Arielle Hardy spoke regarding her concern with the recent train derailment in Ohio, and her concern about what is being transported in the train cars, if anything is being monitored with the contents during transportation, and the fact that it is located not only in the middle of town, but so close to the Feather River. She mentioned that chemicals are sprayed all along the tracks in order to clear vegetation. She also suggested considering the effects of harmful chemicals affecting the river, as well as the water supply.
She also commented regarding the recent proclamation of emergency, and asked if the City had emergency plans for in the situation that the city’s water has to be shut off, and asked if they have enough water in storage, and a way to filter it, for the residents to be supplied with, for drinking, bathing, cleaning, etc. She also addressed the concern of if supply trucks can’t get to our area, if they had plans for backup food supplies. She proposed that the residents and city work together for an emergency preparedness group in order to educate the residents and city on how to plan and prepare ahead of time for emergency situations. She also proposed that the City consider investing in Geodesic Dome greenhouses with employees and possibly sell produce as revenue. This would serve as a backup food supply as well as a community project, and for the schools, in order to supply the schools and residents with fresh food.
Aslee Sims made a public comment regarding missed mutual aid calls and the Eastern Plumas Fire Protect District. She also commented regarding public officials having limitations when expressing an opinion about members of the community, and also making public comments as a public official. She also expressed concern regarding sewage spilling into the Feather River. “There have been reports from the Sheriff's office from Cal OES and nothing has been done.” She mentioned she saw members of the public talking about it and why nothing has been done, and that the river goes to Orville, where it provides 27 million people with drinking water. She concluded her comment saying that many residents including herself want Railroad Days back. “If you can spend $75,000 on the disc golf course that is only open a few months out of the year, or spend almost $18,000 for the bike race, you can also afford to bring back our community's long standing tradition.”
The first item on the agenda was to fill the vacancy on the Council, as well as recognize and give honor to the passing of Mayor Tom Cooley. They discussed three options to fill the vacancy. The
first option would be to hold a special election. The second option was to not fill the seat at all, and the third was to fill the seat and request letters of interest from the public. The vacancy has to be filled within 60 days of the date of the vacancy, which would be May 6th. Steve Gross commented that letters of interest should address qualifications such as if they are a resident of the city, a registered voter, provide any background about their experience, as well as why they are particularly well suited to be a council member. They will then conduct interviews and make a selection within 60 days. The cutoff date for letters of interest is April 15th.
They then went on to address the reorganization of the City Council. It was proposed to appoint Bill Powers as Mayor, and Pat Mortan as Mayor Pro Temp, which they voted in favor.
Tracy Ferguson gave a presentation regarding the 2021 Wildfires Long-Term Recovery Plan. There was then discussion regarding the consideration of a request for funding for the Lost & Found Gravel Grinder Festival, for the amount of $17,821. Greg William spoke about the event, saying it takes place “in the homelands of the Mountain Maidu, and Washoe Tribes.”
They currently have 600 riders already registered, and are going to cap it at 1,499 racers. Currently there is around $7,000 currently accounted for, and reserved for camping, and a third of the event is already sold out. The event is hosted by a 501c3 non-profit organization, and contributes to the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship. Williams also stated that proceeds contribute to new biking trails like the Grizzly Peak trail, which will finally be complete and was started in 2003 “from tobacco funds.”
Ashlee Sims gave a public comment regarding what the total cost is of the event regarding the cost to hire employees and other costs for it. A resident named Lindsey then commented regarding her support for the event. Arielle Hardy gave a public comment regarding concern about the indigenous tribes consent of the event, as well as using funds to be invested in emergency preparedness, and considering the resource center being closed to invest money back into the community, and create a tourism department to create a better economy year-round.
Ashlee Sims commented, asking how much the City actually made back in revenue from last year's event. Williams replied that by bringing people out for the event, they are “honoring the homelands, and educating riders on the cultural environmental history of this place.” He also added, “this event is not for profit, it’s to support our organization, our mission, to revitalize mountain communities.”
The City voted in favor of using the funds for the event.