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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
January 27, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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January 27, 2010

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........ r~ . - ~~ - .~,~-,~:1.~I~~,'~'-.-a,~',l~ FEATHER RIVER Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010 Vol. 143 zding Areas Since 1866 50 CENTS Iconic lodge burns down Mike Taborski Publisher mtaborski@plumasnews.corn While long overdue, but genuinely welcomed by snowmobile and skiing en- thusiasts, last week's heavy Sierra snowfall crippled vol- unteer firefighters' efforts to respond to an early morning fire Wednesday, Jan. 20, that completely destroyed histori- cal Bucks Lake Lodge, two outbuildings and the owner's adjacent cabin residence. No injuries were reported. In the winter months, the Bucks Lake area is accessi- ble only by snowmobile, snow cats or cross-country skis. Rudy Gutierrez, who was staying in a cabin next to the lodge, saw flames and called 911 at 4:32 a.m. He was visiting his broth- er, Luis Gutierrez, who, along with his partner Rebecca Guereque, own and operate this popular year- round resort. Resort owners could not be reached for comment, but several people who have had contact with them said the couple plans to rebuild the resort. It was also unknown at press time whether they can keep the remaining cabins and nearby 12-unit Timber- line Lodge open this winter. Bucks Lake Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jeff Iver- son was at his cabin at the lake and was on the scene within minutes of the 911 call. "It was already fully en- gulfed in flames. Both Luis and Rudy were outside and safe and I was able to quickly confirm no others were in any danger," Iverson said. As soon as he knew the area was secured, the fire chief called Bucks resident Jan Prince, who immediately started calling other resi- dents known to be staying on "the hill," directing them to meet at the parking area at Bucks' Summit. See Lodge, page 12A More than two feet of fresh snow, fallen trees in the roadway and no power or water were just some of the challenges firefighters and other first responders faced as they attacked the fire at Bucks Lake Lodge early Wednesday morning, Jan. 20. Photo submitted PUSD disbands Measure A committee; work done Mona Hill Staff Writer Plumas Unified School Dis- trict board members voted unanimoualy Thursday, Jan. 21, to disband the Measure A oversight dommittee on the recommendation of commit- tee chairwoman Cynthia Baker, which followed a fi- nancial summary presented by Yvonne Bales, the dis- trict's business director. Bales recapped funding and revenues tied to the measure in her financial re- port to the board, announc- ing auditors reported "no findings" on the manage- merit and use of Measure A funds. The measure established a three-year timeframe for fa- cility upgrades to district schools, resulting in the es- tablishment of a 16-member community committee to identify, plan and oversee improvements to area schools. Bales reported the original bond amount, just over $15 million, was deposited three years ago to the district's Fund 21, essentially a build- ing fund. By law, those funds could only be used for mod- ernization-not for new con- struction. State matching funds and interest added $370,268, mak- ing total funds available for all projects $16.25 million through the end of the three- year period. During the statutory three- year period, the :original funds paid a total of $15,005,728 for modernization projects at all schools. Of those projects, the commit- tee allocated an additional $375,957 in what state educa- tion officials call "savings" (from state matching funds) for the Chester High School's gym modernization. As of the start of the 2009-10 school year, the fund balance was $6.4 million. Of that amount, approximately $3 million has been expended on the CHS gym and lighting upgrades to Greenville High School's football field, leav- ing about $3.25 million in the account currently. The committee has ear- marked $2.3 million for Por- tola High School's cafeteria project, on track to begin work this summer, leaving about $900,000 in the fund. Superintendent Glenn Harris told board members it was very unlikely the dis- trict would receive outstand- ing matching funds given the state's budget woes. In addition, he said the board should expect delays and overruns on the PHS One man's work is another man's play Mark Bennett, the road maintenance supervisor for the Quincy area, pauses his snowplow at Tollgate to speak with a skier during one of last week's snow- storms, Although there were a few intermittent power outages, the Quincy area fared much better than other parts of the county Snow sports en- thusiasts headed to Bucks Summit to make turns while the snow fell. Photo by Shannor. Morrow For storm updates visit project, similar to those the Chester project encountered. He cited suppliers' economic difficulties as the cause for the delays, which are beyond the contractor's control. Suppliers of special pur- pose materials are delaying construction of those sup- plies until they have re- ceived payment in full be- cause of problems with in- ventory. He said suppliers were simply not maintaining inventory of those items be- cause that would tie up need- e~ operating funds. Bales told board members it was appropriate to disband the committee, but cautioned them that while She had pre- pared and timely filed the district's final report on the use of state matching funds, the state had not yet ap- proved the report. Bales said it was possible the state could try to recoup matching funds if not satis- fied with Measure A dis- bursements. Her statement drew heavily ironic chuckles from board members. District 4 board member Jonathan Kusel credited the oversight committee with smoothly and successfully planning and implementing the expenditure of Measure A funds. Harris and board president Brad Baker con- curred, saying the commit- tee members had leveraged $15 million into $22.6 mil- lion, which they spent "in a wise fashion." Following later in the meet- ing, Cynthia Baker presented the recommendation to the board to disband the commit- tee. She said the only out- standing work remaining to be done, as identified by the committee, were improve- ments to the district offices. Baker said it was the wish of the committee that those im- provements be made using the remaining, unallocated See Disband, page 14A County declares local emergency Joshua Sebold Staff Writer The Plumas County Board of Supervisors declared a lo- cal emergency in Plumas County in response to the re- cent storms, Monday, Jan. 25. Plumas County Office of Emergency Services Direc- tor Keith Mahan said this was the first step in the dec- laration system, which even- tually can lead to resources coming from the state or fed- eral government. Board chairwoman Sher- rie Thrall told him a local businessperson asked her if there was a stage in the sys- tem where private business- es could recoup losses. "In our area we've had restaurants that have clearly thrown out foo.d, bought, power goes out again and they have to throw it out and they're at the third iteration of doing that which is just about enough to put them out of business," said Thrall. Mahan replied that a state declaration could bring help for the public sector and lo- cal governments but that a federal declaration was needed for the private sector to receive direct aid. He said that the federal de- claration required very se- vere damage from a disaster and that Plumas didn't seem likely to qualify for that at this point. Mahan added that 75 peo- ple from Caltrans and a state corrections work program came into Plumas County in the last week to dig out fire hydrants and remove snow from senior centers and schools in the most impacted areas. The director said those groups left the night before after accomplishing their goals. He also explained that the next step in the process would be to request that the governor sign a declaration of an emergency in Plumas County if and when the county decided it could qual- ify for further aid from the state. <