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4-0 vote for pay increase

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors Tuesday firmed up a few things before two newly elected supervisors are sworn in Jan. 6, which will point the board in a more conservative direction.

Supervisors voted 4-0 in favor of a 9 percent pay raise for themselves, adopted as law the county’s alternative housing pilot program, voted to keep smokers 20 feet away from county building entrances, and divvied up an $887,000 bequest intended for preservation of open space.

Supervisor Sue Horne was absent.



“These are all projects that started on our watch, and it’s appropriate for us to wrap them up,” said Supervisor Peter Van Zant of Nevada City following Tuesday’s meeting, which only lasted two hours.

With little ado, supervisors gave themselves their first raise in two years, increasing their annual salary to $37,186. The chairman’s salary increased to $39,046.




In a letter to the editor date Dec. 24, Van Zant said the supervisors raises were tied to a 1996 formula that allows them to have a raise after the pay of county employees, department heads and elected officials is increased. That occurred recently to keep county workers’ pay competitive, Van Zant said.

Supervisors also approved an ordinance adopting its alternative owner-built housing program, a 30-home pilot program that allows exceptions to some building requirements. For example, these “Title 25” houses don’t require pressurized water and can be built without any electrical wiring.

Most of Tuesday’s discussion centered around the $887,000 left by the estate of Dryden Wilson of Auburn, who died earlier this year. The estate also bequeathed a like amount to Placer County for land preservation.

The Western Gateway Recreation and Park District turned down $50,000 offered by the supervisors to create a park on 80 acres of Bureau of Land Management property called Bitney Corners, since a park district official wasn’t sure the district could acquire the BLM land. The supervisors then agreed to give that $50,000 to the Nevada County Land Trust, with the understanding that the land trust would help the park district use the funding.

The money was split up as follows: $558,000 to the Nevada County Land Trust, with the priorities of preserving open space and the derelict mansion at the proposed North Star development; $130,000 to the Truckee-Donner Land Trust; $50,000 each to the Bear River Recreation and Park District, North San Juan Ridge Activities and Improvement Center and the Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District; and $25,000 a piece to the City of Grass Valley Recreation Division and The City of Nevada City Recreation Department.

Farewells were exchanged since supervisors Elizabeth Martin of Penn Valley and Bruce Conklin of Grass Valley both lost their re-election bids. Martin will be replaced by Robin Sutherland and Conklin by Drew Bedwell.

“I’m going to miss you guys,” said Supervisor VanZant, who called the current board a “dream team.”

“We’re leaving the county in very, very good shape,” Van Zant said.


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