Category: Newsletter

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | October 13

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | October 13

Placer Advances to Orange Tier of Reopening – Stay Cautious


Today the State announced that Placer County has moved from the “Substantial” category (Red tier) of its Blueprint for a Safer Economy into the “Moderate” category (Orange tier), indicating a reduction in our COVID-19 cases.  This means increased capacity and flexibility for our businesses, such as restaurants and retail stores, as well for community activities, such as recreation facilities and places of worship. While this does not mean we will see a full-scale reopening, we will see capacities closer to what we enjoyed in early summer.  We’ve achieved this through your efforts!   Keep it up!  As we head into colder temperatures, this increased capacity for indoor venues becomes even more important to the stability of our businesses.  Staying in the orange tier, and working toward moving into the yellow tier, is critical to our local economy.  Please continue to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing. 

If your small business could use some assistance, I’m happy to report that last week the Board of Supervisors agreed to allocate a second round of funding for businesses that may have missed the last month’s deadline.  If you own or know of a small business that has not already applied, visit the Placer Shares website to learn how to submit an application now.  Sharing these Federal funds to help sustain our small community businesses is important to all of us who live and work in Placer County.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.

– Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor


Potential PSPS October 14

pge

PG&E is closely monitoring a developing fire weather event and is projecting a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) for tomorrow, Wednesday October 14th, beginning at 10:00pm. 
As currently scoped, this event is expected to impact less than 400 customers in Placer County, primarily in the upcountry portions of the County in the I-80 corridor. For more information please visit the PG&E website.


County seeks input on internet service levels to help improve access for all

internet

Placer County is conducting a survey to identify the quality of internet service within its numerous cities and small towns, from the City of Roseville to the north shore of Lake Tahoe. 

The Internet Service Survey, which was released today, is designed to reveal internet availability and service speeds with the goal of identifying underserved and unserved communities. Learn more


Have your voice heard – be sure to VOTE!

vote

November 3rd is fast approaching and we encourage everyone to get out and vote!  The drop box located at the Placer County Elections Office, 2956 Richardson Drive in Auburn is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  There is also a drop box located at the Auburn City Clerk’s Office, 1225 Lincoln Way in Auburn, which is available Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm and a location in Colfax at the Colfax City Clerk’s Office, 33 S. Main Street, which is available Monday through Thursday, from 8:00am to 5:00pm.  Visit the Placer Elections website here for more.


Updated Meeting Location

The Fire Services Ad Hoc Committee Workshop on Tuesday, October 20th that was originally to be held at the Veterans Memorial Hall in Auburn will now be held at the Community Development Resource Agency in the Planning Commission Hearing Room located at 3091 County Center Drive, Auburn. The meeting will start at 9:00am with a closed session item, and the Workshop will begin at 10:00am.



Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | October 2

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | October 2

It’s up to all of us
We continue to monitor the county’s status on the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which places counties in different tiers that determine their ability to reopen based on their COVID-19 case numbers and positivity rate. Placer County was initially placed in the Purple Tier (Widespread) and then moved into the Red Tier (Substantial) as a result of improving case data. Based on our most recent numbers we anticipated moving into the Orange Tier (Moderate) this week, which would allow for the easing of some additional restrictions, but because our case numbers exceeded the allowable threshold for the Orange Tier we did not move. The good news is our testing positivity rate did meet the requirements for the Orange Tier, however because the state requires both metrics to fall within the range established for each tier we remain in the more restrictive tier. The other piece of good news here is that overall our numbers seem to be trending in the right direction – downward. 

One thing to keep in mind is that the state requires the lower numbers to be met for two weeks before a  county is moved into a less-restrictive tier. The state updates the status information for counties every Tuesday and I will continue to keep you updated on any changes to our status. You can also monitor the information on your own by visiting the Blueprint for a Safer Economy website.

