Friday Memo, County of Nevada
CodeRED app on a cell phone

CodeRED: How it Works

In the afternoon of Sunday, August 12th, Oak Fire started in Alta Sierra causing an evacuation of the Buck Mountain area.

In emergency situations such as a wildfire event, it is important to let residents know if an evacuation is in place. When an evacuation happens, the Nevada County Sheriff's Office will go door to door to notify residents within the evacuation area and they will also send out a CodeRED emergency alert to residents who have nearby addresses that are registered with the CodeRED system. Although you are subscribed to CodeRED emergency alerts, if your address is not within the immediate vicinity of an evacuation area it is likely that you will not receive a CodeRED emergency alert regarding the situation.

If you do not live in the immediate evacuation area when an emergency event occurs and do not receive a CodeRED alert, there are other ways to obtain up-to-date information about the situation. Both the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services and the Nevada County Sheriff's Office put timely information about emergency events on their Facebook pages. The Office of Emergency Services will also be communicating with our local media with any updated information; residents can visit or tune-in to YubaNet, The Union, KNCO, or KVMR to look for emergency information occurring in Western Nevada County, or visit the Sierra Sun or Moonshine Ink for emergency event information occurring in Eastern Nevada County.

If the emergency event requires both evacuations and the opening of shelters, it is likely that the County will activate the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The Office of Emergency Services will put continuous alerts on the County website throughout the emergency event that residents can both subscribe to and view online.

CodeRED is an important emergency communications tool for County departments, such as the Sheriff's Office and Office of Emergency Services, when communicating with residents during an emergency event. However, the County encourages residents to proactively prepare for the possibility of an evacuation due to a wildfire or other emergency events by preparing a go-bag and not solely relying on CodeRED alerts for emergency information.

CodeRED alerts can be sent to residents via a phone call, text message, or email. Nevada County's Office of Emergency Services recommends that residents subscribe for alerts from all of those functions to multiple phone numbers or emails if possible. If you haven't already, subscribe for CodeRED emergency alerts online or by dialing 2-1-1 (from a 530 area code) to be connected to 211 Connecting Point for sign up assistance, and prepare for wildfire by visiting CAL FIRE’s Ready for Wildfire website.

Public Works and contract staff receiving Project of the Year award

Public Works Engineering Wins Project of the Year

Last week, Nevada County's Engineering Division was awarded the "Project of the Year" award by the American Public Works Association for its 2017 Western Nevada County Bridges Replacement Project. The project replaced or rehabilitated three bridges on Garden Bar Road and McCourtney Road in Grass Valley. The Engineering Division's innovative approach of bundling 3 separate bridge projects into a single construction project resulted in construction costs significantly lower than the engineer's estimates. The project was completed in 5 months, well ahead of the estimated schedule, with less than 0.4 percent contract change orders. The total cost of the project was $2.61 million dollars and was funded by federal Highway Bridge Program grant funding.

Engineering staff was joined at the annual awards luncheon by the project team to receive the award, including representatives from Dokken Engineering (Design), Q&D Construction (Contractor), and HDR (Construction Management and Inspection).

Congratulations to the Engineering Division and the entire project team on a highly successful project!

If you have any questions or are interested about these and other bridge projects, please visit Dokken Engineering’s website. For other engineering related questions or interests, please contact the Nevada County Department of Public Works at (530) 265-1411 or follow Nevada County Public Works on Facebook.

Better Together logo

Better Together: Nevada County Partners with FREED to Expand Homeless Services to People with Disabilities

According to the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, people with disabilities constitute 40 percent of the homeless population. Approximately half of the people experiencing homelessness suffer from a mental health issue, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness.  Mental and physical health problems are exacerbated by the ongoing stress and associated trauma from living on the streets and/or in homeless shelters.

Tuesday, August 14th, the Board of Supervisors approved a new contract with FREED Independent Living Center to expand services for this local population.  FREED has been providing services to persons with disabilities in Nevada County since 1985. FREED's mission is to promote independence and self-determination for people with disabilities through person-driven services, collaborative community partnerships and education, and leadership that advocates for fully inclusive communities.   FREED already serves over 100 un-duplicated individuals annually who have a disability and who are experiencing homelessness.

