Sorrells honored by QC

By Staff, 02/15/17 9:56 AM


PRESCOTT – Former Nevada County Deputy Hebb Sorrells was recognized by the Nevada County Court at its February meeting Tuesday evening.

The Justices of the Peace each recognize an outstanding member from their district each month. Brenda Stockton, JP District 9, selected Sorrells. She said he served overseas with the United Nation’s Police and was a deputy with the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office for 19.5 years.

Sorrells, thanked everyone, saying it was an honor to serve the county and its citizens. “When you’re working with good people and have good support,” he said, “the time really flies. I’d still be there if I were able.”

Sorrells recognized his wife, Brenda, saying she helped him keep his head on straight. He began his career with the NCSO under former sheriff Abb Morman, who, he said, told him to give people the benefit of the doubt, to put himself in their shoes, and to always be on guard.

The court’s business began with Nevada County Judge Mark Glass telling the JPs when the courthouse had a new heat and air system installed, the company didn’t submit a bill until both parties were sure everything was in working order. He told the court the bill has come in, and he plans to take out a 10-year loan from the Bank of Delight for $180,000 to pay for it. Glass said the loan agreement will require the county to make one annual payment with 3.75 percent interest.

Glass also told the court the county will be looking to take out a loan with the Bank of Prescott in May or June to purchase a new trash truck.

JP George Smith reminded the court he was approved to do an analysis of the county before he was elected. He presented his findings Tuesday, suggesting the county could be more transparent with either its own website, Facebook page or with a newsletter. The Facebook page, he said, would be set up so comments wouldn’t automatically be posted and this would allow the administrator to contact the commenter to make sure of what was being said, along with keeping profane and obscene comments off the page. He also volunteered to be the page’s administrator, saying the page could be used to remind the public of meetings, holidays and trash pickup schedules. The court agreed this should be looked into.

Smith then said something has to be done about logging in the county as some logging companies tear up county roads and don’t help with the repair costs. He suggested taking before and after pictures of county roads where logging crews are working, and requiring the companies to post a $1,000 bond to help with the repair costs. If the costs were less than the bond, the company would get the remainder of the money back, but it would be billed if the cost is more than the bond.

Glass said loggers are supposed to come to his office and get permits and most do. Those who don’t, and are caught, are required to get one or are told they have to quit logging. He said the county is enforcing the rules on loggers more strictly because of the damage to county roads. Loggers, he added, are checked daily.

Smith said other counties shut logging operations down if it’s raining hard, and in those places there are loggers who simply shift their operations to Nevada County and continue cutting.

Glass said the county will see how things go with stricter enforcement of the rules. He said he’s made a deal with logging companies who have permits so if they mess up the road and haul in gravel, the county will spread it with a grader.

JP Bob Cummings reminded the court it had asked Eighth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Christi McQueen to look into this and come up with an appropriate ordinance.

Former JP Arvil Mason said loggers haven’t shut down on NC 120 when it rains and the road is in bad shape. He said the company was asked to fix a culvert it damaged, but the company hasn’t done anything about it. “The road will never be the same. They may know what to do, but they aren’t doing it.”

Jon Eggleston said he’s been in the timber business 40 years and admitted there are good and bad loggers. The problem, he told the court, is those who don’t bother getting permits because they don’t care. Some, he continued, would forfeit bonds and consider they had a free ride to do as they please.

Part of the problem, Eggleston said, is banks no longer loan on used equipment and loggers are struggling to make enough for their loan payments.

The court agreed to table further discussion on the topic until hearing from McQueen.

Cummings said there have been complaints about littering in the county. He said more than 50 bags were picked up in the Fairhill community Saturday in a one-mile stretch. The situation, he added, is also bad on Nubbin Hill and Wildcat roads.

It was suggested to use 309 inmates to clean up trash alongside the roads. Deputy Robert Missey said this can’t be done because these are state inmates. He told the court there are people in jail who could work off their fines by doing community service, but the NCSO doesn’t have the manpower to oversee them and a deputy would be required to watch them while they were out.

Chief Deputy Larry Miller said auxiliary deputies could be used to watch these inmates, but it would have to be on a volunteer basis. A suggestion was made to pay the auxiliary deputies, but Miller said this would mean they would have to be raised to a part-time 2 status and be paid for everything they do.

When it was pointed out other counties are able to do this, Miller replied those counties also have more personnel available than the NCSO has.

Miller said district court judges could give people the choice of jail or community service and in such a case, any county employee could oversee their work.

In the end, a committee consisting of Cummings, Smith and Ryan Harvey was created to look into the situation.



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