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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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June 18, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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June 18, 2014
 

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Feather River Bulletin , Wednesday, June 18, 2014 9A Council to send LAFCo issue to Sacramento Carolyn Shipp Staff Writer cshipp@plumasnews.com : The Portola City Council :(continues to wrestle for fair Local Agency Commission fees. :However, the members of the :council have risen beyond the aid of local government and : turned to the state for help. The regular City Council meeting June 11 consisted of a few discussions, including :::about a water problem and a o:reconstruction of the sheriffs : contract, but both were eclipsed , :by a discussion about the i LAFCo fees. LAFCo lives on In April, Lake Davis resident : Trent Saxton presented the : itopic to the council. Saxton iargued that Portola unfairly i,pays half of the $101,000 worth ' of fees pertaining to LAFCo. : Because it is the only city in the : county it is responsible for half of the fees; however, its citizens represent only 10 percent of the county's population. Wanting to avoid a conflict i with the Board of Supervisors, i Council Member Bill Powers and Mayor Phil Oels worked  with Supervisors Jon Kennedy : and Terry Swofford to fmd a ' solution. They all decided the best way to remedy the imbalance would be to ask Assemblyman Brian Dahle for help by constructing legislation that was more specific about how one-citied counties should proceed. Powers drafted a letter to DaMe, but the Board of Supervisors did not approve it. ,The board wasn't happy with the whole letter," said Swofford at the council meeting. Powers read the letter to the attendees and it listed a few options DaMe could use to instill more clarity to the governing code. An example of an option was to rewrite the LAFCo law to exclude rural counties from mandatory coufity commissions entirely. Swofford said the Board of Supervisors didn't want to sign the letter because they wanted Dahle to target the special districts associations. "The special districts are the ones who are getting off scot-free here," said Swofford. "They are the ones we are doing all the work for and yet they are not paying." According to the code, a special district association can contribute to LAFCo fees and receive a seat on the LAFCo board. However, none of the districts in Plumas County pay and therefore no special district representatives are on the board. Despite that fact, on June 4, the Plumas County Special Districts Association voted to ask the Board of Supervisors to pay the entire LAFCo bill, and allow two special district members a seat on the LAFCo board. "We need to change the law," said Swofford. "We need Assemblyman Dahle to step up and say 'Hey, this is not fair' ... we need to make some legislation so the special districts have to pay a part of the LAFCo fees." Powers said that he didn't want to "box in" DaMe and turn the letter into a list of demands. He said he wanted to make sure Dahle understood "we need help." "I approve of sending (the letter)," said Council Member John Larrieu. "It can't hurt." With the council in agreement, Powers will send the letter. Water battles Along with the letter, City Manager Robert Meacher might also be going to Sacramento. He'll be going to advocate for the city's water rights. He informed the council that the State Water Resources Control Board has changed the city's water rights permit on Willow Springs, which is the current supplier of the city's water. The state is mandating that the city shut down the springs in order to conserve water. The city would then begin to use water from the Lake Davis treatment plant. However, Meacher said if the drought continues, Lake Davis will lower to a dangerous level and the treatment plant will be useless. In that case, the city would have to return to the wells, which, according to the state, are contaminated with arsenic. Meacher asked the council's permission to use staff time and resources to pursue the Resources Control Board, all the way to Sacramento if necessary. The council approved his request. "By all means chase that," said Oels. "Chase it hard." Less to law enforcement The council also restructured the amount of city-allocated law enforcement funds. The city reduced the $75,000 base fee to $50,000 to accommodate the re-establishment of Community Service Officer Leah Turner. Sheriff Greg Hagwood said he was not happy with the decrease, but said he understands the economic challenges facing the city. "It just kind of leaves me with a bad feeling," said Hagwood. "You have our unwavering commitment and the unwavering commitment of our staff." City Finance Officer Susan Scarlett reminded the public that property taxes pay for law enforcement and the city's contract is in addition to those funds. :Man burned in Lake Almanor explosion identified Samantha P. Hawthorne Staff Writer shawthorn@plumasnews.com To n/any who have come to know his story, Ferrellgas