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Quincy, California
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October 13, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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October 13, 2010
 

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010 9A Who owns the rights to historic depot? Alicia Knadler Indian Valley Editor aknadler@plumasnews.com Ever since 1990, when it was fast moved from beside the rail- road tracks next to Greenville Wolf Creek Road, the historic Western Pacific Freight Depot was thought to be sitting on part of the Greenville Commu- nity Park property. This assumption was com- pounded in a professionally engineered feasibility study funded by the Forest Service via Plumas Corporation. Synthesis Design Group, Preservatipn Architects of Plac- erville were the ones contract- ed for the November 1999 study. But after an offhand remark resulted in some recent re- search, it appears the depot might sit on a 50-foot wide county road right of way on property now owned by Ken Tucker of Greenville. Indian Valley Community Services District staff mem- ber Jesse Lawson was the one who first mentioned the de- pot's disposition. "It doesn't look like the de- pot is even on CSD property," he told directors during their Aug. 8 meeting. And the reason it came up was that he was helping find alternative office space, since the management and expenses of the civic center were becom- ing a burden to the district. When questioned later, he referenced county assessor maps and showed where he thought it sat, partially on property belonging to Ken Tucker, which was never ac- tually part of the park proper- ty, and partially on the rail- road right of way. Over at Plumas County Public Works, Assistant Engi- neer John Kolb quickly got out a map and an aerial pho- to, matched up the scales and did an overlay to pinpoint the location of the depot in the county right of way. And at the assessor's office, Cindie Froggabpulled out older and older parcel maps to see if the right of way was ever part of the park property, and it was not. For verification purposes, Plumas County Cadastral Drafting Specialist Gregory Withrow said a road depart- ment engineer really needed to go out there with surveying equipment to pinpoint the right of way line where it meets the railroad right of way. Recent history In the mid-1980s, when Louisiana Pacific donated the park property, the road ease- ment it granted the county was not part of it. Instead, it was a strip along the park's southern property line that connected the two remaining portions of what used to be one large parcel. Betty Henley, a community services director in 1990, at the time of the depot move, was shocked it was not on park property. She said everyone thought it was at the time. Anthea Smith, who worked for the district at the time, was surprised as well. "Betty did all the work to get the grant to get it moved," Smith said, "and John Schramel helped her." Schramel, District 2 super- visor at the time, said he used his discretionary funds to help move the depot onto what he thought was park property as well. "Betty also collected a lot of donations for it," Smith added. "She was hoping to turn it into a museum and that special passenger trains would stop there." Smith ended up quitting her job a short time later "It was so aggravating," she said about the way things were done back then, with the men taking charge and doing things the way they wanted. "It's a shame that it's just sit- ting there; you could never get a yes or no -- couldn't get anything accomplished." Crescent Tow owner Dave Joseph Aasved Bill Abramson Joel Allen Andy Anderson Terryann Arceo-Pate Todd Aylward Susie Barker Ron Barker Bob Battistoni Terry Bergstrand Dina Bertoli-Graham Paul Bianco Kerry Bowling Junior Bozeman Virginia Bozeman John Breaux Will Broad Steve Brown Susan Brown Cobey Brown Doyle (Gene) Butler Linda Butler Bill Carlson Richard Carmichael Loretta. Castleberry Kenny Chance Robert Choate Amanda Clairmont Bonnie Clark Julie Clark Troy Clark Steve Clark Mike Clark Sharon Clark Jim Clatte Patty Clawson Michael Clawson Paul Cortez Theresa Crews Anna Day Robert De La Riva Bernice Dean Cary DeMars Joe Dietrick Duff Dupont Nina Dupont-Stone Ernie Eaton Kim Eliason Elizabeth Farr Rex Fisher Cheryl Fonseca Joey Fowler John Frazier Julie Frazier Michael Furry Virginia Gabora Linda Gamberg Mike Gamberg Derek Gay Katie Gay Gary Gottlieb Darlene Griffith Marian Haid Jim Harper Jennifer Haverfield California United Homecare Workers Jeremy Inman Ray Irons Joel's Automotive Steven Jones Tom Joyce Humphrey, who donated his time and trucks to move the building, recalls the district hired a professional to accom- plish the move. "All I did was pull it and fol- low directions," he said. To convolute matters even more, the property the depot is apparently sitting on was part of a January 2002 real estate deal conducted during an improper- ly closed session, according to a Grand Jury investigation initi- ated by the late Floyd Austin, who was the one to donate the depot