County budget to help rural communities |

County budget to help rural communities

Rural residents living in outlying areas of the county are looking forward to increased patrols that will come with Nevada County’s new budget of $180 million.

The sheriff’s office will receive $28 million of a $59-million public protection package approved this week by the Board of Supervisors. It will allow for nine new positions, including three new deputies to patrol rural areas that include Washington, North San Juan and the Greenhorn Creek area.

“People up here are tired of being afraid (and) being uncomfortable,” said Claire Grondona, a resident of North San Juan and a volunteer citizen deputy. Groups of young adults have been a nuisance for several years there, where they loiter and disrupt the peace, Grondona said. Sheriff Keith Royal had promised a deputy for the area by this summer during a town meeting held with residents last fall.

In Washington, where motorcycles drag-race through town on Memorial Day weekend and public drunkenness and drug activity have become a growing problem, an increased law enforcement presence is long overdue, some there said.

“We have been overrun with vehicles and people,” 40-year resident Judi Stewart said.

Firefighters will be better able to do their job if a deputy is more readily available, said Mike Stewart, fire chief for the Washington Fire Department and Judi Stewart’s son.

On some medical calls, firefighters must wait 30 minutes to begin patient care while they wait for a deputy to arrive to deal with a violent individual at the scene, Stewart said. Firefighters also sometimes need a deputy’s help with controlling crowds that gather at fires, Stewart said.


To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail or call 477-4231.

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