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Extension building discussed

By Staff, 10/10/18 9:29 AM

PRESCOTT – What to do with the current Extension Office building was a major topic of discussion for the Nevada County Quorum Court at its October meeting Tuesday.

The building is in poor shape, with termite damage, sagging floors, the floors separating from the trim and moisture damage. JP Dennis Pruitt told the court the committee to look into the building and its problems has a few options. One is to partner with the Senior Citizens building. The problem there is the building is owned by the city and leased to another party. There would also be potential security problems for offices, especially the computers, which are linked to the state’s system. A partnership would also have to be agreed upon by all parties involved.

JP Herbert Coleman inspected the building and talked about the structural problems it has. The building was constructed in two separate phases and there’s a distinct difference in quality control between the two portions. He told the court repair costs, from what he could see, which didn’t include any unobserved problems, would run three-quarters the cost of a new building, as the interior would have to be completely gutted. He said the utilities are in good shape and wouldn’t require any work.

JP Bob Cummings pointed out the senior center is also not in good shape and has a lot of issues, adding it would take a lot of work to get it up to snuff for the Extension office.

County Agent Darren Neal thanked the court for taking the office’s needs into consideration. He pointed out they would need a functional kitchen, an open area for meetings and offices blocked off, as well as more visibility. The senior center, he said, has plenty of square footage and storage, but area would need to be secured, especially for the computers. “If we had an option, we’d prefer a private location.”

The court approved two ordinances. The first was to appropriate money for the razing of the former Nevada County Library in the amount of $8,000. The second was for the assessor’s mapping program. Last year the court approved $30,000 for the program, which wasn’t purchased. The program has since been obtained at a cost of $22,000. The panel approved a resolution formally allowing the county to join the Intermodal group. The approval was given several months ago, with an old resolution used. However, it was pointed out a new resolution had to be approved for it to be official.

The court had a 20 minute executive session. After returning to open session, Cummings said questions were raised and will be researched done with the county deciding to follow the personnel handbook. There was also a question on pay scale, with a committee to be formed to look into this.

Nevada County Judge Mark Glass asked for and was given permission to try to sell the lot the old library was on to the city. The lot was appraised for $6,750, but could be more if it were appraised as a commercial lot. Under state law, the minimum selling price would be $5,062.50.

In other business, Mary Godwin, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office, reminded the court the youth manufacturing conference will be held Tuesday at Hempstead Hall with around 1,600 students involved. About 30 volunteers will be needed to pull this off, she said.

Jamie Hillery, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Chamber of Commerce, reminded the court the annual Fall Festival and Trade Days will be this Saturday at the courthouse. She said there 93 vendors have signed up to participate, almost double last year’s 49.

Neal talked about what his office has done the past year. He told the court he’s made 154 farm visits, had 1,582 contacts with individuals, tested 1,048 acres and recertified 60 pesticide operators. He said there were almost 3,000 volunteer hours from groups like the Master Gardeners which translates into a $70,000 impact on the county.

Shelbie Booker, talked about the 4-H and home ec side, saying five summer camps were offered this year, and weekly visits are made to both the Prescott and Nevada school districts, where she’s seen 456 children. Programs have been done on STEM lessons, health, nutrition, leadership and citizenship, as well as the SNAP program, healthy eating and budgeting.

Neal followed saying the 4-H barn is nearly complete and more than $100,000 has been raised for its construction. Animals will be bought for students interested to raise, care for and show at the county fair at no cost to them.