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Portola , California
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October 8, 2014     Portola Reporter
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October 8, 2014
 

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Portola Reporter Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 7A CHP, from page 1A "That will be my commitment to you." Farrow made the pledge during a one-hour conference with Hagwood at the sheriffs office Sept. 30. The commissioner, along with Assistant CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley and Northern Division Chief Ruben Leal, listened intently to the sheriffs joint facility proposal. After the meeting, they took a short field trip to view two pieces of property a 6-acre site the state is eyeing for a new CHP office, and an 18-acre site where Hagwood wants to build a joint campus that would include a freestanding jail. The two sites are less than a mile apart. The CHP site is at 1097 Lee Road. The sheriffs site is on North Mill Creek Road across from the animal shelter. Hagwood told Farrow the 18-acre site has advantages over the 6-acre parcel, which is adjacent to residential property. The sheriff said his proposed site is a better location. It's zoned "light industrial" and has some infrastructure in place. The CHP commissioner had a lot of questions for the sheriff. Farrow said his main concern was timing. He said the state is ready to buy the 6-acre parcel and plans to have a new CHP office in place by 2018. He said the state has spent $88,000 on site research and planning. He showed the sheriff architectural designs for a 24,900-square-foot CHP building that would cost about $24.9 million. "Once we own this land then I am going to build something," Farrow said. "And we are about three months away from securing that. So we would have to sit down and really have to talk. "What's the timeframe? When do you think you are going to move into this building?" Farrow asked Hagwood. "If (a joint facility) is something that's so far out in the future, then it's probably not going to work." Hagwood tried to assure Farrow that the county is on the same timeframe as the state. "We've had an appraisal done on the 18 acres," Hagwood said. "The county is in the process of negotiating the purchase of this property." Hagwood said the county has the money for a 5 percent match for state jail construction funding. "We are eligible, and are very enthusiastically pursuing ability to participate in application for state funds to build a jail," Hagwood said. "We are on a timetable as well to be eligible for the state funding and need to secure the property in the next several months." The next step Hagwood and Farrow agreed the next step would involve a frank discussion between the state's planners and representatives from the county. Hagwood said the county's team should include the building, planning and public works departments, along with county counsel and a supervisor. Farrow said, "It needs to be a sit-down meeting with all the practitioners who actually put these things together, where they can really further dig into what your ultimate goal is and what ours is ... see what matches and what doesn't. Then at the end of the day, have an honest dialogue to say 'yeah this can be done, or it can't.'" The joint facility Hagwood said he envisions a campus that would eventually be home to not just the CHP, sheriff and jail, but also the fire department and a regional dispatch center. "It would be like one-stop shopping for emergency services," Hagwood said. Farrow said putting the CHP and sheriff in one building would cut down on construction costs. The commissioner said "who would pay for what" would be a key topic at the next meeting. He said there are numerous options. The CHP currently shares an office with the Ventura County sheriff in Moorpark. In that arrangement, the state rents the space from the county. Farrow noted the CHP also shares offices with the DMV in nine locations. "The concept of being in one building.., you'll never hear us say that is not a good idea," Farrow said. "In fact, I think it's an excellent idea." The need The local CHP and sheriffs offices are both outdated and widely regarded as inadequate. The CHP's office used to be the Quincy DMV. The sheriff took over the former U.S. Forest Service office in 1990. The jail, built in the 1970s, is one of just a few linear-design jails left in the state. For more than two decades, county grand juries have labeled the facility unsafe for both inmates and corrections officers. The Sept. 30 meeting In addition to Hagwood and the three CHP leaders, the meeting included Quincy Fire Chief Robbie Cassou, Graeagle Fire Chief Ed Ward, Assistant Sheriff Dean Canalia, Administrative Sgt. Todd Johns, District 5 supervisor candidate Jim Judd, Bryan Hanson and Jack Bridge. Commissioner Farrow said he realized there was unfinished business in Plumas County after receiving a letter from Judd. In the letter, Judd urged Farrow to reconsider the state's decision to build a separate CHP facility instead of collaborating with the sheriff on a joint facility. The CHP announced March 28 that it was already "well underway" in its site-selection process and said it wouldn't be feasible to start the