The special meeting of the Indian Valley Community Services District Board on Oct. 19 had just a few items but all needed to be dealt with immediately.
The Board, which was down to three members (Directors Bob Orange, Mina Admire, and Lee Anne Schramel), has been on the search for at least two board members to round out the five-person board.
Two Indian Valley long-time community members Kaley Bentz and Roger Cherry expressed interest in taking a place on the board. Bentz was present to answer questions from the board who all chimed in that they were familiar with him and his family’s business (Riley’s Jerky). Cherry was not present, however Orange read aloud Cherry’s letter of interest and the board accepted Cherry’s letter of interest and indicated they would notify him to begin at the next meeting. Bentz was accepted and sworn in by board clerk Jeff Titcomb and then took his new seat on the board.
After the seating of Benz, director Admire—citing ongoing personal health issues—abruptly resigned from the IVCSD board and left the directors’ tables. Several people called out thank-yous to here as she left the Taylorsville Historic Hall where the meeting took place. Director Schramel’s service on the board ends in December and she is not running again for a seat on the board, which means the IVCSD is still down two board members and actively looking for two more people to join the board (interested parties can contact the CSD or a board member for more information or to submit a letter of interest).
The IVCSD in its previous meeting last week had made an offer to a candidate for the general manager position. This person, who has a background in hydrology, is currently in the process of signing the contract and his name was not public knowledge at this time. He is due to come on board the IVCSD on Oct. 22. This was an important element to the board functions, as the board itself has been divvying up the duties of a general manager for more than a year. The next items to be discussed at the meeting reflected that reality.
Vice Chair Schramel handed out a memo regarding the IVCSD need for debris removal relating to its properties that suffered damage from the Dixie Fire. The district holds multiple insurance policies for its entities (sewer treatment plant, fire department, vehicles, etc.). The question before the board was largely about the IVCSD considering contracting with a private debris removal company or attempting to participate in a state debris removal program.
The IVCSD needed to request that the county be added to the state program and then the county can ask the state for approval. Schramel cited Kelsie McInnis from CalOES. Board Clerk Titcomb acknowledged that this had been accomplished.
There was an open discussion of the board regarding outstanding questions about the process—most of the hangup seemed to center around how much the insurance would pay out for cleanup of each site needing debris and dead tree removal, and knowing this information prior to engaging contractors to do the work.
Present in the audience were two entities working together Select Environmental (Blake Roath) and J & C Enterprises (Jared Pew). Both men fielded questions from the board and have bids in for the work, which appears to be under the amount being awarded by the insurance companies.
Though director Orange indicated that he wanted to move forward and engage the contractors knowing that the bids were under the insurance payout amount without specifics, Schramel wanted a more cautious approach.
“I want to know exactly what we have. I don’t have the information I need to move forward. I’m just one voice on the board but that’s what I want to do,” said Schramel.
“I respect due diligence,” said Bentz.
“Take your bids and go to the insurance adjuster. We are willing to help,” said Pew.
“It’s three days until the new general manager comes on let him deal with it,” said Schramel.
One of the main properties in question is the old fire station, which had asbestos and a shared wall with the Greenville Town Hall (still owned by the county). Tree removal has to take place on multiple sites the district owns as well.
The IVCSD deadline to request federal public assistance (RPA) through FEMA is Friday, Oct. 22.
The new general manager will be reviewing consolidation of offices as well. There is currently a temporary office located in Quincy for IVCSD business, but the old office at 127 Crescent St. did not burn and has been in the process of being cleaned these past weeks. As Frontier restores phone lines and Internet, the board members and employees are contemplating a move back to Greenville.
The board seemed visibly relieved to have more board members, forward momentum, and the prospect of a new manager starting Friday after a whole year without one.