Christopher Rosacker
crosacker@theunion.com

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June 11, 2013
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Grass Valley, Nevada City councils to also tackle fire, trash, tax revenue


In addition to Grass Valley and Nevada City police chiefs’ joint proposal to have their agencies collaborate on patrol and investigations, both town’s councils have other notable items on their agendas for their upcoming meetings.

First, the Grass Valley City Council is slated to meet today to consider handling Nevada County Consolidated Fire District’s human resources needs, as well as to consider a 2.5 percent rate hike for the city’s waste services.

On the following night, the Nevada City Council will meet to debate whether and how mobile food venders could have a place in town, as well as to review and consider preliminary approval of expenditures of the city’s voter-approved 3/8-cent sales tax increase to prop up municipal services.

All those items are scheduled around both councils’ consideration of a six-month trial period during which one Nevada City officer is to work as a shared detective with the Grass Valley Police Department, affording investigative work not currently available to Nevada City. In return, Grass Valley police will provide patrol in Nevada City during “nonpeak” early-morning hours, when few calls for service come in.

But that collaboration isn’t the only proposal on Grass Valley’s radar.

In 2000, Grass Valley and Consolidated entered into a joint operating agreement, providing medical and fire services to one another. After hiring an interim fire chief and with the loss of its human resources technician, the fire district approached the city to request an amendment to the JOA for the city to provide human resources for the fire district, according to a report prepared by Grass Valley Fire Chief Tony Clarabut and Finance Director Robert Raper.

The council is tasked with authorizing city staff to begin more focused negotiations. The initial discussions have focused on Grass Valley providing human resources services in exchange for unspecified funding for a shared position, which would eliminate consolidated’s funding of a 3/4 full-time equivalent human resources technician position, according to a staff report on the matter.

“The intention of the negotiations is to develop an agreement that provides added value to both the city and (the fire district),” the staff report reads, “and to further align our policies and procedure to allow for more efficient joint operations going forward.”

Talks among Grass Valley, Nevada City and the county’s consolidated fire district to be administrated by a shared fire chief derailed earlier this year with the two town’s leaders reluctant to buy into Consolidated officials’ insistence on retaining exclusive oversight. The fire district has since hired an interim chief while it looks for a more permanent person to fill that role.

Grass Valley residents could also see an increase in their waste management bill, as the council considers a 2.5 percent rate hike Tuesday. The last rate hike was a 3 percent increase in February 2012.

The Grass Valley City Council’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. today at the town’s city hall, located at 125 E. Main St. The following day, Nevada City will discuss the proposal during its Wednesday meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, located at 317 Broad St.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email crosacker@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.


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The Union Updated Jun 11, 2013 12:50AM Published Jun 11, 2013 12:50AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.