IVGID to have third party take over effluent pipeline; Votes to raise rates | TahoeDailyTribune.com

IVGID to have third party take over effluent pipeline; Votes to raise rates

IVGID offices in Incline Village.
Rob Galloway / Tahoe Daily Tribune

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. ­ — The Incline Village General Improvement District Board of Trustees took a step forward on the effluent pipeline project and what they hope is a step forward in regaining community trust.

During their Jan. 31 meeting, the board discussed the effluent pipeline and effluent pond. They voted to direct Director of Public Works Joe Pomroy to establish two new projects, provide regular updates on the project and move forward with finding a third party to oversee the project.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Pomroy brought back requests to hire design firms for both projects. However, Pomroy did not mention hiring a third party to take over oversight of the project.

Members of the public were upset that Pomroy was continuing with the project but staff said direction from the board had not been clear.

“This project is nearing 17 years old,” Board Chair Tim Callicrate said. “My feeling is to dispel rumors, fact from fiction, alleviate fears, I would be more towards having an independent third party come over and take this over.”

“It’s not any offense to the department,” Callicrate continued. “It would help alleviate the concerns of the community and give everyone the chance to reset.”

Trustee Peter Morris still felt members of the community and the board were being unfair to Pomroy and his team and came to their defense.

“I’m not aware of any time our engineering team has not delivered what they said they would deliver,” Morris said. “What I haven’t heard from Joe is, ‘no I can’t do this.’”

Another wrench thrown into the decision was a hold up from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. They promised financial support for the project but staff had not yet received a letter from them giving the green light to start moving forward.

There was concern from the board that if they spent money on the project before the letter came in, they might not get reimbursed.

While Trustee Kendra Wong was not in favor of hiring a third party, she was in favor of holding off on the project.

“In our best interest to wait to approve this until we have the approval of U.S. Army Corp of Engineers,” Wong said.

Interim General Manager Indra Winquest was okay with moving forward with hiring a third party as long as the board had input in the process. He suggested working with Trustees Matthew Dent and Wong to provide oversight while Pomroy created a scope of work for the consultant.

The board also discussed raising the utility rate. Pomroy said he would need them to raise rates by 5.5% in order to cover his departments costs.

However, Callicrate suggested raising it more and having any percentage above 5.5 to be put into the district’s reserves, which was dwindling.

Wong suggested staying at 5.5 until the utility rate survey, which should start later this year, is finished and they know exactly how much money they need.

“Until the survey comes in, we’d just be picking an arbitrary number,” Wong said.

The board voted unanimously to raise it 5.5%. A public hearing will be held on April 14 to finalize the rate increase.

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