Interim General Manager Winquest provided a few brief highlights from his written report:
- The Burnt Cedar Pool Project is progressing. On June 3rd, IVGID engaged TSK Architects for the Conceptual Design. The first meeting with the community working group will occur this week.
- The beach gate hours will return to their regular schedules on June 15th. The beaches are open to picture pass and punch card holders only, and require social distancing. Starting June 15th, Ski Beach gate will be staffed from 7 am to 8 pm, and Incline and Burnt Cedar beach gates will be staffed from 8 am to 8 pm. NOTE: Subsequent to the meeting, Community 1st learned that access to the beaches was not limited to picture pass and punch card holders. Exchange passes were also being issued at the Recreation Center for entry to the beaches. We understand these “exchange passes” which are not covered in Ordinance 7, are no longer available. Beach access is currently limited to picture pass and punch card holders.
- Incline Spirits has not resumed Beach service, but it is expected to open in the next few weeks. Mr. Winquest is working on adjusting their contract and will be reviewing their COVID-19 safety compliance procedures.
- TRPA water craft inspection stations have begun at Truckee and Myers, and it is expected that inspections at Spooner will open soon. Currently inspections are limited to boats of residents with Lake Tahoe and Truckee area addresses.
- The Golf courses are open and seeing solid attendance. Revenues are exceeding budget and are higher in comparison to last year.
- The Recreation Center will open on Monday, June 15th. IVGID staff has been working on safety procedures and following the Governor’s Guidelines. There will be changes in procedures, registration, and entry. The details will be communicated in forthcoming announcements.
- For the most current information on all the District’s Recreational and Beach Venues, click here.
- The General Manager Discretionary Spending Authority Report was given orally. Over $10,000 was spent on beach gate surveillance cameras. In addition, approximately $18,000 of budgeted expenses was spent on IT/software and cameras for outside the Recreation Center. In the future, Mr. Winquest will prepare a written report.
- Trustee Schmitz asked when public correspondence will be reintroduced in the Board packet. Mr. Winquest and Board Chair Callicrate recommended that this be added as an agenda item at one of the next two upcoming Board meetings.
Eddie Ableser and Paul Klein of Tri-Strategies provided a written presentation and a short oral review of the services Tri-Strategies is rendering to IVGID. Tri-Strategies is a registered lobbyist and public relations firm specializing in strategic communications, coalition management, public engagement and government advocacy. Messrs. Ableser and Klein included in their written report a list of legislative, public agency and other government related meetings they attended along with their interaction with elected officials. They recommended a Trustee workshop to discuss the value of continued services.
NOTE: For your reference, during the 2018 Nevada legislative session, Tri-Strategies was engaged by the Board as a lobbyist. At the end of their contract, former GM Pinkerton used his discretionary spending authority to engage Tri-Strategies to provide press releases and other public relations activities as well as acting as an IVGID representative and governmental advocate for $72,000 of annual consulting fees for fiscal year 2019-20. The Board did not approve or budget the engagement of Tri-Strategies and did not approve the scope of work or the issues they were researching or advocating on behalf of the District.
During public comment, a citizen asked a number of questions about the value of Tri-Strategies for our District and our citizens. Many of these issues were raised by Trustees during their discussion and included: whether having Tri-Strategies listen to public meetings of other governmental entities was of value to IVGID; what deliverables they were providing and why no reports of their activities had been provided to the Trustees; what was the purpose for public relations in areas outside of IVGID’s powers and authority to provide recreation, water, sewer and trash services; and why should our recreation facility fee be used for Tri-Strategies to educate other government entities about IVGID?
Trustee Morris disagreed with the citizen’s public comments and stated that he felt Tri-Strategies meetings in Carson and Reno were valuable and that he liked having them be the voice of IVGID throughout the State.
Mr. Ableser advised the Trustees that the written presentation reviewed Tri-Strategies’ efforts last year and a new contract would begin on July 1st. He stated that the Governor had announced a huge budget deficit and it is important for Tri-Strategies to monitor this issue to see if there will be any local government fund sweeps proposed to plug the deficit. Although this would not have any direct impact on IVGID, he recommended consulting with Tri-Strategies on initiatives and defensive plays in the upcoming legislative session. He also recommended a Board workshop on drafting possible legislation and defensive positions. Mr. Klein advised that after the November elections, at least 3 state senators will not be returning and all 42 members of the state assembly are up for re-election. He proposed that each should be re-educated by Tri-Strategies and informed properly on a General Improvement District’s role.
