Leaders talk about big issues in area
Local government leaders met Friday for a State of the County, Cities and Towns luncheon at the Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley where they gave updates on current issues.
Around 50 local residents – including a handful of political candidates for the June 6 primary – attended the event hosted by the Nevada County Business Association.
Nevada County Board of Supervisors Chairman Nate Beason, the first speaker, spoke about challenges facing the county.
“Cascade Shores is the tip of the spear,” Beason said regarding escalating costs of wastewater treatment, one the most pressing issues. Construction projects for new sewage facilities are scheduled soon, and a public hearing on sewage fees rate hikes is scheduled for 1:30 p.m June 27 in board chambers at the Rood Center.
Workforce retirement, state involvement with the local court system, affordable housing, transportation and traffic improvements were other county challenges Beason highlighted. Expanding the jail – necessary because “more and more women are going to jail,” Beason said, due primarily to increased use of methamphetamine – is another significant issue.
Supervisors have not done anything “stupid” recently, Beason said, adding they “were not trying to do anything that’s precipitous.”
Beth Ingalls, mayor of the town of Truckee, spoke about affordable housing and traffic issues in her area, which is home, she said, to the first “double roundabout in the state.”
There are construction plans for three other area roundabouts, Ingalls said.
Median home prices in Truckee are $668,000, she said, which is “pretty scary.” Plans to build 266 “affordable units” have been approved for the upcoming year, Ingalls said.
Conley Weaver, mayor of Nevada City, then addressed the crowd, after receiving an introduction alluding to the $200,000 Nevada City may have lost because it reportedly hasn’t been collecting revenue for business licenses and water and sewer fees.
“Nothing new” is happening at Nevada City, Weaver said, adding that it’s a “crazy place to be, but it works.”
Weaver said he wanted to “commend City Manager Mark Miller” for his efforts to fix some of the city’s problems, drawing applause for the remark.
Trails in the Hirschman’s Pond area, a grant to assess the presence of heavy metals in local water sources and potential road repair projects funded by a sales tax ballot measure were other Nevada City items Weaver mentioned.
Grass Valley Mayor Gerard Tassone, the last speaker in the group, said there was serious pressure on Grass Valley to absorb growth due to Nevada City’s desire to not to change and infrastructure issues with the county, and spoke about issues pertaining to it.
To reach staff writer Josh Singer, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4234.
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