Tobin remains without water

Ideas on how to get water to the tiny community of Tobin in the Feather River Canyon bounced around the Plumas County Community Development Commission meeting room July 16.

Trucks could fill up the 60,000-gallon water tank.

Someone could sneak in and do the contractor work that’s required.

Or they could simply keep trying to locate an experienced contractor who could complete the last phase of a job left unfinished several years earlier.


Problems with Union Pacific Railroad and getting the final steps of the project approved, initially plagued CDC Executive Director Roger Diefendorf and members of the commission.

At last it seemed everything was approved, a contractor lined up and the work completed in early June.

But then contractors had to pull their people and put them on another job, explained Diefendorf.

Both Diefendorf and CDC Commission/Supervisor Jeff Engel have hunted for another contractor to install the water line across the railroad bridge and to the tank.

Engel said he talked to a potential contract in Reno who might be willing to do the remainder of the job, but he hadn’t heard back from him by the July 16 meeting. “It boils down to everybody’s really busy,” he said. This is a booming time in construction.

“This is the fire season. It’s going to look pretty bad if something happens,” Engel added. And fires in the Tobin part of the Feather River Canyon have been known to happen.


Engel said he thought about filling the existing 60,000-gallon water tank. He estimated it would take 15 trips to fill the tank. “And it’s not an easy road to get up and down.”

But that’s not really much water, Engel said, if a fire breaks out. “We’re working on it, trust me.”

Residents are concerned about their insurance being canceled, said Commissioner/ Supervisor Michael Sanchez.

It’s a statewide issue, stated Commissioner/Supervisor Lori Simpson. “It’s an issue we need to get involved in.”

Sanchez said he was aware that the forestry (U.S. Forest Service and California Department of Forestry) is looking at firesafe issues along the highways. “I think we’re next on the list,” he said.

“It’s pretty scary,” Sanchez said. He added that his brother lives in Twain and his insurance was canceled.

Sanchez said he was aware that some insurance policies had jumped to more than $14,000 a year. In some cases the payment was more than the mortgage.