Friday Memo, County of Nevada
Sparkler and American Flag

Happy Fourth of July!

The Fourth of July means barbecues and fireworks. It may seem like harmless fun, but fireworks are explosives. Only professionals should handle them. Please remember that all fireworks, even Safe and Sane fireworks, are illegal in all unincorporated areas of Nevada County, as well as within the city and town limits of Nevada City, Grass Valley, and Truckee.

Between outdoor recreation activities and local parades or fireworks displays, there are plenty of ways to celebrate 4th of July safely. Here are a few family friendly activities for your holiday:

Celebrate at a 4th of July Parade

  • Downtown Nevada City at 11:00 a.m.
  • Downtown Truckee at 10:00 a.m.

Attend a fireworks display

  • Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley at 9:30 p.m.
  • Donner Lake in Truckee at 9:30 p.m.

Find more information about these events on the Nevada City, Grass Valley, and Truckee Chamber websites.

In addition to being fire safe while you’re celebrating, don’t forget to practice water and swimming safety too. Consider wearing a life jacket, avoid using alcohol around water, always keep an eye on children while around water, and be aware of your surroundings for slippery rocks and unsafe water currents.

As a reminder, all administrative County offices will be closed in observance for the 4th of July holiday. Public safety, Sheriff's patrol services, and dispatch will resume as normal.

Wishing you a happy and safe 4th of July!

Regional Housing Authority of Sutter and Nevada Counties logo

Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8) Program Opens Waitlist

On Monday, June 25th , the Regional Housing Authority (RHA) opened its waitlist for the Housing Choice Voucher (HVC) program, formally known as Section 8 vouchers. The HVC program assists low and moderate income families and individuals to secure affordable housing in the private rental market by subsidizing rent based on income. The announcement of the HVC waitlist opening means that the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has provided funding to RHA for a specific number of vouchers to issue to families and individuals currently on the waitlist, thus, the list waitlist can be updated with new names. New applications will now be accepted for current and future HVC vouchers.

The waiting list is organized by preference points, not by the date the application is submitted, and names are selected in order of preference through a random lottery. Preference points are allocated to applicants based on criteria set forth by the RHA. Preferences include things like

  • If a families or individual is currently homeless or living in substandard housing
  • Paying more than 50% of their income in rent
  • Having been “involuntarily displaced” from housing

Even though position on the list is not based on the date you submitted you application, historically, the waitlist is only open for a short period of time so submitting your application as soon as possible will ensure you are on the list.

More information can be gained by visiting the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's website or on the Regional Housing Authority of Sutter and Nevada Counties website to further understand the program and the application process. 

Photo of Sammie's Friends and County Staff after Board meeting

Sammie's Friends Awarded Animal Shelter Contract

Tuesday, June 26th, the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve the Animal Shelter Services contract between Sammie's Friends and the Nevada County Sheriff's Office.

The agreement extends the existing contract by one year at a cost of $739,000, with the ability to automatically renew for a second year at the same cost.

Co-Founder of Sammie's Friends, Cheryl Wicks, said, "Curt and I are very pleased with the new contract between Sammie's Friends and Nevada County. This will allow us to go on saving the lives of our precious animals, now totaling approximately 25,000 lives that have been saved. We thank the County's negotiation team, and many thanks to the Board of Supervisors for their patience with the process. An extra thank you to Hank Weston for always providing wise counsel and support to us. Lastly, thanks to Rick Haffey for believing in us way back in 2010 when our first contract was signed and Sammie's Friends began operations at the shelter."

The new contract with Sammie's Friends begins July 1st. Nevada County looks forward to continuing their contract with Sammie's Friends for animal shelter services, and making both Nevada County's animal shelter and Sammie's Friends stronger through the additional County funding approved by the Board and community support.

OES Staff submitting grants to FEMA and CAL OES in Sacramento

OES Applies for Hazard Mitigation Grants for Wildfire Vegetation Management

On July 27th, the Office of Emergency Services formally applied for two Hazard Mitigation Program grants totaling in a possible $10.2 million of additional funding from CAL OES and FEMA. Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding is available when authorized under a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration. As the result of the 2017 Presidential Disaster Declaration due to emergency conditions resulting from Nevada County’s October wildfires, Nevada County has become eligible to apply for these funds.

HMGP funds both plans and projects that reduce the effects of future natural disasters. In California, these funds are administered by the Cal OES Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Unit. HMGP funds may be used to fund projects that will reduce or eliminate the losses from future disasters. Projects must provide a long-term solution to a problem. In addition, a project's potential savings must be more than the cost of implementing the project.

Both grants seek to minimize the impacts of large wildfires through vegetation management. Proper vegetation management can reduce fire severity, intensity, and the rate of spread. If funding is awarded, Nevada County’s projects will support the reduction of hazardous vegetation, while promoting a healthy ecosystem.

