Friday Memo, County of Nevada
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Special Board Meeting Preview: Draft Cannabis Ordinance

Board of Supervisors meetings take place every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. However, the Board of Supervisors holds special meetings to address specific issues or topics.

Tuesday's May 1st Board of Supervisors meeting is scheduled as a special Board meeting to review the draft cannabis ordinance and related issues regarding long-term cannabis cultivation regulations. Reviewing the draft ordinance is the only item on Tuesday's agenda, and there will be ample time for public comment on the matter.

After receiving the Cannabis Regulation Community Advisory Group's recommendations on January 9th, the Board provided direction to staff for drafting the County's new permanent cannabis ordinance at the February 13th and March 6th Board meetings. Since then, staff has used the direction from the Board to draft the first copy of the County's new cannabis ordinance. For more information on the County's cannabis process and a summary of the draft cannabis ordinance, view the Staff Report for the cannabis agenda item.

The County’s objective is to develop a long term County cannabis ordinance that focuses on cultivation, protects neighborhoods, mitigates impacts, establishes appropriate activities for the County, and regulates an emerging commercial cannabis industry. View the meeting agenda, draft cannabis ordinance, or watch Tuesday's Board meeting live or archived online from our website.


Wildfire demonstration at Wildfire Community Preparedness Day

Family Wildfire Preparedness Day at the Rood Center

The Firesafe Council of Nevada County and the Gold Country Kiwanis will be hosting the Annual Community Wildfire Preparedness Day, and Kids Safety and Health Carnival on Saturday, May 5th from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  This free event, supported by Nevada County’s Office of Emergency Services, Law Enforcement & Fire Protection Council, local Masonic Lodges, Welz Foundation, Child Abuse Prevention Council, B&C Ace Hardware, and several businesses will introduce children and young families to Nevada County’s First Responders.  
 
Families will meet local fire fighters, California Highway Patrol (CHP), Nevada County Sheriff, Police Officers, and Rescue, Ambulance and Helicopter personnel, plus representatives of 3 dozen local child-oriented organizations and agencies.  On site will be emergency and rescue equipment and many demonstrations to acquaint the community with safety procedures and examples of healthy living. 
 
There will be live burn demonstrations, Smokey Bear, Firewise Community exhibits, vegetation management contractors, the American Red Cross, free pet micro-chipping sponsored by Gary & Sherry Mason with ReMax Real Estate, free BBQ lunch by Suburban Propane, and most importantly many resources to make your home and property fire safe. 
 
The goal of the Community Wildfire Preparedness Day is to help families and children feel comfortable in emergency situations.  CHP will provide child safety seat inspections, giving out new car seats if required, the Grass Valley Police Department will host a bicycle rodeo with new bike helmets if needed, plus New York Life Insurance will provide personal Child Identification Folders.
 
In addition, there will be Clowns providing balloon animals, a jump house and giant slide, contests and entertainment, as well as a BBQ lunch, salads by SPD Market, fresh fruit & juices by Co-op Market, chips, popcorn, and snow-cones.  Photo Ops with “Sparky”, Smokey” and “McGruff” and an antique fire engine will be available.  Four new bicycles will be presented to participants. 


CA WIC logo

Nevada County WIC ranked 3rd in State

Nevada County Public Health is extremely proud to announce that the Nevada County Women Infant and Children’s (WIC) program is ranked 6th in the nation for rates of WIC mothers who exclusively breastfeed their infants. Forty-six percent of Nevada County WIC mothers are exclusively breastfeeding their children, putting the Nevada County WIC program at the 3rd highest breastfeeding rate in California.

Known for providing supplemental food and nutritional supports to low-income women, infants, and young children, WIC also provides skilled breastfeeding support and counseling. Mothers participating in Nevada County’s WIC program are strongly encouraged to breastfeed unless there is a medical reason not to, and Nevada County’s WIC program provides expertise to mothers and babies who may be struggling with breastfeeding.

Breastmilk is an important building block in human development. It provides perfect nutrition, development of a healthy immune system and gastrointestinal tract, and psychological benefits to both mother and baby. Babies who are not breastfed, or who are only breastfed briefly, have higher disease risks all their lives.  With these facts in mind, Nevada County WIC staff is trained to provide the supports new breastfeeding mothers and infants need for success through peer counselors, and by certified lactation educators and consultants. WIC ensures that breastfeeding support and assistance is provided throughout the prenatal and postpartum period in a way that supports each individual mother. 

For more information or to enroll in Nevada County’s WIC program, contact Deb at debrawilson@co.nevada.ca.us or (530) 470-2439.


