Last year ended with a bang as the most hard-hitting storm in decades hit Nevada County just after Christmas.
County officials say they responded within hours, creating an emergency operations center to send resources to the 30,000 affected households. Local, surrounding and state first responders collaborated with PG&E to revitalize homes, businesses and government offices. They felled trees, restored electrical and telecommunications cables, and delivered supplies to help residents weather the disaster.
“We are still responding to the crisis, but we are committed as a county and community to recover more resiliently than before,” Supervisor Dan Miller said. “We’re making broadband more accessible with an environmental impact report that will speed up work.”
The Board of Supervisors will host a special three-day workshop beginning at 9 a.m. today at the Gold Miners Inn, 121 Bank St., Grass Valley, with a public viewing station inside the lobby. Council members will update the public on the status of the districts and a financial update today, and the following days will cover broadband, cannabis and roaming.
“The workshop is a planning session for supervisors to review their overall goals and strategic vision for our organization,” said CEO Alison Lehman. “Supervisors hear presentations on many topics ranging from emergency preparedness to housing. The workshop is for planning and discussion only, and the board will vote on its 2022 goals at a meeting scheduled for February.
Among the items supervisors will hear about is Northern Sierra Broadband Cooperative, Inc.’s $120,000 Buck Mountain-Oak-Arianna project, which will bring fiber to 35 homes. Its completion date is estimated at September.
The County Health and Human Services Agency has had a productive 2021 and is now in many phases of planning or completing affordable workforce housing projects. It is expected that local jurisdictions will work with developers and other stakeholders to develop housing-friendly policy changes, said Mike Dent, director of child support, collections, housing and community services.
In addition, efforts are underway to achieve stabilization of mobile home rents and financial assistance for the Rural Energy for America (REAP) program.
“It’s up to growers and small rural businesses to build renewable energy systems or energy efficiency upgrades,” Dent said.
Dent added that his office plans to facilitate and promote supportive housing partnerships, which combine affordable housing with coordinated services to help people with chronic physical and mental health issues maintain housing. stable.
Since 2017, the county has helped produce more than 300 new units, including 100 units completed in 2022. Another milestone was the Lone Oak senior housing project, occupied last fall in Penn Valley. Additionally, the county has tackled veteran homelessness, finding housing for most of the 37 people identified and halving the homeless population in Truckee, securing housing for 24 people. A newly remodeled Odyssey House has doubled its capacity to 6,384 square feet for people with mental health issues.
“We’re turning a corner,” Dent said at the open house.
As for the growing cannabis industry, it is expected to generate $400,000 in tax revenue by the end of the fiscal year, June 30. A new concept will be to change the way cannabis is taxed, rather than relying on a gross revenue methodology and moving to revenue based on square footage. Plans are underway to address entry and exit roads to cannabis farms, where road damage has increased due to lack of long-term maintenance. And consideration will be given to allowing growers to distribute their product from farms directly to manufacturing sites.
“We look forward to working alongside the county and community on a cannabis regulatory framework that supports a healthy business ecosystem for long-term economic sustainability while upholding the values of environmental stewardship, land use and industry responsibility,” said Diana Gamzon, Executive Director. of the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance.
William Roller is a staff writer at The Union. He can be contacted at [email protected]