Supervisor Lee Adams was supportive of physical barriers but wanted to still allow snowmobiles and OSV can get through during the winter. Beals felt if there was a consensus he would put more time in on the issue and bring in maps and give some optional language as well as discuss having a public hearing. A unanimous consensus was made.
AN AGREEMENT FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES between DUDEK and the County of Sierra for additional Environmental Consulting Services for the Sierra Hot Springs Masterplan Project was discussed during the Board of Supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday, February 18th in Loyalton. Sierra County Planning Director Tim Beals stated this was an amendment to the existing agreement that increases the scope of work. He said this was taking a project that he and his staff felt very comfortable with in supporting a mitigated negative declaration, but due to public comments he didn’t think they could avoid an Environmental Impact Review (EIR) at this point, which would cost $173,000 on top of what they’d already spent. Beals said the scope of work was very detailed which includes additional biological studies, noise studies, groundwater supply studies, and a series of public hearings. He said from what he’s seen, there’s a fairly strong sentiment against the program, which Supervisor Paul Roen stated is consistent with the General Plan. Beals felt Sierra Hot Springs has been very cooperative and mitigated impacts, but there are some lingering issues like noise, visual issues, and some think the project is too big. He said the only way to proceed at this point is to do an EIR. Roen stated this request came from the applicant. Supervisor Lee Adams asked if they voted this down, does that kill the project. Beals stated they could proceed with the negative declaration or potential option to deny the project, but it would put them in a tough spot, and the EIR is the process Sierra Hot Springs is willing to take. Adams said he wanted to vote no as a protest because he sees this as CEQA was developed as a tool and now it is being weaponized. He added that people complain that we don’t have a bank, service station, restaurants and this is why.
The agreement was approved unanimously but most with a protest and disgusted yes.
A PRESENTATION by Wendy Jackson, Sierra County Schools for Adults, on starting a Fire Basics Academy in Sierra County was held during the Sierra County Board of Supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday in Loyalton. Superintendent of Schools, James Berardi, introduced Jackson, stating he was excited they were implementing adult education and looking at different ways to educate our community. Jackson stated she met with CALFire and unfortunately they don’t have the resources to support a full-blown fire academy, but are able to support us in a variety of different chunks. She has been meeting with fire chiefs of our districts who shared with her their training needs and so the fire academy will now be a combination Fire/EMS. Jackson stated adult education would be providing a variety of the different trainings local fire districts need to stay in business. These trainings will be S130, S190, Hazmat, and low angle rescue.
She stated another meeting is scheduled on February 25th at 4 pm in Sierraville with all the fire chiefs to put together a must do list for this year with contact information to start scheduling these trainings.
Jackson announced adult education has now extended into Pike and Alleghany. She said it has a robust English as a Second Language (ESL) program with 13 participants to start that evening.
She stated they are a post secondary institution and now accredited, recognized state and nationally, and working on becoming a training facility for up scaling our community.
She invited the Board to their first high school graduation on March 20th from 6-7 p.m. at the District Office, Room 4.
SIERRA COUNTY LIBRARY SERVICES and the proposed contract with Plumas County was discussed during the Sierra County Board of Supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday in Loyalton. Sierra County Auditor Van Maddox told the Board it appeared Plumas County was in agreement on everything except who was responsible for payroll and the employees. He said there are three employees which work in Loyalton, Alleghany, Downieville and Sierra City and would be considered extra help in the County system. Maddox stated they’d already agreed for the volunteers to come in under Sierra County’s volunteer program to have them come to all the needed trainings. He was hoping Plumas County would keep the actual paid employees mainly because we don’t know anything about running a library. Plumas County’s concern is these libraries are very far from them and they don’t feel comfortable since they don’t touch base on a regular basis. Maddox stated if the County took these on he sees very low liability so long as they have someone who is actually being the manager, seeing them every pay period, to help with safety issues, harassment issues and make sure everything is going alright. He just doesn’t know who that would be. Maddox’s concern is, this seems to be a big deal for Plumas County. Plumas County has been paying for them and taking care of them since 1995. Supervisor Sharon Dryden stated they’ve had two adhoc meetings on this and taking on the payroll isn’t the problem. Plumas County employs the licensed librarian and somebody has to be responsible for the training and management of these employees. Sierra County has no department head, and Dryden felt the employees needed to stay a Plumas County employee so they have a direct supervisor to make sure they are doing their duties. She was fully supportive of Plumas County providing library services, but didn’t see how Sierra County could manage librarians, adding they needed to be accountable to somebody. Maddox said Plumas County was concerned about the risk, and didn’t know the exact risk, but thought maybe facilities in Downieville and Alleghany were part of it, adding the County was looking into these concerns. He suggested offering to take them as employees but ask Plumas County to manage them, adding if liability was their only issue, this may take care of it. County Counsel stated she would help with the language but told the Board they need to figure out what to do if Plumas County won’t accept the offer.
Direction was given to communicate with Gabe and a couple supervisors from Plumas County to engage in conversations on this and report back.