Wed July 15, 2020

By Dillan Kelsey

Nevada County Quorum Court on Logging Truck Ordinance, Budget and Nubbin Hill Project
The meeting was called to order by County Judge Mark Glass, followed by Justice Chris Fore leading the prayer, then the pledge of allegiance and roll call.

The court reviewed the minutes from their last meeting and they were motioned for approval.

The court decided the ordinance for logging companies in Nevada County will be changed to more specific and detailed penalties due to loggers tearing up county roads in the area. There is already an existing ordinance pertaining to this issue, but it hasn’t been discussed since 1997 when it was adopted. The ordinance will be kept in place, but a few changes will be added to it. The Nevada County Sheriff’s Department will be serving violation notices to the loggers from now on, if they do not follow. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ben Hale shared that notifications of criminal charges can be presented in affidavits filed by county citizens who witness loggers violating the ordinance of damaging county roads and may call in with the information. By doing this, the NCSO would not have to arrest anyone and the county could still prosecute the logging company for the crime.

Judge Glass mentioned that someone will have to be responsible for checking the roads and taking complaints on a daily basis. They agreed that logging companies aren’t most of the problem, but a few come into the county, cut trees and leave the roads damaged when there isn’t anywhere else to work because of weather conditions. Glass stated fuel tax that the county acquires generates around $21,000 every month and its taken up by the cost of gravel and rock. The court mentioned paying bonds when they apply for permits but the idea was replaced by discussion of a non-refundable fee for permits, requiring companies to have permits for every piece of land they work on costing around $50 each. Chris Fore stated that the current ordinance was not specific about logging trucks, only commercial vehicles damaging roads reminding the court that there are a big amount of Tyson trucks using these county roads also. The ordinance can be made to be industry specific to logging and timber, not singling them out but solely to protect the roads. The court agreed that a new ordinance with relevant changes be presented at the August meeting for reading and consideration.

The county budget is looking good so far except for the jail. It was mentioned that the jail is on the brink of having no revenue and payroll is coming out soon, equalling about $23,000 and the department only made $13,000. The problem is spawning from the low amount of inmates being held in the jail. Cummings said at this time there are only around 26 paying inmates being housed in the jail. Cummings mentioned that the county may be able to house more inmates from the state but only after being quarantined for 14 days prior to transferring but there is not really any place to quarantine them. It was suggested that maybe the county could reduce staff to lower the payroll amount but the jail is already not running with full staff. A special meeting for this matter will be held with the Nevada County Sheriff Danny Martin.

An amount of $9,500 was assigned to the Nevada County Coroner’s budget moving from from the county general for double bagging of individual's bodies who have passed from COVID-19 and another $22,000 coming from the 911 department to purchase a four wheel drive truck for that department that will be driven by Coordinator Dale Booker who has been using his personal vehicle while logging mileage.

Key shared that she will be taking an early retirement and requested Lisa Loe be put in her position until elections in 2 years. Key also requested the county hire someone in place of Loe to learn her duties while Loe is learning the duties of treasurer from Key. “Lisa Loe has been working in the treasurers office for over 17 years,” shared Key. “I think she is the best candidate to fill the position until election time.”
The court approved Loe assuming Keys position alongside her until she fully retires at the end of September to have enough time to learn the ins and outs of the job and for the county to hire someone in place of her old job as her new deputy.

Before conclusion of the meeting, Glass reminded the court that he had asked to buy a spare trash truck but not the one he’d recently brought to the attention of the court. He found a 2013 White Freghtliner at the amount of $49,500 with low mileage that the county would receive for $39,500 because they will receive a trade in value of $10,000 for the old spare truck. The trash fee account has more that $70,000 in it right now so the court approved the purchase of the vehicle.

The Nubbin Hill Bridge project will cost around $11,500 to move the waterlines and boring under the creek equalling $7,500 of the $11,500. Permission from land owners will be needed for moving the water lines though, because the city easements don’t cover everywhere the lines are needing to be placed.

The meeting was adjourned by Judge Glass and will reconvene August 11, 2020 at 5 pm.