The county is also taking steps to better understand the spread of COVID-19 in Placer County through a seroprevalence study that will be conducted by Stanford University this fall. The study will test a random representative cross-section of Placer County residents for COVID-19 antibodies to assess current COVID-19 prevalence in the County, the results of which will help inform the Board’s policy decisions moving forward.

Mailers will be sent to a random but representative sample of Placer County residents inviting them to take part in the study. Participants will be provided a finger-stick blood test to complete at home and return to Stanford for analysis.  The results of all positive tests and 10% of negative tests will be rerun to produce results with 99% accuracy and the researchers will develop an online dashboard detailing their findings on the demographic and geographic prevalence of the virus in Placer County. A report on the study’s results will also be presented at a future Board of Supervisors meeting by the Stanford researchers. I will keep you informed of the date the report will be presented to the Board of Supervisors. In the meantime, please take care of yourself, your loved ones and our County. Let’s not forget that Placer County has ranked in the top five healthiest counties in California for nearly a decade! We need to work together to keep Placer healthy. Please continue to wear your masks, wash your hands and observe physical distancing.

Considering the impact COVID-19 has had on our lives for the past seven months, it’s important that we continue to discuss what steps are being taken to combat the virus, and what we can do to help safely support our local economy. Sometimes however, it seems as though we do not hear about the other good work that is going on, so this week I also want to share information about positive developments here in Placer County. We could all use a little good news!

Libraries to reopen for in-person browsing in phases
I am happy to share that Placer County libraries will begin a phased opening plan for in-person browsing beginning October 6. Library Services Director, Mary George and her staff have developed a phased reopening plan that will allow them to welcome patrons back into the libraries as safely as possible by identifying successful reopening procedures and utilizing those procedures as they reopen additional facilities. Several libraries in District 5 will reopen in the initial phase: Auburn, Kings Beach and Tahoe City locations will be open Tuesday through Friday with varying hours. The Granite Bay Library will also reopen on October 6 and the Rocklin Library will expand its walk-up hours.

The Colfax Library is slated to reopen on November 3, also Tuesday through Friday, and the Foresthill and Rocklin Libraries will likely open December 3. Although it would be wonderful if all of our libraries could open right now, the additional time is needed for staff to ensure sites are configured to allow for physical distancing and to hire the staff needed for safe operations. Unfortunately, the smaller libraries where social distancing is challenging, such as Applegate and Penryn, will remain closed for the foreseeable future to ensure the safety of library patrons and staff. To learn more about visiting your favorite library, please go to the Placer County Library Services Division’s webpage

Chipper Shredder Program to resume
Many of you have shared your concerns about the absence of the Placer County Resource Conservation District’s Chipper Shredder Program since it was suspended back in April due to COVID-19 related staffing issues. I am happy to report that as of October 1 the program is up and running again. The Chipper Shredder Program has been a vital component of our community for years and considering the amount of destruction caused by wildfires already this year, the return of the program is especially good news. The cost-share fee is $80 per hour, however disabled people and low-income households may be granted a fee waiver. Please visit the Resource Conservation District’s website to learn more about the program and how to sign up.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.

Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


Free flu shot clinics in October

Placer County will hold four flu shot clinics this year at locations throughout the county; three drive-through and one walk-in by appointment.

Residents are encouraged to get a flu shot through their regular health care provider, but these free clinics provide another accessible option should anyone experience barriers. Learn more


Placer looks to extend public review period for proposed trails expansion project

UPDATE: At its September 24 meeting the Planning Commission took action to postpone the hearing on the Hidden Falls Regional Park Trails Expansion Project to October 22. See sidebar for information on upcoming Hidden Falls Town Hall meeting. 

The Placer County Parks Division will request a continuance of a public hearing at this evening’s Planning Commission meeting on the county’s proposed Hidden Falls Regional Park Trails Expansion Project. Learn more

 

Still time to register to vote!

There is still time to register to vote! Please visit the Placer County Elections Office website or call (530) 886-5650 to learn more.



Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | September 23

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | September 23

Have your voice heard – be sure to vote!
Most of us have heard by now that November’s election will be 100% vote by mail, and although it is correct that all active voters will be sent a vote by mail ballot, Placer County voters will also have the opportunity to vote in person if they prefer. If you are unsure about your registration status or you know you need to register to vote, please visit https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/.  Vote by mail ballots will be mailed the week of October 5 and should arrive to you by October 15.  If you are registered to vote you will receive this ballot automatically – you do not need to fill out an application or request a ballot.

There are several options for getting your ballot to the Elections Division by the close of voting on November 3.  You can return your ballot by mail, drop it in a designated ballot drop box or you can vote in person at multiple locations throughout the county.

Beginning October 5 through Election Day voters can visit either the Placer County Elections Office in Auburn or the Placer County Elections Warehouse in Rocklin to vote in person, Monday through Friday from 8AM to 5PM and the last two Saturdays and Sundays before Election Day: October 24 and 25 and October 31 and November 1.

In addition to these two locations there will also be 28 voter service centers opened throughout Placer County for four days leading up to Election Day, from Saturday, October 31 through Election Day on November 3. Voter service centers in District 5 will be located in Auburn, Colfax, Foresthill, Alta, Tahoe City and Kings Beach. Please visit https://www.placerelections.com/vote-service-center-locator/ to find exact locations and hours. The information will also be included in your county voter information guide or with the ballot mailed to you. If you prefer to vote in person consider doing so prior to November 3 in order to avoid potentially long lines and wait times on Election Day.

Voters who are concerned about potential postal service delays are encouraged to drop their completed vote by mail ballot in one of the 27 drop boxes around the county beginning October 6. Ballots deposited in a drop box get to the elections office faster than using the mail, and because those ballots do not enter the mail stream, the county saves money on postage. The drop boxes are a secure and convenient voting option. Drop box locations can be found here: https://www.placerelections.com/drop-box-locations/.  Voters can also submit their completed vote by mail ballot at any of the 28 voter service centers beginning October 31.

I know there has been quite a bit of discussion regarding voting by mail, so I want to assure Placer County voters that voting by mail is safe, secure, and transparent. Before any vote by mail envelope can be opened and the ballots counted, state law requires the election’s office to perform a match of the signature on the outside of the vote by mail envelope against the signature that is on the voter’s registration card.  This is required for every envelope during every election. Any questionable signatures are compared by at least three staffers before they are verified by the Registrar of Voters. If the signatures do not match state law requires the election’s office to contact the voter by mail to find out why the signatures do not match. If the voter provides a telephone number or email address, the election’s office staff will call and email the voter as well. There are many safety nets in place to protect against vote fraud.  It is virtually impossible for someone to come across a random ballot and commit vote fraud. If you would like to see firsthand how the election’s office verifies voter signatures, stop by the Auburn office after October 5 to see how it is done. 

There has also been some discussion about the possibility of people voting twice by using their vote by mail ballot and voting in person, however there is a number assigned to the ballot for each registered voter, and once that voter’s ballot is counted the number is voided, so additional votes would not be counted.

Finally, voters can sign up with BallotTrax to receive confirmation when their ballot is counted at: https://california.ballottrax.net/voter/. Signing up takes about two minutes, and those who sign up are notified when their vote by mail ballot is sent out in the mail and again when their ballot is received by the election’s office.  When your ballot has been received BallotTrax will also let you know whether it was received as “good” and the envelope passed signature validation, or received as “challenged” and your ballot will not be counted without clarification. If you receive notification from BallotTrax that your ballot was received as challenged or you don’t receive any notification about your ballot please contact the Elections Office (530-886-5650) before polls close on Election Day to ensure your vote is counted.

