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Quorum Court updated on jail

By John Miller, 11/13/13 10:05 AM

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For the first time in a while the county general and road and bridge budgets look good.

Nevada County Judge Mark Glass told the Nevada County Quorum Court Tuesday the county general budget has $180,000, while there’s $172,000 in the road and bridge budget at this time. This is primarily due to taxes being paid last month.

Glass told the court the state jail committee recently inspected the Nevada County Jail again and placed it on six months probation. He said it will stay like that until the new jail is built. Last week Glenn Vasser came by Glass’s office telling him papers to close on the property would be signed soon and soil testing at the site has been done.

Glass will be meeting with Ray Beardsley, with First Security, to talk about the next step on securing bonds, and, Glass told the panel, the county could start writing checks to begin paying contractors by the end of January.

Justice of the Peace Bob Cummings said he’s seen work being done on clearing out the old All Care building.

The next step where construction is concerned, Glass said, will be removing asbestos from the two buildings. He added there isn’t much, but it does have to be removed before the buildings can be razed.

He also told the court the owner of one of the other two houses has shown interest in selling the structure to the county. Glass said he’s also trying to get in touch with the other property owner and try to have the county buy both so the it would own the entire block the new jail would sit on. He said the houses are in bad shape and he thinks they can be bought at a reasonable price.

Judy Duke, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Chamber of Commerce, updated the panel on recent Chamber activities and plans for the holidays.

The fall fest, she said, was a success as there were 14 events and 50 vendors making it the biggest one yet, in spite of heavy rains at times. She pointed out Family Dollar is building a store in town and projections are for it to be open by Christmas. Gary Futrell put in an ice machine by the Farmer’s Market that’s operational. Last month, she added, there were five coffees and one ribbon cutting.

Saturday, she said, the Chamber will partner with Firestone for trash pickup day, with Firestone providing lunch for the teams involved. This year, Duke told the court, the Swamprider Motorcycle Club will be helping with the toy drive, and will bring toys to the Chamber on Nov. 16.

Five merchants have agreed to participate in the Christmas Open House, she said, which is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 24. The annual Christmas Parade and Christmas on the Square will be Dec. 5, with the Lions Club’s annual auction Dec. 12-13 at the Nevada County Courthouse. Christmas events will wrap up with Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 14 at the Potlatch Building.

On Dec. 4, she said, Sen. Mark Prior will have his traveling office at the Nevada County Library.

Nevada County Clerk Julie Oliver reminded the court it has to approve millages for county general, road and bridge and cities in the county. These aren’t new taxes, but continuation of existing ones that help get turnback money. The millage was approved.

Dale Booker told the court this is the fifth year for the 911 equipment and it’s time to upgrade it. However, with the new jail coming, Southwestern Bell/AT&T has agreed to postpone installing new equipment until it’s built – with the proviso the current equipment doesn’t break down. Should this happen, he said, the new equipment will be installed.

The county, he said, will have to pay for the new equipment before the first of the year even though it won’t be installed for up to two years. He pointed out this is a five-year contract and if it’s two years before it’s installed the county will only get three years use out of it before it’s time for another upgrade. However, by doing this, he added, the county could save $40,000 to $50,000.

The final act of business was the appointing of a budget committee. Those on the panel will be Willie Wilson, Robert Poole and Cummings. Their first meeting will be Nov. 19, at 10 a.m. in the county judge’s office. “We may have to meet a couple of times,” Glass said.