Mill site neighbors win half-refund |

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Mill site neighbors win half-refund

When neighbors recently decided to protest a wood-grinding operation at the old Bohemia Mill site, they had to shell out $1,000 for the appeal. With the project now canceled, the residents on Monday asked for their money back.

In a compromise vote Monday afternoon, the Board of Supervisors voted 3-0 to refund $500 to the neighbors of the proposed Fire Safe Council wood-processing facility.

But Supervisor Sue Horne took umbrage with the neighbors’ curt letter, which stated: “We are demanding a refund in the entire amount of $1,000. Time is of the essence. If we do not receive payment in full by June 1, 2005 we will be forced to file this claim in Small Claims Court.”

“This is my first time in my four-and-a-half years as supervisor that I’ve received a letter in the form of a threat,” Horne said.

The mill’s neighbors had appealed a decision by county Planning Director Randy Wilson to allow the nonprofit Fire Safe Council to locate a wood processing facility – which would convert brush and scrappy trees into mulch and poles – on five acres at the corner of Brunswick Road and East Bennett Road.

Following a public hearing on the appeal, land owner Sierra Pacific Industries reneged on the lease offer, citing the lack of support from the Board of Supervisors and the community.

A day later, the neighbors demanded a refund.

After learning the county spent between $1,100 and $2,000 to prepare for and hold the appeal hearing, Horne made a motion to deny the neighbors’ request and use the money to pay back county departments.

Without the support of Supervisor John Spencer, however, the measure failed.

Next, she proposed the compromise half-refund, of which Spencer approved.

Neighbor Marla Daley remained unsatisfied, she said after the vote. Although the neighbors haven’t discussed their plans, Daley said, she would like to pursue legal means to obtain the entire appeal fee.

Only three of the five supervisors voted on the issue Monday because Supervisor Ted Owens was in Sacramento speaking about West Nile virus, and Supervisor Robin Sutherland recused herself because she missed the original appeal.


To contact staff writer Becky Trout, e-mail or call 477-4234.