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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
February 12, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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February 12, 2014

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2A Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 Feather River Bulletin Audience members object to how board conducts business Debra Moore Staff Writer The supervisors and audience members were not alone during the Plumas County Board of Supervisors&apos; Feb. 4 meeting. A tiny camera mounted at the back of the room filmed the day's proceedings and beamed it live within the courthouse. Soon residents across the county will be able to view the meeting from their homes or offices -- actually, from anywhere they can access Internet. The Feb. 4 meeting can be viewed by going to the Board of Supervisors' home page on and clicking on meeting minutes. Future meeting videos will also be posted there. Point of order During the public comment portion of the meeting, Indian Valley resident Todd BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ROUNDUP Anderson asked Board Chairman Jon Kennedy to define the rules the supervisors use to conduct their meetings. When Kennedy didn't immediately respond, Anderson asked, "How can you be the chairman?" County Counsel Craig Settlemire said that the supervisors are governed by the Brown Act and that they use an abbreviated form of Roberts Rules of Order. That didn't satisfy Anderson, who said that the word "abbreviated" made it unclear, and he suggested that the board adopt a resolution that would clarify its meeting rules. "If it's deemed necessary to have a resolution we will get one," Kennedy responded. Another audience member, Dan Bailey, suggested that the board require all speakers to identify themselves, because when listening to an audiotape of the meetings, it is difficult to determine who is speaking. He suggested that Kennedy require identification. Kennedy said that the Brown Act doesn't require an individual to state his or her name. "I think they should identify themselves," Bailey said. "I won't ask," Kennedy responded, though he said he would make an initial statement at the beginning of the meeting inviting people to identify themselves if they choose. Timely response The supervisors authorized a response to Judge Ira Kaufman regarding the board's grand jury response. Kaufman, who oversees the grand jury, sent a letter noting a lack of a timely response from the supervisors. The two-sentence letter adopted Feb. 4 acknowledged receipt of the judge's letter and promised a timely response to future grand jury reports. The supervisors approved a response Jan. 7, more than six months after the report was released. State law requires a response within 90 days. Superviso r Lori Simpson said that she had submitted her nine-page report Sept. 16, as did Supervisor Terry Swofford. "Supervisors Simpson and Swofford weren't late," Board Chairman Jon Kennedy said. "But as a board we all were." Hiring Sheriff Greg Hagwood received authorization to recruit and hire a deputy whose job will be to work with the probation department. Funding for the position comes from Assembly Bill 109 and not the county's general fund. Hagwood also received approval to fill a vacant dispatch position. Hagwood said the position had been vacant for a year as he waited for a suitable candidate to pass the testing and background process. The Mental Health Department received authorization to fill two vacant clinical therapist positions, resulting from internal promotions. Alcohol and drug administrator named The supervisors approved Louise Steenkamp as the  county's new alcohol and drug administrator. Steenkamp is currently the assistant director for the public health department. Opting out The supervisors voted unanimously to withdraw as a member of Feather River Coordinated Resource Management. The group, consisting of multiple agencies, coordinates resource projects. Supervisor Lori Simpson, the board's representative to the group, said that recently there has been a lot of controversy with regard to methods used, including pond and plug. "A lot of the agencies have not signed back on," Supervisor Terry Swofford said. "I think we ought to step back." Appointments The board appointed Jerry Crowe to serve on the Whitehawk Ranch Community Services District board of directors. Bridge repairs dominate road projects Debra Moore Staff Writer The Plumas County Public Works Department plans to undertake $38.5 million worth of road and bridge projects through 2019. Public Works Director Bob Perreault presented a list of projects during the Board of Supervisors' meeting Feb. 4. In addition to the county projects, state and federal projects are also planned totaling $36.7 million. Perreault is optimistic about putting three to five projects out to bid later this year. Three projects are planned in 2014: guardrail upgrades for A15 ($500,000); replacement of Snake Lake Road bridge over Spanish Creek ($2.3 million); and replacement of