Trustee Schmitz stated that she had reached out to our state Assemblywoman Lisa Krasner, our State Senator Ben Kieckhefer, and Washoe County Commissioners Berkbigler, Lucey and Jung for input on this type of service contract. Schmitz said that they had all expressed surprise that IVGID was contracting for these types of services when the legislature was not in session year around. She further reported that she has been discussing with Washoe County their lobbying budget and is waiting receipt of more information before sharing it with the Board. Trustee Schmitz also asked the Board if this was a wise use of our public money during these uncertain economic times. Chair Callicrate recommended that the Board review any new contract and redefine the firm’s focus at an upcoming meeting.
Attending District Legal Counsel Report
Josh Nelson of the Law Firm of Best, Best & Krieger introduced himself and his firm as interim legal counsel for the District. The firm has more than 200 attorneys engaged almost exclusively in public agency work. Mr. Nelson is general counsel for a number of special districts and other local agencies. The latter are primarily engaged in providing water and sewer services, similar to our District. He reported that he had substituted in as co-counsel with Mr. Beko on the Smith litigation, and that the case is awaiting the Judge’s appointment of a Special Master to review 500 of the withheld emails to determine if they are public records or attorney-client privileged.
Board Treasurer Report
Trustee Treasurer Schmitz updated the Board on her meetings with District Controller Pommerenck and Director of Finance Navazio. Pommerenck produced a simple and comprehensive report that matches the District budget to the Department of Taxation Form 4404LGF. This report will help the community, as well as staff, understand how the numbers align. Trustee Schmitz contacted the Government Finance Officers Association (“GFOA”), Eide Bailly and the State of Nevada Committee on Local Government Finance regarding the central services cost allocation issue. The GFOA and Eide Bailly verbally stated that it is normal to cover internal services like human resources and finance in this way. Neither provided the Nevada Statute that permitted Special Revenue Funds to make Central Services Cost Allocation transfers to the General Fund. She is waiting to hear back from the Committee on Local Government Finance for this information, and is requesting their response in writing.
Audit Committee Chair Report
Trustee and Audit Committee Chair Dent reported that there have been 8 applicants to join the audit committee and the Board will interview them at the end of the month. The applicants are: Derrek Aaron, Clifford Dobler, Glen Rossman, Joan Spelletich, Raymond Tulloch, Judith Miller, Denise Davis and Michaela Tonking. NOTE: the candidates will be interviewed and potentially appointed at the meeting on the 23rd.
Consent Calendar Items
The Board unanimously awarded a procurement contract to Mission Controls Company, Inc., totaling $96,800 for the fabrication and delivery of chairlift control panels for the Lakeview lift at Diamond Peak and authorized staff to execute all purchase agreements after review by legal counsel and staff. The control panels are responsible for starting and stopping chairlift, monitoring safety circuits and the speed at which the electrical motor drives the chairlift. A functioning and serviceable control panel is critical to the safe operation of a chairlift. Three bids were received and Mission Controls was the lowest bidder.
The Board unanimously approved and authorized the signature of a professional services contract with Moss Adams LLP to perform a construction project and engineering consultant contract audit on a sampling of capital projects in an amount not to exceed $38,000.00. This is an important contract because the District’s 5-year Capital Improvement Plan contemplates investment of $53 million in capital projects. There have been concerns over the District’s internal controls and practices as they relate to contract procurement, administration and management. This assistance is to review policies, procedures and internal controls related to management of professional services, consulting and construction contracts to ensure and promote transparency and accountability related to capital project investments. This contract will review up to 5 recent IVGID contracts.
General Business Items
The Board awarded by a vote of 3 to 1 with 1 abstention to approve multiple contracts for the Tennis Center Renovation Project as part of the 2019/2020 Capital Improvement Project. Staff was authorized to execute a contract with Daniel Fraiman Construction in the amount of $709,000 and a $49,200 contract with BJG Architecture and Engineering and to expend up to $71,000 for change orders; $40,000 for staff time and $41,000 for permits, furnishings, fixtures and equipment. All of these contracts and expenditures were passed under one motion. Trustee Schmitz voted against the motion because she wanted to remove the additional $21,000 of upgrades added to the project and the single motion did not provide the opportunity for her to do so.
