there.  Mr. Williams stated that they believe the community should create a vision and regard this meeting as the first of a series of workshops where all the needs and capabilities are aired and from these workshops adopt a vision by the Town Board which would become the plan to move forward with.  Mr. Williams stated that the Abaris report provides the tools to make this happen.  There are short term tools, medium term opportunities as well as long term tools recommenced in the report.  

Comments from the public follow.

Bill Yates commented that Rick Ewing stated that the Town should hire 24 additional personnel.  Mr. Ewing replied that he stated that to be part of his “wish list”.  Mr. Yates asked how the Town would pay these personnel.  Mr. Yates commented that he feels the tax money would not pay for this and would need some brilliant strategy to pay these people.  Bill Yates stated that two and one-half years ago he suggested inviting bids from private companies running ambulances to and from Las Vegas.  Mr. Yates said he was told by the Town Board at that time that they had met with American Medical Services (AMR) and AMR wanted no part of it.  Mr. Yates said he called AMR and was told that AMR was not at the meeting and was at a meeting to pick AMR’s brains.  Bill Yates stated that he feels AMR is still interested in taking over the medical aspect of the Pahrump Valley Fire-Rescue Service (PVFRS).  Mr. Yates stated that it would get the Town out of all sorts of problems as private enterprise usually finds a way out of its problems.  Bill Yates commented that the Town could go broke if they continue on the road they are going.  Mr. Yates stated that he thinks the PVFRS is using 70% of the Town budget.  How much more can the town do, Mr. Yates asked?  Bill Yates stated that we either change our methods or we change how we get the money.  

Paula Glidden commented that there had been discussion of a letter that AMR or Mercy was willing to come to Pahrump.  Ms. Glidden stated that she has asked for that letter and has never seen or received a copy of that letter.  Paula Glidden explained that she is willing to talk with these companies or any other that would be willing to do what is best for Pahrump and not just partial service.  

Sally Devlin commented that she had hoped that there would have been a Pahrump regional Fire/EMT district before this.  Ms. Devlin noted that she did not see anything in the Tri Core Master Plan for fire/rescue.  Sally Devlin stated that it bothered her.  Ms. Devlin noted that the census does not accurately account for those that wish to remain anonymous which is near the 10,000 mark.  Sally Devlin commented that there should be serious planning for fire/rescue with
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the more accurate numbers of the population and expected growth.  Ms. Devlin asked if there should be local planning, should it go through the Planning Board and how is this done?

Paula Glidden responded that during the TriCore planning they were not charged with looking at emergency services.  However, they did ask in their survey questions where people could respond to fire and ambulance dedication.  Ms. Glidden stated that a large portion of the population was in favor of gather funds to support a fire/rescue unit that would be necessary for the town.  Ms. Glidden noted that this is an issue that should come out in the workshops.

Richard Billman suggested that questions specifically related to the Abaris report should be directed to Mike Williams so that he may respond.  

Sally Devlin commented that she has fear for the firefighters and EMT’s and the people should be prepared to pay for their own health.  

Paul Willis said he was curious regarding the document’s veracity as he is not sure why Abaris based the assumption that a private entity would not be interested in coming to Pahrump.  Mr. Willis stated that there has been much speculation concerning this issue.  Paul Willis said to rule private entity out as an option is a mistake and what is the basis of this assumption.   

Mike Williams replied that he interviewed both AMR and Southwest and they both replied that they are not interested.  Mr. Williams stated that he feels the numbers are just not there for these companies and it relates to volume and revenue.  Mike Williams noted that the dynamics could exist sometime in the future particularly if the volume grows or the population grows.  Mr. Williams said that this community is in the middle of a crisis.  What was being offered is a temporary plan by Abaris which will get PVFRS through the next year.  The tough question is what does the community want and they must come together on that decision.  Mr. Williams stated that how can the future be more optimistic.  Mr. Williams said that the community deserves the best as it is a growing community and the myths of not having the population or the resources.  Mike Williams said it is true that the Town does not have the resources today but they can be generated to build credibility to what the Town has today, which is already excellent.  

Paul Willis said he noticed in the report that there are long term projections up to the year 2112.  Mr. Willis stated that some of the suggested financing would be long term financing that may not be available to us now.  Mr. Willis commented that he was disappointed that there was not a financial audit so the numbers would be more accurate and specific.  Paul Willis said he was puzzled with the comment that the Town of Pahrump is not a legal entity.  Mr. Willis stated that if Pahrump is not a legal entity he has been paying taxes to an illegal entity and abiding by ordinances of an illegal entity and the Board would not have the authority to make contracts and therefore would not have to pay any debtors.  

