After the fire, the county shopping for vacant space |

After the fire, the county shopping for vacant space

It could be 11/2 to two years before the corner of Commercial and North Pine streets in Nevada City is rebuilt from the ashes of last week’s fire, Nevada County officials estimate.

In the meantime, a task force is working on relocation plans for the county Probation Department and Victim Witness Program, said Emergency Services Director Dennis Cassella during a Board of Supervisors’ briefing Tuesday.

Cassella said the probation staff will be temporarily housed at the department’s previous Nevada County Courthouse location and at the Nevada City Veterans Memorial Building – both are available for up to 90 days.

After that, the county may rent a building in Nevada City and is considering offers from businesses there, Cassella said.

Nevada City and Nevada County could lose an estimated $3 million in property and sales tax revenues, and up to 60 employees of the destroyed businesses may be forced to seek unemployment benefits, according to an emergency declaration issued by Cassella the morning of the March 20 fire.

Friar Tuck’s Restaurant & Bar and The Herb Shop, which also had a deli and record store, were destroyed.

Cassella will request that the state Office of Emergency Services seek any state or federal assistance that may be available to the county and Nevada City.

Economic disaster designation of Nevada County by the U.S. Small Business Administration will also be sought, which could trigger low-cost small-business loans for Nevada City merchants, Cassella said.

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