Nevada County, NID elected officials take questions in town hall |

Nevada County, NID elected officials take questions in town hall

John Orona
Staff Writer

At a town hall Thursday in the Rood Administrative Center, District 1 Supervisor Heidi Hall and NID Division 1 Director Ricki Heck updated the public on what they have been working on and unveiled a new website to help residents find their nearest fire hydrant.

The site may help in dealing with insurance companies or deciding which house to buy, Heck said.

The officials gave updates on wildfire prevention efforts, homelessness, cannabis regulation and economic development, as well as taking audience questions.

Hall said at the last point-in-time homeless count there were more than 400 homeless individuals in the county and that the county recently increased bed capacity at housing facilities by 40 beds in total.

Support Local Journalism

She also announced that an upcoming $250,000 broadband grant for a last-mile pilot program that could see a request for proposal as early as February of next year.

“We know that this is essential to our businesses as well as for schools, hospitals and all sorts of folks,” Hall said.

Heck updated the public about NID’s wildfire resilience efforts, including replacing aging pipelines, three miles of transmission line clearing and reducing tree density from 2,700 trees per acre down to 140 per acre on their land.

She also announced NID pump stations have backup diesel generators that are operable for 3-5 days in the event of a power shut off. The district also has more than 200,000 acre-feet of water in storage available for emergencies, which is 77% of their total capacity and 118% of their six-year average for storage.

Members of the audience submitted their questions via cards that moderator then read, and although some said they would have preferred the chance to address the officials directly, they appreciated the effort to inform the public.

“I thought it was informal and welcoming,” audience member Andrew Wilkinson said. “The officials spoke openly and honestly about important local topics, even when they didn’t have exact answers they explained how they’re still working on it.”

Audience questions focused on fire evacuation plans, the demand for more green waste disposal and how to request fire hydrants. Audience members with very specific questions were encouraged to email questions to the officials directly.

“I think it went well, I was glad we were able to get so much information out,” Hall said. “I always like to take questions; even if they seem off the wall, I like to know what people are thinking about.”

Contact Staff Writer John Orona at or 530-477-4229.

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Connect with needs and opportunities from

Get immediate access to organizations and people in our area that need your help or can provide help during the Coronavirus crisis.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User