The first HMGP Grant application submitted includes $6.5 million in funding to complete the County of Nevada Community Fire Mitigation Project. The project will include a roadside vegetation management program where 317.5 miles of roadway located in high circulation and evacuation areas will have hazardous vegetation removed, affordable green waste disposal that will treat 2,400 acres of chipping services and add 12 community green waste drop vegetation collection sites in Nevada County, and clearing of hazardous vegetation at 144 homes for people with access and functional needs. If funding is granted, the Nevada County’s Community Fire Mitigation Project would be in partnership with the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County, the Town of Truckee, and the Truckee Fire Protection District.

The second HMGP Grant application submitted includes $3.7 million to complete the County of Nevada Abatement Program.  Abatement Program goals focus on the removal of nuisances such as weeds, hazardous vegetation, and debris that might catch fire endangering others.  The Abatement Program will focus on fire hazard abatement inspections, fire hazard abatement, and public education presentations. Inspections will focus on meeting guidelines set by California Public Resource Code 4291 and the County of Nevada Abatement Ordinance 2411 guidelines. The Abatement Program will lessen the community's financial burden by supplementing costs of fire hazard abatement. Community education will focus on defensible space standards, partnership programs and hazardous vegetation removal. If the grant funding is received, grant funds will be able to provide 10,000 defensible space inspections, 60 sections of hazardous vegetation abatements, and provide 20 public education presentations.

Through these actions and grant partnerships, the Office of Emergency Services is creating avenues to reduce the threat and damage from wildfires in Nevada County.

Nevada County Awards Funding to Non-profits

Nevada County is pleased to announce that the Board of Supervisors has awarded $126,000 in funding to four local non-profits. Nevada County and the Adult and Family Services Commission (AFSC), issued a Request for Funding to award $111,000 in Community Services Block Grant Funding (CSBG), and $15,000 in Community Initiative Funding (CIF). A variety of proposals were evaluated, and awards were made for meaningful projects that will have a beneficial impact for low income residents of Nevada County.  After extensive review by the AFSC of the submitted proposals, he Nevada County Board of Supervisors have approved the Commission's recommendations and made awards as follows.

Pilot Dehydration Project:
CIF funding in the amount of $15,000 has been awarded to Interfaith Food Ministry (IFM) of Nevada County for a Pilot Dehydration Project. Food insecure residents of Nevada County have limited year-round access to the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables necessary to achieve the minimum nutrition guidelines set forth by the USDA. Due to the seasonal availability of fresh fruits and vegetables, IFM has a surplus of fresh produce in the growing months, and almost none during the off season.

IFM will initiate a program to dehydrate fresh produce when it is abundant so that it is available to low income members of the community throughout the year. IFM will partner with a local non-profit with a licensed/certified commercial kitchen to dehydrate and package fruit and vegetables. The dehydrated produce will be distributed to reduce food insecurity among Nevada County's low income community.

The program will provide a beneficial impact for low-income individuals/families by furnishing greater access to nutritional produce, thus improving health. Additionally, IFM's clients are often at risk of homelessness, with average incomes of $13,104 or $1,092/month for a family size of 2.4. This program will help low-income families avoid homelessness, and reduce the stress of having to choose between nutritious foods and other necessities like housing.

Food Distribution Project: 
CSBG funding in the amount of $10,000 has been awarded to Project MANA for a Food Distribution Project involving a mobile food pantry that is anticipated to serve 800 individuals.  Nearly 10% of North Lake Tahoe/Truckee residents live below the poverty level and 1 in 7 experience hunger, according to the North Tahoe/Truckee Community Report Card and Placer Food Bank. Food insecurity is comprised of not only limited access to enough food, but also limited access to nutritious food. Food is often the last basic need considered within a low-income household's budget, and the North Lake Tahoe/Truckee region's high food costs force many households to either buy less food or cut food costs where they can.

Through the Food Distribution program, Project MANA aims to mitigate the adverse health outcomes that can result from malnutrition and nutrient deficiency by providing individuals with both adequate and nutritious food choices (e.g. low calorie, nutrient packed fresh fruits and vegetables). 

Homeless Access Transport Project:
CSBG funding in the amount of $28,356 has been awarded to Hospitality House for a Homeless Access Transport Project.  A lack of transportation options is one of the largest barriers for low income individuals in accessing benefits.  Often the lack of access to benefits can lead to homelessness and/or continued chronic homelessness. The Homeless Access Transport program will provide local low income homeless individuals access to benefits by supplying transportation to agencies such as Social Services, Mental Health, food banks, Public Health, and more.  The Program will also provide support to those seeking housing assistance. Hospitality House estimates that it will be able to assist 500 clients annually.

