Deposit price lowered at one county campground

At the recommendation of a facility services department head whose crew and equipment are responsible for cleaning up after horses following the July 4 Silver Buckle Rodeo, Plumas County Supervisors made one decision June 18 and then turned around and made a new decision July 2.

Facility Services Director Kevin Correira addressed supervisors June 18 requesting they apply a $200 per horse deposit fee to each campsite at the Taylorsville Campground. That fee is in addition to the $14 per night cost of camping.

Responding to public complaints, Supervisor Kevin Goss added an emergency item to the Tuesday, July 2, agenda.

Goss said he was adding the Taylorsville Campground horse manure deposit.

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County Counsel Craig Settlemire agreed that this could be added as an emergency item. The new deposit was set to go into effect in July to cover additional cleanup by facilities services. Therefore it couldn’t wait until the next scheduled board meeting.

The item also had to be something new that came up after the posting of the last agenda. Supervisors’ unanimous decision reached Indian Valley residents following the June 18 meeting.

Goss explained that he’s “not a huge horse person,” but he could still understand the onerous burden the per horse fee might put on some participants.

Goss said that he understood that the additional fees could push people out of the convenient campground (right across from the Taylorsville rodeo grounds) and into other campgrounds or even along the roads.

Goss said that he also understood that the decision could overcrowd the area used by the local roping and riding club — taking space they didn’t have.

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At the June 18 meeting, Correira said that he attempted to hold a meeting last year right after the Silver Buckle Rodeo and no one showed. He said the invitation was also extended to Goss.

Correira explained to supervisors that the cost of cleaning up after horses inside the campground is a lot. He estimated $65 an hour for employees and equipment time. He added that they spent 90.5 hours in cleaning.

Correira suggested the refundable deposit as a way to get horse owners to clean up their campsites.

Discussion

Veronica Tilton, a member of the roping and riding club, told supervisors this is the 70th anniversary of the Silver Buckle Rodeo and jackpot roping event. She said those two events really put Taylorsville on the map and the campground needed to be a partner in the event.

Holding up a two-page tab-size spread, Tilton said there are many events that horse owners and rodeo enthusiasts could choose over Taylorville programs. But when people chose Taylorsville they knew they were in for a multi-faceted time.

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Not only could visitors participate in the Taylorsville activities, but also there was so much more to do. Activities include hiking, horse riding in other areas, the lakes and the beauty of the surrounding area.

“We have to change this policy or we run the risk of ruining this event,” Tilton told supervisors.

“Please, please,” she added.

Supervisor Lori Simpson said she got tagged a lot on social media about the board’s decision. She agreed they needed more input.

Tilton recommended a fee structure because what was approved was unreasonable.

Goss said he was looking into the future and possibly dropping the deposit fee to $150.

Misty Banchio, another event supporter from Indian Valley, also addressed supervisors.

She said she travels a lot and Taylorsville is a known place. The rodeo is widely known. “It’s bigger than just our little area,” she said.

“It’s a hobby for some, a lifestyle for some,” Banchio said about those who come to the events with their families and horses.

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She said that because people own horses some thought that meant they have money. Banchio said that’s not always the case.

Banchio said that she realized that some people can ruin it for a lot of people, but she encouraged trying to find a solution that would work for everyone.

And other people shared their points of view.

Auditor Roberta Allen said there is a proper way of handling the deposits. Cash isn’t accepted. And the deposit check must be duly noted by the auditor’s office. Therefore, all deposits had to be turned in and accounted for in the auditor’s office. She said that her staff routinely works with checks two days a week but they could expedite the process so that refunds to those who had cleaned up their spaces could happen in a timely manner.

Decision

At length, Supervisors agreed to a deposit of $200 for all horses, not each horse, per campsite.

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Goss said that he wants to return to the issue as soon as possible.