Politics

Bridge Stirs Public Response at Nevada Quorum Court

The Nevada County Quorum Court held their monthly meeting on September 10 with several disgruntled citizens in attendance to discuss the first agenda item, the bridge at Nubbin Hill. 

Nevada County Judge, Mark Glass stated that the hold up on beginning construction is getting a court order for new plans. The landowners wouldn’t agree to the previous plans and the new plans will cut back significantly on the amount of property that was asked for originally. When asked why they couldn’t move it to the other side of the road, Glass explained that the State determines where the bridge will be placed and that they would still face the same problems; along with having to remove utility poles, the planning process would have to start over and they would still have to acquire easements from the landowners. Glass stated that he had asked about the bridge staying open as a one-lane bridge, but that the State wouldn’t allow that.

Residents questioned how much longer it was going to take for the project to get started. Glass stated that once the right of ways are signed, the bid process will take 30 days. Once a bid is awarded, it will take 2-4 weeks for construction to begin. When asked if the bridge was going to be wider, Glass said it will be, but he was unsure of the exact measurements. The current bridge is 20 feet, with no shoulders and the new bridge will have 4-foot shoulders on each side.

It was proposed that community meetings be set up between each Quorum Court meeting to inform the public of progress on the bridge, Judge Glass agreed. Justice Pat Grimes also stated that the public should call the Highway Department every day to inquire on progress. The citizens also requested that the County better maintain the roads they are now traveling due to the bridge being closed, as the roads are very rough, and limbs need to be trimmed.

Judge Glass ended the discussion on the bridge and, after one last request for a community meeting, 11 citizens exited the courtroom.

To continue the meeting, Glass stated that a brace is being added to the bridge at the 5-way marker to allow for more weight. It will be completed this week and open on Monday.

The 2017 audit reflected 2 issues in which the County was written up for. One was due to the sale of the 911 building; the County had held 2 public auctions and did not meet the minimum bid price required. The other pertained to a truck purchased by the County not being appraised properly. Glass stated that they just didn’t go through all of the proper channels on each of these and they were minor infractions, as long as they are not repeat offenses, the county will not have to go before the State. The Court voted and approved the 2017 Audit.

Two resolutions for the census were approved, the first was for the county’s participation in the census and the other for a census committee; declaring commitment to make sure of an accurate count so representation and monies aren’t lost. The census will take place in 2020 and be finalized in 2021, when new district lines will be drawn to ensure an equal number of voters in each district.

The Court approved Ordinance 19-10, which is a security grant to the Courthouse for $14,156.64.

Herb Langston, with the Veteran Service Office of Nevada County addressed the Court with his progress. Langston stated that when he first stepped in to this position 6 months ago, the role wasn’t clearly defined, so he had to learn everything. He has taken 25 courses to get certified, which has allowed him to gain access to all veterans in Nevada County and their records. There are currently 688 Veterans in Nevada County and since the only way to get more money from the State is to have more Veterans, Langston has been searching for more. During the millage election, Langston added 15 to his total by inquiring citizens showing up to early vote. Langston’s plan is to search Nevada County and try to locate every Veteran.

Mr. Langston has contacted local civic clubs, Daughters of the American Revolution and other organizations to get their assistance with the plans he has in place for the Veterans, so there will be no cost to the County. His short-term goal is to hold a Veteran’s Day on November 11. Mr. Langston has already met with several people to make this the “biggest parade Nevada County has seen in years.” The oldest Veteran in Nevada County will serve as Grand Marshall. Prescott School District will be well represented, with the football team pushing Veterans in their wheelchairs, the band playing, cheerleaders and clubs sponsoring floats. There are already 2 motorcycle clubs that have agreed to participate, and the Master Gardeners will have a float. There will be an essay contest, with prizes and the courthouse will be decorated.

Long-term, Mr. Langston plans to build a monument for those lost in wars since World War II. He has enlisted Peggy Lloyd to help him find these names and expects a minimum of 3 years to complete the project.

The next Nevada County Quorum Court meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 8 at 5:00 p.m.

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