Bikes, trucks and age-old row surface at board meeting
By Debra Moore
The Plumas County Board of Supervisors considered applications for a Dodge truck, six electric bicycles, four Dodge Durango SUVs, a bookmobile, four to six snowplow trucks and a service truck . The funds had been reserved, but the sheriff, librarian and director of public works were back before the council for approval.
All were eventually given the green light, although there was talk of e-bikes, with a local company wanting to make sure they would be considered during the process and also asking a few questions. Robert Gott, owner of Gott Power Sports in Quincy, asked about the type of bikes, their cost, maintenance and safety precautions.
Sheriff Todd Johns said the bikes were requested by Search and Rescue, and he cited the Pacific Coast Trail as an area where they could be used. However, the PCT is closed to motor vehicles, so the sheriff is working with the Forest Service for an exemption.
Johns said Search and Rescue was considering two models, one of which Gott wears in his store. Johns said the department would follow the bidding process and that the funds used came from Title III funds, not the general fund. (Title III funds will also be used to purchase the Dodge truck requested by the sheriff.)
Gott said it was important that funding be included for maintenance and he shared that weather conditions can have a detrimental impact on these types of bikes.
Supervisor Greg Hagwood said he strongly encourages staff to “exhaust every opportunity to do business here in town with a respected business owner”. He added that it was important to have the option of having maintenance done locally.
As for the four Dodge Durango SUVs, these areas are also reserved for the sheriff’s office. Sheriff Johns said he initially chose Fords, but the company does not make them for law enforcement this late in the year; same for Chevy. Johns said it might be too late for the Durangos, but there was still a chance they could be bought.
Plumas County Librarian Lindsay Fuchs asked the council to sign an agreement with Farber Specialty Vehicles for a bookmobile. The library received the Stronger Together: Improving Library Access grant from the California State Library to help pay for a bookmobile to provide direct library services in and around Greenville after the Dixie fire.
The grant is $200,000 and the county is required to provide an additional $40,000. Of that $40,000, approximately $12,000 has already been pledged to the library through donations received from the GoFundMe page created for the Greenville library after the Dixie fire, other donations from individuals and organizations, and at the fundraiser for the Quincy Friends of the Library book sale. Potential financial assistance will be sought through the Long Term Recovery Group, private fundraisers, other potential grants, individual and organizational donations, our library friends groups and others. potential funds related to Dixie Fire. However, other than $12,000, no additional funding has been secured or pledged to date.
The remaining trucks have been approved for purchase by the Public Works Department. Director John Mannle said these were the last trucks in the department’s fleet that needed to be replaced to meet state emission standards. The department has also received approval to hire additional snow removal personnel.
Agreement between the sheriff and the town of Portola
The supervisors were about to place the annual service contract between the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Portola for law enforcement services within the city limits of Portola on the agenda. of consent, but it was withdrawn for discussion. This year’s contract is for $130,000.
“It’s our standard contract,” Sheriff Todd Johns told supervisors, adding that he was able to get it from $100,000 to $130,000. But as usually happens during contract renewal, a discussion ensued over whether the city was paying its fair share based on the number of calls awarded to the city, only to be countered by the argument that as As citizens of Plumas County, the sheriff’s office should answer to the city regardless of a contract.
Supervisor Greg Hagwood said he did the math when he was sheriff. He said that although the city represents about 10% of the county’s population, “it was using services disproportionately” and cited reportable crimes such as assault, burglary, child abuse and more than in other parts of the county.
“When you look at the total budget for the sheriff’s office, you’d think the city would contribute $1 million, but that’s not realistic,” he said. He added: “The city has always had a very strong feeling that the service should be provided whether payment is made or not.”
Sheriff Johns said his office has cut some services. For example, his office no longer enforces the code in the city.
Supervisor Jeff Engel reminded the board that he and supervisor Sherrie Thrall voted against the one-year contract. Thrall asked if it was possible to determine the amount spent on law enforcement in Portola.
Johns said it was nearly impossible to do so as officers go in and out of town as they respond to calls. Hagwood said there may be an “approximate” number based on dispatch logs, as Portola calls are logged with a different number.
The supervisors approved the contract.