Agendas & Minutes


May 24, 2004

SPECIAL TOWN BOARD MEETING
BOB RUUD COMMUNITY CENTER
150 NORTH HIGHWAY 160
MONDAY – 7:00 P.M.
MAY 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.  .

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                        Richard Billman
Charlotte LeVar
Jeanna Howard
Ed Bishop

CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Paula Glidden called the meeting to order and led in the pledge of allegiance.  Ms. Glidden welcomed all for attending.

PUBLIC COMMENT

There was no public comment at this time.

DISCUSSION ONLY REGARDING QUESTIONS TO THE TOWN BOARD REGARDING AMBULANCE AND FIRE DEPARTMENT ISSUES

Dave Richards explained that there were a number of questions and answers of which the bulk of the questions are not numbered.  Mr. Richards noted that there were a few things worth pointing out.  Dave Richards stated that the answers were for questions that were asked at the first workshop.  Both Mr. Richards and Fire Chief Lewis provided answers to those questions to the best of their ability.  The backup provides answers from Chief Lewis which are italicized, and Dave Richards’s answers are indicated with a TM.,  

Mr. Richards explained that on page seventeen are answers to questions that were turned in after the workshop which he answered himself.  

Dave Richards said that some of the questions asked were editorial in nature and require a response and tried to answer them.  Some of the questions required a response from the Town Board and not Town Staff.  Those were left unanswered.  

Paula Glidden said she read through the responses to the questions and invited the public to come forward to ask more questions.  Ms. Glidden stated that the discussion only portion will make this discussion limited.  Ms. Glidden said she would like to see some action taken ultimately and have it placed on the next agenda.  Paula Glidden explained that the first meeting was a question period as to what was on the minds of the public to dispel any rumors the community might have. Ms. Glidden said that any questions from
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the general from the public would be fine.  Adding to the list of questions would be ok, too.  Paula Glidden said she thinks the Board needs to be getting down to what will be done regarding the function and how they will proceed.  Ms. Glidden said she would like a recommendation from the staff on how to proceed or from the Board.  

Basil Monroe noted that the newspaper reported his name as Daniel.  It is Basil Monroe.  Mr. Monroe commented that he asked question at the previous workshop at which time he asked the Town Board if they were against or for the PVFRS and most replied that they were not.  Mr. Monroe noted that Mr. Billman, who is not in attendance to defend himself, said in the Pahrump Valley Times which was quite extensive that said he was totally against the fire department and wanted to get rid of it and that he wanted to have an ambulance service take it over.  Mr. Monroe said he feels that Mr. Billman was not being honest at the workshop in the statement he made at that time that he was undecided.  Basil Monroe responded to comments from the workshop regarding Fallon, Nevada in that it does not have a military base near to help support it.  Mr. Monroe stated he understands that there are Nye County firefighters and then there are the Pahrump Valley firefighters which are two different entities drawing from two different funds.  

Jeanna Howard asked who the Nye County firefighters would be.  Mr. Monroe referred to Chief Lewis as Nye County.  Chief Lewis explained he was Pahrump Valley Fire-Rescue.  Ms. Howard explained that there are volunteers that outline other areas with smaller populations than Pahrump.  Basil Monroe asked if there is a Nye County Fire Department.  Paula Glidden replied that there is Nye County Emergency Services.  Mr. Monroe clarified that there is the Pahrump Valley Fire Department and it supports the whole county.  Ms. Glidden explained that PVFRS does the valley.  Chief Lewis explained that Nye County Emergency Services (NCES) incorporates hazardous materials and oversee a financial base and give added support and training to a group of volunteer stations in various towns in the County, but there is no Nye County Fire Department.  In Pahrump specifically, the main thrust of NCES is hazardous material.

Basil Monroe asked if there was a fire, where the firefighters would be drawn from.  Chief Lewis replied it would be from Pahrump Valley Fire-Rescue.  Mr. Monroe asked if there was a hazardous material emergency, where the qualified men would be drawn from.  Chief Lewis replied it would be a combined effort of the PVFRS and the NCES who respond with their hazardous materials team.  Mr. Monroe asked how many members there are of the NCES.  Chief Lewis responded that he did not have those numbers.  Basil Monroe asked if those NCES personnel were on a payroll.  Chief Lewis replied that some are but did not have the specifics.  

