Teamwork — Harsh Winter Can also Brings Challenges
It has been quite some time since Nevada County has seen a winter like this year and seeing snow in some parts of District IV where you generally do not see any is quite something. But a harsh winter can also bring challenges to the County. In reviewing the County’s 2019 Public Works Capital Improvement Plan, the last harsh winter we had in 2017 took a heavy toll on our roads and infrastructure with an estimated $1.7 million in damage. Luckily, we anticipate nearly $1.3 million in federal reimbursements by fiscal year 2019/20 to compensate for those damages. The report highlights a number of projects that have been completed or are anticipated to be completed this July and includes the microsurface and pavement rehabilitation project in conjunction with brushing and shoulder work on Indian Springs from McCourtney Road to Spencville Road, Birchville Road from Highway 49 to Pleasant Valley Road, and Pleasant Valley Road from Highway 49 to French Coral. Additional brushing and shoulder work may also include work on Tyler Foot Crossing Road from Ananda Way to Lake City Road. The report highlighted a number of upcoming projects including the future Nevada County Operations Center that will be located on La Barr Meadows Road. The project is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2020 and will include a state-of –the-art facility for our County’s fleet, transit and public works crews. Very exciting.
On the topic of roads, safety is of the up most important. The Board adopted its Local Road Safety Plan at its regular meeting last month on February 26, 2019. The plan identified where the top five collision intersection and road segments are in the County that included the intersection on Pleasant Valley Road at Commercial and Rough and Ready Highwayfrom Grub Creek to Valley Drive. The plan reported that the top three primary collision factors from 2015-2017 were due to improper turning, unsafe speeds, and driving under the influence. The plan lays out a simple, yet effective, method to work towards a zero fatality goal in Nevada County by identifying stakeholders, using safety data to choose proven solutions and then to implement those solutions. For more information, go to https://www.mynevadacounty.com/2670/2019-Local-Road-Safety-Plan.
At the same meeting, the Board also heard a presentation from the California Highway Patrol on an initiative called the Traffic Alliance Safety Corridors Campaign in partnership with Placer County. The initiative is funded through a one-year grant for increased enforcement and traffic safety education throughout both counties on Highways 20, 65, 174, 49, 193, and Interstate 80. The campaign advocates traffic safety through what it calls the “Four E’s”: Education, Enforcement, Engineering and Emergency Medical Response Services. CHP Commander George Steffenson and CHP Public Information Officer Mike Steele reported to the Board that the Campaign is moving forward and so far this year they are seeing a reduction in collisions, but were cautious to warn that this could change. The one-year program began in October 2018 and will go until September 2019. So please be safe on the roadways – our officers and law enforcement agencies can only do so much.
In other public safety topics, I am pleased to report that the first Yuba River Public Safety Cohort met in mid-February to begin discussing the year’s plan on how to promote public safety within the South Yuba River Canyon. District I Supervisor Heidi Hall and former District IV Supervisor Hank Weston established the Cohort in 2017 ahead of the river season to help coordinate the activities of the various public agencies, local advocacy groupsand homeowners within the basin to develop, and implement strategies to promote public safety and prevent wildfire and other threats from occurring. At the meeting, a number of agencies reported good news on law enforcement and ranger staffing levels. Specifically, State Parks reported they are now fully-staffed since the Great Recession that includes a new K9 unit. BLM also reported that they will be hiring a full-time permanent ranger for Nevada County.
Last but not least, the 3rd Penn Valley Area Plan Community Workshop is scheduled for March 28, 2019 from 6-8:30 PM at the Ready Springs Elementary School Gym. The Planning Department works closely with the community on developing area plans for communities in the unincorporated areas of the County that can help drive changes to the County’s General Plan, as well as help identify economic development opportunities over time. Please come and participate. You can also go to http://www.mynevadacounty.com/2592/Penn-Valley-Area-Plan for more details and to sign up for event notifications. — By Susan Hoek, Supervisor, District IV
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