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Plumas board OKs med contracts for jails, nixes truck

The Plumas County Board of Supervisors renewed contracts for medical care at the jail, but denied a new paint striping truck for the road department during its June 2 meeting.

The board unanimously approved contracts for North Fork Family Medicine, Dr. Joseph Schad and May Nursing Services totaling $605,000 that provides on- and off-site care with availability around the clock for the county jail. These are renewals of previous contracts.

But when it came to the $471,927.88 price tag for paint striper truck, the board split 2-2 with Supervisors Jeff Engel and Sherrie Thrall voting no and Supervisors Kevin Goss and Lori Simpson voting in favor of the purchase.

“What I’m worried about is next year,” Engel said, when he had the item removed from the consent agenda. The board is anticipating a drop in revenues as a result of the coronavirus stay-at-home orders, which closed and/or curtailed businesses for months.

County Administrative Officer Gabriel Hydrick had already asked department heads to make cost cutting suggestions as a drop in sales tax revenue, as well as transient occupancy tax, is expected. (The funding for the truck does not come from the county general fund.)

Assistant Public Works Director Joe Blackwell told the supervisors why the equipment was needed, but ultimately the split vote nixed the purchase. The truck currently being used is 25-years-old and is no longer compliant with state which limits its use to half the available season. It is used to paint and stripe more than 470 miles of county roads annually.

During an interview June 4, Blackwell said the decision to deny the purchase was somewhat confusing since it was approved as a line item in the budget passed by the board last year. “We will have to put it back on the agenda,” Blackwell said, and discussed the county’s need to repaint its roads annually because of the sanding and snow plowing which erodes the paint. The county is mandated to maintain visible lines, including reflective material — all laid down by the striper. The window to operate is June 1 – Oct. 1, due to humidity and ground temperature. Without the additional striper, some roads won’t be repainted.

Also on the board’s consent agenda, the supervisors ratified the results of the Hamilton Branch Fire Protection District special election held May 5. The vote to approve a special tax for emergency medical services, fire protection and prevention received a majority of the vote 166-96, but failed to earn the two-thirds necessary to pass.

 

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