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NCQC has busy night

By Staff, 02/14/18 10:21 AM

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PRESCOTT – A $50,000 bond forfeiture will be used to pay off a loan on one of the vehicles for the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.

This is part of what the Nevada County Quorum Court decided at its February meeting Tuesday evening. Nevada County Judge Mark Glass suggested paying off the loan at the Bank of Prescott, $22,368.72, early and saving some on interest. The loan doesn’t come due until August. This would pay off a 2016 Dodge the NCSO has. The rest of the money, he suggested, should be put in the Solid Waste Department’s budget as it’s the most in need of funds at this time.

JP George Smith said he didn’t see how the county would come out that much ahead by paying the loan off early, adding there were other areas the money could be used. The rest of the court disagreed and passed a motion to pay off the loan 7-1 with Smith abstaining.

He said there was no problem with Solid Waste getting money, but suggested some of the remaining funds, $5,000, go to the Prescott-Nevada County Chamber of Commerce, with the rest, more than $17,000, going to Solid Waste.

Glass told the court Solid Waste is struggling and ended January with $16,677 in its budget. He said a decision needed to be made concerning the rest of the forfeiture funds as the money would be in before the March meeting.

Nevada County Treasurer Susie Key said it would require a Quorum Court order to transfer the money from county general, where the money will initially go, to Solid Waste. She added, the county has been trying to give money back to organizations it’s taken funding from.

No decision was made at the time, though the issue was brought back up before the meeting ended. In the end, the court agreed to put the remaining forfeiture money in the Solid Waste budget and address helping the Chamber at its March meeting.

Eighth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Christi McQueen presented the NCSO with a check for $2,500 for the prosecuting attorney’s portion of the new K-9 officer, Diego. She promised the money after learning of the death of the former K-9 officer. She also introduced her new Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Kolbie Harper.

Mary Godwin, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office, presented the court with a resolution which would allow the Nevada County Fair Association to apply for a 50-50 grant to install window-type air conditioning units in the Stewart and EHC buildings at the fairgrounds. The association would pay $2,500, with the grant covering the rest. The court approved the resolution. Four units will be installed in the EHC building with two in the Stewart building.

Godwin also informed the court Dollar General will be constructing a store in Rosston. Glass said this is good news as it will increase tax revenue for the county.

Nevada County Assessor Pam Box asked the court to allow her part-time person to work full time for a while as the Geological Information System people need 849 deeds pulled before Feb. 23. This, too, was approved.

Executive Director of the Prescott-Nevada County Chamber of Commerce, Jamie Hillery, addressed the court, presenting the body with information on the services the Chamber provides the community. She said if the court wished, she could give monthly presentation of the Chamber’s activities.

At this time, she told the court, the Chamber is working to try and get the Women Infant Children. (WIC) program set up for the Farmer’s Market. This would allow the farmers to take vouchers and redeem them for cash at the bank, while providing residents with fresh vegetables.

Hillery said the Chamber also manages the rental property for the Fair Association and last year rented the Potlatch Building 23 times for more than $4,000, all of the money going to the association, not the Chamber. The Chamber, she told the court, helps with setting up events, as well as making sure the facility is cleaned up before and afterward. Hillery pointed out the Chamber doesn’t just work in Prescott, but the entire county, adding three of the six ribbon cuttings last year were businesses in the county. The Chamber also hosts several coffees per year and does what it can to make sure they’re successful by calling and emailing people to remind them of the coffee and get them to attend.

The Fall Festival, she continued, bring a lot of people to town and is one of the Chamber’s biggest events. By bringing people to town, it helps the community, she said, which is how a lot of the Chambers events are, including the Easter Egg Hunt and the Christmas activities. People from all over the county come to Prescott to participate in these events, not just people from town.

The court, she said, gives the Chamber $600 a year for services rendered. Of this, $250 goes to a scholarship for a senior high school student. “If you decide to help it would be appreciated. The money won’t come to me. I’m not asking for a pay raise. It will go back to the community.”

Hillery was grilled about the Chamber changing locations and separating from the EDO. She told the court the Chamber and EDO would continue working together on community events as needed, adding this was a decision made by the Chamber’s executive board. The move, she added, won’t hit the Chamber too hard as it was paying all the utilities and for the office supplies at its former location.

JP Bob Cummings asked to see a financial report, with the Chamber’s checking account and certificates of deposit. Hillery said there’s only one checking account, and the only activity with the CDs she’s done has been to add money to them, but agreed to provide the court with the information at future meetings.

Hillery wrapped up her talk reminding the court of the acquisition ceremony for the Prairie D’Ane property at 2 p.m. on Feb. 23 at First Baptist, and invited the panel to the Imagination Library’s coffee at the Nevada County Library Friday morning from 9:30-11.

JP Willie Wilson reminded the court it had been presented with a proposal from Imagination Library, requesting funding.

Key said according to an auditor, the court would need to have a specific contract drawn up stating exactly what the money would be used for. It was agreed the contract provided may not cut be exact enough, and an attorney would need to look over it, as would an auditor.

Godwin told the court she’s on the Imagination Library board and the idea is for the groups giving money to set them up as annual donations. The court would have to vote on this proposal annually during its budget meetings.

Smith brought up the proposed personnel policy committee, but no action was taken. It was tabled until the elected officials could join in and give their feedback.

Judy Duke, curator of the Nevada County Depot and Museum, updated the court on the Civil War battlefield projects, telling how the Elkins Ferry project began in 2015 with more than 400 acres being bought, and how 808 acres of the Prairie D’Ane battlefield became available at the acquisition ceremony for Elkins Ferry. With donations and grants, she said, the money was raised to buy the land, and the deed will be transferred on Feb. 23, at 2 p.m. at FBC. She invited the court to attend, adding artifacts found at the Elkins Ferry site from the archeological survey will be displayed at the time.

The court returned to the NCSO and its need for two new vehicles. Chief Deputy Larry Miller said the K-9 unit is out of service with transmission problems, and another vehicle recently developed transmission trouble as well, after having repairs made to its exhaust system. Both had more than 90,000 miles on them. The second vehicle, a 2014 Dodge is still under warranty, but future repairs will come out of the NCSO’s budget.

JP Herbert Coleman suggested the NCSO buy diesel vehicles. Miller agreed they’d last longer, but cost considerably more than gas vehicles.

After much roundabout discussion, the court agreed to purchase two new Dodge Durango SXTs through state purchasing for $25,324 each, and approved $5,000 to outfit the new vehicles. However, the two vehicles will be bought outright using money from the ¼ cent sales tax.

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