Mike Williams explained that in the context of the report it was based on questions such as does the town have the authority to assess a tax and does the town have the authority to apply for
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grants.  Paul Willis said he challenged the later question as there is a myriad of grants for towns.  Mr. Willis asked if the Town were to go by all the recommendations provided in the document (review) what would the bottom line be in terms of cost.  Mr. Willis continued with his concerns regarding cost and budget.  Paul Willis asked what possible revenues the Town has to access and what kind of services can be paid for.  

Charlie Gronda asked how the Town is going to pay for the recommendations in the report and will there be workshops concerning this issue.  Rick Ewing replied there would be.  Mr. Gronda read from minutes of February 1999 to clear up the fact that the $600,000 from Nye County was a start up subsidy and not a grant.  Mr. Gronda provided figures on what it would cost the Town to hire nine new personnel.  Charlie Gronda noted that the tax rate is .2134 for the Town of Pahrump and the entire county tax rate is 3.3282.  Mr. Gronda explained that the maximum taxable rate is 3.64, leaving a difference of .3118.  Taking this value to the limit would increase revenues to $1.8 million.  

Rick Ewing noted that there will be some workshops coming from this and that is when they will begin crunching numbers.

Bill Green commented that he was disappointed not hearing the Town Board opinions and questions before the public.  Mr. Green said he had not read the report prior to the meeting but was surprised the explanation lasted only thirteen minutes.  Mr. Green summarized what he got out of the report.  Bill Green stated that he felt the report does not say what the Town really needs to do.  Bill Green said he got out of the presentation was that the Town hire three more people, a suppression unit and raise fees and the Town will be fine.  Mr. Green said he felt there should have been a better presentation for the money.  

Audra Schooly asked about the legal entity statement and asked if that pertained to grants only.  Mike Williams replied that it did concern grants.   Paula Glidden explained that the Town is not the lead unit when it pertains to some grants and the Town must rely on County, etc. for those grants.  Mrs. Schooly referred to the FEMA grants which Ms. Glidden explained are done through the County level.  Audra Schooly asked if any grants, such as the FEMA grants, would have to go through the county.  Richard Billman explained that a grant was received by a small entity.  Rick Ewing noted that a list of grants was provided by Abaris in their report and they will be looked into.  Chief Lewis explained that the “safer” grants were just signed and they are brand new.  There was another grant, assistance to firefighter grant, was partnered with Nye County.  Another grant regarding safety and training from this past fall was also partnered with Nye County.  The domestic preparedness grant must go through the authority, Nye County Emergency Management.  

Mrs. Schooly said the Town should have aggressively sought after.  Chief Lewis stated that he can say that grants were aggressively pursued in a partnership with Nye County.  

Paula Glidden asked if there were grants applied for through the County.  Chief Lewis replied that the assistance to firefighters and the training and safety spring and fall grants were partnered with
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the County.  Paula Glidden asked how much was Pahrump awarded.  Chief Lewis responded that nothing was awarded.  Ms. Glidden asked how much the County was awarded.  Chief Lewis replied nothing yet.  

Audra Schooly commented on the shortfall of the ambulance service that was discussed at a December 1999 audit.  

Chuck Patti commented on the legal entity aspect and provided some history regarding Pahrump.  Mr. Patti stated that the Board of Commissioners cannot legally tell the Town what to do.  They cannot interfere with the operation of the Town.  Chuck Patti explained that according to the Nevada Revised Statutes in relation to a fire department, the Town has to support and provide fire service.  Mr. Patti noted that there are some taxation laws that give the Town leeway as described by Charlie Gronda.  Chuck Patti said it would have to go on a ballot question in order to raise the tax cap to the maximum.  Mr. Patti explained that the NRS sates the Board of Commissioners can start a fire fund and tax the people at 1.5% of the assessed value of taxes netting approximately $93,000 per year.  

Chuck Patti pointed out that if a question to increase the tax was placed on the ballot in November, the benefits would not show until August of 2005 or fiscal year 2006.  Mr. Patti stated that things will only get worse if it is not tackled immediately.  Mr. Patti said that he has nothing against fire rescue but does have a problem with financial management.  