Mr. Monroe asked if the ambulance service was self supporting.  Paula Glidden replied that they do come up short.  Basil Monroe asked if there was a better ability to collect how is the fire department being paid.  Ms. Glidden explained that there is a mechanism
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for billing on the ambulance service, they are doing a heck of a job and doing well, but this is not the number one issue.  Paula Glidden said the number one issue is the aspect of having enough people to do the job that we need them to do.  Basil Monroe asked if the Town was presently in negotiations with the union.  Paula Glidden replied that they are.  Mr. Monroe recommended that Town put the people to work and keep them at work. Basil Monroe stated he realizes the financial aspects is what is being looked at but must remember the town is growing and more taxes should be received.  The tax could be used to pay a professional fire department.  Paula Glidden explained that the tax comes in a trickle down effect and the Town does not see the tax right away.  The effect does not happen right away.  

Paula Glidden said she feels the questions should be: is the fire department adequate for the town.  Ms. Glidden stated she is not sure that can be answered in one quick question or answer.  Paula Glidden said she needs to know this and needs to know if the Town is moving in the right direction or if the Town wants the Board to move in any one direction and how that will be achieved if changes are needed.  

Ms. Glidden noted that Chief Lewis does have a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) but does not know if we can afford it or how the Town can afford it.  Paula Glidden noted that the Town might have to move to the next level of looking at some decision making elements.  The questions received in the first workshop just seem to scratch the surface.  Ms. Glidden said she still does not have answers to the real questions about how the Town will operate in the next three to five years.  Paula Glidden said this is not affordable and it cannot fund itself and the fire department is not expected to fund itself.  The ambulance service does make some money, but fall short, even though they are doing a great job.  Paula Glidden asked for discussion on where the people want to go with respect to Fire-Rescue.  

Charlotte LeVar said that Paula Glidden made a statement regarding putting together a task force.  Mrs. LeVar stated that this may be direction that the Town needs to be going rather than public workshops.  A list of pros and cons could be formulated to bring to the Board to find out where the service can go and how it can be funded along with a good portion of volunteers.  Paula Glidden said she is all for a full department with all the wants and needs that are in the CIP, but does not know how it can be funded.  If Fire-Rescue is going to be funded the Town must go to the people and find out what they want with regards to level of service.  

Basil Monroe commented that there are several members of the fire service present and asked if they would be allowed to speak.  Paula Glidden said they would and would love to hear their ideas.  Mr. Monroe confirmed that there would be no retribution to those that would like to speak.  Paula Glidden said there would be none from her.  Jeanna Howard stated that with it on the record there would not be.  Charlotte LeVar asked why Mr.
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Monroe would ask that.  Basil Monroe replied that when it is their job on the line that sometimes they are afraid to speak up.  Mr. Monroe said one question to be considered that he feels is very important is what happens when a volunteer gets hurt fighting a fire.  Who pays for his or her time off?  Paula Glidden replied that these are issues that must be looked at and she would like to look at.  Ms. Glidden said she would like to know how the Town will fund the department next year, or in tow years when more service people will be required on the line.  Ms. Glidden said these people are out day after day and eventually they will run out of steam.  Paula Glidden said she would like to see them all have the best they can have.  Mr. Monroe asked if the Fire-Rescue volunteers are covered by insurance.  Ms. Glidden replied they are.  Dave Richards responded that both questions are answered in the report.  Mr. Richards said that the short answer is, yes, they do have coverage.  

Ms. Glidden said everyone’s ideas need to be heard even those working for PVFRS at this time.  

Ron Johnson commented that he is looking at a very eclectic list of items in the report and said he wondered how these items would be addressed at this workshop.  Mr. Johnson said we are dealing with one of the most important issues that exist, Public Safety and Services.  Ron Johnson said the importance is on issues that do not get to the real issue of what it is that drives, based on a needs assessment, what the fire department should look like.  What drives what the EMS outfit should look like.  Mr. Johnson said we have capable people in the community in those capacities.   Ron Johnson pointed out that the Town is growing and there are some clear needs and Pahrump is not typical. From a mutual aid stand point, Pahrump does not have other departments right next door to us that can assist quickly and easily.  Mr. Johnson asked if we are going to be able to prevent a fire or are we going to be able to put it out.  Ron Johnson said the issues go all over the place.  Mr. Johnson asked what is being done for fire prevention, and training for both EMS and fire.  Ron Johnson said he felt that the Town or the Board is not ready to make decisions on what it is this community needs.  Mr. Johnson challenged the Board and the community to understand what it is the Town needs.  Other issues can be worked on after that.  The first question should be, what do we need and then what do we have followed by How can this be tweaked.  

Paula Glidden said she agreed with Mr. Johnson and see if that can be facilitated somehow.  

