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Tensions Rise at Final IVGID Meeting of Year

December 18, 2022 | Member Submitted

Originally Published in the Tahoe Daily Tribune on 12/16/22. View the original article here.

Written by Miranda Jacobson.

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The Incline Village General Improvement District Board of Trustees met Wednesday, Dec. 14, for the last time in 2022 before newly-elected David Noble and Ray Tulloch take their places as board members.

While there was progress made throughout the meeting, there was some tense discussions towards the end in regards to geothermal energy use in Incline Village.

At the Nov. 8 board meeting, trustees asked Aidlin Operating Company, LLC Manager William Chastain to bring a formal presentation to the board about the geothermal concept. Tensions rose as Chastain explained the need for geothermal energy use due to the many outages that happen with NV Energy.

Chairman Tim Callicrate explained that if approved to move forward at a future date, there would be a lucrative royalty deal paid up front to IVGID, and work would be done with NV Energy to ensure renewable energy is being used. 

“Nevada Energy is looking to really amp up its use of renewables, specifically geothermal,” said Callicrate. 

Although the board members agreed that there was opportunity in directing staff to move forward with looking over the potential contract, there were many questions that were met with hostility by Chastain.

Ultimately, Chastain announced that if the board did not move forward with geothermal energy, he would be pulling the offer from the table completely.

“If we don’t build a more resilient, local power supply, these incidents … will happen and are accelerating and will continue to accelerate. It’s a reality. Deal with it … As a 20-year resident, I’ve had enough … I will withdraw this proposal if you don’t move forward tonight. Period.”

The board members tried to work with Chastain through the tension but ultimately decided there was no way to move forward with directing staff to analyze supporting documents for the proposal.

“I just think this proposal is dead on arrival when we get an ultimatum like that,” said Trustee Matthew Dent. “I don’t need to hear anymore.”

The consent calendar passed completely, which saw the acceptance of a grant in the amount of $250,000 from Washoe County for the purpose of improving the skate park located on the corner of Southwood and Tahoe Blvd., along with another $100,000 from the county for youth and senior programming.

District General Manager Indra Winquest was also authorized to extend the lease agreement between the Hyatt Corporation and IVGID, with amendments approved the contract.

Winquest announced during the review of the long range calendar that at the Feb. 8 meeting, there will be an agenda item to decide the policy on administration of pubic records in order to make the process easier for both those requesting and staff working on requests.

Progress was made on the Effluent Pipeline Project as the board moved to approve the purchase approximately $1.4 million worth of pipeline material. The board was able to hear a detailed presentation on the progress of the project and the benefits of buying the pipeline product earlier in order to save money in the long term.

It was confirmed by Director of Public Works Brad Underwood that the pipeline being ordered is the exact pipeline needed for the project, which was a concern brought up by a community member during public comment.

During the presentations given to the board, the construction manager at risk gave a rough timeline of what the process would look like while working with NDOT, road closures, and general project execution. Trustee Sara Schmitz brought up the point that although most of the work is scheduled for shoulder seasons, there is also risk with fire seasons that have become just as prevalent in Lake Tahoe.

“What we would be doing is bringing back a discussion about phasing the project,” said Winquest. “Obviously staff has their recommendation as far as how they’re recommending doing Phase One. In the event that the board would like to transition that, we just want to make sure that we have robust discussions so that we can continue to move this process forward as quickly as we can.”

Overall, the next steps are to finish the design of the project and nail down cost and schedule certainty of the project in order to deliver the best value.

Discussion and approval of the budget amendment for the Recreation Center Expansion Project was taken off the agenda after a few more invoices came in for work that need to be accounted for.

To watch the entire meeting visit https://livestream.com/accounts/3411104.

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