to the community. Directors were lambasted at their next meeting in Febru- ary 2002 by resident Warren Gorbet, who approached them several times, he said, with an interest in purchasing the old LP property. Directors had loaned prop- erty owner and developer Ter- ry Hamilton money when foreclosure loomed on the old LP property he purchased, which spanned across both sides of the railroad tracks. He promised to pay it back with 7 percent interest in a year. He did not and directors were about to take the property when a deal was finally arranged through Centella Tucker. Hamilton signed over the property to the district, and the district sold it to Tucker, who loaned the district $15,000 to buy out Hamilton's original investment in exchange for ex- clusive right to purchase it from the district, minus five acres between Highway 89 and the railroad tracks. The Tuckers stepped in to help the community at the time, Tucker said, so that plans to build a fire station and animal shelter on the highway side of the tracks could be real- ized, though they haven't, yet. The animal shelter was lo- cated in Quincy while all this was happening. Even now, after told of the situation, the Tuckers are not worried about the depot build- ing sitting on their property. All they want is access to their property, Ken Tucker said, and that he was promised access through the park, though there is a ball outfield and a basketball court to navigate around. At the county level, Public Works Director Bob Perreault said the district could be asked to move the building, if it is in the county right of way, Or the county could agree to leave it alone, if the right of way is not needed righbnow. There also seems to be a missing depot fund in an un- known amount. During their November 1997 meeting, directors decided to move the fund over to county coffers, where it would earn a higher interest rate, or so it was noted in the minute book. When asked about it two years later, during the time of the feasibility study for reuse of the depot, directors and office staffknew nothing about it. Future train tours? One of the ideas both the special passenger trains, like the recent one up the Feather River Canyon. He has tried before and will continue trying to get ap- proval from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway district directors had back in for a train up the Inside Gate- the 1980s and the depot com- mittee had in the late 1990s was to have the depot be a special stop for special pas- senger trains. That idea is still a long way off, according to Chris Skow, a retired Union Pacific engineer. Skow used to operate loco- motives on the route through Greenville, and is one of the founding fathers of the Feath- er River Rail Society and the Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola. He now works to organize way, as he calls the line from Keddie through Indian Valley to Lake Almanor and points beyond,. Meanwhile, the depot build- ing that several thousands of county tax dollars were spent on, for its moving and roof- ing, are still going to waste. The building sits who knows where now, and it in a deteriorating condition, worse than 11, years ago when engineers found rot and other damage from dampness in 1999. Fair lays off one employee Mona Hill Staff Writer mhill@yahoo.com Fair manager John Steffan- ic confirmed one of his main- tenance crew was laid off in September, leaving only one other maintenance employee: the maintenance supervisor. First report of the layoff in- dicated several maintenance workers were laid off. That news was accompanied by a report Steffanic had turned down county money during the budget process on the basis of the fair's projected income.. A story in the June 16 issue of the newspaper reported County Administrative Offi- cer Jack Ingstad said in a tele- phone interview that Steffan- ic had volunteered to take a large cut, $94,467 in county contributions. That report was not disputed. In a telephone conversation Oct. 6, Steffanic confirmed sev- eral part-time, seasonal fair employees were laid off as usu- employee was laid off, a full- time equivalent position, based on instructions he re- ceived from the county. He de- clined to say who had issued that directive. Steffanic believes the fair should be self-supporting, but denied turning down county money, saying he reduced the county's usual General Fund contribution of $90,000 to $73,000 in his budget -- of which he received $23,000. In a subsequent telephone conversation Oct. 7, Ingstad said the county's General Fund contribution was based on the budget Steffanic pre- pared and was meant to pro- vide sufficient funds to bal- ance the budget. Addressing the layoff, In- gstad referenced the county's budget process. He said the su- pervisors asked all depart- al post-fair. He confirmed one Lori Simpson later confirmed PAiD POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENT Elect the general budget process. At that point, Steffanic's budget -- less one FTE -- was adopted and human resources began the lay-off process. Ingstad added the fair cur- rently had a negative $49,000 