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Quincy, California
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March 3, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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March 3, 2010
 

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Mar. 3, 2010 13A County replaces its investment advisor Joshua Sebold Staff Writer jsebold@plurnasnews.com Plumas County Treasurer Susie Bryant-Grant intro- duced a new investment advi- sor to the Board of Supervi- sors Tuesday, Feb. 9. The supervisors also re- newed their delegation of au- thority to the treasurer to in- vest funds under county con- trol, The backup material for the agenda item indicated the old investment advisor, who worked for a California State Association of Counties in- vestment pool, was replaced "for several reasons but main- ly because of excessive fees, overcharges and differing in- vestment philosophies." The treasurer said she chose PFM Asset Manage- ment LLC to replace the CSAC group. She introduced the board to PFM Senior Managing Con- sultant Carlos Oblites, who told sulServisors his organiza- tion worked extensively with public entities. "We've been working with public agency investors for over 28 years. That is our pri- mary business. "I want to say that 98 per- cent of the $35 billion that we have under management are cities, counties, joint power authorities, self-insurance pools and what not. "The other 2 percent are public higher ed, as well as public pension funds." Oblites added that $3.8 bil- lion of the funds handled by the company were from Cali- fornia counties, which gave the group, "a presence in the market," allowing it to get better deals. He also explained his com- pany administered the Cali- fornia Asset Management Program, in which the county currently invests some of its money. CAMP is a well-known in- Vestment group established by a joint powers agreement between California public agencies in 1989. The consultant explained some of his company's invest- ment philosophies. "Most investors rely on credit ratings that S&P and Moody's and Fitch issue. We take a different approach than that. "We have a committee that basically makes decisions on what credits to buy based on more than just credit ratings alone. "As all of us have learned through this entire liquidity crunch and the crisis that we've had and this downturn in the economy, rating agen- cies tend to move at the very last minute, way too late for investors to be able to do any- thing." A chart included in Oblites' Electric co-op get ; broadband boost The California Public Utili- up to approximately 13,000 Sierra Rural Electric Cooper- holds and 453 businesses, in ties Commission approved a matching grant of $1,721,280 Feb. 25, from the California Advanced Services Fund to Plumas Sierra Telecommuni- cations that would provide wholesale high-speed Internet broadband service to retail In- ternet service providers and 171 anchor institutions in the mouritainous areas of Plumas, Sierra and Lassen counties in northeastern Cali- fornia. This grant represents 10 percent of the total cost of the project and is contingent up- on approval for an 80 percent matching grant from the fed- eral broadband stimulus por- tion ($7.2 billion) of the Amer- ican Recovery and Reinvest- ment Act. The PST middle-mile pro- ject would build a backhaul network designed to support the northeastern Sierra re- gion of California, including portions of Plumas, Lassen and Sierra counties. The pro- posed fiber network would en- able wholesale service to In- ternet service providers, who in turn could directly serve under-served residents and businesses at speeds from 3 mbps to potentially as high as 100 mbps. Three full-time operations and sales jobs are expecte6 to be created through this pro- ject, with an additional 90 construction and project-re- lated jobs created during con- struction. The proposed 180-mile fiber network would also provide broadband capacity to anchor institutions, such as the city of Loyalton, Feather River Com- munity College District, city of Portola, Plumas County Office of Education, Plumas District Hospital, Plumas (County Eco- nomic Development)? Corpo- ration, the Sierra Institute for Community and Environ- ment, Plumas Bank, Plumas- Sierra Rural Electric Coopera- tive, Susanville Indian Rancheria, the U.S. Depart- ment of Agriculture Forest Service (Plumas National For- est), and an electric co-genera- tion facility being built by Lassen County Prison. PST is a wholly-owned non- profit subsidiary of Plumas- ative, a member-owned elec- tric distribution .utility pro- viding electricity and related services to more than 6,500 member-owners in Plumas, Lassen and Sierra counties in California, and portions of Washoe County in Nevada. PSREC was founded in 1937. The proposed fiber route follows the U.S. Route 395 cor- ridor from Sparks, Nev., into California heading north to Susanville, with a second fiber path branching off after entering California to take a westerly route along Califor- nia State Route 70 to Quincy, and another branch heading south along State Route 49 in Sierra County to Loyalton and Sierraville. The CASF grant would fund 10 percent of the costs for the California portion of the net- work. This middle-mile project al- so facilitates a portion of the PST Last Mile Project previ- ously approved by the CPUC (Dec. 17, 2009) for a CASF grant of $166,911 that would provide retail access to broad- band service to 3,994 house- areas not already served by Internet service providers in Lassen, Plumas and Sierra counties. The Last Mile Pro- ject is also contingent upon approval of 80 percent match- ing ARRA funding. The CPUC established a new schedule July 9, 2009, for