$1M roads project to start; ‘locally grown’ signs OK’d | TheUnion.com

$1M roads project to start; ‘locally grown’ signs OK’d

With a boost from the federal government, Nevada County residents can expect some re-paved roads in October.

The county Board of Supervisors approved a nearly $1 million roadwork project funded partially by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The bid went Tuesday to Roseville-based Tiechert Construction to re-pave parts of Wolf, Combie, Jones Bar, Newtown, Pasquale, Rough and Ready, Summit Ridge and Tiger Tail roads over a 20-day stretch in October, said Jenny McCauley, county public works representative.

It’s still unclear when the project will begin, and the public works department plans to release information on road delays before the project, McCauley said.

There aren’t any laws stopping Nevada County produce managers from labeling their fruits and vegetables as “locally grown.”

Some do so with produce grown only as far away as the county’s border, while others use the label on food cultivated anywhere in California – a practice some members of the local agriculture community view as disingenuous.

Starting next month, though, county shoppers will have a right to know exactly what “local” means.

The county board of supervisors this week unanimously passed an ordinance requiring all produce vendors and retailers in unincorporated parts of Nevada County to explain to customers where their produce comes from if it is labeled as “locally grown.”

“We were very happy to see it pass,” said Rich Johansen, who sits on the county’s Agricultural Advisory Commission.

The ordinance requires retailers to post the following sign in their produce section if produce is labeled as “locally grown:”

“ATTENTION CUSTOMERS: Some of our agricultural products are advertised as locally or regionally grown. The terms ‘local’ or ‘regional’ may mean something different to each customer. If you have questions about the specific area or region in which these particular agricultural products were grown, please contact an employee for more information.”

The idea for the ordinance came from the advisory commission last fall, said Nevada County Agriculture Commissioner Jeff Pylman.

“When people see items in the produce section, and it’s marked ‘local,’ they may make the assumption it’s grown here in Nevada County or nearby,” Pylman said. “There may have been some instances where produce was brought in from outside the area when it could have been brought in from a local grower.”

The ordinance goes into effect on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The advisory commission may ask the county’s incorporated governments to look at a similar ordinance, Johansen said.

To contact Staff Writer Kyle Magin, e-mail kmagin@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4239.

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