Supervisors approve nursing contract and fee waiver
The Plumas County Board of Supervisors approved a contract for nursing services at the jail, but it was not a unanimous vote and there was a caveat.
The contract between the sheriff’s department and nurse Deborah Freeze to provide 24-hour nursing services at the jail will cost $15,666.67 per month. Freeze would work in conjunction with North Fork Family Medicine doctors.
During the board’s June 18 meeting, Supervisor Jon Kennedy voted against the contract because of the cost, but Sheriff Greg Hagwood said the option was less expensive than hiring an outside medical provider.
Freeze, who will oversee a staff of three other nurses, said she consulted with an accountant and insurance provider, and tailored her nurses’ hourly pay rate to those of Plumas District Hospital nurses to attain her costs.
The supervisors discussed whether Freeze would be considered a private contractor, rather than an employee because of Internal Revenue Service regulations, and made that status a requirement of the contract.
Historically the public health department provided nursing staff, but lack of compensation for after-hours calls, and the basic differences between jail and public health nursing, proved impediments to finding nurses to provide the coverage.
Without adequate nursing coverage, North Fork would not continue providing medical care at the jail.
“I see this as a ‘win’ situation,” said Supervisor Lori Simpson.
There are also new appliances in the jail’s future. The supervisors approved transferring $9,100 from wages to purchase an industrial refrigerator and freezer for the facility.
The county plans to lease the Greenville Town Hall to the Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce for $75 per month.
Dony Sawchuck, the county’s director of facility services, said that the total revenue received from the town hall in 2012-13 was $905, but its expenses were $12,131.58, not including maintenance.
With the new lease agreement, the chamber would assume the costs and operate the building as a community resource center.
Though the supervisors approved the lease in concept, they still must ratify a contract still to be negotiated with the chamber.
“It looks like a pretty good deal,” said Supervisor Kevin Goss, who represents the Indian Valley area.
Another chamber, the Quincy Chamber of Commerce, asked the supervisors to waive a special use permit and other fees, totaling $1,357, to erect a “Welcome to Quincy” sign on the east side of town: $1,157 for a special use permit; $101 for the sign permit; and $99 for the building permit.
Assistant planner Becky Herrin explained the amount of work that is involved in permitting a sign, and said the fees would be incurred whether or not the chamber paid for them.
“I’m totally against charging a use permit for something like this,” Supervisor Jon Kennedy said.
Supervisor Sherrie Thrall said the county was selectively enforcing sign ordinances as evidenced by signs that appear throughout the county without proper permits.
“We don’t have code enforcement for violations,” she said, but added that it’s a vicious circle because fees are waived and budgets are cut and then there is no money to pay for code enforcement.
The supervisors decided to waive the fee for the special use permit, but the chamber will pay the building and sign fees.
Ever wonder how many miles of road the Plumas County Public Works Department maintains?
The answer is 679.493 miles, to be exact. The county must submit the information to the state each year so it can receive its share of gas tax money and funds from other sources.
Social services to hire
The county’s social services department plans to hire two social services aide positions, which became available because of internal promotions.