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GRGID passes on hiring foreman

by Merrie Leininger

The Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District spent a lot of time discussing the costs of running the district at Wednesday night’s meeting.

District Manager Bob Spellberg and the board trustees argued whether the district required a foreman to oversee the maintenance staff.

Spellberg said the district has a lot of work to do, but may not be able to keep an extra employee busy throughout the year.

The district currently has two office staff members and three people who do maintenance work. Spellberg oversees them all.

“We work on the accountability system. I set direction Monday and give them work orders and we are busy all the time, but that’s OK,” Spellberg said.

Spellberg said a foreman would still have to spend a lot of time in the office doing paperwork and would not be able to directly supervise those out in the field at all times. However, Trustees Al Wagner and Victor Hyden said they thought a foreman was a necessity.

“I feel we have the money, it’s not the finances. Bob, it’s not your job to be our lead person or foreman, you’re our manager. You can’t do it all. I have seen too many mistakes in the past couple of years. We need someone who is a mainstay in the community and with you and the employees,” Wagner said.

Because there was some confusion over the definition of a foreman and a lead person, Spellberg said he would get a job description to the board for the next meeting.

He said he would keep the money in the budget for a new hire until that time. A new foreman would cost the district about $60,000 a year, he said, plus the cost of a new vehicle.

n Raise. The board approved a raise for GRGID attorney Michael Rowe. Rowe has been the district’s attorney since 1982. He now gets paid a monthly retainer of $1,250 and requested a raise to $1,600, plus $100 an hour for any work outside the usual services.

“I have known him for years and have learned to trust him and consider his knowledge invaluable to the district,” Trustee Hyden said. The board unanimously approved the raise.

n Backflow prevention. The board also passed a backflow prevention resolution, another unfunded federal mandate that requires commercial services and schools, day care centers and care centers to install a backflow valve.

“The valves are above-ground and are tested every year. They are near the meter pit or in the boiler room, and the parts aren’t cheap,” Spellberg said.

The cheapest the part will cost is between $2,000-$4,000, he said and have to be installed between June and October.

The valve protects the water supply at the cross connection and is required through the Clean Water Act, Spellberg said.

“If there is a loss in pressure, we don’t want the water left in the building coming back out,” he said.

Anyone under the Ranchos water system can be forced to install the valves, he said.

n Well site. The board bought a $16,000 piece of land that includes a well site from Pleasantview developer Greg Lynn. The district will also have to pay $10,000 to bring in power to the site, in Pleasantview, phase 8, Spellberg said.

n Party. Spellberg also told the board about a party to be held May 15 to honor Ranchos fire volunteer and Ranchos board chairman Bruce Nystrom. Spellberg said he has been with the fire department for about 21 years and served as president for 18 years. He has also been on the board for about 17 years and chairman for seven years.

“He is a good guy and very dedicated. He gives the fire department 200 percent. He is big-hearted and has always been there to help out. On the board, his first concern has been to the people who live in the district,” Spellberg said.

There will be food and drinks, including wine and beer for sale at the Ranchos Fire Department.

The event will also include a “show and shine” in which all the fire departments in East Fork and those from Tahoe and Carson City departments have been invited to bring fire trucks to show off. KGVM radio will also be there with a live remote, Spellberg said.

Spellberg invited the public to help honor Nystrom.

n Workshop. The board decided to hold a workshop in the coming months to discuss issues they never get around to during the monthly meetings.

“I think there’s a lot of things we need to talk about that we can’t in three or four hours once a month,” said Wagner, who first brought up the idea.

He said one of those issues is the pay scale for trustees. He said he thinks board members should be paid according to the work they do, not a flat rate.

The date and place will be set by next month.

n Name change. A Ranchos resident came forward at public comment Wednesday night to complaint that the public did not seem to want to change the name, but the board seemed to be going along with it despite that.

“We hope to be very democratic about it and open it to all constituents because we don’t get a lot of people at meetings, and for example, I haven’t gotten any calls about it at all,” said Nystrom.

Spellberg said he wants people to understand while people can turn in their suggestions for a new name, they can also state their vote for no change.

Spellberg said he will stop accepting suggestions April 30 to have time to prepare a list of most nominated names for the board’s May meeting. He said a public vote will also be held sometime in May and the board will announce the GIDs name at the June meeting.

Anyone who wants to turn in a name suggestion or suggest not changing the name can write to the district office or hand deliver it to 931 Mitch Drive. Suggestions can also be made at the district’s Web site at sctalk.com. For more information, call 265-2048.