Carla Perkins commented that she may have a partial solution.  Mrs. Perkins said that she attended the annual State of Nevada EMS conference in Winnemucca, Nevada.  Carla Perkins said she was one of 350 people in attendance from a paid department.  All others were volunteers.  Mrs. Perkins reported that she spent hours of quality conversation with the State EMS Directors.  Carla Perkins said she learned that the entire state of
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Nevada with the exception of Pahrump, Clark County, and the metropolitan Reno area, are using a computer system.  All the information is tracked at all levels to encompass it all into a one-write system.  It is being used state wide except for those places listed above.  Mrs. Perkins learned when returning to Pahrump that the system was turned down because of extenuating circumstances and feels those circumstances are solvable.  Carla Perkins explained how the system works by entering the patient information on a PALM pilots.  It can also be done by entering directly into the computer if time permits.  Carla Perkins noted that the State has offered to give the Town a computer and the software along with the training to institute this program called EMSTAT.  Each crew would require one palm pilot and would require rules and training.  Mrs. Perkins requested that some serious consideration be given to this program.  Carla Perkins said that if you are on the system you are eligible for various federal grants based on the number of EMS call in the state and Pahrump is skewing the records by one-third.  The State will be mandating this program by 2005.  

Pearl Lemioux commented that she would like to talk about the volunteer issue.  Ms. Lemioux noted that most of the staff were volunteers, and she is one that is currently being paid.  Pearl Lemioux shared her experiences as a volunteer with phone calls all night long for volunteers to come to help.  Ms. Lemioux pointed out that volunteers should not be expected to come in at 2:00 a.m. to fight a fire, get off the fire at 4:00 a.m. and go to work by 7:00 a.m.   Pearl Lemioux noted that as a volunteer she was earning $15 a call and does not make that now as paid staff.  Ms. Lemioux commented on the hazard of being an EMT and the dangers involved.  Ms. Lemioux said she does not have all the answers but the Board and PVFRS must work together and get it worked out for both volunteer and paid staff.  Pearl Lemioux stated that we must work together to make this the best department we have as it is the only department we have.  To waste five years and start from scratch would be silly.  Ms. Lemioux said that the rumor is that the Board wants to fire all the paid staff and bring in volunteers.  Who will train them?

Paula Glidden asked who is saying this.  Pearl Lemioux replied that she is hearing it every day at work and is making it a non-healthy environment.  Paula Glidden said she does not know where that information is coming from and does not care where it is coming from.  Ms. Glidden said that PVFRS does not know what the Board is thinking and the Board does not understand what PVFRS is thinking and the public does not understand what any of them are thinking.  This is the purpose of these workshops.  Ms. Glidden said we need certain things and thinks it cannot be done all volunteer and cannot afford all paid.  Pearl Lemioux said that they are seeking ways to get more volunteers involved, there is a new EMT class beginning June 6.  Ms. Lemioux asked what the Board is asking for in volunteers.  Should they be screened for health and experience or should anyone who wants to be involved be allowed to do the job regardless of their health and background.  Paula Glidden noted that a volunteer can be used on computers.  

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Ms. Lemioux stated that she was instrumental in bringing the RSVP senior volunteers into the service and appreciates the help of the seniors.  Pearl Lemioux said the problem is the privacy issue and that if all the information is not available, the program discussed earlier will not allow you to continue.  Terminology is another issue to be considered.  Paula Glidden asked if the fire people and EMS people will be able to take the next 4000 calls coming within the next two years.  Pearl Lemioux replied that we need to be prepared for the volume to increase.  Paula Glidden said that if it becomes necessary to raise taxes she is agreeable.  Pearl Lemioux noted that this is not unique to Pahrump as Clark County is raising their taxes.  

Charlie Gronda commented that he spoke about going to the people to increase taxes.  The response from the last meeting says that tax revenues are limited to a tax cap.  Mr. Gronda if the Town went out for an election and get money voted in does is come under the tax cap.  Mr. Gronda pointed out that all the other communities in Nye County are at the cap except for Pahrump.  

Paula Glidden explained that there is going to be a tax workshop on June 7 with the Taxation Department from the state.  Ms. Glidden stated that it is her opinion that she would like to expand the department in all directions in terms of people, equipment, and firehouses.  Paula Glidden asked how the Board does this.  Ms. Glidden suggested a survey of the community asking how the Town goes down this road.  

Jeanna Howard suggested taking the professionals and sit down with them and assess what the needs of the community are.  Come back with a recommendation for revenue enhancements, taxes or whatever.  Bring all the information back to the people.  Ms. Howard said beyond popular belief she is not into raising taxes.  Ms Howard said her responsibility is to make sure the community is safe.  Jeanna Howard commented that she is burned out and does not feel the Board is getting anywhere and not moving forward.  