cash flow, with an estimated $1"65,000 still to be released from the state's fairs and ex- positions grant. In addition, he said county auditor Shawn Montgomery sent Steffanic an e-mail ask- ing him to freeze spending un- til he could report on antici- pated revenues, such as the state's $165,000 grant. Ingstad said it appeared about $123,,000 remained to support the fair through the balance of the fiscal year. Steffanic said the state grant was still expected, merely on hold until the!:e is a signed state budget. In addi- ment heads for leaner budgets. tion, he said he expected the Based on that information, the grant to increase to slightly budget committee passed its more than $200,000 given the recommendations to the full Plumas-Sierra County Fair board. District 4 Supervisor " was upgraded from a "C" ranking to a "B" recently. /on Kennedy Supe00isor District S 8 Best of hearts "1 have known Jon Kennedy for many years .... From my point of view, I see Jon Kennedy as a very intelligent individual with a strong knowledge of civics and finance. I believe he has the best of hearts and would be an effective and levelheaded Plumas County supervisor." -Johnny Moore We need "...I believe that Jon is running for office for all the right reasons: He cares! He cares about the economic state of our county, educating our children, helping local businesses and public safety. We need the fresh perspective that only Jon Kennedy can provide. We need Jon Kennedy for Supervisor of District 5/' -Antoinette Quesenberry Friend in need "1 am writing this letter in support of Jon Kennedy for county supervisor. I have known Jon (JP) for many years, both personally and professionally. The Kennedy family has been a permanent fixture of Plumas County since the early 1900s .... We have a rare opportunity to elect a local, big-hearted, intelligent and passionate ally to represent Plumas County. And if we elect JP Kennedy supervisor, we can rest at night knowing he will fight for us the same as he fights for his good friends." -Duff Dupont . Truly amazing "Over the past several weeks there have been many credible letters in support of Jon Kennedy for District 5 supervisor. However, none have touched on Kennedy's natural mediation and problem solving skills, which are essential to the position he is seeking .... Achieve real solutions for real problems, vote for Jon Kennedy, District 5 supervisor." -Nina Dupont.Stone It factor "...As a creative, ambitious entrepreneur, dedicated parent, former firefighter and active member of our community, Jon combines a broad base of real-life experiences with a deep concern for the success of our county .... In life, many have the aptitude to become leader, but few have the "it factor" necessary to accomplish great things; Jon has this intangible ingredient, plus the desire to listen and offer encouragement and empathy to others." ' -Jeremy Inman "Jon Kennedy is a herd working honest man. If you want someone in office who is more interested in working for the people than politics, then he is the one to vote for." -Craig Phillips "1 haveknown Jon for a long time. I have always admired his 'Can Do' attitude and when Jon says he will do something, he follows through like all great leaders. Its time for a change - Vote for Jon.,. YES HE CAN, YES HE CAN" -Gus Kyrlakos . "i'm wondering what it will be like to have a real County Supervisor in District 5. One with a little bounce in his step, one that will say, 'what about the people?' One that will find out the need and do something about it. It is time for some new blood and a vision for growth. A mover, a shaker and a red tape shreddedl ... With today's economic str0ggles, sleeping on the job can't be tolerated. I say Vote for Jon Kennedy! He is wide awake and wants to serve YOU in'YOUR district and represent yOUR interest in Plumas County." -Andy Moser Carol Joyce Kimberlee Kayton Kim Kayton Gehrig Kemp Dick Kennedy Wendy Kennedy Edward Kennedy Troy Kennedy Bob Kennedy John Kennedy Starra Kennedy Rowdy Kennedy Jason Klemesmd Erin Klemesmd Karen Kuhn Paula Lawrence Sandra Lee Dan Leonhardt Jason Lewis Mike Lewis David Ludington Mike Manit Tim Marquette Lori Marquette Calla Marshall Tad McCormick Mitch McCormick Jennifer McQuarrie Lome McQuarrie Arin Meisenheimer Brad Miller Jenny Miller Judy Moore Johnny Moore Paul Moore Andy Moser Cindi Moser Eric Nogleberg Michael Peters Lori Pini Ambrose Pollock Michele Pollock Mario Pometta Darrell (Red) Powell Sherry Prosser Heather Prosser Michael Quesenberry Antoinette Quesenberry Angel Quinn Kelly Quinn Stacy Saez - Alex Saez Tim Schooler Joyce Sears Lilian Seizer Mallary Skidmore Joseph Soldis Mike Summerfield Cliff Sutton John Svendsen Tara Turner Jennie Turner Wilson Estres Weilings Ryan Wellings Jamie White Ted Williams Linda Williams Tiffany Williams Ben Windle Arthur Wolf Zoe Wolf Norma Wood Attn. Mail-In Voters: Absentee Ballots must be received by Election Day, Nov. 2. Post Marks DO NOT COUNT. Jon Kennedy 836-1674 = P.O. Box 147 Graeagle www.jonkennedyforsupervisor.com Paid for by the Committee to elect Jon Kennedy, Supervisor District 5, 2010.