Town of Pinedale update Oct. 2, 2015
by Mayor Bob Jones
October 2, 2015
I want to begin by thanking the 50-plus members of the LDS church who went through our parks on Wednesday, doing major clean-up, mulching, and generally improving the appearance of our parks. We at the Town thank you for your service to our community.
In another matter, town spending, particularly in salaries, has been a recent point of contention with some members of the public. Let me set the record straight. Your current town council has reduced administrative salaries by over $165,000 from last year to this year. Salaries in the public works department have increased by $137,000 over the same time period, resulting in a net savings to the Town of almost $30,000.
And yes, we have moved some of the accounting to a third party CPA firm. The system that this council inherited was in such bad shape that it was beyond any lay person's ability to fix. We have hired an outside CPA firm that specializes in municipal accounting, and we are now well on the road to recovery. This same firm is used by both larger and smaller communities around the state. Not only does this ensure the job is done right; but it helps to ensure everything is looked at from a third party point of view. This system is just one more check we have put into the system to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse.
Our primary concern is and has always been your safety, particularly with our water and sewer systems. We generally say "out of sight, out of mind;" but there is an incredible amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure our systems remain safe. For instance, the sewer lines had not all been jetted in years, if ever.
That is now being completed. And, we have found many lines with 100% blockage. We inherited a water system with 2 EPA violations, which have now been addressed and corrected. Last summer we found not one, but 14 fire hydrants that didn't work. They have all been fixed. And, with a brand new paint job, I might add. We just had a DEQ sanitary inspection of our sewer and an EPA inspection of our water, passing both with flying colors.
Because public works has been understaffed for so long, needed maintenance continued to be deferred, resulting in a build-up of deficiencies over the years. We have added three positions to the department, are getting back on top of our maintenance issues, and plan on staying on top of maintenance in the future.