Mr. Patti noted that the IAFF website states that President Bush has decreased the “safer grants.”  Chuck Patti said he spoke to someone at FEMA who said no grants were applied for through Nye County.  

Jeanna Howard asked Mike Williams if he had ever met her prior to this review.  Mr. Williams responded no.  Ms. Howard wanted to make it clear that rumors to the effect that there was a business relationship between them did not occur.  Ms. Howard asked Mr. Williams to address volunteerism nationally and how it compares with other communities nationally.  Jeanna Howard stated that she disagrees with the Abaris report that the Town can obtain the receivables predicted by raising rates.  

Richard Billman disagreed that an insurance company dictates ambulance fees and reimbursement rates.  There are only Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare that restricts rates.  Mr. Billman stated that money can be collected from the patients although it is not the responsibility to force the insurance company.  Mr. Billman said he feels it is the responsibility of the patient.  Richard Billman said he feels that raising rates is the number one thing the Town needs to do as we are undercutting other ambulance services in the area.  

Ms. Howard asked how Pahrump compares with Las Vegas providers on charges.  Mike Williams responded that rates are below the Las Vegas rates but not by much.  Mr. Williams said the

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prayers should go on what the vision is for this community for EMS and fire in the future.  The community needs to decide on what service they want and desire and deserve.  

Ken Riddle stated that the state of volunteerism across the United States is poor and frequently have to supplement with paid personnel as has been done in Pahrump.  There may be incentives to recruit volunteers with programs such as pay per call incentive.  Jeanna Howard questioned the pay per call incentive.  Mr. Riddel said there are a variety of ways to entice people to volunteer.  Ms. Howard pointed out that they are not volunteers if you are paying them.  Mr. Riddel stated that they would volunteer sometime but if actually on task doing a function they may receive a fee.  Rick Ewing asked about insurance.  Mr. Riddel noted that if you are volunteering for a Town you are covered under workman’s compensation.  

Paula Glidden asked what level of training is needed to be achieved to be a volunteer.  Ken Riddel noted that there is a misconception that to be a volunteer you do not need the same training as a paid professional firefighter.  Mr. Riddel stated that this is not true.  There are several law suits currently where volunteers were used as paid professional firefighters but have not provided the adequate training.  There is a large focus throughout the country on firefighter safety.  

Grant Hudlow said he would like to separate the concept of EMT from the fire department.  Mr. Hudlow noted that the previous volunteers did not do as good a job as the paid personnel are doing now.    Mr. Hudlow noted that it is the other way around with the fire department.  Mr. Hudlow stated that one thing not in the report is the lack of water on fire scenes.  

C.L. Meeks commented that he was present during meetings with AMR and Southwest Ambulance and AMR stated that they had no intention of coming to Pahrump as there is no profit for its stockholders here.  Southwest had decided that they could not touch Pahrump  If the intention is to bring in an outside service the Town should be prepared to pay a  large subsidy to satisfy their stockholders.  Even in the event there is a hospital there will still be a large number of transports going into Las Vegas.  Mr. Meeks explained that in Las Vegas these providers can do approximately 5 transports per hour whereas Pahrump can do one in approximately 5 hours.  

Rick Ewing asked if these providers felt things would change with the population.  Mr. Meeks said he was not sure it was an issue then.  

Jeanna Howard asked Mr. Williams what impact having a hospital might make or in the interim if there was a 24-hour urgent care facility would have.  Mike Williams replied that transporting patients with insurance a long way is a revenue producer.  The challenge present today is that the Town does not have enough resources on the EMS side and on the fire side.  This is not an OR but an AND.  Mr. Williams noted that with a 24-hour urgent care it would reduce the number of calls slightly.  A small reduction in volume and a small reduction in revenue might likely occur.  

Patricia Cox asked does the amount that is shortfall due to the lack of equipment or personnel or both and what is the current dollar amount?  
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Jeanna Howard noted that one example is that a few days ago six to eight transports occurred and each transport was doubled up. Personnel are doubled up on those transports but do not get the double billings so mileage is lost.  This is an impact on the revenue.   

