Supervisor workshop highlights objectives for new year | TheUnion.com
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Supervisor workshop highlights objectives for new year

 

Last year ended with a wallop as the most impactful storm in decades hit Nevada County just after Christmas.

County officials say they responded within hours, establishing an Emergency Operations Center to dispatch resources to the 30,000 affected households. Local, surrounding and state first responders collaborated with PG&E to reenergize homes, business and government offices. They cleared trees, restored power and telecom wires and delivered supplies to help residents prevail through the disaster.

“We’re still responding to the crisis, but we’re committed as a county and community to recover more resilient than before,” said Supervisor Dan Miller. “We’re making broadband more accessible with an environmental impact report that will expedite the work.”



The Board of Supervisors will hold a special three-day workshop starting at 9 a.m. today at the Gold Miners Inn, 121 Bank St., Grass Valley, with a public viewing station inside the lobby. The members of the board will inform the public regarding the state of the districts and a financial update today, and on subsequent days cover broadband, cannabis and homelessness.

“The workshop is a planning session for the supervisors to revisit their board objectives and strategic vision for our organization,” CEO Alison Lehman said. “Supervisors hear presentations on many topics from emergency preparedness to housing. The workshop is for planning and discussion only, and the board will vote on its 2022 objectives at a scheduled meeting in February.”



Some items supervisors will hear about include the Northern Sierra Broadband Cooperative, Inc.’s $120,000 Buck Mountain-Oak-Arianna project, which will bring fiber to 35 homes. It has an estimated completion date of September.

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The county Health and Human Services Agency saw a productive 2021 and now is in numerous phases of planning or completion of projects for affordable, workforce housing. It’s anticipated that local jurisdictions will cooperate with developers and other stakeholders to craft pro-housing policy changes, said Mike Dent, director of Child Support, Collections, Housing and Community Services.

Also, efforts are in the works to achieve mobile home rent stabilization, and procure financial assistance for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

“It is for growers and rural small business to construct renewable energy systems or energy efficient improvements,” said Dent.

Dent added that his office plans to facilitate and promote partnerships for supportive housing, which combines affordable housing with coordinated services to help people struggling with chronic physical and mental health issues to maintain stable housing.

Since 2017, the county helped produce over 300 new units, with 100 units completed in 2022. Another proud milestone was the Lone Oak Senior Housing project, occupied this past fall in Penn Valley. Additionally, the county tackled veteran homelessness, finding housing for most of the 37 people identified, and halved the homeless population in Truckee, securing housing for 24. A newly renovated Odyssey House doubled its capacity to 6,384 square feet for those with mental health challenges.

“We’re rounding a corner,” said Dent at the open house.

As for the growing cannabis industry, it is projected to see tax revenues of $400,000 by the end of the fiscal year, June 30. One new concept will be to change how cannabis is taxed, rather than relying on a gross receipts methodology and switch to receipts based on square footage. Plans are underway to address ingress and egress roadways to cannabis farms, where road damage has increased for lack of long-term maintenance. And consideration will be given to allow cultivators to distribute their product from farms directly to manufacturing sites.

“We look forward to working alongside the county and community on a regulatory framework for cannabis that supports a healthy business ecosystem for long-term economic sustainability while upholding values of environmental stewardship, land use compatibility and industry responsibility,” said Diana Gamzon, executive director of the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance.

William Roller is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at wroller@theunion.com


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