Wide range of department requests approved in consent agenda

Members of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors once again approved all of the requests from department heads on the consent agenda at the Tuesday, June 11, meeting.

Agreement on CalWORKS

Approval of a continuing contract between Plumas Rural Services and the Department of Social Services given for fiscal year 2019-2020.

Social Services Director Neal Caiazzo explained that PRS has a continuing agreement with his department. It allows PRS to administer childcare services that are provided to recipients of CalWORK’s cash assistance program. This is for participants who are participating in the mandatory Welfare-to-Work activities.

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The state recognizes the Alternate Payment Program for all childcare programs and PRS carries out the work.

Services that PRS provides includes information and referral, processing payments to child care providers, and coordinating or delivering training to providers of childcare.

“The total value of this contract is $119,000 for fiscal year 2019-2020,” Caiazzo said. Funding is provided from state and federal sources.

Approval also allows the director to sign the agreement with PRS.

Parenting classes continue

Caiazzo also asked supervisors to approve a contract between Social Services and PRS for its parenting classes.

The contract is specifically with PRS’s Nurturing Parent program and is offered to the parents of children in the Child Welfare system.

Since July 2005, Social Services has been involved in activities with the Child Welfare Services Outcome Improvement Project (CWSOIP). “Outcome improvement is a set of systematic steps and program changes that are targeted to improving the safety of children that come into contact with or who are at risk of coming into contact with the child welfare system,” according to Caiazzo’s report to supervisors.

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Caiazzo said that supervisors have approved several Child Welfare Program Self-Assessments and Outcome Improvement plans. The projects focus on shared responsibility to promote child safety and early intervention to keep at-risk families from entering the formal dependency system.

Social Services has a long-standing relationship with PRS and its parenting classes. “Developing skills for being a nurturing parent has been a key component of creating safe and supportive family systems that keep children out of the Child Welfare system and improve outcomes for children who are in the CWS system,” according to Caiazzo.

Funding for the program comes from 2011 Public Safety Realignment. PRS invoices Social Services.

Supervisors also approved Caiazzo to sign this agreement.

Social services positions open

Supervisors gave Caiazzo the go-ahead to begin the process to fill a vacant, full-time fiscal and technical services assistant I/II/III position as soon as possible.

The former employee decided to accept a job closer to her home, Caiazzo explained.

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This employee performs a variety of duties associated with monitoring and controlling financial performance and indicators, posting expenditures and revenues, and other fiscal and administrative support tasks as needed. “The work is critical to effectively services the public,” Caiazzo said.

Funding for this position comes from federal, state and 1991 Realignment sources.

Social Services is also seeking a new deputy director/social services program manager position.

Caiazzo said this is considered a single, one-of-a-kind position.

It provides management oversight of the Social Services Division. It also provides mandated services for In-Home Supportive Services, Child Protective Services, Foster Care Services, Adult Protective Services, and Independent Living Service for Transitioning Foster Youth.

This position requires a master’s degree in social work or the individual must be a licensed clinical social worker.

The position is vacant due to the incumbent employee retiring.

No general funds are used for this position.

Groundwater sampling

Another amendment to an existing contract with Vestra Resources Inc. was approved.

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The company conducts sampling and testing for per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances at the Chester and Gopher Hill Landfills for the Plumas County Department of Public Works Solid Waste Division.

The contract is through July 1, 2021, and is not to exceed $14,912.50 for this amendment to the original contract.

“Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are compounds of increasing human health and environmental concern,” said Public Works Director Bob Perreault in his letter to the board.

These are manmade chemicals consisting of an alkane or alkene backbone saturated with fluorine, Perreault explained about the concern. There are more than 3,000 known PFAS produced since the 1970s and were especially prevalent since the 1990s. “Today, they are found in a wide range of industrial and consumer products from precision instrument parts to candy wrappers,” Perreault explained.

Because of their widespread use, the Regional Water Quality Control Board considers it reasonable that most municipal solid waste landfills would contain PFAS-bearing materials, Perreault said. Many of the products prove to break down readily and release PFAS into the environment. Although the two most commonly used PFAS — perfluorooctanoate and perfluorooctanesulfante — were phased out in 2006, they remain in the environment.

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Some of the biggest concerns with PFAS are that they are highly mobile in groundwater and bioaccumulation makes them a major emerging environmental and human health concern, according to Perreault.

The Environmental Protection Agency has formed a Lifetime Health Advisory for both of the most common PFAS. The concentration of 70 parts per trillion is treated as a screening level. Concentrations above this limit require a response, he explained.

Both the Chester and Gopher Hill landfills have been identified as facilities subject to the Regional Water Quality Control Board order. “Unless sampling reveals concentrations of the two most common PFAS, no ongoing monitoring would be required and this would be a one-time event,” Perreault said.

Unanticipated revenues

Plumas County Public Health Agency Director Andrew Woodruff recommended approval of a supplemental budget and unanticipated revenues of $10,000 for one-time funding from the California Department of Veterans Affairs. This is to support veterans’ mental health efforts.

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This is a one-time subsidy from Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act. This is to expand and enhance county mental health services for local veterans, Woodruff explained. This includes treatment and other related recovery programs.

The $10,000 is for mental health outreach and treatment programs and is not intended to cover overall agency expenses, major capital expenses or other unrelated expenses. Unused funding can carry over into fiscal year 2019-2020, Woodruff explained.

Woodruff also requested a budget transfer in the amount of $23,700 for payroll.