Like so many other aspects of our lives, COVID-19 has changed how we go about voting. Placer County is taking steps necessary to ensure that in person voting is safe by adhering to state requirements regarding sanitization, physical distancing and face coverings, while also being respectful of the fact that certain voters may not be able to wear certain types of PPE.

If you have further questions, please contact the Election’s Office at election@placer.ca.gov or call us at 530-886-5650. 

District 5 Voter Service Centers

  • Alta Community Center, 33950 Alta Bonnynook Road, Alta
  • Placer County Elections Office, 2956 Richardson Drive, Auburn
  • Gold Country Fairgrounds, 1273 High Street, Auburn
  • Foresthill High School, 23319 Foresthill Road, Foresthill
  • Sierra Vista Community Center, 55 School Street, Colfax
  • North Tahoe Event Center, 8318 N. Lake Boulevard, Kings Beach
  • The Old Fire House, 300 N. Lake Boulevard, Tahoe City

 

Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


Oldham appointed as Placer County’s interim health officer

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to appoint  Dr. Rob Oldham as Placer County’s interim health officer, effective Sept. 26. Oldham, who recently returned to the county as the new director of Health and Human Services and chief psychiatrist, previously served as health officer at Placer County for nearly six years.  Learn more


Bring ideas to improve air quality in Kings Beach

In collaboration with the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, a virtual public workshop is scheduled for Thursday, September 24, from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm, and will feature a short presentation on the Community Air Protection (CAP) Incentives program, air quality, and efforts to reduce localized air pollution in the Tahoe Basin.  Workshop participants are encouraged to share air quality-related community health concerns and provide feedback to help the District prioritize CAP funding among the eligible project categories
Learn more


Rental assistance available for low-income households impacted by pandemic

The Placer County Housing Authority and the Community Development Resource Agency HOME program are offering rental assistance to eligible low-income residents who are facing hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Learn more


Placer County hiring election aides ahead of Nov. 3 general election

In preparation of the Nov. 3 general election, the Placer County Elections Office is recruiting election aide temporary positions for county voting centers in North Lake Tahoe. Learn more



Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | September 11

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | September 11

Crisis Versus Emergency – Action to Declare End to Public Health Emergency

At our September 8 meeting the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a resolution declaring the current end of Placer County’s local health emergency, and re-stating the ability for the County to quickly declare an emergency if conditions change and “emergency” status is again warranted. The County’s decision to remove the Emergency Health Order is based on the knowledge and preparedness we have gained over the last six months. We also considered Placer County’s current case rate, the availability of personal protective gear for health care and businesses, testing availability, and medical equipment and capacity at our hospitals.  The Resolution also emphasized that the State’s orders remain in place for businesses and individuals, and that the Board of Supervisor’s actions do not change those limitations on businesses and activities.  It also again reemphasized that personal responsibility is critical to dealing with this dangerous virus.   

The intent of the board’s action is to convey concerns that the state’s framework for measuring COVID-19 mischaracterizes the current state of the disease, specifically in Placer County, and harms the community’s economic, health, mental and social well-being. The State’s own statistics demonstrated that other counties had higher rates than Placer but were allowed to advance to the next stage of reopening ahead of us.  This inconsistency and the changing metrics being used, continues to create concerns for those trying to plan for their livelihoods and families.

Supervisor Gustafson speaks during the September 8 Board of Supervisors meeting.

Since the beginning of the pandemic I have shared my concerns that we all need to consider the additional effects of COVID-19.  It is critical that we find a balance between addressing COVID-19 and all the other significant public health impacts created when people can’t provide for themselves and their loved ones.  Mental health issues, homelessness, and crisis calls are all critically important overall and must be considered.  

If we assess the situation in Placer County based on facts, it is clear we do not currently have a health emergency. I do not agree with a lot of the politicization of this issue – during the meeting I successfully pushed for changes in the resolution to decrease unnecessary rhetoric and to add language giving the board the ability to reinstate an emergency order if our case rate escalates (see video above) – but I stand behind my decision to vote for this resolution. I will continue to work to protect the most vulnerable members of our communities, taking into consideration all the public health issues that this virus has inflicted on our residents.

