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Probation, social services, others receive approval for activities

Members of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors approved a lot of county business under the consent agenda Oct. 15.

Fitness for duty

A contract between Plumas County Probation Department and Cordico Psychological Corp will provide psychological evaluations for individuals as a condition of their employment.

This is a pre-employment evaluation process for “armed or unarmed officers” within the probation department, according to Chief Probation Officer Erin Metcalf.

Currently an employee fitness for duty evaluation is provided for $1,600 per employee. The new contract would provide them for $400.

Probation officers needed

Chief Probation Officer Erin Metcalf is looking to recruit and fill three full-time probation officer positions.

All three positions are funded during the 2019-20 fiscal year budget cycle.

In September, supervisors approved two vacant positions to be filled within the local department. Later that same month a third vacancy was created when an employee was terminated during his/her probationary period.

All three positions are responsible for investigation, assessment and management of adult and juvenile cases as assigned. They also monitor those on probation for compliance of conditions, guidance and accountability.

“These positions are critical to probation’s obligation to protect our community, reduce recidivism, restore victims and promote healthy families,” Metcalf said.

The Plumas County General Fund supports these positions.

Social worker needed

The Department of Social Services has an opening for a social worker position in the Child Protective Service Program.

Director Neal Caiazzo is looking to fill this position as soon as possible.

The department experienced a recent vacancy, Caiazzo explained. The position is part of the Child Welfare Services system and is “critical for assuring the safety of abused or neglected children.”

This position is funded in this year’s county budget and doesn’t impact the General Fund, Caiazzo explained. It is funded by state, federal and realignment funds.

This position is part of the state-mandated, county-administered public protection plan. Mandated services include 24-hour, seven-days-a-week emergency response services for allegations of abused or neglected children, according to Caiazzo.

The position also provides case management services to families and reunification services. Permanency services might be required when reunification avenues are exhausted.

The position is responsible for investigation of allegations of abuse or neglect. CPS performs case management activities that support mitigation of issues that have led to the abuse or neglect of children within a family. “A significant component of the job includes reporting to the Plumas County Superior Court regarding the status of families, who have had children removed from their care and custody,” Caiazzo explained.

There is also interaction with community-based partner organizations that work with CPS toward goals associated with assisting families.

Contract approved

The trapping of insect pests to protect against various moths, beetles and flies is costing $7,076. The contract began with the current fiscal year and runs to June 30, 2020.

Plumas-Sierra County Department of Agriculture Commissioner Tim Gibson asked supervisors to approve this year’s contract.

This contract is with the California Department of Food and Agriculture. It allows the local department to provide services for placing and servicing traps for the detection of exotic insects considered hazardous to local agriculture and the state’s economy.

Insects may include the Mediterranean fruit fly, the Mexican fruit fly, the oriental fruit fly, melon fly, gypsy moth, Japanese beetle and others.

Approval to secure grants

Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood provided a resolution allowing the sheriff’s office to secure State Homeland Security Grants (SHSG) and Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG) for the current fiscal year.

The county traditionally received EMPG grants that pay for labor costs for local Office of Emergency Services, Hagwood said. It also pays for equipment repairs, including replacement, and leases/rents for public safety communication infrastructure.

The SHSG program, in effect since 2002, pays for communication upgrades and equipment for local public safety agencies with allocations made available through CalOES.

“This year the California Office of Emergency Services requests all sub-grantees (such as Plumas County) create a universal Governing Body Resolution,” Hagwood said.

The resolution, approved by supervisors, covers both EMPG and SHSG awards for a single grant cycle. By creating a Governing Board Resolution (GBR), the county is then in a position to acquire residual funds unused by other jurisdictions.

“Additionally, state OES requests that the universal GBR have an authorized agent referred to by position, versus by name,” Hagwood said. The use of the position makes it easier to identify an agency rather than an individual should changes occur.

“It is the sheriff’s office plan to come to your board each year with the new grant application and seek approval for the process and associated budget, just like has been done in the past,” Hagwood said. “This will keep your board aware of developments and possible extra funding opportunities that may present themselves.”

The biggest difference is that by doing this, supervisors won’t need to sign a separate resolution each year.

Lead poisoning prevention week

Although Plumas County Public Health Agency Director Andrew Woodruff presented information on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week in Plumas County this week, he was also before the board.

During the meeting, Woodruff introduced Rubin Lopez, community outreach coordinator, who is heading up the effort.

Lead poisoning can cause permanent learning and behavioral problems that make it difficult for children to succeed in school, according to information Woodruff presented to supervisors.

“Lead exposure is especially dangerous for children under the age of 6 because their rapidly growing and developing bodies absorb more lead,” Woodruff said.

Lead was used in paint and gasoline until it was banned.

And children living in pre-1978 housing could be exposed to dangerous levels of lead from old lead paint and from contamination of soil and dust by old leaded gasoline.

“Children receiving services from government assisted health programs are also considered at risk for lead exposure,” Woodward said. “There is no known safe blood lead level and many at-risk children have not been tested for lead.”

Public Health is taking the lead in helping education the public about the dangers of lead hazards and in promoting prevention efforts.

“Our theme this ear is, “Dust and dirt with lead can hurt. Keep kids away from lead where they play.”

Funding for the fairgrounds

Supervisors approved three contracts of $5,000 for repairs and rental at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds.

A contract was approved with Commercial Appliance Service, LLC, not to exceed $5,000 to make emergency repairs to the cooking range in the Tulsa Scott Pavilion kitchen. The repairs were needed June 20.

The range is used during the High Sierra Music Festival.

Another contract not to exceed $5,000 went to Wilburn Construction for June 26 work. “Previous plans to smooth out the go kart track on the west end of the fairgrounds did not work out and we had to hire Wilburn construction to meet our obligation to High Sierra Music Festival,” said Fair and Event Center Manager John Steffanic.

Although the purchase of a new forklift for the fairgrounds was approved in the new fiscal year budget, one was needed before that time. To rent one from MEE 2, Inc. was not to exceed $5,000.

Resolution approved

In a resolution, Plumas County Arts Commission is known as the Local Cultural Planning Agency for the county. It authorized the 2019-21 application to the California Arts Council State-Local Partnership Program.

The partnership is designed to encourage local cultural planning, partnering and decision making that helps reach under-served people.

This is a partnership that Plumas Arts has been involved in since 1981. And the organization serves all communities in the county by assisting with cultural and tourism organization to further the arts, community, economy and quality of life.

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