Christopher Rosacker

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June 26, 2013
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Cop cooperation, budget, steets closures on Nevada City Council agenda

While the Nevada City Council’s review of a plan to pool police services with Grass Valley might be the salient agenda item at its meeting today, there are several other notable topics up for debate.

Perhaps the most impactful is the consideration and potential adoption of the city’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which essentially dictates every aspect of municipal operations.

In total, the city is predicting General Fund revenues of $3.18 million and is proposing $3.88 million in expenditures, said Finance Director Catrina Olson.

However, Olson noted that those revenues do not include the city’s sales taxes, which are segregated in separate funds, vetted publicly and available for scrutiny on the city’s website and at City Hall.

“That’s just the General Fund,” Olson said, “That’s not including Measure S or Measure L.”

A related matter on today’s council agenda is passage of a $4.09 million appropriation limit for the same upcoming fiscal year.

The council is also slated to consider a street closure request for Commercial Street from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on July 5, Aug. 2 and Sept. 6 for the budding First Friday Art Walk. This closure would begin at Pine Street and stretch to the parking lot behind the Alpha Building, just before the “Y” intersection with Main and Coyote streets.

That request stems from the initial First Friday in June. Event coordinator Cynthia Levesque, owner of Broad Street’s NEVA Co. Artisan Boutique, and her supporters told the council on June 12 that many more people converged on Nevada City’s streets than expected.

At that time, Nevada City Police Officer Shane Franssen made an unanticipated and on-the-scene determination to close off Commercial Street for the attendees’ safety and to avoid traffic incidents — a move that garnered much praise from those who spoke at the previous council meeting.

The art walk is touted as a celebration of Nevada City’s diverse mix of galleries, artisan boutiques, retail shops, wine tasting rooms, restaurants and the town’s artistic and creative community in general.

“It’s about getting the community out to celebrate art and bring art out to where it is accessible to people, instead of having to go into galleries,” Levesque said.

“By having those artists in the shops, we are also trying to support the local businesses.”

The concept of closing streets and converting them to public space in downtown and other metropolitan areas is becoming more common in cities. Nevada City is not unfamiliar with the concept.

The town converted three parking spaces on Commercial Street into a public space commonly referred to as the Boardwalk that was constructed in August 2011 by the Nevada County Sustainability Team. As a temporary construct, it garnered a one-year extension in November 2012.

At that June 12 meeting, council also approved a request from the owners of Treat’s ice cream parlor on York Street to close that block, between Broad and Commercial streets, from 5 to 10:30 p.m. on Friday nights beginning July 5 through Sept. 15.

Also at that meeting, an idea was floated about closing Commercial Street every Friday, but Levesque has distanced herself from that notion.

“I am not in support of that,” she said.

“I do support the occasional closure of the street, but closing it once a week is too much.”

The council is slated to meet starting at 6:30 p.m. today, at Nevada City Hall, located at 317 Broad Street.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call 530-477-4236.

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The Union Updated Jun 26, 2013 01:30AM Published Jun 28, 2013 05:46PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.