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Health care districts pursue reorganization

And four shall become two. Four local health care districts have been working to consolidate their efforts — Eastern Plumas with Sierra Valley and Plumas District with Indian Valley.

Working through the LAFCo process, the Local Agency Formation Commission, it is called a reorganization rather than a consolidation, which would require a more complex set of steps. In each case, one district is dissolving and the other is annexing its territory. Sierra Valley will dissolve and be annexed by Eastern Plumas; and Indian Valley will dissolve and be annexed by Plumas District.

Eastern Plumas is already providing medical care in the Sierra Valley, and Plumas District is running the medical clinic in Indian Valley.

If all goes as expected, the Eastern Plumas/Sierra Valley process will be completed in mid January, while Plumas District/Indian Valley should be completed mid 2019.

Jennifer Stephenson, the executive director of Plumas LAFCo, said that the requested reorganizations meet LAFCo’s stated goals of promoting efficiency of services and promoting logical boundaries.

Eastern Plumas/Sierra Valley

Representatives from both districts appeared before the LAFCo board Dec. 10 for a required public hearing. After a brief discussion with no opposition voiced, the board unanimously approved three resolutions to continue the process: adopted a sphere of influence amendment for Eastern Plumas; approved annexation of territory within the Sierra Valley Hospital District by Eastern Plumas and approved the dissolution of Sierra Valley Hospital District.

The next step is a protest hearing scheduled for 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 4, at the Sierraville School at 305 S. Lincoln St. in Sierraville. The hearing will end at 1:15 p.m.

Protests must be in writing and signed by landowners or registered voters within the area boundaries. LAFCo will order the reorganization unless it receives a petition signed by 25 percent of the voters or 25 percent of the landowners who own at least 25 percent of the land.

Stephenson described this as more of a formality since there have been no protests to date, but it does provide one last opportunity to speak out against the reorganization.

Plumas District/Indian Valley

Based on the current timeline, the LAFCo public hearing for this reorganization will most likely occur in April, according to Stephenson. LAFCo meets every two months and there isn’t enough time to complete the necessary legal notifications before the next regular meeting, which would be in February.

The boards of directors of both the Plumas and Indian Valley districts passed resolutions in November authorizing the two districts to unite. The application for reorganization was filed at the Dec. 10 LAFCo meeting.

Plumas would annex the roughly 494 square miles in Indian Valley currently served by that district, and the latter would dissolve.

The resolution reads: “The reorganization would allow the reorganized District to better meet the needs of its historically-related communities by providing a full complement of Health Care services to the entire reorganized territory.”

It states that the reorganized district will continue providing the services that it currently does in Indian Valley. The consolidation will not affect the emergency medical services (ambulance service) that are in place.

The property tax collected in the consolidated district will go to the newly reorganized Plumas Hospital District.

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