Paula Glidden agreed and asked that an item be placed on the next Town Board agenda.  

Charlie Gronda pointed out that raising the taxes will only generate an additional $90,000.  Jeanna Howard clarified that taxing districts and bonding issues are exclusive of the tax cap.  Ms. Howard said there is opportunity, but must first find the needs of the community as there are options for revenue.  Paula Glidden said there needs to be a final answer because there needs to be a complete department in Pahrump.

Jeanna Howard noted that there will be additional tax revenue from the current boom in Pahrump.  It is rare within the United States that any EMS and fire service is 100% self subsidizing.  Ms Howard said that if the community wants to tell the Board to shut down services, she want them to say it.  It is ludicrous what is being circulated within this community.  

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Paula Glidden agreed with Ms. Howard that the Board needs to move forward on it to get some decisions made and find out the needs.  Ms. Glidden said there are people in the Town and in the audience, that the Board can form a subcommittee to find out the answers.  

Charlie Gronda suggested coming up with a new volunteer program to get volunteers and the new program should include benefits. Mr. Gronda said no volunteer will want to answer 6,000 calls per year.  

Chief Lewis commented that the volunteer emphasis and the department itself has changed over the past year and a half and have revamped the entire system and have a better structured environment for the volunteers.  Chief Lewis noted that the one volunteer has done an outstanding job in creating the necessary structure.  There is no misunderstanding of the requirements of a volunteer.  There is a regular training program and is scheduled every week with strict attendance requirements and riding along on calls.  

John O’Brien noted that there have been some excellent comments.  May 1, was the 5th anniversary for the ambulance services incorporation into the fire service at the request of the County.  Things have changed since taking the service over in that response times are better.  Mr. O’Brien said that it was what the people asked for and it was done.  And it was done for the betterment of the community.  Approximately 1-1/2 years ago Scott Lewis came into the community and was the first time goals were set and other changes for the better regarding equipment.  John O’Brien said no one before had set a path to follow.  Mr. O’Brien said they now have a leader trying to set a path and is also asking for the community to help set goals and set the future of the community in what it is supposed to be.  John O’Brien commented on the growth and how the PVFRS will be able to service the community.  Mr. O’Brien brought up the request to the County for an impact fee and they have yet to act on that request.  John O’Brien said the County has failed to act on anything the Town Board has asked of them regarding helping this community.  

Jeanna Howard asked that Mr. O’Brien not make this an issue between the County and Town.  Ms. Howard explained that the impact fees were presented to the Regional Planning Commission and they endorsed it.  It then went to the County Commission where it was approved but there are some logistical things holding it up.  

John O’Brien stated that his issue is that the Board must continue to ask for support from the County as no indigent care funding was received.  Mr. O’Brien was corrected regarding the issue concerning dispatch and inmate care.  John O’Brien said the Board needs to set goals for the whole community not just PVFRS.  Position by the Board need

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to be set concerning other issues such as street lighting and they begin in meeting like this.

Paula Glidden said that public safety to the Town Board is the number one issue.  Ms. Glidden said we need to keep the Town and the County together but need a plan to go to the County with.  

Ron Feldshaw commented on the active volunteer program and is a strict program.  This training for EMT will be followed by Firefighter I training.  Mr. Feldshaw stated that the age group in training range from 19 to 57 and includes men and women.  They must pass an oral test, written test and an agility test.  

Paula Glidden asked that the Pahrump Valley Times picks up on this report.  

Ms. Glidden said she is unsure how the rest of the Board feels but she feels this is moving in a positive direction.  Paula Glidden said maybe a sub committee can put together a needs assessment.  

Pearl Lemioux commented that the computer program mentioned earlier by Carla Perkins in that there is more to look at concerning the program.  It is required that we coordinate with the State and there is an unfunded mandate.  Ms. Lemioux said more looking into needs to be done before decisions are made regarding the program.  

Chief Lewis said that he and Pearl have met with the state on a regular basis regarding the computers and there is no immediate threat of losing the State license due to these computers.  The issue is more of how the Town will get the appropriate number of computers, and working with the HTE system with the County and the Firehouse program for which the Town has contracts for.  Discussions have been had with the County regarding this specific issue.  Scott Lewis announced that they have just been notified by Wal-Mart that PVFRS has received a grant for $1,700 for a training division lap top computer.  

Paula Glidden noted that an item needs to be placed on the next Town Board agenda so action and decision can be made.  Ms. Glidden explained the Board’s position regarding conversing with other members due to open meeting laws to come up with ideas.  

ADJOURNMENT

Paula Glidden adjourned the meeting.


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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.