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May 13, 2014
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Bag ban, Measure N overview at Grass Valley City Council

The Grass Valley City Council will hear an update on the effort to implement a single-use bag ban ordinance from council members Jan Arbuckle and Howard Levine Tuesday night.

The issue was first agendized in April. At that time Arbuckle and Levine were asked to meet with representatives of Nevada City and Nevada County to coordinate Grass Valley’s efforts with other local jurisdictions.

The goal, in that case, would be to develop an ordinance which is consistent with others in the area.

If there are drastic differences between the ordinances, it could leave affected businesses with an unfair disadvantage, council members have said.

The council will also hear an update on revenues and expenditures associated with the Measure N sales tax, which was passed by local voters in 2012 and implemented in April of 2013.

After one year, the Grass Valley Police Department has used that money to hire five additional officers and purchase four patrol vehicles.

The Grass Valley Fire Department has used Measure N revenues to hire three firefighters, purchase a Ford F-250 pickup truck and order a KME fire engine — slated for delivery in November.

Despite that spending, there is still some money left over.

“Actual revenues compared to expenditures have been higher, so we’re not spending every dollar going into that fund,” said GVPD Lt. Alex Gammelgard.

“We’ve actually built up a reserve.”

“This year $786,000 was allocated to the police department, and so far we’ve undergone a pretty aggressive hiring campaign. We’ve added five officers since last year.”

Gammelgard says that the additional staffing enabled by Measure N revenues are also making a significant impact on the city’s ability to respond to calls for service.

They also hope to devote more focus to specialty beats like narcotics and issues pertaining to the homeless community by dedicating officers to those particular beats.

“We’re not there yet, but we hope to be by July 1,” Gammelgard said.

Other items of interest at tonight’s council meeting include a review of the annual housing element progress report and a request from Public Works to amend the budget for the sewer fund to allow for a $420,000 contract to be awarded without going to bid.

The urgency of the project combined with the readiness and expertise of the contractor make for special circumstances, according to staff reports.

The agenda for tonight’s meeting can be found online at the city’s website.

To contact Staff Writer Dave Brooksher, email dbrooksher@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.

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The Union Updated May 13, 2014 01:02AM Published May 13, 2014 01:02AM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.