Housing Coordination Project:
CSBG funding in the amount of $72,644 has been awarded to FREED Center for their Housing Coordination Project.  The inability to find or sustain stable housing often places financial strains on low income individuals and the community.  Housing instability particularly affects the elderly and disabled. Fifty-four percent of adults over age 65 live below 200% of federal poverty, and people with disabilities are twice as likely as others to live in poverty.  FREED's Housing Coordination program will implement housing strategies that allow low income members of the community to access and maintain affordable and accessible housing.  Freed will target older adults and people with disabilities within the low income sector of the County to enable them to live independently and reduce costs associated with unnecessary institutionalization, homelessness, and hospitalization.  Through FREED's assistance, participants will have access to educational workshops, one-on-one case management and direct assistance to support in order to access and maintain their housing needs

Baby in Hospital

Protecting Babies from Whooping Cough

Pertussis, often known as whooping cough, is known to come in cycles, generally peaking every 3 to 5 years. Outbreaks of pertussis were first described in the 16th century and to this day it remains a common childhood disease with sometimes tragic consequences.

Before the pertussis vaccine, there were years with over 200,000 cases reported in the United States. That dropped dramatically to less than 3,000 reports per year on average in the 1980’s. Since then, however, pertussis has been making a comeback. In California, in 2010, pertussis climbed to more than 9,000 cases, which increased even further in 2014. It is hard to predict what 2018 will bring, but we know pertussis is widespread in the world right now and some areas in the US are starting to report increases.

The current focus of pertussis vaccination is protecting babies, because babies are at higher risk for getting pertussis and having serious complications from the infection. Rachel Farrell, PA-C and Licensed Midwife from Harmony Health Medical Clinic and Birth Center says, "We encourage our pregnant moms to get the Tdap in their last trimester to afford protection to the newborn. Since first shots aren't until the newborn is 6-8 weeks old, they can be at great risk for pertussis, if exposed. If you've ever known anyone, especially an infant, who had whooping cough, you'd surely want to do everything you could to avoid it. It is a horrible disease, deadly in infants."

The CDC reports that about half of babies younger than a year who get pertussis need hospitalization. Fortunately, getting the Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy, preferably at sometime between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy, has been shown to be effective at protecting mothers and their babies. A report published in Clinical Infectious Diseases in 2017, by authors from the California Department of Public Health and UCLA, looked at pertussis-infected infants born in 2011 through 2015. They found that infants whose mothers received Tdap vaccine during pregnancy had less severe pertussis, significantly lower risk of hospitalization and intensive care unit admission, and shorter hospital stays.  

With pertussis, or whooping cough, likely rising again soon, this is an important time to talk with your healthcare provider about vaccination strategies, especially if you have a baby in the house or you are pregnant or planning pregnancy. For more information on pregnancy and whooping cough, please visit the CDC’s website on pertussis.

Detour, Stop, Flagger signs

Construction Impacting the Social Services and Child Support Handicap Ramp at the Eric Rood Center

Construction will begin on June 29th on the west side of the Eric Rood Administration Center building to upgrade a section of the Health and Human Services Agency’s lobby entrance.  The project is expected to last between three to six weeks.  The current ramp and walkway located on the left side of the building will be removed and replaced, temporarily blocking ramp access.  During this time period the public will continue to be able to enter the Health and Human Services Agency lobby via steps.  Signage will be posted to serve as a detour to direct customers.

A separate process has been established to ensure quality service for customers with mobility needs. The current loading zone on the west entrance has been designated as a temporary handicap parking space.  Signage will be posted at this parking location to direct these customers to call or text a designated number, or to utilize a secured intercom, to receive curbside service.  County staff will immediately come to greet the customer to provide the most convenient assistance according to their individual needs.

To avoid the construction zone, customers needing public assistance benefits can apply online at, or contact (530) 265-1340 with questions; inquiries for the Adult Services programs can contact (530) 265-1639: and questions regarding Child Support Services can be directed to (530) 265-7097.

RCRC logo

Showcase Your Photos of Nevada County in Rural Photo Contest

The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) announced the launch of its Rural County Photo Contest for 2018. The second annual contest invites amateur photographers to capture life in rural California by showcasing the beautiful, vibrant imagery found in RCRC's 35 member counties. 

The RCRC Rural County Photo contest runs July 1st through August 31st 2018. The RCRC Rural County Photo Contest winner will have their image displayed during RCRC's Annual Meeting, taking place September 19th through the 21st  in Napa County.  

The RCRC Rural County Photo Contest was created to promote tourism and local economic development through showcasing the beautiful landscape, scenery, activities, history, and charm of RCRC's member counties. 

Full contest details, including instructions for submission, can be accessed here.

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