Mike Williams noted that the shortfall cannot be figured as there is no current audit report and there is nothing since June of 2002.  The trend is an average of $200,000 shortfall per year.  Patricia Cox asked if the shortfall is due to the manpower being short because of doubling up and overtime, will volunteer help in the assistance if there were more volunteers.  Mrs. Cox asked how volunteers would affect a paid staff.    Mr. Williams replied that he felt it would put the entire revenue model at risk.  Patricia Cox asked if we are short more manpower than equipment.  Mike Williams replied that Pahrump does not have sufficient volume and revenue to cover the costs.  More person power would not solve the problem.  It is the opinion in the report that more fire suppression equipment is needed which would give more depth to the EMS.  Patricia Cox asked if when looking for subsidy would it be for hiring more employees or to keep it operating with the current service.  Mike Williams replied that the $200,000 would only cover the current costs which would be necessary to stabilize what it is today, thus the need for the master planning process for the future.  Mrs. Cox asked what was meant by raising fees would that be to the insurance companies or to public as well.  Mike Williams noted that it would mean raising fees for everyone.  Mr. Williams also explained the membership program as outlined in the report which could help as a fixed revenue source.  Patricia Cox stated that she has heard several suggestions as to future visioning and planning but may be down the road.  Mrs. Cox asked what is going to be done currently to keep the current service running with out cutting services.  Mr. Williams noted that there is the three point plan which first charges must be looked at and to build upon a good revenue business office practice that exists, and use that as a strategy.  Patricia Cox asked if Mr. Williams sees a problem with the financial management that is currently in place as with how billings are going out and how it is being operated.  Mr. Williams replied that he had not problem and was very impressed with the current billing structure.  

Patricia Cox stated that it is her opinion to give kudos to the staff, the men and women that offer their services to the community and the outstanding response they give as they are basically our hospital.  Mrs. Cox thanked these people from the bottom of her heart for the service they do give to the community.  Mrs. Cox said she felt it is the Commission’s job to protect the citizen’s health, safety and welfare.  Patricia Cox said this is one of those times they should be stepping to the plate to help with a plan and vision in place.  Mrs. Cox was concerned about getting grants for the Town with regard to equipment.  

Maureen Budahl commented that she has concerns about placing too much emphasis on a hospital.  Mrs. Budahl noted that it would be with limited bed space.  Maureen Budahl referred to the report that there needs to be an increase in staff until the hospital comes and believes that a hospital will not relieve this issue.  Mrs. Budahl talked about mutual aid as referred to in the Abaris report.  Maureen Budahl noted that the mutual aid may not be paid professional aid but there is aid from Crystal and Amargosa and others.  Mrs. Budahl noted that the Town of Pahrump is not urban but rural.  Maureen Budahl also had comments regarding billing procedures and the
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community vision.  Ms. Budahl offered help in bringing the silent majority to the workshops to help solve the issue.  

Calvin Morrison commented on collections and recommended that collection be moved under the Financial Director so there is a consolidated place to find expenses, income, etc.  

Karen Spalding commented that she wished to clear some things up.  Ms. Spalding clarified with Mr. Williams that he stated billing operations are good.  Ms. Spalding said she also felt that the review was to include financials as well as the department.  Karen Spalding asked the Town Board if they had any plans in the future to do an audit of the financial.  

Mr. Williams replied that the Town has a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) doing a fiscal audit and recommended that the Town not waste any more money to do an additional audit.  Mike Williams said a plan was created to get through the next year, a plan that can be taken back to the Commissioners to buff up the previous request. It also allows for the assessment of what the community needs in a growing pattern over the next two to five years.  

Karen Spalding asked if the Town has a yearly audit.  Mr. Williams replied that the Town does.  Jeanna Howard explained that the audit that is delayed is the audit that is done annually by the auditor (Dan McArthur).  This has not been finalized yet this year.  Ms. Howard explained that the auditory process by Abaris was auditing the numbers that are billed out, receiving in, and was it done properly as it relates to EMS itself.  Those were the number Mr. Williams audited within the department.  Jeanna Howard asked that Peggy Warner explain the delay of the 2003 fiscal year audit.  

Peggy Warner explained that the Town audit was delayed because the Town could not get the numbers from the County in the usual manner it had been receiving them.  Mrs. Warner stated that Dan McArthur is the Auditor that does the Town audit once a year.  Peggy Warner said that in talking with Mr. McArthur he wanted to take care of Nye County first because they have a bearing on the Town.  Mrs. Warner said that this yearly audit which ended June 30, 2003 will be on the next agenda for the Town Board and Dan McArthur will be present to make his presentation.  

Jeanna Howard noted that this is a way to simplify the legality of the Town of Pahrump as all the money must go to the County, comes back to the Town by requesting through the County.  Ms. Howard explained that the County is the acting fiscal agent for the Town.  

