Two major grants mean nearly $2 million for county programs

Consent agenda items submitted to the Plumas County Board of Supervisors for July 9 consideration were approved without comment.

Topping the consent agenda is the announcement of the receipt of a $1 million grant from the state to the District Attorney’s Alternative Sentencing Program.

The Plumas County Public Health Agency also received a grant for nearly $960,000 through Ryan White funding.

District attorney

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District Attorney David Hollister sought approval for a grant award running from Aug. 15, 2019, to May 15, 2023, titled The Plumas County Prop 47 Project.

“Proposition 47, which reduced to misdemeanors penalties from some low-level crimes, required the Board of State and Community Corrections to administer grant programs for mental health and substance abuse treatment using a portion of the annual state savings,” Hollister explained in material presented to supervisors.

In March, Hollister, with support from members of Prop. 47 Local Advisory Committee, submitted a grant application to the state. The Alternative Sentencing Program received notification that it is being awarded $1 million. “These funds will be used to continue our diversion program intensive case management services and a Pretrial Release Program, all of which will be integrated with our re-introduced Day Reporting Center and combined with mental health, substance use disorder treatment, housing and community-based supportive services, including job skills training and intensive case management for participants in the Plumas County criminal justice system,” Hollister explained.

Public health

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Plumas County Public Health Agency has received a grant for more than $950,000 for the next five years.

A resolution was approved to accept the grant from the California Department of Public Health for the HIV Care Program.

Public health has had a contract with the state for various HIV/AIDS related services and prevention for many years, according to Director Andrew Woodruff.

The grant provides HIV/AIDS resources under the Ryan White Program Part B to low income people living with HIV in the county, he explained.

The grant is from April 1 through March 31, 2024, in the amount of $959,744.

Public works

Plumas County Department of Public Works Director Bob Perreault pointed out that on-call services for Environmental/CEQA and NEPA services is increasing under an amendment to professional services agreement.

Maximum compensation for California Environmental Quality Act and National Environmental Protection Act services doubled from $450,000 to $900,000.

Public Works contracts with Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.

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And the reason for the increase is due to the number of projects requiring “prompt CEQA and NEPA clearance, in order to satisfy funding deadlines,” Perreault explained in backup material to supervisors.

Amendment numbers one through eight include the Gold Lake Forest Highway guardrail replacement project with related costs of $7,992.36, Dyer Drive culvert replacement project costs of $27,419.2,; an identification training costs are $12,805.31, the Clio Bridge painting project totals $49,224.79, and the Dyson Lane Bridge Painting project totals $63,874.04 for related costs.

The Lights Creek Bridge Rehabilitation project CEQA and NEPA costs are $66,620.38; the Belden Bridge painting project totals $69,837.55; and the Quincy-La Porte Road emergency repair project’s related costs total $39,957.08.

Pending projects include the Chester-Warner Valley Road and the Kings Creek Bridge replacement project for CEQA and NEPA related costs totaling $99,646.17; and the Oakland Camp Road Bridge replacement project is $135,787.42.

Another pending project is the Camp Layman Bridge replacement project in which CEQA and NEPA costs total $65,000, and the Prattville Bridge replace project for the same amount.

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Two other pending projects include the Beskeen Lane shoulder stabilization project for $20,000, and then the Graeagle-Johnsville Road reconstruction project in which CEQA and NEPA related costs are $150,000.

These projects total $873,164.30.

Perreault explained that project costs are estimated based on other similar projects. “A formal cost proposal will be submitted at a later date,” he added.

All of the listed projects are federally funded through the Highway Bridge Program, or the Emergency Relief Program. These are administered through the California Department of Transportation.

County counsel

On behalf of efforts by the County Counsel’s office, Plumas County is now part of a consortium designed to keep an eye on PG&E’s protection for bankruptcy filing and intervention if necessary.

Deputy County Counsel Gretchen Stuhr explained that PG&E filed for protection in bankruptcy court in late January. “Over the course of the last six months, approximately 2,800 filings have occurred in bankruptcy case(s),” Stuhr explained in background material.

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“Given the number of counties within California that have an interest in monitoring and potentially intervening in the pending bankruptcy case, a committee of counties, led by San Luis Obispo County, entered into an engagement letter with Lamb and Kawakami LLO for monitoring and potential intervention, if necessary,” Stuhr explained.

Lamb and Kawakami have extensive experience handling complex bankruptcy cases. The lead counsel for them has 34 years experience in bankruptcy law, according to Stuhr.

With 2,800 filings, Stuhr said the local county counsel doesn’t have the time to monitor and analyze all of the cases, she explained.