Better Together logo

Better Together: Addressing Homelessness with Multi-disciplinary Teams

In late 2017, the Board of Supervisors and County staff pulled together service providers, law enforcement, and community stakeholders to discuss gaps in services and potential strategies to address homelessness in Nevada County. Of the 37 recommendations identified by the group, one gap stood out: the need to better share information between service providers in order to streamline and coordinate services for homeless individuals and families.
 
To address this, Nevada County’s Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) pulled together County services and community-based service providers from across Nevada County to build multi-disciplinary outreach and housing case management teams.  The teams will meet regularly to coordinate activities, share important information, and navigate individuals and families to the best service to end their homelessness.  The teams will also meet with law enforcement, community groups, landlords, and businesses to address community concerns like camping and other impacts related to homelessness.  

Coordinating multi-disciplinary teams strengthens the "no wrong door” approach that is key to the Coordinated Entry System, a new system that creates a centralized list of people who need housing assistance to help identify the most vulnerable individuals and families in our population. It is also an approach that is supported by new California legislation, AB 210 passed in October 2017, authorizing the service providers to share information to more effectively serve individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

Nevada County will be an "early adopter" of this strategy and over the next year, this multi-disciplinary focus will lead to increased responsiveness to the community, and build out important and sustainable collaborations that will help individuals and families experiencing homelessness end their homelessness forever. 

For more information on the County's approach to homelessness, visit the Better Together web pages.


Nevada County Child Welfare Becomes Its Own Adoption Agency

The Nevada County Child Welfare Division became its own adoption agency in July of 2017, which was previously a function completed by California Department of Social Services. Nevada County Adoptions conducts adoptive assessments, placements, and adoption finalization for children in need of a permanent home in a family setting.  It is Nevada County Adoptions belief that children prosper in the care of their families. However, when children cannot be reunified with their parents due to safety or neglect issues, we seek permanency, support, and consistency in another supportive setting.

A review for Federally mandated data shows Nevada County's exits to permanency for children in foster care for 12-23 months has increased from 66.7% in June 2017 to 84.6% as of March 2018, meaning that providing local adoption services through Nevada County’s Child Welfare Division helps get Nevada County children into a permanent and stable home earlier and more frequently than with the State.

Since becoming an adoption agency in July, Nevada County Child Welfare has completed six formal adoptions and currently works with almost 200 post-adoptive families. Post-adoption services include an active community of adoptive parents in Nevada County who meet twice monthly to for support and guidance on accessing Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) funds and further peer-support for adoptive children whose needs sometime increase as they age.

Nevada County Adoptions promotes adoption placements with relatives and other important people in the children's or family's lives. Children do best and prosper most in the care of their family and this promotes continued contact, where safe, with their birth parents and other birth family members. Nevada County Adoptions strives to ensure that children know their adoption story and that they continue to have these important connections as they become an adult. The Nevada County Adoption team also provides support and guidance for families once an adoption is finalized until the adoptive child is 18, and occasionally until 21 years of age.

Nevada County Adoptions recently offered two trainings for potential adoptive parents on Trauma Informed Parenting and will continue to provide a variety of support and training opportunities in the community. If you have questions regarding adoptions or post-adoption services, or are interested in becoming a foster/adoptive parent, please contact Cheryl Gonzales, Adoptions Social Worker, at (530) 470- 2646 or cheryl.gonzales@co.nevada.ca.us, or Deirdre Day, Adoptions Supervisor, at (530) 265-7162 or deirdre.day@co.nevada.ca.us.


Tips to Handle Sewer Backups, Backflows, and Overflows

Sewer backups, backflows, and overflows can occur in private or public sewer systems and require immediate response in order to minimize health and safety impacts as well as potential damage to structures and the environment. 

A backup typically occurs in a home's plumbing system or lateral and will not cause damage if you discontinue using the plumbing fixture(s) until the system is cleared. Most slow-moving drains, toilets, or backups can be remedied with drain cleaners or a plunger. However, if your own methods fail, call the Nevada County Sanitation District (NCSD) right away at (530) 265-1555.  Crews will respond and help to determine if the problem is in your line, or in the publicly maintained lines.

A backflow is much less common and occurs when water or materials come up through a drain, toilet, or other fixture when the home's plumbing system is not being used. This may indicate that the sewer main is blocked and wastewater is backing up into your lateral line and home. If this occurs, call the NCSD right away at (530) 265-1555 to address the issue.  Crews will be dispatched to investigate and remedy any problem in the sewer main or lateral maintained by the NCSD. The homeowner is responsible for clearing any blockage in the home's plumbing system or maintained lateral and for any resulting flooding damage to the structure. The homeowner is also responsible for damage occurring due to an improperly constructed lateral, including a lack of required backflow prevention devices or illegal hookups.