Let me assure you, just because we aren’t in an emergency situation today doesn’t mean that Placer County residents can go back to the way things were pre-COVID-19.  This virus continues to create a crisis for us all – it is extremely dangerous, and we must be vigilant. As a Placer County Supervisor I remain dedicated to making sure we continue to follow guidelines, monitor cases, increase testing, protect our vulnerable residents, and be prepared to take further actions as required.

Additionally, as you may have heard, Dr. Aimee Sisson resigned from her position as Public Health Officer earlier this week. I want to share my deep appreciation for Dr. Sisson’s hard work during this pandemic. Much of the progress Placer County made through the state’s various requirements for safely re-opening is a result of the efforts of Dr. Sisson and her team. I wish her the very best in her future endeavors.  

Finally, we are also very happy to welcome back Dr. Robert Oldham, who will be taking the helm as our Director of Health and Human Services (see news release below for more information). Dr. Oldham served as Placer County’s Public Health Officer from 2014 to 2019 and we are grateful that he will temporarily serve as our Public Health Officer as we search for Dr. Sisson’s replacement. His previous experience in this position will help to ensure a smooth transition, which is so important during this time.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.

– Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


Oldham to return to Placer as new Health and Human Services director, chief psychiatrist & Interim Public Health Officer

While we are saddened by the resignation of our current Public Health Officer, Dr. Sisson,  Placer County will soon have a familiar face as its new director of Health and Human Services and chief psychiatrist: Dr. Rob Oldham.  Dr. Oldham previously served as Placer County’s Public Health Officer for 4 years and will also be serving as our interim Public Health Officer.  We are very excited to welcome Dr. Oldham back to Placer County.  Learn more


Placer County moves into the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy ‘red tier’

On Sept. 8, the State of California moved Placer County into the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy ‘red’ tier’ – further easing restrictions in the county.


Placer County ramps up fire awareness messaging through new Red Flag Awareness Program

The program will have participants display red flags on red flag warning days, in conjunction with an information campaign on what red flag warnings mean for fire agencies and residents.  Learn more



Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | September 4

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | September 4

New State COVID Metrics and Reopening Plan

On August 28, Governor Newsom released a new plan for reopening.  Based on two key indicators, test positivity and case rate per 100,000, counties are now assessed by color, ranging from the most restrictive purple tier to a less restrictive yellow tier. Placer County’s test positivity rate and cases per 100,000 have remained consistent for the past couple of weeks. We were discouraged to learn that Placer County is currently classified under the purple tier. However, if our numbers remain steady, we will be able to move into the red tier on Tuesday, September 8th, which will allow many of our small businesses to begin to operate indoors or at increased capacity. I have heard from many members of our community whose businesses are struggling due to the COVID restrictions. Please know that I and the whole Board of Supervisors hear you and are doing all we can to be your advocates to the State.

 

Groundbreaking for Auburn Interfaith Food Closet’s New Facility

On Thursday morning, I was honored to attend the Auburn Interfaith Food Closet’s (AFIC) groundbreaking ceremony for their new facility to be located on Auburn Ravine Road in Auburn. This new facility is a direct result of years of extraordinary volunteer work, fundraising, and significant donations from many in our community. AFIC began as a Food Closet run by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and through the years have expanded to include 17 churches whose mission is to provide food to those in need, preserving their dignity and encouraging self-reliance. Currently, the AFIC serves 500-700 families a month in their facility on Earhart Avenue in Auburn. The move to the new facility next year will put them right next to Interstate 80 and increase accessibility for services and donations. This month is Hunger Action Month – please see the following link for ways to donate. Learn more

 

Placer County Conservation Plan

At its meeting last Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors adopted the Placer County Conservation Program (PCCP), which will protect and conserve a large portion of open space and agricultural land in Western Placer County to enhance and restore natural resources. It is a comprehensive approach to protection and restoration that has been widely acknowledged by State and Federal experts as a model for other regions. This program is a culmination of over 19 years of vision, leadership, collaboration and planning. The PCCP will help to balance growth with ensuring the support and protection of sensitive species of plants and wildlife currently represented in Placer County. Supervisor Robert Weygandt, volunteer Joanne Neft, Loren Clark and Greg MacKensie were all recognized, along with many others for their outstanding efforts in moving the program forward.

