At the final Indian Valley Community Services District meeting for the year, new director Bob Orange was sworn in and immediately took his seat with the other directors to make decisions concerning mostly exploratory energy projects and the purchase of new vehicles by the district.
Orange took the seat vacated by former director Phil Shannon, who departed from the board earlier in the fall, and will serve out the term.
The bulk of the evening could be summed up in one word: vehicles. The board voted to authorize the purchase of a 1999 Spartan Gladiator Pumper from Firetrucks Unlimited for $24,000. This comes from USDA grant funding and comes in lower than the original asking price of $28,000 and pays for the transport of the vehicle to Indian Valley.
Along with that vehicle comes replacing the Jeep with two new service vehicles and possibly the Dodge that is also is nearing the end of its life.
At the same time older vehicles that are not in working order might find buyers for parts. The board also passed a resolution to declare older non-working vehicles surplus for that purpose with any funds going to the purchase of new buildings.
The rationale for that vehicle and others in recent months is that the fleet of Indian Valley Fire District vehicles is often in a need of repair and the finance committee recommended that it was cheaper to acquire new to the district vehicles than it was to attempt to repair and maintain some of the antiques already owned by the district, given both the cost of repairs and the lost staff hours to those repairs.
The other non-vehicle resolution passed was to invite the “exploring of infrastructure opportunities” from a company called Trance by voting on a letter of authorization. Trance will be approaching energy “counterparties” and be in discussion for possible partnerships with the district — including discussions of how best to maximize use of geothermal energy present in the valley.
A Trance representative was present and acknowledged that the role of Trance was strictly informational at this time. They will gather information and data about possibilities going forward regarding possible long term agreements to “purchase the capacity, energy, ancillary services attributes” of the districts resources.
While Fire Chief Tony Balbiani was not present, he delivered a written report prior to the meeting. Highlights of that report included a survey from volunteers in regards to a points system and compensation. Most volunteers surveyed wanted any funding to go toward equipment to make firefighting more manageable rather than individual compensation. The discussion is ongoing.
Though new, director Orange’s background in firefighting in the valley meant he could field questions regarding many aspects of the department.
In other news, Chris Gallagher, the general manager reported that the Wolf Creek Project is nearing completion and is scheduled to be finished by Dec. 31. The Wolf Creek Project sought to make repairs to the sewage lines over Wolf Creek damaged during the February 2017 storms.
The directors also voted in Mina Admire as chair and Wayne Danmiller as vice chair.