Karen Spalding stated that we can finally put to rest the fact that there are no private companies that want to come to Pahrump.  Ms. Spalding asked to make clear if the Town is at fault regarding grants.  Mike Williams stated that long term closure of financial gaps or growth by grants is not a realistic expectation of grants.  Mr. Williams noted that there may be some new grants this year that may provide three to five years of funding but those grants have not yet been appropriated.  This may not occur until fiscal year October 2005.  However, grants may be important for short

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term or capital items and to some extent in operations.  This should not be viewed as a source as most will not fund operations.  The real work is to develop a master plan for fire and EMS service.

Jeanna Howard said a FEMA grant was available for code compliance which was discussed with County people but found the grant was only for code compliance and nothing for apparatus.  On the administrative side it is very difficult to find grants for firefighters or to offset salaries.  

Richard Billman stated that Mr. Williams referred to grants for capital items and will not supplement operating expenses.  Mr. Williams noted that it requires a professional to research and write grants and with the Fire Chief responding to calls twenty-four seven it make this quite difficult.  

Paula Glidden asked if it is possible to have volunteers fill in some positions for transport to alleviate paid personnel.  Mr. Williams replied absolutely.  It is not likely that a department that is substantially staffed by volunteers is going to be the answer.  This is another area that can be discussed in workshops.  

Jeanna Howard noted that a public service announcement has been running for the recruitment of volunteers and find many people that want to volunteer.  However, they must realize that they will have to do the training required.  Paula Glidden asked for clarification that training would be required to do even transport.  Ms. Howard replied affirmatively.  

Van Dishong commented that he feels that the Town and County partnership is a very good idea and work in that direction to cover for the short length.  Mr. Dishong stated that one thing he has read is that there is not a collective vision with the Town Board and posed a challenge to the Town Board to pull together with a collective vision.  Mr. Dishong pointed out that the Town is way too large to look back and must move forward, complementing the paid staff with volunteers and be positive about the growth in Pahrump.  

Maria Hurst commented that the Town is blessed with the people at Fire-Rescue and they are doing a wonderful job through her experiences.  

Brian Neely commented that he also supports the Pahrump Valley Fire-Rescue Service more and make sure the community stands behind them.

Ron Feldshau stated that he has been a volunteer with PVFRS for approximately three years and there is a need for more volunteers.  Mr. Feldshau noted that the Chief and others are actively recruiting currently and reviewing records as well as developing a program that will be an assist to the Town.  Ron Feldshau said that it has been found in the past that many people do not have the time to donate to the program as it requires many hours and training.  A volunteer has to be as trained as paid personnel.  


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Rick Ewing suggested that the problem may be that many of the people work in the community that they volunteer in and in Pahrump many people drive to Las Vegas for work which limits the amount of people available here during the day.  Mr. Feldshau said this is not unusual and is the same throughout the country.  Ron Feldshau noted that it is his feelings that people do not want to give unless they are getting something back.  Volunteers were lost when the Town decided to cut the $15 per run that was paid to volunteers previously.  Training is being scheduled in the near future for volunteers.  Paula Glidden asked if this was the rule across the State.  Mr. Feldshau stated that the State of Nevada sets the standards for firefighters.  Paula Glidden asked why some of Pahrump’s volunteers were going to Beatty and other communities and are they passing the same physical as they have to here.  Ron Feldshau said he did not know what other communities were doing for testing.  Mr. Feldshau stated that Firefighter I certification is needed to enter a fire.  

There was more discussion concerning previous Pahrump volunteers doing volunteering in other communities and why physical problems make them a liability factor for the Town.  

Patti Chipman asked about the discrepancies in the number of runs PVFRS being reported.  Jeanna Howard noted that the Abaris report states there were 7063 runs.  Mr. Williams explained that there are separate resources.  Ms. Chipman asked if calls to 911 have been checked through dispatch to get a number of runs.  Richard Billman and Charlotte LeVar both said they called to get these numbers.  Mr. Billman responded that the Sheriff’s office reported to him there were 572 fire calls and 3,661 EMS calls.  Patti Chipman commented on the location of future fire stations being determined by the location of calls and noted that this information was not available.  Ms. Chipman also noted that there was no information on run times to determine how long it takes to get to certain locations around Pahrump.  Mr. Billman explained that information was in the Abaris report on page 13.  Ms. Chipman asked if EMS responders were writing down the time they leave the station and what time they arrive at a call.    Mike Williams responded that the detail was not included in the report as the only way to obtain that information would be to go through each individual run and the dispatch numbers are not made available in an automated way.  Mr. Williams stated that the information regarding response times is reported.  Ms. Chipman asked Chief Lewis if the department keeps trip sheets.  Scott Lewis replied that every EMS run, whether transport or 911call, has all time recorded on the run.  