Sewer overflows can occur in publically maintained lines.  If you observe sewer overflowing from manholes (typically in roads) or out of lift stations in NCSD sewer systems, report immediately to the NCSD by calling (530) 265-1555, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

For non-emergency questions regarding the sewer systems maintained by the NCSD, please contact the Nevada County Department of Public Works by reporting the non-emergency sewer issue to the Ask Nevada County app, calling (530) 265-1411, or visiting Nevada County Public Works’ website.


Success Series: Small Business Workshop on Marketing Strategies

On Thursday, May 3rd, join the Business and Career Network Sierra Business Council, and the Nevada County Economic Resource Council for a free workshop on Marketing Strategies: The Big Picture with Catharine Bramkamp from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. This workshop will be held at the Business and Career Network located at 988 McCourtney Road in Grass Valley.

Marketing Strategies: The Big Picture is the third of four in The Success Series: Better Business Growth designed for small and medium business owners and entrepreneurs who want to grow. The event is free but registration is required.   

Catharine Bramkamp works with the Grass Valley/Nevada County Cultural District -  Nevada County Arts Council, and  is a successful writing coach and Chief Storytelling Officer for technology companies. She has authored 15 books, holds two degrees:  English and creative writing, and is an adjunct university professor teaching critical thinking, social media and business. Catharine will discuss why marketing is a moving target and how small business owners can find the right targets and make the right moves. She will cover platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Linked In and newsletters.

 



 

Delinquent Taxes? An Installment Plan Can Help

Life happens, and at times one is left with unpaid property tax bills. Should this happen to you, it is important to understand your options and the process that the Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector follows.  Having this knowledge will ease the stress of having delinquent taxes and will help you to avoid additional costly penalties, interest and potential tax sale.

Property taxes are due every year in two installments.  The first installment is due no later than December 10th and the second, no later than April 10th.  If one or both of these payments are missed, there is a 10% penalty that is applied to each installment missed.  If it is the second installment that goes unpaid there is also an additional $10 cost that is added.  Taxes are considered defaulted for a certain year if unpaid after June 30th of each year.  Should taxes remain unpaid after June 30th then the balances owed start accruing interest at 1.5% per month.  This interest can be very costly should it be allowed to accrue over multiple years.  In order to help taxpayers minimize this interest burden, the State Revenue & Taxation Code allows our office to enter into an "Installment Plan Agreement" with you to start making payments on these delinquent taxes not only to minimize the interest being charged but to avoid tax sale of the property.  A tax sale refers to property (usually real property) being sold by a taxing authority to recover delinquent taxes. A property becomes potential tax sale property when taxes remain delinquent for 5 years.  Having an installment plan in good standing helps to avoid tax sale. 

It is always best to try to pay your delinquent tax amount in full to stop interest from accruing, but should you be unable to do so, you may request an installment plan of redemption.  This plan allows you to make payments on your delinquent taxes over a five-year period beginning the date you open the installment account.  To start an installment plan you must:

  • Execute an Agreement with this office and make an initial payment of at least 20% of the delinquent amount and any additional costs that may have been applied
  • Pay a $50.00 installment plan set-up fee
  • Pay your current year taxes

While on an installment plan kept in good standing (making annual required payments) the property may not become subject to the Tax Collector's power to sale and potential tax auction.  Find out more information about starting an installment plan for your property tax bill on the Treasurer and Tax Collector’s website.

Nevada County’s Treasurer and Tax-Collector’s Office can be reached Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at (530) 265-1285 or by email at ttc@co.nevada.ca.us


Nevada County Community Library logo

Upcoming Library Events: Storywalks and Game Nights for Screen Free Week

April 30th through May 6th, Nevada County Public Health is partnering with other County departments and community organizations to provide fun activities for families to participate during Screen Free Week. Find out about screen free events coming up at the Nevada County Library below, or visit Nevada County Library’s online event calendar to find all upcoming Library events.

Author Visit and Storywalk: Also An Octopus by Maggie Tokuda-Hall
Also An Octopus, by picture book author Maggie Tokuda-Hall, is the pick for a Storywalk® in downtown Nevada City starting during Children's Book Week and Screen Free Week. Starting April 30th and ending May 11th, pages of the book will be posted in participating businesses' windows in downtown Nevada City. Start the StoryWalk® at Harmony Books at 130 Main Street in Nevada City (in Robinson Plaza), and each page will have directions to find the next page.

On Monday, April 30th from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Madelyn Helling Library, Maggie will be speaking (and drawing) about her process for creating the book in an interactive presentation for all ages. She has a BA in Studio Art from Scripps College, and an MFA in Writing from University of San Francisco, and currently has two more books on the way. Books will be available for purchase outside the event and no registration is necessary. 

Thursday Screen Free Game Night
On Thursday, May 3rd from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., come play games at the Madelyn Helling Library! There will be games for all ages to celebrate Screen Free Week and Children's Book Week. No registration necessary and all ages are welcome.


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