At the end of each quarter, the County reports out on how we’re doing on the board of supervisors’ annual objectives that we set at the beginning of the year. I’m pleased to offer you this summary of our mid-year report card.
We continue to make emergency preparedness a high priority. This spring, we held a series of green waste disposal events in Grass Valley and Truckee, where we collected over 3,500 tons of vegetation. It was a perfect example of the kind of community partnership we need to reduce the threat of wildfire.
Still, the challenge of removing storm debris continues. Thanks to a $950,000 grant from CAL FIRE, we cleared hazardous vegetation from County roads, clearing key evacuation routes before peak fire season.
Through our economic development objective, we continue to focus on resilience. Nevada County awarded $107,500 to 43 microbusinesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. And the County received a $1.7 million workforce development grant from the State’s California Volunteers program to increase youth employment and strengthen our community’s capacity to address urgent community challenges related to climate change, food insecurity, and local COVID-19 recovery.
We also continue to make progress on a fire suppression system for downtown North San Juan, for which we received a federal funding award of $1,050,000. This project is targeted to begin construction in 2023 and will enable businesses to open where they previously could not due to water supply requirements on new development.
Homelessness continues to be a concern for the County. According to the 2022 Point-in-Time (PIT) count, there were 527 people experiencing homelessness in Nevada County on the night of February 23, 2022, including 60 children under the age of 18. The County’s Health and Human Services Agency recently presented an updated draft Homeless Plan to the Board of Supervisors, which includes specific strategies and goals to address homelessness over the next two years. I am proud to say that we are close to reaching functional zero for veteran homelessness.
Finally, I want to thank Nevada County’s fiscal team for maintaining the County’s financial stability and core services. The approved Fiscal Year 2022/2023 budget includes a healthy reserve that will help Nevada County weather potential economic threats, including a recession.
I’m proud of the work we’ve done so far this year in support of these important objectives, and I look forward to continuing our work with the community to improve this place we all love.