On November 19th and 20th Supervisor Heidi Hall met with congressional staff of Congressman Doug LaMalfa, Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Feinstein's offices in Washington D.C. to discuss Nevada County's priority objectives including wildfire, homelessness and broadband.
During her visit, Supervisor Hall discussed and requested assistance with two Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazardous Mitigation Grant applications that the County submitted back in July 2018. Grant announcements have and continue to be delayed since October 2018. The grants, if awarded, would provide critical funding to treat egress routes on principal and minor arterial roadways, support a chipping program for local residents to remove hazardous vegetation, provide vegetation removal assistance to low-income and functional needs residents, and bolster the County's Defensible Space Inspection and abatement programs.
Supervisor Hall spoke with Senator Feinstein's staff more specifically about the challenges of homelessness in rural communities. In March, Senator Feinstein and Senator Harris co-authored Senate Bill 923: Fighting Homelessness Through Services and Housing Act. If enacted, the Act would appropriate $750 million annually from 2020-2025 in grants to address homelessness. The Act aims at increasing services that address mental health, substance use disorder and recovery services, disabling or other chronic health conditions, educational and job training or employment, and life skills needs.
Both Senate Offices expressed strong support on issues of wildfire, including the impacts from recent Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events, and homelessness. Congressional representatives encouraged continual communication from the County on these and other major issues. Supervisor Hall plans to schedule follow up meetings to promote and strengthen the County's relationship with our Federal partners.