 

Negotiations with the Deputy Sheriff’s Association (DSA)

Despite the social media reports and hundreds of emails we have received, I want to assure you that there is NO proposal by the Board of Supervisors to cut the Sheriff’s budget.  In fact, my commitment to you is that we will continue to fully fund the Sheriff’s department just as we did this year. Our Board and our community has strongly supported our law enforcement professionals by increasing the Sheriff’s budget on average 8.8% annually the past twenty years and 8.2% this fiscal year.  Part of that increase, as tied to the voter approved Measure F, provided deputies with a 5.15% increase in February, and sergeants received a 5.46% increase.

The Board’s goal is to ensure that we are protecting your tax dollars by anticipating and planning for the long-term financial implications of the growth in law enforcement costs. Our responsibility is to make sure that we as taxpayers can afford these future cost escalations. Because of voter approved Measure F, Deputy Sheriff annual salary increases (just under 4%) have outpaced both the Placer Public Employee Union’s annual increases and Consumer Price Index for the last 20 years. Please see the graph below.

* PPEO – Placer Public Employees Union

Currently the TOTAL compensation for our employees is 14-18% above their peers in surrounding counties.  This is due to some of the incentives and special pays that have been allocated to boost total compensation in years past.  As we look at ways to control the cost escalations I want you to know how committed we all are to finding a good resolution. As I stated at the Board meeting, our community should be proud — we have the best, we want the best, and we will continue to pay the best.

 

Upcoming Board of Supervisors Meeting on September 8th

At the September 8, 2020 Board of Supervisors meeting, we will hear presentations from Health & Human Services on an amended agreement for laboratory testing for COVID-19, from the Agriculture Commissioner on the 2019 Crop Report & 2018 Crop Report Plus. We will also hear a presentation from the CEO’s office on a resolution proclaiming termination of the Placer County Declaration of Local Health Emergency. Click here to access the full agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.


 

Placer Shares Grant Applications Due Monday, September 7th

Monday, September 7th is the final day to submit your application for Placer Shares.  Placer Shares is a grant program for eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations in Placer County to offset impacts caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting state shutdown order.

Placer Shares, could provide awards of up to $10,000 to cover eligible COVID-19 expenses. The grant portal is open for two weeks (Aug. 25 – Sept. 7) and consideration is not on a first-come, first-served basis. Learn more

 


Hidden Falls Regional Park closed Sept. 5-8 due to extreme fire weather conditions

Hidden Falls Regional Park in North Auburn will be closed Sept. 5-8 due to extreme fire weather conditions. Learn more


 

Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | August 28

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | August 28

September 1st Board of Supervisors meeting open for in-person public comment

For the first time since March the board chambers will be open to in person attendance at the Board of Supervisors September 1st meeting. To remain in compliance with the state’s public health guidance, the county will limit attendance to 25% of the room’s capacity and will require 6 feet of physical distancing inside and outside the board chambers. Per State Public Health Guidance the county will provide face coverings. The meeting’s audio will be broadcast outside, near the entrance of the building so people attending in person are able to hear the meeting while waiting for their turn to speak.

