By Meg Upton
At the June Indian Valley Community Services District meeting, as with the one in May, newer board members and the new general manager are hitting the ground running with a combination of assessing what has gone before and what is needed going forward. The wake of the Dixie Fire is still first and foremost in the minds of the board and manager as they traverse both how the IVCSD historically operated and what’s best for the community going forward as it continues to recover from the fire.
This learning curve and discovery is coupled with trying to meet expectations of the community, FEMA and CalOES project goals, and how to run a district where two thirds of the customers are now gone thanks to the fire. It’s not an easy task.
Many board members and the general manager noted that FEMA seems to be moving the goal posts in granting help to the IVCSD for their property destroyed by the Dixie Fire.
The current board is now made up of Wanda Carpenter, Susan Doran, Kristine Gorbet, Roger Cherry, and Bob Orange—the latter being the only veteran of the old board from before the Dixie Fire. General Manager Adam Cox came on this spring part-time; he also is the General Manager for Chester’s CSD and works for both of these communities part-time.
At the June meeting, more changes in personnel were announced. The general manager had studied how best to restructure the current employee duties and job titles to better reflect both how work is divided and by what would be the most efficient for the fiscal year beginning July 2022. This restructuring led to an employee abruptly quitting the IVCSD. Two left this month with one position then filled.
Acting fire chief Bob Orange, reported on the state of the various engines and equipment that have been donated from other municipalities. Engines are being repainted and serviced. New personal protective gear has been ordered. The IVCSD is also waiting on a rural assistance grant for additional protective gear.
They are waiting on new portable radios from Sierra Electronics. Currently the fire department only has a few antiquated radios. They are also transitioning to a new phone app for communications.
Communication needs were a major issue during the Dixie Fire.
A few new volunteers have submitted applications, and volunteers are still doing trainings on Tuesday evenings. Volunteer Lucas Gieses and OES Fire’s Steve Sjotvedt have submitted paperwork on behalf of the IVSD and the IVFD to the USFS for payments for work performed in 2020 from the North Complex Fire.
The Water Sewer system repairs are complete for the Greenville plant. Water flow testing was completed in May and hydrant testing also took place at that time. The rented sewer pump was returned and final billing received. Taylorsville Waste Water system’s faulty sump pump was replaced. The generator hasn’t been replaced yet but is in need of replacement.
One point of on going wonderment is the relationship between the IVCSD and the cemetery district. Several board members indicated they’ve been attempting to contact the cemetery district without response. At issue are the pipes watering the cemetery grounds, how and where they will be replaced post fire. The cemetery owns and oversees about 90 percent of the lines with the IVCSD responsible for roughly 200 feet of the line. The access point will likely change.
There was also a good deal of discussion regarding the Greenville Park and the Indian Valley Rotary looking for projects to help promote and accomplish in possible collaboration.
Most items on the agenda passed easily including retaining a new attorney Prentice Long to replace the current retiring attorney, a rate study proposal, a USDA/USFS contract for fire department local responses, increased hours for the general manager (Cox had been working with a 20 hour a week contract but actually working 30). Other easily passed agenda items were the district reorganization plan and permission for a hot dog vendor cart at Greenville Community Park.
The next IVCSD meeting is on July 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Taylorsville Historic Hall.