Board talks cash, councils and cooperative extensions in a full agenda

A full room was met with a full agenda at the Plumas County Board of Supervisors meeting Sept. 5. With the new fiscal year came renewed contracts and stacks of agenda material.

Beckwourth Service Area low on cash

The Board of Supervisors sits as the governing authority for various special districts and county service areas, including the Beckwourth County Service Area. In that capacity, the board authorized Public Works Director Bob Perreault to request a $26,000 loan from Plumas County to meet the cash obligations of the Beckwourth service area.

Perreault reported that the pipes and sewer system within the Beckwourth CSA need major repairs. He reported that there are opportunities to obtain the funding through the state, but the process of receiving necessary income studies sent to the Beckwourth community was slow going.

In the meantime, the service area cannot meet its cash obligations until a pending rate increase is finalized. The board authorized the request for the loan as the service area governing board and approved the loan as the County Board of Supervisors.

What happened to the coordinating council?

The county established the Coordinating Council in 2008 to coordinate the plans and policies of the county with the U.S. Forest Service. The Coordinating Council is intended to serve as an advisory body to the Board of Supervisors. Perreault reported that participation from Forest Service staff was low.

Perreault said a subcommittee met and contacted the Forest Service and received suggestions on how to encourage participation.

“In the past, the Coordinating Council became somewhat of an appeal group and so it was spending too much of its time on projects that were controversial,” said Perrault. “Those types of appeals should be brought directly to the supervisors.”

The group will continue to meet and make changes, including moving the room from the supervisor’s meeting room to the planning conference room, to encourage participation and have everyone sit at the same table.

Plumas-Sierra Cooperative extension program update

David Lile, the University of California Plumas-Sierra Cooperative Extension Livestock and Natural Resources advisor, reported on the progress of the agency’s MOU with Plumas County. He outlined several projects the program is working on including an irrigated pasture management process with UC Davis, a wolf survey project and creating undercrossing on highways for wildlife.

Kari O’Reilly, the 4-H community education specialist, reported that 4-H enrollment in the county is up almost 20 percent. She said it has to do with the addition of the new Portola and Loyalton clubs. She also said the club was trying to diversify projects so kids who cannot do livestock projects have more options.

Community Corrections Partnership funding

The Community Corrections Partnership Executive Committee authorized $980,190.89 from the Community Corrections Performance Incentive Fund, allocated by the state, to be dispersed among various agencies involved in community corrections.

The board expressed concern to Chief Probation Officer Erin Metcalf that Plumas County Behavioral Health did not receive any of that funding in the budget presented at the meeting. Supervisor Lori Simson mentioned the executive committee meeting at which the budget was made.

“It appeared [at the meeting] the majority of the fund was going to go to the sheriff … by the time it got to [behavioral health] there was no money left to give them,” said Simpson.

Supervisor Jeff Engel also expressed his concern that Behavioral Health was cut out of the funding. Sherriff Greg Hagwood echoed Engel’s concern.

“I am supportive of behavioral health receiving some measure of funding for the services that we value so dearly at the correctional facility,” Hagwood said.

Simpson said she did not see what the funds were for and she needed to see a plan for what is going to be done with the money. The Board approved a motion to reject the budget and reevaluate the plan at a future meeting.