Due to the limited capacity in chambers, and the ongoing need for physical distancing, the public is still encouraged to participate virtually. A news release with information on how to participate virtually was posted online yesterday, and the information can also be found on the meeting agenda

 A different health risk to consider
As I shared in last week’s newsletter, the county continues to work toward finding a way to safely balance public health with an economy that sustains our residents through this pandemic. In addition to recent communication our Board of Supervisors has had with state officials, Supervisor Bonnie Gore and I joined local leaders from several jurisdictions in Placer County in sending a letter to Acting State Public Health Officer, Erica Pan requesting that our businesses be permitted to resume indoor operations as soon as possible given the poor air quality in our area.

As we have all experienced, the fires burning in communities around us have resulted in a significant amount of smoke in the air, which has left air quality at an unhealthy level. It is not recommended that anyone remain outdoors for an extended period when the Air Quality Index (AQI) is above 150, and our population centers have seen an average AQI of 171, with projections for air quality to remain at this level for at least another week. This comes as so many businesses are prohibited from offering services indoors, forcing people to spend additional time outdoors in this unhealthy air.

Placer County has done an excellent job of slowing the spread of COVID-19, as evidenced by our removal from the state watch list, yet our businesses continue to struggle to stay open, which is made increasingly difficult considering the poor air quality. Throughout the county I have seen residents who are dedicated to supporting our businesses in a safe manner – they are wearing masks, physically distancing and washing their hands regularly. We are asking the State to allow businesses to open for indoor services in order to protect residents from the additional risks associated with poor air quality

The state released it’s updated Blueprint for a Safer Economy today, however it is still unclear exactly what effect the updated guidelines will have on Placer County. The Board of Supervisors and county staff continue to advocate for the safe reopening of our businesses. I will continue to keep you updated on any  new developments. In the meantime, please continue to support your local businesses safely by wearing your mask, physically distancing yourself from people outside your household and washing your hands frequently.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.

Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


Placer Shares small business and nonprofit grant funding program opened August 25th

Beginning August 25th, eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations in Placer County can apply for grant funding to offset impacts caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting state shutdown order.

The grant program, Placer Shares, could provide awards of up to $10,000 to cover eligible COVID-19 expenses. The grant portal is open for two weeks (Aug. 25 – Sept. 7) and consideration is not on a first-come, first-served basis. Learn more

 


 

Resource Conservation District’s Chipper Program to continue this fire season

Great news! The Resource Conservation District is working to get the Chipper Program back online after cutting services due to a shortage of crew members. Although this is not a Placer County program, many residents have been asking about the future of the program. Click here to read the full story published in the Auburn Journal on August 25th. 


 

2020 Census Events in Tahoe & Truckee

Need to complete your 2020 Census?  Stop by one of the scheduled U.S. Census Bureau events in Tahoe or Truckee and fill out your census form on-the-spot.  Sierra Community House will be on hand to provide assistance. To find out about upcoming events please visit the Placer Counts calendar of events

 

 


 

Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | August 21

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | August 21

Staying informed and making our voice heard

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic we have all been trying to sift through the information available to us from different sources, which is a difficult task given that the information is not always consistent. One of the main goals of the Board of Supervisors has been to make sure you are getting the most accurate and up to date information on the virus, any local and state orders affecting you and resources that are available.  This week the Board of Supervisors held a special meeting and invited noted experts with varied opinions and backgrounds to provide their research, views and insights about the COVID-19 pandemic.   As we all know, there is not one easy answer to the current situation.  Gathering as much information from as many reputable sources as possible can help us all make the best decisions for ourselves, our families, and our communities.  You can access the presentations here: https://vimeo.com/449801762

County staff and the Board of Supervisors have been in contact with the Governor’s office and the California Public Health Officer to advocate for our county services, businesses, and residents. Our communications have focused on a range of topics from access to federal CARES Act funding to requests that the state consider allowing counties with lower case numbers and plans for safe re-opening to do so.

