Friday Memo, County of Nevada
Nevada County Board of Supervisors seal

February 27th Board Meeting Preview

Board of Supervisors meetings take place every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. At the beginning of each meeting the public can address the Board on items not appearing on the agenda, but are of public interest and are within the jurisdiction of the Board.

At Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board will award a Certificate of Recognition to Ms. Marty Coleman-Hunt for her thirteen years of service to the Bear Yuba River Land Trust. Afterwards, the Board will proclaim March 2018 as "Youth Art Month" in Nevada County with the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools.

The Board will also hear about Public Works' "Ask Nevada County" tool for easily submitting service requests online.

At 1:30 p.m. a public hearing is scheduled to hear the appeals on the Penn Valley, Alta Sierra, and Rough and Ready Dollar General projects consecutively.

View the meeting agenda or watch Tuesday's Board meeting live or archived online from our website.

Nevada County Cannabis Conversation logo

Cannabis Conversation: Cannabis Taxation

Last week the Board of Supervisors adopted their 2018 Board Objectives which included an objective to "Continue to develop long term County cannabis regulations and explore a cannabis revenue measure for the November Ballot." In addition, the Board provided initial direction to County Counsel to begin drafting a revised cannabis ordinance, which would allow for medical commercial cannabis cultivation. 

Nine other counties and more than sixty cities in California have implemented taxes on cannabis businesses in order to generate revenue for enforcement, public education, and other projects.  With the direction received from the Board last week, County staff are ready to start exploring a ballot measure to do the same for the unincorporated areas of Nevada County.  Nevada City is preparing a cannabis tax measure for the June 2018 ballot. 

Cannabis business taxes are generally applied to both cultivation and other related businesses (manufacturers, retailers, etc) and to both medicinal and adult use (recreational) products. Tax rates are typically structured based on the cultivation area size (by square footage) or by gross receipts.  The State of California imposed a weight based tax on cultivators ($9.25/dry ounce of flowers) as well as a 15% gross receipt tax on all supply chain businesses, regardless of medicinal or recreational designation. The State's Track and Trace system will monitor all cannabis products from plant to flower to oil (or other manufactured items) in order to ensure product safety, source legality, and accurate tax collection.

While County Counsel drafts the new cannabis ordinance, County staff will also be analyzing the anticipated workload of implementing the proposed changes.  Permit fees will be proposed based on the amount of staff time anticipated to process cannabis related permits, similar to building permits. Enforcement and administrative costs will also be analyzed, however these costs cannot be added to permit fees, necessitating an additional revenue source such as a cannabis business tax.

The Cannabis Conversation will continue with anticipated items coming to the Board of Supervisors in March.  For more information, visit the County's Cannabis Conversation website.

Free Tax Preparation for Residents

The Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) is hosting free income tax preparation assistance and e-filing of simple returns through April 17th. Individuals can drop-in for assistance from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at the DCSS office in the Eric Rood Administrative Center.  Evening and weekend assistance can by scheduled by appointment only.

DCSS is collaborating with Nevada County 211 to connect with and assist individuals and families to determine if they may be eligible for a refundable tax credit called the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC. You may be eligible for this tax credit even if you are not required to file an income tax return. Unlike other tax credits, both EITC eligibility and the amount of tax credit you are eligible for is based on several factors. These include, the amount of your income, or combined incomes if married, whether you have qualifying children and how many. Individuals without children also may qualify for EITC.

For more information or to schedule an appointment you may contact Nevada County 211, DCSS at (530) 265-7097, or stop by the DCSS office at the Eric Rood Administrative Center at 950 Maidu Ave in Nevada City. The DCSS reception desk is within the Department of Social Services office and the entrance is located on the west end of the building.