service technician David Beavers is a hero. A routine : tank exchange June 2 on Peninsula Drive left Beavers with second- and third-degree burns all over his body -- the replacement tank exploded while he was making the exchange. Despite this, he risked further injury by trying to stop the tank from causing additional damage, and helping the family escape without injury. According to Peninsula Fire Protection District's assistant chief, Bob Phillips, the young man called out to homeowners Mike and Diane Moe to "get out of the house and away from the scene." Thanks to his fast reflexes, the family and their pets got out safely. Due to the extent of his injuries, Beavers was airlifted to the UC Davis Medical Center, where he has since been on the "long road to recovery." To help cover his medical expenses, a burn recovery fund has been Set up in his name to raise $10,000 by the end of September. At the time of this writing, 17 people have donated to the cause; together they have raised $1,650. Donations can be made securely via debit or credit card at tinyurl.com/davidbeaversbu rnrecoveryfund. In order for Beavers to get 100 percent of the money raised, an optional 7.9 percent plus 50 cent transaction fee can be added to each individual donation. PG&E releases water from Bucks Lake to Lower Bucks Lake Pacific Gas and Electric Co. announced May 8 that Lake Almanor and Bucks Lake water levels are projected to be below normal this summer due to drought conditions. The lake level projections were announced at the 2105 Lake Level Committee meeting in Chico, which is held most years to review and discuss PG&E's planned water operations for Lake Almanor and Bucks Lake for the remainder of the year. Kevin Richards, a hydrologist in PG&E's power generation department, stated at th e meeting that PG&E plans its operations to balance recreation, the environment, generation and other needs, but with less inflow due to the drought, Lake Almanor will be about 3 to 5 feet lower than normal this summer. Despite the lower levels, Lake Almanor will still have the third largest surface area of any freshwater lake entirely within California. PG&E has been generating less hydropower this spring to save water in reservoirs. In 2013, Northern California experienced the driest calendar year on record, with dry conditions continuing into 2014; however, late winter and early spring storms slightly improved the situation. Total precipitation for season to date in the Lake Almanor basin is at 62 percent of normal, and in the Bucks Lake basin precipitation is at 59 percent of normal, Richards reported. This year, based on current data, a moderate summer electrical demand and historical rr/odelirig, PG&E projects that Lake Almanor levels will reach approximately 4,483 feet elevation by July 4. The level is projected to be approximately 4,479 feet by Labor Day. Bucks Lake levels For Bucks Lake, levels will also be lower than last year, reaching approximately 5,137 feet elevation by July 4. Bucks Lake's level will be approximately 5,135 feet in elevation by Labor Day, about 5 feet below normal for that date. Since December, PG&E has only once drawn water from Bucks Lake to generate power at the Bucks Creek Powerhouse. This was during a flex alert and lasted only two days. "We have not been drawing water from Bucks Lake to generate power at Bucks Creek Powerhouse, only releasing water into Lower Bucks so we can meet the required minimum instream flows out of Lower Bucks Lake," said PG&E news representative Paul Moreno. "Bucks Lake will be slightly lower -- less than a foot -- from what we had projected for most of the summer, due to a dry May that has reduced inflows into Bucks." Lake Almanor receives much of its water from volcanic aquifers in the Southern Cascade Mountain Range that release a steady year-round flow of water from springs. However, Bucks Lake is in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and largely relies on surface runoff from the current season. PG&E expects Butt Valley Reservoir to be within normal operating range this summer. Plumas-Sierra Tea Party Patriots Notice of a Tea Party Meeting: Friday, June 20th 2014 7PM to 8:30PM at: The Graeagle Fire Hall Our special guest speaker will be: Tom Vaillancourt Topic: UPDATE on: Healthcare as Dictated by Obamacare Since retiring, Tom has become active in SCORE, helping entrepreneurs start their own businesses. In working with SCORE, Tom has become very familiar with Obamacare and what it means to business " owners, their employees and the population in general. Government controlled health care, also known as ACA, has accomplished: (1) Basically destroyed the healthcare insurance industry (2) Completely altered the medical care delivery system in such a way as to greatly limit the patient's choice. It is important to learn as much about the law as possible. Simply put, "KNOwLEDGE IS POWER" where healthcare is concerned. Please come if you believe in: Personal Freedom, Economic Freedom, Debt Free Future For more information, contact: Dave and Sandy Hopkins: (530) 823-2310 Bill and Lynn Desjardin: (530) 832-0600 See our web page at: PlumasSierraTeaParty.org