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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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July 7, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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8A Wednesday, July 7, 2010 Feather River Bulletin Economic study looks at hospital's impact Linda Satchwell Staff Writer Isatchwell@plurnasnews.com Plumas District Hospital re- cently released an economic impact study it commis- sioned, at a cost of $5,000, through the Center for Eco- nomic Development at Califor- nia State University-Chico. The study analyzes the eco- nomic impact of the district on the local economy and tries to estimate the economic ef- fects of a hospital closure. It does not, however, look at what might lead to closure or whether passage of Measure B would or could lead to closure. In its introduction, the CED study describes PDH as "a dis- trict hospital that relies on pa- tient care reimbursement and payments provided through a hospital property tax assess- ment district." The objective of the study "is to reveal possible consequences of losing this hospital and how that would impact the commu- nity's levels of population, in- come, and business revenues." The CED reported, "Many of the negative effects on the local community, perhaps in- cluding some of the most im- portant ones, are difficult to quantify ... while these poten- tial impacts are impossible to quantify, it is quite possible that they are substantial." Among the possible or po- tential adverse factors that are not quantified in the re- port are: quality of life issues and adverse impact to busi- nesses, which in turn might "have additional conse- quences for property values and local tax revenues," lead- ing to a downward spiral. The CED then turned to those things it could quantify: "The gross economic impact of Plumas District Hospital, the impact of all operations, is nearly $30 million in revenue to businesses and organiza- tions, $14.4 million in labor income (income to employees and business owners), and 288 (direct and indirect)jobs. "This includes the direct im- pact of the hospital, itself, and a secondary impact (often re- ferred to as a multiplier ef- fect) of over $8 million in rev- enue to businesses and orga- nizations, nearly $2.4 million in labor income, and 70 jobs." Having determined the economic benefits of PDH oper- ations, the study then assessed its costs. PDH receives regular property tax payments ($349,460 in fiscal year 2008 - 09) and Measure A assess- ments (anticipated at $554,000 in FY 09 - 10) for a total of $903,460 in property tax payments. The study points to $21.67 million in hospital expendi- tures that, if the $903,460 in property tax payments is sub- tracted, still shows a substan- tial positive impact to area households. The study does not, howev- er, address the question: Can the argument be made that PDH would not exist without the Measure A assessment? The study considered "net migration to and from the dis- trict by age," especially in popu- lations that need care the most -- the young and the elderly. It also looked at how many physicians the hospital could have supported in the year 2000, and then detailed "hospi- tal health care alternatives available to county residents." One item of interest is the population migration by age, which points to a large influx of people 60 years of age and older, and a concomitant de- crease in every age group ex- cept, inexplicably, those in the 30- to 34-year-old age range. "Older adults are an espe- cially important demographic group for PDH," according to the study, and the hospital can "expect its potential market to grow in the near future." The study offers a warning statement, as well: That popu- lation group might choose not to locate to the area ff there weren't a hospital available. While PDH draws most of its patients from the larger Quincy area, it also has a substantial patient base in In- dian Valley. The study ad- dressed patient "leakage" to other facilities, but most of that is for specialty services that PDH is never likely to offer, such as "major head and neck procedures ... (and) cardiac valve and other major cardio- thoracic procedures." Finally, the study suggest- ed, "Even if the hospital were to close, households may still lose all $903,460 of income (through regular and Mea- sure A property taxes) annu- ally in the near future." Ac- cording to the study, that is a reason to make certain that the hospital stays open. To see the full study, go to pdh.org and look under News and Events. Building department to focus on co)de enforcement Joshua Sebold Staff Writer jsebold@plumasnews.com The Plumas County Board of Supervisors approved Building Director John Cun- ningham's request to fill a va- cant code enforcement posi- tion that was funded in his budget at a June BOS meeting. The department head told the supervisors his combined building and code enforce- ment department budgets were approximately $180,000 lighter than in the prior year. He said a building inspec- tor was retiring and the posi- tion would go unfilled, leav- ing two inspectors to cover the entire county. "I'm confident, however, that we can still provide good service. It will require on busy days that one of the two plan checkers will probably have to go out in the field and do inspections. "On particularly busy days it's likely that I too will have to go out and do inspections." He said that was still a vic- tory of sorts, as most depart- ments in the state couldn't provide that service on a dai- ly basis anymore. Moving to code enforce- ment he said, "When the sun comes out the complaints come out and I'm not current- ly able to keep up with it." He said the county would need to establish an abate- ment fund for clean-up pro- jects in the long run "so that we can actually get in and clean up some of the places that need to be cleaned up." Cunningham said his depart- ment could put a lien on proper- ties that were cleaned up so the county's expenditures would be paid back, but that process could take four or five years; an initial investment in the fund would be needed to get it going. He also told the board he was aware this wasn't a vi- able short-term plan. "The abatement fund would lend some teeth to code en- forcement that it currently doesn't have, but in these eco- nomic times, libraries, muse- ums, all the other issues, we may not be able to afford it." BOS Chairwoman and Chester supervisor Sherrie Thrall asked the department head if he was putting