filing, review and approval of CASF broadband fund appli- cations to allow project spon- sors to apply simultaneously for an 80 percent match from federal ARRA stimulus. Before then, on Dec. 20, 2007, the CPUC established the $100 million CASF to pro- vide 40 percent matching in- frastructure grants to broad- band providers willing to fi- nance the remaining 60 per- cent of a project's funding re- quirement, to better serve the nearly 2,000 California com- munities that are currently unserved and underserved by broadband. Of that $100 million, $85,388,389 in broadband in- frastructure grants have so far been approved. Today's approvals bring the total to $87,109:669. League schedules ele(:tion forums, speaker Paul Hardy,. executive di- rector of the Feather River Land Trust, will be the speak- er at the next meeting of the League of Women Voters of Plumas County. The meeting will be tomorrow, March 4, at the Work Connection in East Quincy. Hardy will speak at 5:30 p.m. The Feather River Land Trust conserves, manages and restores land in the Feather River region. Hardy will take questions about past trust ef- forts and what lies ahead for the conservation organiza- tion. The public is invited to attend. Election forums have been scheduled by the local league. According to mem- ber Joyce Scroggs, the dates are April 19, in Greenville; April 22, in Graeagle; April 26 in Quincy; April 29, in Portola and May 3, in Chester. Times and locations will be announced in March. Vote-by-mail ballots will be sent out by the elections clerk's office May 10. The final day to register to vote in the June 8 election is May 24. The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan orga- nization. It does not endorse individual candidates, but does take positions on ballot initiatives. This will be the 16th year the local League has sponsored election forums for local candidates. Anyone interested in being a speaker at a League meeting may contact Joyce Scroggs at 283-0795. backup material indicated his company got out of invest- ments in Lehman Brothers two years before it went bank- rupt and rejected Washington Mutual outright as an invest- ment option. Supervisor Ole Olsen asked Oblites if his company was in- volved in managing the Cal PERS retirement program. The consultant said his company handled several small pension funds for cities and other local governments, but wasn't a manger for PERS, which he said took a hit of over 40 percent at one point during the downturn. On her second agenda item, Bryant-Grant. asked for the annual approval of the county investment policy and renew- al of the delegation of authori- ty to the treasurer to invest funds. The treasurer told the board the policy hadn't been changed since 2002, and Oblites had looked over it and didn't have any objections. In a short telephone inter- view, Bryant-Grant con- firmed that delegation of in- vestment authority was es- sentially a formality and the Plumas County Board of Su- pervisors had never objected to the request in more than 20 years. Essentially, making in- vestments and handling coun- ty funds is a large part of what the treasurer is elected to do. County Administrative Officer Jack Ingstad asked her what changes she had made in investment decisions since taking over for the pre- vious treasurer, who retired last March. Bryant-Grant said she opened an account at Plumas Bank with $15 million at a 1.25 interest rate, which she said was an excellent deal. She said she put $5 million in certificate of deposit 'accounts insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The treasurer added she sold the county's Washington : Mutual bonds in December, i actually making a profit of i $600. She also indicated she and Oblites would work to diversi- fy the county's portfolio, fo- cusing on short-term invest- ments for now because of low interest rates. Ingstad said he would like : to be informed of any major investment changes in the fu- ture before they occur; he wanted auditor Shawn Mont- gomery to be informed as well. He said he wished the coun- ty still had an investment committee made up of county employee volunteers. The treasurer said she would keep the CAD and audi- tor informed of pending changes and explained she sent out requests for volun- teers to be on a new version of the committee and didn't get a Single volunteer. Salon 70 Now has a new phone number!! 530-832-9970 ....... ,,00,Call Leah for an appt. Walk-in's are welcome Open Mon-Fri 73417 Hwy 70 Q.uincy Friends of NRA The Quincy Friends of NRA cordially invites you to attend its Annual Fundraiser and Auction GRAND PRIZE DRAWING: CANNON 14 FIRE REStSTANT GUN SAr00 (See safe at Dupont Power Tools in Quincy) Live Auction - Silent Auction Special Drawings - Games Limited Edition Firearms, Custom Knives, Art Prints, many other items created for this event Saturday, March 13, 2010 6pm at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds 204 Fairgrounds Rd., Quincy, CA Tickets: s40 each Tickets will not be sold at the door! For "Ticket Sales or Donations call: Gina McGirr 283-4130 Oran Morrison 283.3322 Plumas00lk DISTRICT HOSPITAL Joyce Stetler Cook I Dietary Aide Joyce is an asset to the Dietary Department. She is atways witting to provide extra staffing and wittingly works tong hours for the department. Joyce always has a smite on her face and is pteasant to both the staff and the patients of Piumas District Hospital. Joyce enjoys her job and is a very reliabte and va[uabte employee. Congratulations Joyce Stetler! Plumas District Hospital Employee of the Month February 2010 CaliforniaMarket Now Available Quincy 1065 Bucks Lake Road, Quincy, CA 95971 WE DELIVER!. Quincy Susanville Greenville Chester Portola 283-0800 257-5321 284-7800 258-3115 832-4646