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County dealing with trash problem

By John Miller, 02/14/24 9:55 AM

PRESCOTT – Nevada County has a trash problem.

Actually, the problem is how to make sure the county is paid for picking up trash. The Nevada County Quorum Court, in its January meeting, voted to charge deer camps, county businesses and churches at a reduced rate. This was done after audit findings pointed out the county was violating the law by not charging these entities to begin with. In the court’s February meeting, Tuesday evening, Prosecuting Attorney Ben Hale reminded the court the 2020 ordinance was flagged.

The thing is, it’s illegal for the county to do anything on private property without being paid. Picking up trash at no cost, as the ordinance originally stated, was in violation of state law. After much discussion, the decision was made to form a committee, have it meet and go over the 2020 ordinance, make recommendations and have Hale’s office draw up a new ordinance, or at least amend the current one.

During the discussion, JP Herbert Coleman suggested doing away with the trash fees altogether and passing a sales tax to take care of the cost of collecting garbage. Hale pointed out it would be difficult to pass a sales tax, adding Nevada County isn’t alone in dealing with the trash problem as other counties are facing the same or similar situations.

In other business, the court was informed the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office budget is in the red at this time, but revenue is expected to come in soon. County Treasurer Ricky Reyenga said there were things that had to be paid, including a payroll for the employees. He told the court money was supposed to be coming in at the end of January but hasn’t arrived yet. JP Dennis Pruitt said if necessary, a special meeting could be called and money transferred to the NCSO budget.

Nevada County Agent Stacey Stone said the extension office held a “Real Deal” at Nevada High School, teaching students money management and showing them how far money doesn’t go. He added there are two quiz bowl teams competing and the Nevada County 4-H and FFA CDE will be held on March 1. Stone informed the court 795 students have registered and as many as 900 could come to the event. “It will be the biggest one ever,” he said. Three contests will be held at Prescott High School, one at the industrial park and the rest at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

As the meeting drew to a close, the court was asked how the American Recovery Plan Act funds were spent. Pruitt said the county set on the money for a long time before buying equipment. Premiums were paid to county employees and it was also used to purchase the new seating in the courtroom.

Hale told the court the hot check report was a formality, and service his office provides. He said the court aren’t seeing a lot of hot checks anymore because so many businesses have stopped accepting checks. However, he said there has been more credit and debit card fraud.

The county amending the amount it would be paying the Department of Highway and Transportation in state aid. The road projects will cost $486,000 and the county’s portion is 10 percent.