Supervisors still anxious to offer one-stop permit center

By Victoria Metcalf

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A one-stop permit center for those needing certain building, planning and environmental health services is still being promoted by members of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors.

At an anticipated cost of something less than $30,000, Plumas County could turn the former county probation department building in East Quincy into something besides surplus property. With some interior redesign work and security updates, supervisors could approve relocating the Plumas County Planning and Building Departments to that facility — it was discussed Tuesday, April 7. A portion of the county’s Environmental Health Department could also move to that location.

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County Administrator Gabriel Hydrick was before the supervisors once again with information putting forth a one-stop center for the public. This would also provide a purpose for the building adjacent to the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office. That building has served most recently as the district offices for Plumas Unified School District and the County Office of Education. The education programs leased the building from the county of Plumas from 2014 to 2019, Hydrick explained.

Currently the county planning and building departments exist across from each other at the corner of Crescent Street and Bucks Lake Road in Quincy. Environmental Health services are at the Courthouse Annex building near Feather River College. Supervisor Jeff Engel has pointed out serval times when the one-stop center is considered, that having these three services in one building and just up the street from the county’s public works department makes sense.

Although not all of Environmental Health would move to the East Quincy location, offering specific hours when a technician for the department  could be available would be more convenient for the public, supervisors agree.

Hydrick said Facilities Services approached three local contractors requesting bids to do essential remodel work to the existing building. Two contractors weren’t interested. The third contractor, Precision Building of Quincy, said the project could be done for $25,760.

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Supervisors didn’t have an issue with that price, saying that if Plumas County sells off some of its surplus property, the cash-strapped county would realize enough funding to pay for the proposed project.

Both directors for the planning and building departments, Tracy Ferguson and Chuck White, were present for the discussion. They indicated they’re fine with the move but believe security is an issue.

White explained there are times when someone from the public gets upset with what the code enforcement officer has to say. He said that’s one reason why it’s good if the department is located near the sheriff’s office. But with that in mind, White said that a secured front entrance and possibly other areas where someone could potentially access either department is needed.

Ferguson and White said that added security features would increase the costs by about $3,000.

White also indicated the building would need a generator to provide power in preparation for planned blackouts from PG&E during wind or other potentially hazardous weather situations. Sheriff Todd Johns spoke up and said his department received COVID-19 related funding to provide generators to specific programs and agencies. He offered to provide a generator to the former probation building if it meets the grant funding requirements. Johns did say the funding must be spent before July 1.

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Although Engel has routinely pushed for the one-stop permit center, at one point during the meeting he said, “Why don’t we just pack out of there and sell it?” No one seemed to agree with that suggestion.

If planning and building moved to the East Quincy location, that would free up office space for the Human Resources Department and County Counsel’s office.

HR Director Nancy Selvage explained that her staff and its functions need more room. Space for testing, private interviews, meetings and staff room is necessary. County Counsel Gretchen Stuhr said her needs are similar.

And by those departments moving to the 555 Main St. location near the Courthouse, the move would free up room for the District Attorney’s department, supervisors agreed. District Attorney David Hollister was not present for the discussion.

Although Hollister’s offices are currently located on the fourth floor of the Courthouse, supervisors are concerned about how much weight is added to the historic structure’s top rooms. At one time the fourth floor was home to the DA’s offices, probation, the county law library and other services. Following a past inspection of the building, supervisors were warned about the amount of weight and potential safety hazards involved in overcrowding that floor.

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Supervisors did not make a final decision on the relocation of county services at this time.