togeth- er a schedule of fines and fees for code enforcement to give it more bite in the near future. Cunningham acknowledged he had talked with her about that and said he gave a copy of Lassen County's code en- forcement ordinance to previ- ous county counsel James Re- ichle six or seven months be- fore. He said he would bring something to the board when the busy county attorney's of- rice was able to get to it. Addressing the code en- forcement officer position, Quincy supervisor Lori Simp- son asked, "If there's no com- plaints what are they doing?" Cunningham laughed and told her he wished he had ever run into that problem but the complaints were con- stantly coming in. Simpson continued, "I know, but I mean, are they checking things? I had the issue about the signs in town and they weren't in line with the regulations, but I see signs popping up all the time and they're not in the regu- lations, but somebody has to call and complain. I mean there's a blaring one in East Quincy." "We set priorities based on the degree of hazard. Sewage spilling on the grounds, grading going on in creeks, those types of things take immediate priori- ty," Cunningham explained. "We have a five-point priority system we use. Signs are on the lower end of that spectrum." He added, "The sign ordinance is very old, outdated; it is a Pan- dora's box. We have depart- merits, government agencies that have signage that isn't in compli- ance with the ordinances." Finally, Cunningham said he and Planning Director Randy Wilson agreed those ordinances would have to be revisited once the general plan update was completed. Social Services keeps positions to meet public demand Joshua Sebold Staff Writer jsebold@plumasnews.com The Plumas County Board of Supervisors approved two re- quests by Social Services Direc- tor Elliott Smart to keep posi- tions while utilizing some of his department's reserves at a Tues- day, June 15, budget meeting. Smart began his presenta tion by requesting that an of- rice assistant I/II position be restored to his budget. He said the position was vacant when the county budget was being prepared and, "I believe hu- man resources got a directive to eliminate vacant positions from proposed budgets." The department head ex- plained the position cost $45,000 and was funded by state and federal sources, not the county. "I think you all know that our walk-in traffic and recep- tion count has increased sig- nificantly due to the reces- sion," he commented. Smart added that his de- pafmfit'c0nducted a tst'htid O Solar atp Sierra ark! GET FREE ELECTRICITY - solar panels are installed on all new homes. Our homes are alsO Energy Star certified which means lower homeowner costs, improves indoor comfort level and lessens the impact on the environment. ]E]3Y gTAR 10 year home buyers warranty=. Closing costs are paid! (up to $5,000) Take advantage of the California $10,000 tax credit=. i!!!?: SIERRA0000,00PARK i 2 . , i  Visit us for a personalized quote on one of these fantastic solar homes found that 119 people walked in- to the office and 153 people called the front desk in a day and a half, which he characterized as "significant numbers that can't be handled by one person." He also requested the author- ity f0 fill a social worker posi- tion in the child protective ser- vices area. The director said that position was in the budget and funded, but became vacant a week before the meeting. County Administrative Offi- cer Jack Ingstad said he had no problem with the requests but wanted the board to know "the world could change" if the state eliminated CalWorks. Quincy Supervisor Lori Simpson motioned to approve Smart's request, with a warn- dollars would likely be un- available to backfill if state or federal funding disappeared. Indian Valley and Feather River Canyon Supervisor Robert Meacher asked if Smart would have to spend re- serves to fu=nd these positiOns: The social services director confirmed that he would be using around $200,000 of his reserves in this budget but commented that it wasn't a significant amount compared to the $1.8 million he said his department received this year from the state and feds. "Will you let us or the bud- get officer know when you start to get worried about that?" Meacher requested. "I worry about it all the ing that county general fund time," Smart responded. BOB RAYMON D I00AINTIN00 #1 . Recession Busting Prices"* Interior & Exterior Paint and Stain No JobToo Big orToo Small Serving Plumas & Sierra counties for over 20 years -- *Call for pre=season pricing.-. .... 836- 1339 ' CA Lic. #759277 .' ........... :%:, The Wellness Column  Presented by  Christopher W. Anderson, DC Arthritis Do you have arthritis? If you are over 50, then 70% of you have it whether you know it or not. And the older you are the higher the percentage. Arthritis and the way it affects your joints is not unlike rust on an outside door hinge. Over time, the door hinge undergoes wear and tear eventually leading to rust. The rust continues to form eventually effecting the movement of the hinge. If you keep moving the hinge on a regular basis and lubricate it, the hinge will continue to move. This is very similar to joints in our bodies. A normal joint at some point will undergo some kind of damage, the body will respond by forming bone spurs and tightening the muscles down around that joint (this takes many years). However, if we continue to move that joint, it will continue to function. If we stop moving the joint, the body will fuse the joint and it will stop moving. In the body, it isn't possible to lubricate the joint like a hinge, rather, the actual movement of the joint brings fresh fluid and nutrition to the joint thus self lubricating the joint. But if the joint isn't moving, then it's not getting lubrication. What this means is that everybody needs to keep active and move those joints. And from a Chiropractic standpoint, if a joint isn't working correctly, then we can help to improve the movement of that joint. I work with many folks that have advanced arthritis. My treatment is focused on improving the movement and function of that joint. As the joint works better, then whatever symptoms that person was having will decrease. To take it one step further; we can choose to wait for the arthritic joint to become symptomatic and then seek treatment or we can be pro-active and seek treatment before the pain starts. Remember, it's not whether you will or will not get arthritis, it's when. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call Chris W. Anderson, DC at 832-4442. i