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   These are a few of the stories you will find in this week's printed newspaper:

  • Townhalls attract crowds: Assemblyman Brian Dahle and Sen. Ted Gaines met with constituents in Quincy and Chester during a three-meeting swing through Plumas and Lassen counties.
  • New leader: After nearly three decades, the Plumas County Mental Health Commission has a new leader. Supervisor Kevin Goss was named to replace Hank Eisenmann.
  • Home away from home: As of last week, new homes had been found for all of the patients at Quincy Nursing & Rehabilitation and most had already moved.

Supervisors object to Bay Delta Plan

Debra Moore
Staff Writer

Fair taxation and senior water rights are the top two concerns Plumas County leaders address in a letter regarding the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.

The letter, which was submitted to meet a July 29 deadline and ratified by the Board of Supervisors on Aug. 12, recommends that both the plan and its environmental documents be “withdrawn, redesigned, reanalyzed, and recirculated for at least 120 days of public comment.”

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is a 50-year plan with the goal of restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem while securing the state’s water supply.

As a state water contractor, Plumas has participated in the discussions conducted by the Department of Water Resources, most often represented by Public Works Director Bob Perreault, County Counsel Craig Settlemire and water consultant Leah Wills.

From the beginning, Plumas, along with Butte County, had one objective it repeatedly sought to discuss: “To ensure that contractors shall have the option and right to opt out of the cost and burdens and benefits of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and any implementing and related projects.”

A few months later, in July 2013, the objective was revised but reiterated that the two counties did not want to be responsible for any costs incurred by the project.

The letter notes that despite 18 meetings that were held after July 2013, the Plumas and Butte objective was never discussed. Now the plan is being circulated among the state water contractors for ratification.

In addition to not wanting to pay for any costs, Plumas leaders raise the point that the costs are unknown and that a vote by the taxpayers for the plan is not required.

Plumas is also concerned that the group authorized to implement the plan has the authority to overturn existing water rights priorities in California.

While the supervisors unanimously supported the contents of the letter and ratified it, they were concerned that they did so after it had already been sent.

The issue was first raised by veteran board observed Todd Anderson, who asked, “What resolution has this board signed allowing a department head to submit a document?”

County Counsel Craig Settlemire said that it’s a situation that arises from time to time and the supervisors can choose to ratify the action or not.

“I don’t find myself often agreeing with Todd,” Supervisor Sherrie Thrall said, “but we are frequently ratifying letters after the fact. These things we need to respond to are slipping through the cracks until the very last minute.”

She said given an opportunity to review the letter, one of the supervisors might have an additional comment or slant on the information.

“I like this letter very much,” she said and noted that her comments were critical of the process in general.

Anderson also objected to the letter’s backup material being difficult to access, because the 1,100 pages were available for viewing only by going to the clerk to the board’s office.



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