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Pleased to see county leaders addressing abandoned autos

Let’s hope that they move onto blight as well

One of our readers asked for help regarding an issue that had been bothering her. What could be done about all of the abandoned cars strewn across Plumas County?

The question wasn’t new. It’s been asked over the years and is usually answered with a flurry of activity and then the situation returns to the status quo. The same could be said about the blight that plagues many neighborhoods throughout the county as well — it has been responded to in much the same manner.

We get it. It’s a time consuming, expensive process that requires investigation, legal notifications, guidelines to follow and expense. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be addressed.

In response to this particular reader’s inquiry, we asked our reporter who covers county government and law enforcement — Assistant Editor Victoria Metcalf — to look into it and she did. You will find her article about abandoned vehicles in the front section of your newspaper. In it she details the issue from the perspective of the county as well as the California Highway Patrol, and the steps that are now underway to address the problem.

Did you know that the county actually has a vehicle abatement committee? Members include Plumas County Supervisors Kevin Goss and Sherrie Thrall, Building Official Chuck White, and city of Portola representatives Tom Cooley and Susan Scarlett. If this is an issue that concerns you, those are the people to contact.

And if it’s the overall blight that is particularly nagging, then it’s the entirety of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors and the Portola City Council that need to hear from you. The city has arguably been more proactive in addressing blight in its community. It amassed a list of the most egregious properties, ranked them and began addressing them. At one point Councilman Phil Oels organized a cleanup event and enlisted the assistance of Intermountain Disposal to deal with a property whose owners didn’t have the financial wherewithal to deal with it.

Cost is a major factor as to why some properties remain eyesores. It’s expensive to dispose of trash, appliances, vehicles and more, and, if property owners are physically incapable of the cleanup themselves, they have the added cost of hiring help. We like the creative approach that Oels undertook, but we understand that isn’t a permanent solution to an ongoing problem.

Despite all of the obstacles, we are encouraged by the fact that the county seems to be tackling the abandoned vehicle issue. We take that as a positive sign that progress will be made.

Out of county, but not out of mind

Last week we noted that local fire personnel and engines had answered the call to help fight the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County. We have been kept apprised of some of their work, which has kept them on the fire line for as much as 24 hours at a stretch. When they return we look forward to interviewing some of them and sharing their experience. We have been the recipients of outside fire personnel responding to Plumas and it’s nice to be able to reciprocate the favor.

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