Supervisors tackle host of issues as year winds down

  The Plumas County Board of Supervisors met in its second-to-the-last meeting of the year Dec. 11 and approved a number of requests from various departments.

  The supervisors OK’d filling three vacant positions in social services, and hiring a full-time public works employee in La Porte and a half-time employee for the county library in Quincy.

  The board also approved a number of budget transfers for various departments.

Move delayed

  Plumas County Probation Department employees packed their boxes last month and prepared to move into their new location at the courthouse annex, only to discover that some of their new office space was already occupied.

  As a cost-cutting measure, the Board of Supervisors had asked the department during budget hearings to move from its East Quincy building to space in the annex previously used by alcohol and drug.

  When alcohol and drug dissolved, it vacated an entire wing in the annex. The California Department of Fish and Game leased some of the space for its employees, who are occupying five of the offices until Jan. 31.

  Now probation doesn’t plan to move until March, and the delay resulted in added utility costs for the department.

  Chief Probation Officer Sharon Reinert asked the supervisors to give her department $5,862 from the general fund to pay for propane and electricity.

  The board voted to give the department the funds, but Supervisor Sherrie Thrall asked that the supervisors be given a running total for the contingency fund balance so that they know how much remains.

  Board Chairman Robert Meacher said that the county administrative officer used to keep a running total, but with no one in that position, the task hasn’t been done.

  Clerk to the Board Nancy DaForno said that she would contact the county auditor prior to each meeting so that the supervisors could have the information.

Inmate medical services

  Plumas County renewed its contract with North Fork Family Medicine in Quincy to provide medical services to jail inmates.

  The $124,468 contract requires North Fork to provide medical services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  The physicians provide on-call service as well as weekly site visits.

Airport improvements

  The supervisors approved a contract with Wilburn Construction to install obstruction warning lights as well as obstruction removal at Gansner Airfield in Quincy.

  Wilburn provided the low bid of $103,826. The only other bid came from Par Electrical of Reno for $120,800.

  The Federal Aviation Administration and the Division of Aeronautics also approved the contract.

Settling disputes

  The public works department received approval to hire companies to survey property in Crescent Mills and Quincy.

  During an interview prior to the board meeting, Public Works Director Bob Perreault said neighbor disputes prompted the work, but it is necessary to “clean up” rights of way.

  In Crescent Mills, the work is a holdover from when Caltrans constructed the new parts of Highway 70/89 through town. Portions of the old state highway became county property, but a survey was not completed to clearly define street rights of way and easements.

  “Two landowners keep complaining about each other’s driveways,” Perreault said. The survey will allow the county to properly divide the areas in dispute.

  “Nobody will lose access,” Perreault said, and added that the property owners will actually receive more land.

  The second area to be surveyed is Baker Way in Quincy.

  “This is an issue of prescriptive easement,” Perreault said. The narrow street was never officially given to the county as part of a subdivision, but “over a period of years and usage, the county acquires rights to maintain it.”

  It’s a challenge for snow removal and garbage pickup, but the survey will not remedy those issues.

  Instead it should put an end to a dispute between two neighbors about where items — including cement blocks — may be legally positioned.

  “This will legally define who will control the area,” Perreault said.

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