To date, 18 other counties have joined the committee.

Plumas County Counsel’s Office is interested in the bankruptcy proceedings because of the number of PG&E operated dams and reservoirs in the county, Stuhr pointed out. And the company is a major electricity provider in the area.

Under the terms of the agreement, the cost of allowing the legal firm to monitor case is $450 an hour. If intervention is required that cost increases to $550 an hour. “This cost would be shared by all counties who have joined the committee,” Stuhr said. With 18 currently involved, Plumas County’s cost is $25 per hour for monitoring and $30.56 for intervention. The cost for paralegal services is about $11.12 an hour.

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Additional fees could also be incurred for filing and recording fees, deposition transcripts and related costs and services. Charges must be billed according to the legal firm’s costs. Anything that exceeds $1,000 must be approved. The legal firm cannot bill counties for travel time should intervention occur.

The law firm bills each county on a monthly basis.

Social services

The Plumas County Department of Social Services is filling a vacant senior social worker position as soon as possible.

A recent vacancy came about in the adoptions program. The incumbent was promoted to program manager, according to Department of social Services Director Neal Caiazzo.

The position is part of the department’s child protective services program and is critical for assuring child safety, Caiazzo said.

State requirements include that the applicant must have a masters degree in social work.

The position is funded through 2011 Realignment dollars and federal funds, Caiazzo said.

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For more information on the position, interested people can contact Plumas County Human Resources at 283-6444.

Facility services

Supervisors agreed that fees could be waived at the Taylorsville Campground for members of the Indian Valley Academy.

As part of the Plumas Charter School, rental fees are waived Aug. 28 and 29 for a free campout.

Plumas County Department of Facility Services Director Kevin Correira made the recommendation.

During the campout students participate in teambuilding activities among other adventures.

Correira also asked Supervisors to amend a contract for the painting of the Chester Memorial Hall. The contract is with HB Restoration and is not to exceed $12,000.

Correira also received the go-ahead to sign an amendment to a repair and construction agreement with the same company for painting the Greenville sheriff’s sub station. This is not to exceed $12,000.

The Quincy Veterans Memorial Hall will also be painted. That contract, also with HB Restoration, is not to exceed $12,000.

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And the Plumas County Museum in Quincy is also being painted. This is not to exceed $10,500.

Correira also received permission to install the new ADA Life Safety Fire System in the Plumas County Courthouse. The request allows the director to sign the amendment to the Delta Fire Systems Inc. contract.

The project was bid in 2017 and again in November 2018, according to Correira. The work wasn’t started due to delays with the contractor. The most recent bid was to expire soon if the project was started.

“As it stands now we are waiting for plans to be submitted to the building department so a permit can be issued on this project,” Correira explained.

Correira is now anticipating a completion date of the system installation of Dec. 31.

Library

The Chester Library Branch will be closed for a special event Saturday, Aug. 3.

Plumas County Librarian Lindsay Fuchs explained that the Almanor Art Show is planned for that weekend. “In addition to the art show, the event includes vendors set up along Main Street and the quilt show every other year,” she explained.

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And the Lassen Volcanic National Park is hosting its Dark Sky Festival on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 2 and 3. Fuchs said that people would stay in town rather than camp out in the park this year. “In addition, the annual Chester Library Book Sale is a huge draw to tourists and community members in town for the events,” she said.

Fuchs said the library is traditionally open during the book sale, but she is concerned about safety, security and maintenance issues inside the library. The book sale is held in the parking lot, she added.

Behavioral health

Plumas County Behavioral Health Director Tony Hobson requested a transfer of nearly $100,000 from regular wages to residential treatment services, and the transfer of nearly $175,500 from one account to another.

Hobson said that in past years Behavioral Health didn’t take funding from the Community Corrections Partnership although the department budgeted for it and had expenditures during three budget years. “Due to this oversight by the department, there is currently a deficit of $165,305.04,” Hobson explained.

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Those funds for fiscal years 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 were used to provide services under Assembly Bill 109, the realignment program, Hobson explained.

Therefore the department was requesting the transfer of available funds of nearly $175,500 to offset the prior year’s expenses. Hobson said Auditor Roberta Allen approved the transfer.

Hobson also explained that a mid-year budget in January projected hospitalization shortfalls to be used from regular wages. “Unfortunately, the transfer was submitted but overlooked and not approved in the budget packet,” Hobson said.

He explained that the department incurred an increase in the number of costly hospitalizations during 2018-19’s fiscal year, but realized a savings in wages due to unfilled positions for therapists and a fiscal officer. Allen also reviewed and approved that transfer.