Nevada County was well represented by Supervisors and staff this week at the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) Annual Conference. District 1 Supervisor Heidi Hall, District 2 Supervisor Ed Scofield, District 5 Supervisor Hardy Bullock, and Board Analyst Jeff Thorsby attended. Supervisor Hall presented on Nevada County’s use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding and was recognized for her work on CSAC’s Broadband Working Group. Board Analyst Jeff Thorsby presented during a workshop on Nevada County’s countywide Broadband Environmental Impact Report initiative to increase local shovel-ready broadband projects. This year’s meeting theme, “Lighthouse of Leadership,” exemplified the strength and determination that California’s Counties demonstrated as they led, and continue to lead, their communities through the pandemic, wildfires, and other challenges to emerge more resilient, connected, and strategic. County representatives from across California shared best practices, workshops on priority areas for counties, and key updates on legislative bills during the 3-day event. Supervisor Heidi Hall presented to a packed workshop entitled “58 Plans, One Goal: County Uses for ARPA Funds” on the first day of the conference. Supervisor Hall focused on Nevada County’s innovative use of the American Plan Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to provide macro and micro-grants as a part of the Board’s approved expenditure plan through Community Resiliency Grants.
Board Analyst Jeff Thorsby presented on the second day of the conference at a workshop entitled “Who’s Next? The Where, the What and the Who of the Broadband Buildout.” Jeff outlined the County’s cutting-edge work to develop a countywide Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to use when developing last-mile broadband access in the County. Development projects can require very costly environmental analysis and reports that identify and create mitigation requirements for a given project. To minimize infrastructure costs to broadband developers and expand development across the unserved and underserved residents within the community, a programmatic EIR can be used for any broadband development in unincorporated areas. Currently, many counties are looking at Nevada County’s work as a model to help expand broadband deployment. In recognizing the County’s leadership in this area, Supervisor Hall was also honored at the CSAC awards luncheon for her service on the CSAC Broadband Workgroup that played a key role in securing $6 Billion in state broadband funding.
Equitably expanding broadband to support economic development, distance-learning, telework, telemedicine, and general quality of life for all residents by championing the implementation of Nevada County Broadband Strategy Plan policies and last-mile infrastructure projects is a 2021 Board Objective. To learn about progress on Broadband and other Board Objectives, view the Third Quarter Objectives Report or on our website at: www.mynevadacounty.com/BoardObjectives.