Economic Resource Council: Miss a meeting, miss a lot |

Economic Resource Council: Miss a meeting, miss a lot

Hollie Grimaldi Flores
Special to The Union

The strength of the Nevada County Economic Resource Council rests foremost in the monthly gathering of the areas business and civic leaders, who share pertinent news, challenges and successes. That collaboration was evident at the recent board meeting which was attended by dozens of key personnel across a wide variety of sectors throughout the region. If you missed the board meeting that took place Sept. 3 on Zoom, you missed quite a lot.

Grass Valley Mayor Ben Aguilar and City Manager Tim Kiser navigated and narrated a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation featuring improvements to the City of Grass Valley as well as planned developments. The duo covered projects made possible through successful grant applications as well as funds secured via Measure E, which include improvements to Condon Park, a turf project at Mautino park and the Memorial Park 4.7-million-dollar construction project, which includes two public pools as well as other improvements. The two then went on to detail road improvements, business expansions, as well as several housing and retail development projects that are either active or in the works.

Those developments include the status of the Dorsey Marketplace, and of the groundbreaking of 235 homes in the Loma Rica Ranch area which will also include trails, road realignment and eventually, a tunnel that will go under Brunswick Road. Over a dozen other projects were presented to those in attendance, illustrating a city remarkably busy with expansion, development and improvements.

Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Supervisor Scott Lay gave an alarming report on the possibility of needing to send some 3,500 students home due to the high number of students testing positive for COVID-19, a lack of rapid tests, state requirements around quarantine and a shortage of both nurses and teachers. Lay said it’s not about offering more money to qualified workers, as they have tried that without success. He also noted that in 2019 the county had over 200 substitute teachers to choose from but currently have less than 70 on their active roster.

Other members giving updates including committee work from the Economic Resource Council board, community members looking for assistance in finding workers, funds available to businesses were discussed from the Sierra Business Development Council representative, and an update from Economic Summit Chair Lisa Swarthout who detailed key points of the event planned for Oct. 25, taking place at the Center for the Arts and featuring renowned economist Christopher Thornberg.

Those in attendance also heard from Michael Anderson who gave an update on the status of Broadband in the county and explained, among other terms, “open access” and how it pertains to internet access in the county.

Supervisor Sue Hoek told community leaders of a planned Military Appreciation Week that will take place Nov. 6-14, focusing on a partnership with Beale Air Force Base.

Several other participants shared updates in their particular arenas including revises in the medical arena.

The Economic Resource Council board meetings are open to the public and take place the first Thursday of each month beginning at 7:30 and run 90 minutes in length. For more information about the meeting or to become involved with the Economic Resource Council, send a message to

Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a freelancer writer in Nevada County. She writes a monthly column on behalf of the Nevada County Economic Resource Council

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