With 90 agenda items to get through, Tuesday’s El Dorado County Board of Supervisors meeting went well into the evening hours with one of the most important decisions put off until next week.
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Faced with a vacancy as a result of Judge Timothy Buckley’s letter of June 6 that effectively removed Supervisor Ray Nutting from his position on the board, County Counsel Ed Knapp said the Board of Supervisors has three choices: to hold a special election 90 days from June 6, hold a special election 120 days from June 6, or fill the position when the regular election is held in November. The estimated cost of holding a special election is $75,000. The board will decide next week what action to take.
The board also approved placing on the November ballot two initiatives that have collected enough valid signatures to qualify. They are the Control Growth to Fix Our Local Roads initiative sponsored by Region Builders and the Fix Highway 50 Traffic First/Keep Us Rural initiative sponsored by a local community group.
The issue of the initiatives came up a second time during the public comment portion of meeting when residents of Pollock Pines and Camino got up to object to the reappointment of Jeanne Harper to the Community and Economic Development Advisory Committee after it was alleged she had interfered with their being able to circulate three growth control initiatives at the Wagon Train event. Because of those objections, the board put off any decision regarding the appointments.
Moving on to the most popular item on the agenda, the board approved granting $800,000 to Marshall Medical Center to expand cancer treatment services in the county.
In April, the board received a presentation by Marshall on its $8 million building renovation and equipment upgrade project for its Cancer Center in Cameron Park. The project will consolidate and expand their cancer diagnostic treatment program. To date Marshall has raised $7.4 million from physician, employee and community giving campaigns along with other support and had asked the county to provide $800,000 from its 2014-15 budget.
The grant from the county will go towards building renovation, construction and/or purchase of new equipment for the treatment facility with the source of the money being Tobacco Settlement Funds and Transient Occupancy Tax revenue.
James Whipple, CEO of Marshall Medical Center, said cancer disproportionately affects the large population of seniors in the county. “Three-fourths of the hospitals in the state are losing money because of cuts under Obamacare,” he said. “And the cuts keeps ratcheting up.” He said the funding from the county would help fill the gap with the rest made up through fundraising.
Whipple promised the new cancer center will break ground soon and be open either this year or early next year. “We think we can get it done in six months,” he said.
The board also gave conceptual approval to the Elder and Dependent Adult Protection Ordinance. It would require individuals providing home care or caregiver services to an elder or dependent adult, for compensation, to obtain a criminal record clearance required by the State Department of Social Services in order to be listed on the State’s Home Care Aide Registry, prior to providing home care services in the county. The ordinance utilizes recently enacted state legislation which provides for the licensing and regulation of home care agencies, the registration of home care aides and the establishment of a Home Care Aide Registry. However, the ordinance exempts providers who provide home care services as part of their duties including those working for a hospice or licensed home health agency. The ordinance will come back for a first and second reading before going into effect in January.
A different ordinance was also presented for its first reading. It would ban glass containers on county property within a certain distance from the shoreline of the South Fork of the American River and the Fork of the American River.
The board also approved a 1.6 percent increase in solid waste collection and Material Recovery Facility rates for Waste Connections of California.
The board prepared their final draft response to questions raised by the 2013-14 Grand Jury. The reports included responding to issues raised regarding where is the Iowa Hill money from SMUD, South Lake Tahoe and Placerville jails, South Lake Tahoe and Placerville Juveniles Detention Facilities, and Board of Supervisors Permit Fee Waivers and Refunds.
The board also voted to approve the dissolution of the Latrobe Fire District and its annexation by the El Dorado Hills County Water District (known as El Dorado Hills Fire). The dissolution and annexation still needs to be finalized by the El Dorado Local Agency Formation Commission. The annexation will add approximately 27,849 acres into El Dorado Fire. The costs associated with services to the new territory will be covered by property tax of the former Latrobe Tax Rate Areas that is commensurate with El Dorado Hills Fire’s normal percentage.
The board received an update on the new animal shelter. Under budget, the supervisors authorized spending $15,000 left in the construction budget to build a spay and neuter surgery center and to spend any remaining funds on a barn and parking lot. These additions won’t affect the shelter’s budget of $5.7 million.
A hearing to conduct an assessment ballot of the property owners within the Green Valley Oaks Road Zone of Benefit was continued to the July 29 meeting. If not protested by a majority, it would establish an annual benefit assessment to replace the existing special tax. The assessment is for road maintenance.
A $150,000 service contract for mentoring services to Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County was approved.
The board also voted to extend the Tentative Map approval of 23 residential lots for a minimum of 10 more years for the firm of Alto LLC. The property consists of 81.6 acres in El Dorado Hills. In return, the developer agreed to make $30,000 worth of road improvements.
A proposed 2014 Capital Improvement Program and Transportation Work Plan was also presented.
During the public comment period of the meeting, one resident complained about marijuana trafficking in his neighborhood that’s associated with shootings, fires and criminal activities. He urged the county to eliminate the outdoor growing of marijuana and only limited indoor growing of the item. A resident of Garden Valley questioned why the sheriff needed to buy two sniper rifles at a cost of $25,000. Designed to make a kill at over a mile, she worried about the militarization of El Dorado County. Our current sheriff has pledged to obey the U.S. Constitution, but what about those after him, she asked. The board made a reckless and hasty decision to okay this purchase, she concluded.
Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.