Friday Memo, County of Nevada
Picture of Director of Behavioral Health Phebe Bell

Appointment of New Director of Behavioral Health

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Phebe Bell as the Director of Behavioral Health.  Since December of 2017, Phebe has been serving as Interim Director of Behavioral Health providing oversight for a multi-million dollar budget with a staff of over 30 people while leading the department through a transition period.  Phebe previously has served as the Tahoe Truckee Program Manager for Health and Human Services for Placer and Nevada Counties.  As the Tahoe Truckee Program Manager, Phebe managed Health and Human Services offices in the Tahoe Truckee region for two counties overseeing behavioral health, public health, and social services programs; managed staff of 20+ people including therapists, psychiatrists, midlevel medical providers and nurses.   Phebe has worked closely with community partners, advocating for regional needs, exploring opportunities for collaboration between the counties and ensuring smooth operations of existing offices and programs.

Prior to working for the county, Phebe spent over 20 years working in local non-profits serving children, youth and families in the Tahoe area.  While working for Tahoe Women’s Services she designed and managed the first shelter program in the region for domestic violence victims and their children, and later became Executive Director of this agency, overseeing all crisis services, a therapy program and school based prevention programs.  She ran a suicide crisis line for the state of Nevada.  She was the director of the Children’s Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee which focused on building a comprehensive and responsive service system for children and their families in the region.  And most recently she was the Program Director of the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, a role in which she focused on supporting the non-profit sector through grants, technical support and community based initiatives.
Phebe has a Masters degree in Social Work from Portland State University and a BA from Yale University.   Through her years of working in non-profits in this small community, Phebe has a deep working knowledge of the dynamics and needs of the region.  She has been honored for her work by being selected as Citizen of the Year in 2007, Nevada County Partner of the Year in 2008 and Woman of Distinction in 2012.  Phebe lives with her husband and two children in Truckee.

Nevada County Board of Supervisors seal

May 22nd 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 be recognizing Nevada Union High Schools Debate Team Program Coach, Mr. Stephen Goldberg, and team members Mr. Morgan Margulies and Mr. Devin Anderson for their achievements in qualifying for the Policy Debate at the Tournament of Champions in Kentucky.

Afterwards, the Board will consider a resolution proclaiming May 31st through June 3rd as "Celebration of Trails Weekend" in conjunction with "National Trails Day."
Later, the Board will consider an additional resolution to endorse and certify the Nevada County Historical Landmarks Commission’s designation of the Truckee Memorial Masonic Arch as a Nevada County Historical Landmark.

At 11:00 a.m., County Counsel and the Community Development Agency will be bringing a Urgency Ordinance regarding temporary medical commercial cannabis permits to the Board for their discussion, feedback, and approval.

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

Cal Fire logo

Cal Fire WUI Training Exercise in Alta Sierra and Lake Wildwood

The Nevada-Yuba-Placer unit of CAL FIRE is conducting two Wildland Urban Interface Drills. The first drill is scheduled for Alta Sierra on Sunday, May 20th. The second drill will be conducted in Lake Wildwood on Sunday, May 27th. Drills are scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Twelve to fifteen fire engines and forty to fifty fire personnel will participate in each drill.

Participating residents of the Alta Sierra and Lake Wildwood communities will learn what firefighters need to safely work when wildfire threatens homes. The interaction between the residents and firefighters results in a better understanding of defensible space, firefighting tactics, and how both of these elements align to enable effective structure defense.

Residents will receive a CodeRED emergency alert notification during the exercise and are asked to voluntarily participate in a mock evacuation drill. Educational displays and presentations will be conducted for residents while the firefighters are training. After the drill, lunch will provide an opportunity to review lessons learned between firefighters and the community. The goal is to be better prepared for emergency evacuations and the next wildfire in Nevada County.

Thank you to the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County, the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services, the Greater Alta Sierra Firewise Community, Alta Sierra Property Owners Association, and Lake Wildwood Association for their support and participation.

Prepare yourself and your family for the next emergency event by subscribing to Nevada County's CodeRed emergency alerts on Nevada County's Office of Emergency services website. To learn more about how to make your own home more fire safe, visit CAL FIRE’s website at or contact the local Fire Safe Council of Nevada County online or by calling (530) 272-1122.

Photo of Edwards Crossing Bridge

Edwards Crossing Bridge Project

Edwards Crossing bridge carries traffic on North Bloomfield-Graniteville Road over the South Yuba River. Originally constructed in 1904 and last rehabilitated in 1989, it is one lane and load restricted, affecting emergency response and accessibility at the bridge. The foundations have been partially eroded from river flows, the metal railing and timber decking have aged, and the lack of certain design elements could expose it to future failure. A project to replace or rehabilitate the bridge is fully funded through the federal Highway Bridge Program (HBP).

In late 2017, County Public Works staff sought public input on potential bridge rehabilitation and replacement options during a town hall meeting, an online survey, media releases, meetings with stakeholders, and dissemination of an informational brochure. The public and key stakeholder groups, including South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) and the Nevada County Historical Landmarks Commission, overwhelmingly agreed that Edwards Crossing bridge is an important asset to the community historically, aesthetically, recreationally, and economically because of the tourism generated by these qualities. Respondents were generally opposed to demolition or any other changes that would result in a loss of integrity to the bridge's key assets. At the same time, there was also a strong majority of responses from the public and other stakeholder groups, including the Nevada County Fire Safe Council and the jurisdictional fire agencies, which favored building a new bridge that would meet modern emergency access and safety standards, as well as enhance the recreational access to this popular crossing.
In response to public input, the County has been working to further develop project alternatives that would meet the needs of the community. These include a rehabilitation option and two options to construct a new bridge and utilize the existing bridge as a pedestrian- and bicycle-only bridge. The County is in the process of working with State partners to assess the feasibility of a preferred project alternative that would restore the existing bridge for pedestrian use only, while constructing a new two-lane bridge that meets all current safety and design standards approximately 1,000 feet upstream of the existing bridge. The County expects to receive a response from the State by fall of 2018.