Trustee Dent abstained from voting due to a conflict of interest because he is employed by Daniel Fraiman. In his prepared statement he said that he had consulted with the Director of the Ethics Commission and District Counsel, and affirmed that he will not work on the project, was not involved in the bid formation, receives no compensation from this project and is not a part of the project team.
The Board unanimously awarded and approved a construction contract for the water reservoir safety and security improvements project to Paso Robles Tank, Inc., in the amount of $109,000. This work is scheduled to begin on July 1, 2020 through October 15, 2020 with possible completion into November. Trustee Schmitz asked if there was a concern with allowing the project to continue into November due to the snow. Engineering Manager Chorey said that he was comfortable because the work is at a lower altitude and therefore finishing the work by October 15, with completion in November would be achievable. This project is Phase II of the Water Reservoir Safety and Security Improvements Project, and includes 3 reservoirs removed from Phase 1 of the project when bids came in over budget. The Project improvements include replacement of ladders that access the top of the reservoirs, installing intermediate access platforms, installing protective railings and installing fall protection devices. 4 bids were received and Paso Robles Tank, Inc. was low bidder.
The first phase of this project to construct 10 water reservoir safety and security improvements was awarded to another contractor and was to be completed by June 30, 2020. To date this work has not been implemented and Director of Public Works has extended the schedule for completion of this phase to September 30, 2020.
In contrast to previous years when IVGID was having difficulty attracting interest in District capital projects, Chorey advised the Board that IVGID is seeing increased interest in bidding on IVGID projects.
Director of Public Works Joe Pomroy and Engineering Manager Nathan Chorey advised that Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) had approached IVGID concerning exploring a partnership for the possible replacement of up to 1000 linear feet of effluent export pipeline in State Route 28 in 2021. Interim General Manager Winquest explained that the opportunity had been presented to IVGID by NDOT, and he was bringing it to the Board for their consideration.
Chair Callicrate stated that the pipeline replacement was located in Segment 2 and it was his understanding that this segment had 10 to 20 years of useful life. Mr. Pomroy concurred. Callicrate further stated that Segment 3 pipeline was in imminent danger of failing and replacement of pipeline in Segment 3 should be the District’s primary focus.
Trustee Schmitz referenced the HDR analysis validating that this section of effluent pipeline in Segment 2 actually had 20+ years more than the 10-20 years stated earlier.
Trustee Morris was willing to explore the opportunity until it was determined that although the investigation would only involve minimal staff time, the actual costs to replace up to 1000 lf would range from $500,000 to $1,000,000 for replacing pipeline that could last for more than 20 years. Mr. Pomroy acknowledged that there were no defects under ten years in this section and that it did not need to be replaced now. The Trustees unanimously agreed that there was no reason to incur these costs now as the timing was not correct. The Trustees instructed Mr. Winquest to inform NDOT that IVGID appreciated the opportunity to partner and would be interested in such opportunities in the future.
Trustee Schmitz discussed the status of the Board of Trustees Handbook which she is revising. The Handbook is intended to be a comprehensive reference manual that clearly defines Trustee roles and responsibilities along with other important information. Trustee Schmitz has incorporated all comments she received from Trustee Wong except for one which is specified elsewhere. Trustee Schmitz noted that there is redundancy with Board Policy 3.1.0 and pages 644-648 of the draft handbook. Trustees recommended retaining pages 644-648 in the handbook for now, with an additional reference to Policy 3.1.0. Trustee Dent said that IVGID has been working on revisions since 2008 or 2010. Trustee Morris suggested including a sentence that in all matters, Board policies shall prevail over the provisions of the handbook. Counsel instructed that it should state that both provisions of the Nevada Revised Statutes and Board Policy will prevail over the provisions of the handbook. It was agreed that Trustee Schmitz will put together a preamble, make all grammatical changes, and refine the language regarding Trustee privileges. Schmitz will also prepare another redline version and bring it back to the Board at the next meeting.
The Meeting Minutes of May 6, 2020 were unanimously approved by the Board, subject to correction of some typographical/grammatical corrections which Schmitz will provide to the Board Clerk.
Trustee Wong congratulated the 2020 graduates and reported that they are having an in-person graduation for their families only in July.