Nevada County supervisors add power shut-off prep and energy resiliency to priorities |

Nevada County supervisors add power shut-off prep and energy resiliency to priorities

John Orona
Staff Writer

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The board objectives can be found here.

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday adopted priorities that will be used to develop the county’s 2020/21 budget and inform its programs, services, initiatives and overall operations for the next fiscal year beginning in July.

Since the board’s last update, preparing for and minimizing the affects of PG&E Public Safety Power Shut-offs and pushing policies supported by the county’s energy action plan have become priorities for the county.

Many priorities are updated or refined objectives from the previous year, including maintaining core services like roads, jails, and law enforcement; improving wildfire preparedness; supporting data-driven economic development focused on infrastructure and broadband investment; increasing affordable and workforce housing development; continuing refinement of the cannabis permitting and enforcement program, including exploring additional license types; and preventing homelessness and implementing housing-first policies.

While prioritizing these issues does not guarantee a certain funding level or percentage of allocation from the budget, it does give county staff a direction to guide their efforts.

“Although there aren’t specific dollar amounts identified, when you add up the efforts of the many departments that dedicate resources to meeting the board objectives, there is collectively substantial focus and resources dedicated to those efforts,” County Financial Officer Martin Polt said in an email. “After the board objectives are adopted, departments develop their budget documents for the coming year. Those documents include performance measures for their operations including initiatives they’ll target in the coming year to move board objectives forward.”

Last year’s priorities, which have dropped off this year’s objectives, include completing the feasibility analysis exploring reorganization of county park and recreation districts; conducting a highest and best use study for Lot 6, the Public Works yard near the Nevada County Airport; and increasing public awareness and civic engagement.

The first two of those objectives have been completed, while according to third and fourth quarter reports progress on the latter has been on target.

According to the board’s third and fourth progress report quarter, the only initiative under the civic engagement priority that was not on target was the promotion of citizen involvement on county committees and commissions. The county recruits these positions through its citizen academy, which is another civic engagement priority that is on target. The county has added more dates to its academy to meet demand.

Representatives from FREED Center for Independent Living and Firewise Communities spoke at the meeting in support of the budget priorities.

“I think what really is moving is to see the collaboration that comes from the community as we work through this thing,” Supervisor Susan Hoek said. “Thank you all for being a part of this, because we can’t do this alone.”

Feb. 12: This story was updated to correctly identify the initiative under civic engagement that was not on target according to the county progress reports.

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email or call 530-477-4229.

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