Jeanna Howard stated that a request was made from the Sheriff’s office a copy of all calls that have been received for EMS which totals over 5,000.  Ms. Howard explained how dispatch tracks calls without adding a new call for a call to the same address for additional service.  

Sheriff Tony DeMeo explained how dispatch keeps their logs.   

There was discussion regarding the dispatch sheets not being public record due to HIPPA laws.

Commissioner Henry Neth offered a solution to the situation being faced by PVFRS.  Mr. Neth explained that the tax payers are paying twelve cents, six cents for the operation of a hospital district that does not exist and six cents for debt service on the Pahrump Medical Center (PMC)
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building.  Mr. Neth noted that the six cents for the operational of the hospital district will generate approximately $360,000 per year.  Henry Neth stated that with that $360,000 along with the raising of the rates would generate approximately $560,000 per year.  Mr. Neth noted that it would not require a tax increase.  Mr. Neth said he felt there could be an emergency election to ask for the creation of fire district.  The Town Board would then write a resolution to the Nye County Board of Commissioners asking for the immediate rescinding of the six cents for the operation of the hospital district as it no longer exists.  Mr. Neth noted that it would take care of the short term goal.  Henry Neth also suggested including in the resolution a request to the County Commissioners to modify or restructure the debt service, so the Town could get a possible two or three cents out of the six cents going to pay off the PMC debt.  The Board of County Commissioners are seeking appraisals for the property next to PMC and are working on ways to dissolve the debt leaving the twelve cents available.  That would generate up to $720,000.  Henry Neth said he agree that the County Commissioners have the responsibility to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Nye County.  Mr. Neth said anything that needs to be done needs to be done immediately.  Henry Neth challenged the Town Board to get with the Town Attorney, and he with the District Attorney’s office, to make this work now, not eighteen months from now.  

Jeanna Howard thanked Mike Williams and his people for their work on the review.

Charlotte LeVar asked that items be placed on the next Town Board agenda.  Mrs. LeVar said she would like to see several things done with regard to workshops such as volunteerism.

Mrs. LeVar asked Mr. Williams how the questions for the basis of the report were formulated.  Mike Williams replied that the questions came from the Town of Pahrump.  Mr. Williams stated that the questions were consistent with his conversations with Mr. Billman and Ms. Howard and the Interim Town Manager.  Mr. Billman said he did not supply any of the questions.  Jeanna Howard replied that the first draft of the contract supplied by Abaris had four or five things listed which concerned the Board.  Staff was charted with the task of supplying specific questions that addressed financial, operational, apparatus, etc.  The contract was returned to the Board who then voted on it.  Ms. Howard asked what was missed and was not addressed.  Mr. Billman suggested that the number of pieces of equipment that the PVFRS has and is it enough should have been a question addressed.  Richard Billman said he would have expected something more in the area of given the current income and current assets what is the best case scenario.  

Peggy Warner explained that the contract was presented to the Town Board for approval and was approved signed by Rick Ewing October 27, 2003.  

Paula Glidden asked if Mike Williams felt there were blocks of information that was left out.  Mr. Williams replied that there were many more questions than were budget and required much more research.  


Special Town Board Meeting
February 9, 2003

Charlotte LeVar said she would like to go back and look at Pahrump Town Ordinance #41 and look at the rates as recommended by the report since the Town Board sets rates.  Mrs. LeVar said that brought through this report regarding billing and sending the gals doing the billing to a formalized training.  Mrs. LeVar stated that these billing people should be under the Financial Director.  Charlotte LeVar said she would also like to see going out to the outside private ambulance services and put the myth to bed regarding whether they will or will not come.  Mrs. LeVar said she has not seen the letter referred to either and is willing to open the doors.  Mrs. LeVar said she would like to see this on the next Board meeting.  

Rick Ewing directed staff to look into the recommendation of Henry Neth regarding remedying the current situation.  

ADJOURNMENT

Richard Billman Motioned to adjourn the meeting and was seconded by Jeanna Howard.  

Vote passed 5 – 0.

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.