process over. "In my mind, we were buying property, we were ready to pound nails," Farrow said. "Then I get a letter, and I think, 'They still think there's a discussion going on and this isn't over.' "So that's why I thought it was important that we had to come back up here. Because, at the end of the day, whether we have a building or not, you've got to have a good taste in your mouth that you know 'at least they sat down with us. At least they tried. At least there was an honest conversation.'" No supervisors Due to apparent miscommunication, no Plumas County supervisors attended the meeting with Farrow. The meeting took place at the same time as the weekly Board of Supervisors meeting. Hagwood said he didn't intend to exclude the supervisors. He said he was working to accommodate Commissioner Farrow's schedule. Supervisor Lori Simpson said she was disappointed that she was not able to attend. She said Hagwood told her about the meeting weeks ago, but never told her the time. "I fred that very strange, because the sheriff is usually always very good about communicating with me," Simpson said. Simpson said she supports the joint venture and will be involved in the next meeting. The date and location of that meeting have not been announced. Sheriff Greg Hagwood shows California Highway Patrol Commissioner Joe Farrow, right, the 18-acre East Quincy site where the sheriff wants to build a campus that would house new offices for the CHP and sheriff, as well as a new jail, as supervisor candidate Jim Judd, center, and Assistant Sheriff Dean Canalia look on. California Highway Patrol Commissioner Joe Farrow, right, discusses a proposed joint facility with Sheriff Greg Hagwood and other emergency responders gathered in the sheriff's office Tuesday, Sept. 30. Photos by Dan McDonald Time to Winterize the Boat! Make sure youl ]ve the boat winterized BEFORE it freezes! Call & Make Your Appointment Today! Boat Repair, Auto Repair & Towing, Too! QUINCY Tow SERVICE & REPAIR 283-1162 QUINCY Paid Political Advertisement Elect Alice Berg Write-In Candidate 5 a District Supervisor Vote On November 4, 2014 As your Supervisor, I'll base my work for you on the following priorities: Fiscal Responsibility - Dedicated to fiscal responsibility by balancing efficiency and flexibility with budgetary discipline. Law Enforcement - The safety of our communities is my top priority. Veterans Services - I'll support increased services for those who have served our Country. Public Health, Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Intervention - Our County departments are under-funded and under-staffed. I'U support improving these services. Our County jails should not serve as de facto treatment centers. Accountable Governance - Those affected by decisions should have a voice in the process. I'll push to keep Policy and Operations separate, "it's hard to drive the car when you are working on the engine" - Plumas County needs a CAO. Protecting our County from the State - There are often situations (e.g. the CAL FIRE tax, Lake Davis poisoning, trout removal from Gold Lake) where we need a leader who has worked with agency heads in Sacramento and who is qualified to speak publicly about natural resource issues - I know government regulations inside and out and demand the State be accountable to us. Town Hall Meetings - I'll host regular, informal meetings in Graeagle and East Quincy to hear your concerns and will maintain a website to receive your comments and requests. Small Business Support - Small businesses are the backbone of our economy yet local entrepreneurs often can't access capital. I'll pursue economic development resources including grant funds for start-ups. I serve on the Chamber of Commerce board and run my own small business here in District 5. Tourism/Recreation, Timber and Public Lands Partnerships - Plumas County is over 70% public lands (that once provided timber and vital funds for our roads and schools). I will actively engage with our federal partners and Fire Safe Councils to restore active forest management and sensible recreational development. I'll work to restore a percentage of the TOT tax back to the Eastern Plumas Chamber of Commerce, which plays a vital role in our tourism industry. Water Resources - The State of CA and Central Valley farmers depend on water coming from our County yet don't earmark bond funds for infrastructure or watershed improvements here. I have over 20 years of experience with natural resource issues and will protect our water resources while pushing for reasonable compensation. Nonprofit Organizations - District 5 is home to numerous nonprofits working to fill tho gaps that government can't address. I've committed to the Johnsville Ski Hill and White Sulphur Springs projects (long before this election) through board service. I'll work with our federal land partners to increase recreational development. I view trails and recreation as a key part of our economic future. I'll support keeping the Mohawk Resource Center open and senior nutrition programs for our local seniors. Save the Date! October 10, 2014 Meet the Candidate Event in East Quincy RSVP on www.votealiceberg.com or call 836-1201 Paid for by the Committee to Elect Alice Berg gs and lab need the most! 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