The new program, called SOARWorks, will provide specialized case management, direct housing support (including rental subsidies and supportive services) and disability advocacy to individuals with disabilities who are experiencing homelessness and who may be eligible for social security or disability benefits because they cannot work.

FREED will also leverage previously approved Community Service Block Grant funding to hire a full-time Housing Coordinator who will administer the SOARWorks program. The Housing Coordinator will coordinate outreach, case management, housing assistance and disability advocacy to eligible participants and will actively participate in the ongoing community-wide Housing Resource Team efforts to maximize efforts to get participants housed in a Housing First model.

For additional information about this program, please contact Nevada County’s Housing Resource Program Manager Brendan Phillips at (530) 265-1725 or  

Completed Road Rehab at Penn Valley Drive

Penn Valley Road Rehabilitation Project Nearly Complete with More Projects Planned

The results of the 2016 California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment show a steady downward trend in pavement condition throughout the State. Forty-nine of California's fifty-eight Counties were found to have pavement conditions that were considered "at risk", and seven counties had pavement conditions that were considered "poor".

In response to the growing infrastructure-funding crisis, Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor in April 2017 to address significant transportation funding shortfalls statewide.  SB 1 includes accountability and transparency provisions that will ensure the residents of Nevada County are aware of the projects proposed for funding in our community and that funding goes where it is most needed - into much need road maintenance and improvement projects.

Earlier this summer, Nevada County began work on its first major pavement rehabilitation and improvement project utilizing SB 1 funding.  Highlighting the proposed project was a unique "Hot-in-Place" road recycling treatment on portions of Indian Springs Road between Penn Valley Drive and Spenceville Road. In addition, Penn Valley Drive, Pleasant Valley Road (Highway 20 to Bitney Springs Road), and Spenceville Road (Penn Valley Drive to Indian Springs Road) were all resurfaced and restriped.  The resulting roadwork will keep these roads in good condition for many years to come.

Beginning Monday, September 10th, construction crews will continue road-resurfacing efforts on County owned portions of Ridge Road in Grass Valley and Nevada City.  This includes sections of Ridge Road from Rough and Ready Highway to Lynwood Lane (west of Slate Creek) and from just west of Via Vista to Nevada City Highway. All efforts will be made to minimize impacts to traffic on Ridge Road and the surrounding areas, and in particular traffic to and from Nevada Union High School.  Nevada County Public Works appreciates your continued patience as we work to complete work on these critical roadways.

In all, the County has nearly $12.7 million dollars of road repaving and rehabilitation projects planned through June 2022 utilizing SB 1 funding.  Key roads scheduled for repaving or resurfacing during that time include Alta Sierra Drive, Combie Road, Dog Bar Road, Duggans Road, Lime Kiln Road, Magnolia Road, McCourtney Road, North Bloomfield Road, Purdon Road, Rough and Ready Highway, and Willow Valley Road.  SB 1 will also fund other critical infrastructure repair and improvement projects throughout Nevada County.  A complete list of roads and projects utilizing SB 1 funding through June 2022 is included in the County's Capital Improvement Program, available to download on Nevada County Public Works’ website.  If voters approve a repeal of SB 1 in the November general election, these projects would be postponed indefinitely.

Maintaining and improving our roads will make them safer for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, and, in the long run, could even reduce the overall cost of driving.  Nevada County Public Works is looking forward to the projects ahead, putting people to work to improve the roads we use every day!

If you have any questions about the current road rehabilitation project or future SB 1 projects, please contact the Nevada County Department of Public Works at (530) 265-1411 or follow Nevada County Public Works on Facebook.

Better Together logo

Better Together: County Partners with Community Organizations to Expand Shelter Beds to House Homeless Residents Seeking Recuperative Care

Beginning September 1st, a new agreement between Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH) and the County of Nevada creates a path for homeless county residents to recuperate following medical discharge from the hospital.  Under this Agreement, up to $263,334 is being awarded to the Nevada County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) from SNMH, a California nonprofit public benefit corporation.   Funds received will be used over the next three years to support HHSA's Medical Respite Services Program supporting the needs of eligible homeless patients upon discharge from SNMH.  The County is partnering with Hospitality House to provide this Recuperative Care Program.

