Town OKs new temporary buildings and grounds worker

The Town of Pahrump approved the hiring of an employee for the buildings and grounds department last week.

The department was already understaffed and recently lost another employee due to illness.

It’s unclear exactly when the new employee is expected to return to work following his medical leave.

Supervisor Matt Luis said due to budget concerns, the town may want to consider bringing in a temporary employee to help bridge the gap.

“After looking at the budget, we talked to our finance director Mike Sullivan and learned that we can go with a full-time temporary employee, which will get us through January. It’s now up to the wishes of the board. We certainly can use it because we have projects going on,” he said.

Luis also told the board that the time is right to hire an additional crew member due to the upcoming change in weather.

“We are coming out of our little league and pool season. A full-time temporary employee will be able to focus on projects we’ve got and that’s going to take us into January. By that time we really don’t know exactly where we’ll be. The budget can deal with a full-time temp and it will help us accomplish our goals,” he said.

Board Vice Chair Bill Dolan asked what will happen to the temporary employee’s position if the sick employee does not return to work.

Luis said there’s a good chance the temporary employee will become permanent.

“It depends on how we move things around, but the way it looks, yes. For the one employee who is out now, we have a temporary employee filling his spot. It’s a great employee, and it’s very possible he will be the person coming in for the full-time temporary position,” he said.

Town Manager Susan Holecheck said the need for an additional employee is dire because Luis will have his hands full late next month organizing a popular annual event for the town.

“I don’t know how many of you realize how hard Matt works on the fall festival. He spends an enormous amount of time, as do others organizing the fall festival. We should know more about the person who is out on medical leave by the beginning of September and that will enable Matt to give everyone a little more information,” she said.

Luis and his crew are also involved in a project on the far south end of Pahrump where board members this month approved awarding a Request For Proposal for the installation of a waterline at Kellogg Park.

Gary Guy Wilson Architects recommended Ron Murphy Construction to do the work after reviewing the bids of eight area contractors.

Murphy’s bid was more than $1,000 less than that of the next responsive bidder.

Luis said once the work is completed, irrigation lines can be installed at the 19-acre site.

“We have the well in the middle of that property and this will bring the pipeline down to the north end of that 19 acres. As soon as it’s in, then we can start on the drip lines. This is the first big step in getting that 19 acres started and protecting a lot of the town’s water rights that we need to use on that property,” he said.

Following further discussion board members voted 3-1 to approve the RFP.

Dolan voted against the item after objecting to a $5,000 change order clause in the contract.

“I just have a real problem with pre-approving change orders on a contract,” he said.

Board member Amy Riches was absent for the vote.

The town will pay $74,800 for the completed project.

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