County Road 322A bridge over Bailey Creek ($2.4 million). The estimates include total project costs. For example, the Bailey Creek bridge total breaks down as follows: design', $650,000; right of way, $10,000; and construction, $1.7 milliom. Of the $38.5 million in county projects, Perreault said, "Just under $30 million in construction could help the local economy." Perreault unveiled 12 projects for 2015, including more bridge work and pavement rehabilitation. The projects are spread throughout the county. Green waste disposal Since Sierra Pacific Industries stopped accepting green waste in Quincy because of construction on a new large-log sawmill, county officials have searched for an alternative. The mill accepted a staggering amount of green waste from commercial landscaping companies as well as the general public, and without that availability officials worry that it may result in increased dumping or burning. The problem is most critical in Quincy, because residents in other areas have alternatives. Perreault is writing a request for proposals that is more flexible than normal, soliciting specific proposals as well as generalized ideas pertaining to the future of the county's green waste program. Supervisors Lori Simpson and Jon Kennedy will serve on a committee to review the submittals. Your Collision Repair Professionals Serving Plumas County for more than 25+ years Our goal at HI-TECH is to continue to provide our customers with not only the best quality collision repairs, from Body and Paint, to Frame, Suspension, and Mechanical repairs, but to make the repair process as easy and stress free as possible. By handling all paperwork and dealing with insurance repairing your vehicle to pre-accident condition with a lifetime guarantee for as long as you own your giving you the best customer service and peace of mind our customers deserve and have come to expect from us. 283-0191 1229 Industrial Way, Quincy Committee to address drought issues Debra Moore Staff Writer Agriculture, fire, domestic water supplies, recreation and tourism top the list of concerns in Plumas County as drought conditions continue in the West. Jerry Sipe, the county's office of emergency services director, provided the Board of Supervisors with information on what is being done to mitigate the effects, of the drought. "The biggest impacts are on the ag community," Sipe told the supervisors Feb. 4. He said that the county farm advisor and the UC Cooperative Extension had been meeting with farmers and ranchers to provide resources and information. Agriculture The U.S. Department of Ageieutt,ure issued a drought, :' declaxation for 23 northern ..... California counties, including Plumas, that allows farmers to access low-interest loans. In backup information presented to the board, Sips noted that surface water deliveries for Sierra and Indian valleys will begin March 15, and "unless things dramatically improve, only fn'st water rights holders will be fulfilled." There is also concern that Sierra Valley wells could run dry later this summer. The lack of rainfall has resulted in reduced forage on Forest Service land, so grazing allotments could be reduced this year. Drought resources available Following is contact information for a range of drought-related services. Federal low-interest loans: Plumas-Sierra Ag Commissioner Tim Gibson, 283-6365 Livestock assistance: UC Cooperative Extension, Holly George, 283-6270 Grazing allotments and stock water use with U.S. Forest Service: Mohawk Ranger District, Deb Bumpus, 836-2575 5ierraville Ranger District, Quentin Youngblood, 994-3401 Financial assistance for hauled water: Natural Resource Conservation r .... District;Dan Mart/nn, ' .... '-" : :' ! '2837511 ..... USDA Farm Service Agency: Debi Michaels, 257-1427 Fire prevention: CalFire, Shane Vargas, 283-9322 Water conservation tips: Fire prevention The threat of wildfire will grow and CalFire is being proactive by increasing education and outreach for its residential defensible space program. Sipe said that his office is working with the Forest Service to hold a wildland exercise in Meadow Valley. The goals are to increase notification, communication and coordination among agencies and to heighten the public's awareness of fwe prevention, Domestic water supply Sipe reported that none of the county's 30 independent community water systems is currently reporting shortages, nor are any anticipated. Most water systems have backup sources. But other systems that serve small groups do not have backups, such as 79 systems that serve campgrounds, recreation areas and seasonal lodges and restaurants. "One seasonal resort in Lakes Basin has a spring that has gone dry," Sipe told the supervisors. The owners plan to drill a well, but it is expensive and there is a shortage ofvalable wellL ,,. drillers. Recreation Lake levels vary, but most are near seasonal lows. "Local businesses are concerned," Sipe said. Sipe is reporting to thestate on a weekly basis to help officials get a "snapshot" of what is happening in the county. 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