County tackles surplus vehicles, default properties and yo-yos
County Treasurer Julie White received kudos from the Plumas County Board of Supervisors for tracking down money that could be put in the county’s general fund.
“Thanks for finding money,” Supervisor Sherrie Thrall told White during the board’s March 19 meeting.
White explained that a portion of every DUI fine, not to exceed $100, is deposited into a special account to pay for developing, implementing, operating, maintaining and evaluating alcohol and drug assessment programs. Any unused portion is to be deposited in the county’s general fund.
Plumas County did not have a drug and alcohol program from October 2008 until recently, but the fines continued to be collected.
From July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2012, those fees totaled $49,436.
Surplus vehicles for sale
County officials are being asked to take a close look at their offices and parking lots, and purge their departments of surplus equipment and vehicles.
“Last time nobody got rid of cars,” Supervisor Lori Simpson said.
“Shouldn’t there be a step to determine what’s needed?” Supervisor Jon Kennedy asked.
One department’s surplus could be another department’s gain.
Supervisor Thrall suggested that the supervisors receive a list of surplus equipment, noting that some county vehicles have “cobwebs on them.”
Dony Sawchuk, the county’s new facilities director, said that the vehicles’ condition should be evaluated, with the county retaining the best of the fleet and the remainder put up for auction.
The supervisors plan to conduct an online auction, which would include the vehicles as well as excess office equipment such as desks and bookcases.
Tax default property on the block
The supervisors also approved the sale of a host of tax-defaulted properties in Plumas County.
Treasurer-Tax Collector Julie White presented a list of 51 properties and timeshares that crisscross the county.
The minimum bids range from
$1,125 for some properties on East Spruce Street in Portola to $63,150 for a property off of Grizzly Road east of the city.
The board’s action March 19 initiates an intensive process that includes searches, certified and official notices and personal contacts.
A public Internet auction is scheduled for May 11 – 14. The properties will be advertised on Bid4Assets.com. Those who don’t have Internet access will also be able to bid by phone, mail and fax.
Plumas County will join other Northern California counties to offer a regional auction, which will keep costs down and expand the pool of people who will be viewing the available properties.
Grand Jury asks for more money
The Plumas County Grand Jury asked for and received $6,700 from the Board of Supervisors to conduct its business for the remainder of the fiscal year.
“This is the hardest thing for us to do,” Grand Jury foreman Dennis Doyle told the board. He pointed to the cost of printing its annual report and budget cuts as reasons for the request.
He said the extra money was needed despite the fact that many of the jurors pay for office supplies out of their own pockets and decline to ask for the mileage reimbursement money they would be entitled to receive.
From bank woes to yo-yos
During most board meetings, the supervisors share correspondence they have received and meetings they have attended.
For board Chairman Terry Swofford, that included being asked what the supervisors could do to keep the Portola branch of Bank of America from closing and learning about a yo-yo competition planned for Railroad Days.
Of the former, it’s a decision that the supervisors cannot change, but of the latter, they seemed willing to challenge the Sierra County supervisors to a yo-yo contest.
“Sounds better than a dunk tank,” Supervisor Thrall said.
Swofford said that Railroad Days organizers also envision the California Highway Patrol challenging the sheriff’s office, and the cities of Loyalton and Portola competing.
Supervisor Kennedy reported that he was continuing to work on the MediCal cuts that will impact Eastern Plumas Health Care and Seneca Healthcare District.
Public works is looking for a welder.
Director Bob Perreault told the supervisors that the position became available due to an internal promotion.
In his presentation to the board, Perreault wrote, “The position is crucial to maintain the county equipment in a safe and serviceable condition and to continue to stay in compliance with mandates from state and federal agencies.”
In response to a question posed by Supervisor Simpson, Perreault said the position was open to the public.
AA meetings at Orchard House
The county renewed its contract with Plumas Rural Services to lease the Orchard House for $3,600 annually to conduct Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
The Orchard House is the small building located uphill from the Health and Human Services Building in Quincy.