National Engineers Week

County Engineers work on the design, construction, and deciding the locations of Public Works projects for roads, sanitation, and even historic County bridges. In celebration of National Engineering Week this week, we are looking back at projects our engineers helped to complete in 2017 and what's ahead in 2018.
In 2017, Nevada County Public Works completed eleven major projects and updates to our roads, bridges, and sidewalks. One of the largest and most significant projects this past year was the Brunswick Road Emergency Repair Project. Due to a series of atmospheric river events that hit Nevada County in January and February, the southbound lane was closed in early February, as this portion of road settled by more than 14 inches. The road was permanently repaired in two stages. In spring, horizontal drains were installed below the roadway to relieve hydrostatic pressure and help minimize the risk of continued settlement and slip. Beginning July 15, construction crews removed approximately 300 linear feet of roadway approximately 8 feet in depth, rebuilt the failed fill section, and repaved the damaged area. The emergency repairs were completed in less than two weeks, minimizing traffic impacts and delays to the more than 15,000 vehicles that travel on Brunswick each day.
In the fall, Public Works completed the Nevada City Highway Sidewalk Extension project, building over 2,000 feet of ADA compliant sidewalk that provided a continuous pedestrian walkway from downtown Nevada City to the Brunswick Basin. Public Works also completed five bridge projects in 2017, including new bridges on Maybert Road, Retrac Way, McCourtney Road, and two along Garden Bar Road. Finally, in September, the Highway 49 Emergency Vehicle Preemption Project was completed to improve response time and safety by giving emergency response vehicles a green light on their approach to a signalized intersection while providing a red light to conflicting approaches.
More projects are planned for this year. Highlighting the project list this year is the Combie Road improvement project. The project is scheduled to begin in late spring or early summer, and will include more than $5 million dollars in underground utility work and road widening, the installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of Higgins Road, the realignment of the Higgins Fire Station driveway, extension of sewer facilities, and the construction of a continuous bike and pedestrian path from Lake of the Pines and Magnolia Road to Highway 49. In addition, engineers plan to design and construct improvements to Gold Country Stage’s bus stops, thermoplastic striping to increase visibility and safety of roads in rural Nevada County, and the installation of a leach field in Cascade Shores to help reduce operating costs from their current wastewater treatment plant. A few more years down the line, Public Works engineers are planning work at the Edwards Crossing Bridge, a bridge at the popular Edwards Crossing South Yuba River spot, and more than $10 million dollars in repairs and improvements to Donner Pass Road in eastern Nevada County from Interstate 80 to the Town of Truckee.
Thank you to the Nevada County engineers who work to keep our County roads safe and our community clean!

Nevada County IT Featured in CIO Magazine

Nevada County's Information and General Services (IGS) agency's 2017-2020 Information and Communication Technology Strategic Plan was recently highlighted in CIO Magazine as an example of what digital transformation and IT business plans should look like. Jeffery Morgan of CIO Magazine writes that, "[Nevada County's] solid business plan demonstrates that its management team has a strong understanding of how to achieve business goals and improve performance through the thoughtful application of technology."

Every three years, IGS works with departments to refresh their Information and Communication Technology Strategic Plan. The plan connects department initiatives to supporting technology and actionable projects. These projects are vetted based on each department's needs for innovation, improvement, and stability and ultimately helps departments improve their service delivery to Nevada County residents.

Aside from being recognized as thought-leaders in digital transformation, Nevada County's IGS agency has also placed in the top five positions of the annual Digital Counties Survey every year for the past fourteen years, and has taken first place three times.

View the 2017-2020 Information and Communication Technology Strategic Plan or find out more about our Information and General Services agency on our website.

Fire Resiliency Event at the Board Chambers

Fire Resiliency Event a Success

Nevada County’s Office of Emergency Services would like to thank those who presented and attended the Fire-Adapted Strategies for Home and Land on February 20th. Over 80 residents participated and learned how to prepare for and recover from a fire. Questions about defensible space, building materials, fire resistant home improvements, and brush management were answered by the panel of subject experts.

Dr. Kate Wilkin from University of California Cooperative Extension led fire recovery discussions for survivors of the Wall, Cherokee, and Wind Complex (including Lobo and McCourtney) fires.  A panel of technical advisors included Dr. Steve Quarles of IBHS Research Center, Frans Velthuijsen of Quality & Quantity Construction Services, Dario Davidson Registered Professional Forester, and Joanne Drummond of Fire Safe Council Nevada County. Panel presentations focused on fire resistant homes, oak woodland recovery, Fire Safe Council programs, and livestock issues.

Informational Booths were attended by CAL Fire, Office of Emergency Services, PG&E, Quality & Quantity Construction Services, USDA Rural Development Agency, and US National Resources Conservation Services. During the event Office of Emergency Services assisted attendees with CodeRed Emergency Alert signups.

For more information or questions about the event, or for assistance signing-up for CodeRed Emergency Alerts, contact the Office of Emergency Services at (530) 265-1515.

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