Individuals experiencing homelessness typically demonstrate higher rates of behavioral health disorders, chronic illness and acute injuries.  As a result, such individuals commonly experience frequent hospitalizations and Emergency Department ("ED") visits.  This is particularly apparent in Western Nevada County, where SNMH serves as the only hospital and ED.  Valuable hospital resources are spent treating people experiencing homelessness who are discharged back to the street with a doctor's recommendations to recover and recuperate once their immediate medical conditions have improved. 

Lacking basic shelter to recover from their illnesses, homeless patients frequently find themselves quickly returning to the hospital due to inadequate recovery and rest, unstable or unsanitary living situations, and inability to access primary follow-up care.  To alleviate pressure on hospital systems related to these patients, medical respite programs have been growing more popular across the nation, providing savings for local hospitals and improved outcomes and quality of life for patients experiencing homelessness.

SNMH and the Nevada County HHSA have agreed to partner to provide medical respite services through a recuperative program will provide for the equivalent of 120 days' worth of services referred by SNMH per month.  In the event SNMH does not use the 4-bed (120 day) minimum, the Medical Respite team at Hospitality House will coordinate with SNMH to review the possibility of releasing open beds to meet the needs of other patients identified by their staff as medically fragile.  At the conclusion of medical respite, patients will be promptly transitioned into available community programs or placed with appropriate family members or other support persons depending upon each patient's individual situation and need, and as available and determined by program staff.

Nevada County Public Health logo

Provide Your Input in Public Health’s Community Health Survey

The Nevada County Public Health Department and Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital – Dignity Health are partnering together to conduct a community health assessment and need assistance from Nevada County residents.

 In order to obtain a broad spectrum of input, residents of Nevada County are being asked to complete a community health survey to learn about their quality of life, healthcare, exercise, children, social support, community health and risk behaviors. It is the intent of this survey to have a deeper understanding of what issues county residents feel are important, how their quality of life is perceived, and what community assets are available to improve the health of our communities. Public Health also use your input to determine community health priorities.

Please encourage all residents (friends, neighbors and relatives) to complete this survey.  The survey can be found on Nevada County Public Health’s webpage under Community Health Assessment Survey. Participation is also incentivized! Please see the survey for details on how you can enter a drawing to win a gift card.

For more information or assistance filling out the survey online, please contact Holly Whittaker at (530) 470-2658 or

Local CHP Receives Grant to Expand Traffic Safety Personnel in Problematic Roadways

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has been advised that the Grass Valley and Auburn CHP areas have been approved for a grant by the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) which will provide resources to address problematic areas within their jurisdictions.  Funding from the grant will provide additional enforcement of primary collision factor violations (such as speeding, and DUIs), resources for saturation patrols, and increased public education.  The grant submission was originally proposed to provide CHP with additional enforcement efforts on the Highway 49 corridor for the 2018/2019 federal fiscal year.  However, the grant was expanded and it will be used for identified problematic roadways throughout the CHP’s area of responsibility in the Grass Valley and Auburn areas in additional to the Highway 49 corridor.

The CHP is currently in the planning phase and expects to apply the grant funds to its operations in the upcoming 2018/19 federal fiscal year, between October 2018 and September 2019. CHP and its officers are a high-valued asset to the community and a terrific partner in helping the County and the Citizens for Highway 49 Safety group in tackling and preventing injuries and collisions on Highway 49 and other problematic roadways that have been highlighted by tragedies in the last few years. 

Traffic Delays on Dog Bar Road, August 21st

Dog Bar Road at the Bear River Bridge will experience delays for a Caltrans Bridge Inspection on August 21st.  The delays will take place between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., weather permitting. Traffic will be held/delayed for 30 minutes to cross the bridge in either direction.

Please observe all traffic control signs and the instructions of onsite personnel.  Nevada County Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciates your patience.  For more information, please contact the Department of Public Works at (530) 265-1411

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