Wide range of issues discussed at Penn Valley town hall | TheUnion.com

Wide range of issues discussed at Penn Valley town hall

The Penn Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted their 10th annual Penn Valley Town Hall meeting to a standing-room only crowd. Keynote speaker Hank Weston gave updates to key issues in the district during the meeting.
Elias Funez/efunez@theunion.com |

Re-election plans, homelessness, fire recovery, E. coli and a number of other issues were discussed during the Penn Valley Chamber of Commerce’s 10th annual town hall meeting at the Seventh Day Adventist Church Tuesday night.

Nevada County District 4 Supervisor Hank Weston was the evening’s keynote speaker, giving updates on the district’s key issues.

Weston, who won’t be seeking re-election, received a standing ovation from audience members.

Weston gave updates on the current homeless issue in Nevada County.

“Our goals for 2018 are integration, coordination, development of a day service center, housing-first approach, shelter for families, and full utilization of the Bost House,” Weston said.

The Bost House recently received a $500,000 remodel and can accommodate 19 beds.

“We will have to build some transitional housing,” Weston said to the crowd. “We have to figure out where we can get homes to get our homeless into.”

The region’s destructive wildfires and the emergency response were also addressed by Weston, who informed the crowd that nine of the homes burned in the Wind Fire complex are currently scheduled to be rebuilt, with more on the way.

Weston compared the 2.5 hour evacuation of Lake Wildwood during the Lobo Fire, to the 6.5 hour evacuation of the same community back during the 49er Fire.

“FEMA has required that everyone be involved in an emergency notification system,” Weston said. “We will be working on a notification system that goes out to all cell phones and providers.”

The Penn Valley Sewer fiasco was also a hot topic at Tuesday night’s meeting.

“We have about 50 feet to connect,” Weston said as he explained the issues with boulders getting in the way of an underground bore.

A series of underground, low-level explosions were discharged in order to dislodge the boulder.

“In the next few weeks they will complete their 50 feet, attach them together and test the system,” Weston said.

The E. coli situation at Lake Wildwood was also discussed.

“We hired a (doctor) to do an extensive evaluation of the people that got sick, to test the goose poop that also showed the same strains of E. coli,” Weston said. “The objective is to get everything back to normal by the spring.”

Restoration work on the historic Bridgeport Covered Bridge is expected to get under way in August of 2018 and will require the complete dismantling of the bridge.

“They are basically going to have to take the whole bridge down,” Weston said. “They will have to put things in the river to stabilize the abutments, raise them three feet, they will tear that whole bridge down, set it aside in pieces, and rebuild it all,” Weston said.

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez, email efunez@theunion.com, or call 530-477-4230.

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