County staff is tentatively planning a summer workshop to update the public on these options and solicit feedback from the public. Additional notices will inform the public of a future meeting date and location. The public is strongly encouraged to submit any comments or questions throughout this process about the project by contacting Jessica Hankins, Public Works Project Manager, at (530) 265-1254 or  

Norhtern Sierra Air Quality Management District

Woodsmoke Reduction Buy-Out Program

Beginning May 23rd the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District will begin a woodstove change-out program which will pay up to $3,500 of the cost of a new more efficient woodstove.

Applications for the Woodsmoke Reduction Program will be available May 23rd on the Air Quality Board's website, through participating woodstove retailers, in person at the Air District offices in Grass Valley and Portola, or mailed by request. 

The Woodsmoke Reduction Program (Program) is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts cap-and-trade dollars to work. The Program is designed to help households replace a non-EPA certified wood stove or insert used as a primary source of heat with a cleaner burning and more efficient device. Open hearth fireplaces may be eligible for the Program if the fireplace is used as a primary source of heat.  This Program will offer Vouchers to be used toward the purchase and installation of a new EPA-certified woodstove, fireplace wood insert, gas (natural gas or propane), or electric device.

Residences located within disadvantaged communities or low-income communities as defined on this map (AB 1550 Low-income Communities) qualify for the Enhanced Incentive Voucher (up to $3,500).  Low-income households outside of these areas also quality for the Enhanced Incentive Voucher.  To qualify as low-income, the household must show proof of enrollment in a low-income assistance program (WIC, LIHEAP, CARE), or have a household income at or below 80 percent of the statewide median household income (currently at $51,026), or qualify as low-income through the California Department of Housing and Community Development low-income limits based on county of residence and household size.  Remaining residents outside the mapped low-income areas are eligible for the Standard Voucher of $1,000.

Once you receive a voucher, you must select a replacement device from a Participating Retailer and use the voucher toward the price (including installation and local permitting fees) within 4 weeks. The new device must be installed with any necessary permits by an appropriately licensed contractor and meet local fire and building codes; do-it-yourself installations are not allowed under this program.

Interested residents can also find more information in the Program Brochure, the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District website or by calling Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District at (530) 274-9360.

Building Safety Month, Week 3: Protecting Communities from Disaster

Building Safety Month: Protecting Communities from Disasters

Week three of Building Safety Month is dedicated to outreach and information regarding "Protecting Communities from Disasters." Although you have little control over the occurrence of natural disasters in your community, mitigation efforts are some of the best tactics jurisdictions can take to protect a community against the effects of these disasters. Mitigation increases occupant health and safety during a disaster, protects the local tax base, ensures continuity of essential services, and supports rapid recovery from disasters. Mitigation through adoption and enforcement of building codes provide you, your family, and your community protection in the event of a natural disaster.

Making sure your family is prepared for any natural disaster is important.  Your actions can ensure that no matter what Mother Nature brings, you, your family and your community will be resilient.

Below are a few tips to follow from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes – (FLASH®) to prepare your family and protect your home from natural disasters:

  • Develop a family disaster plan that includes a list of food and water supplies needed for each member of your family and supplies for your pets. Make copies of important documents like insurance policies, the deed to your home, and other personal papers, important phone numbers and a home inventory. Create a checklist of important things to do before, during and after a disaster.
  • Review your evacuation route and emergency shelter locations with your family. Options for evacuation would include staying with friends and relatives, seeking commercial lodging or staying in a mass care facility operated by disaster relief groups in conjunction with local authorities.
  • Taking shelter is critical in times of disaster. Sheltering in place is appropriate when conditions require that you seek protection in your home, place of employment or other location where you are when disaster strikes.
  • Consider incorporating a safe room in building plans and improvements.
  • Review your plan regularly. If you make changes that affect the information in your disaster plan, update it immediately.

For more information on protecting and preparing your properties for disasters you can visit the International Code Council's website on Building Safety Month and their web page on wildfire safety, visit the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County or Cal Fire's websites on creating defensible space and hardening your home against wildfires, sign-up for CodeRed emergency alerts with Nevada County's Office of Emergency Services, or visit the Nevada County Building Department's website for more information on building in Nevada County. Residents can also contact the Building Department at or by calling (530) 265-1222.

Photo of Gold Country Stage buses

Gold Country Stage “Free Fare Days” May 24-26

County of Nevada Transit Services has received a Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP) air quality grant that provides public transit funding assistance for projects that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve mobility.

To support this objective, Gold Country Stage will provide system-wide Free Fare Days on all routes on May 24th through 26th. Routes will be operating their normal schedules, days, and times from 5:50 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, with free fares for all.

Additionally, for folks attending the Strawberry Musical Festival, the Route 3 fairgrounds bus stop on Brighton Street provides access for travel to and from the event on an hourly basis. Enjoy the ride and the music vibe! Dump the pump, ride the bus!

Gold Country Stage bus schedules are available in the Gold Country Stage Rider's Guide, at or call Gold Country Sage at (530) 477-0103 x 0 for travel planning information.

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