In early August the Board of Supervisors sent a letter to the Governor requesting additional clarification on the method for determining which businesses are permitted to remain open and which are not. We have received many questions on the state’s strategy as some businesses are forced to close while others are permitted to open, even though the risk of spreading the virus is virtually indistinguishable between the two businesses. Further, the Board shared concerns that you cannot keep businesses closed without imparting lasting and devastating impacts on our society, including serious impacts to people’s physical and mental health as well as to the overall economy.

Our Health Officer and the Board of Supervisors have also reached out to the California Director of Public Health requesting a revision to the Public Health Order which currently does not allow businesses to reopen even after the County is off of the  State Monitoring List.  Placer County is advocating that affected businesses be allowed to resume indoor operations once a county has been off the Monitoring list for two weeks.  This creates an incentive for businesses to comply with restrictions, and would also be consistent with recent State guidance for reopening of schools for in-person instruction.

As you might remember Placer County was placed on the State’s Monitoring List in early July, however we learned earlier this week that Placer County successfully met established thresholds that allowed us to be removed from the List. This is great news because, first and foremost, it illustrates that our community is committed to slowing the spread of the virus and taking public health seriously. Being off the list allows Placer County schools to begin the 14-day countdown to resume in-person instruction if they choose. Although there are multiple issues facing schools when making this decision, being off the list and at least having the ability to reopen is a positive development. As mentioned above, the County has requested that businesses be allowed the same path forward.

I will continue to work with our staff and the Board of Supervisors to ensure the interests of our businesses and residents are represented at the state and federal level. I remain committed to working toward finding the balance between public health and limiting impacts to our economy wherever possible. I will also continue to implore all our residents to take the precautions recommended:  wear a face covering, wash your hands frequently, and physically distance from those outside your household.   We will get through this, in the meantime it’s important that we continue to work together.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.

Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


Placer Alert: Sign up to receive emergency notifications

With wildfire season upon us it is important that we take steps to be prepared. First and foremost, please take a moment to sign up for emergency notifications from the PlacerAlert system. You can also find more information on how to prepare for wildfire and other natural disasters by visiting our Office of Emergency Services website where you will find links to information on wildfirepower outagesextreme heatair quality and other issues as well. 

 


 

Placer County and Mercy Housing break ground on 79-unit affordable housing development

Placer County has broken ground with developer Mercy Housing on an affordable housing project at the Placer County Government Center in Auburn. The 79-unit apartment and townhome development, known as Mercy North Auburn, is a collaborative effort.

The county has contributed 3 acres of county-owned property to the project along with housing vouchers and funding from two state grants totaling more than $4.5 million. Placer County Housing Trust Funds are also being used to cover development and processing fees. With financial support from California’s No Place Like Home Program, the Placer County Adult System of Care will provide referrals and case management for residents of 20 of the new homes. Learn  more

 


 

Colfax Library to open for limited services

The next Library to accept returns and welcome library users back with “walk thru” Library Services is the Colfax Library. Beginning August 24, the Colfax Library will be open to accept returns Monday through Friday between 9AM and 4PM. The branch will also offer Walk Thru Service Thursdays and Fridays from 9AM to noon beginning August 27. Learn more

 


 

CARES Act funding available through Placer Shares programs

Placer Shares: Eats & Drinks   
This program offers rebates for the annual Environmental Health inspection fees for restaurants and bars that were subsequently closed by the State’s July 13 public health order. Learn more

Placer Shares Outreach
Beginning August 25 and running through September 7, applications will be accepted for Placer Shares grants, a small business/non-profit assistance program for COVID-19-eligible expenses.  Learn more

 


 

Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | August 14

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | August 14

Board of Supervisors Updates

Mercy Housing Groundbreaking
On August 12 the Board of Supervisors kicked off construction of Mercy North Auburn with a groundbreaking ceremony. The project is a 79-unit, affordable, multifamily and townhome project located in the Placer County Government Center in North Auburn. The project will be constructed on three acres of land leased to Mercy Housing by the county for $1 a year. Understanding the importance of attainable affordable housing in our communities, the county made it a priority to collaborate on this project and provide resources where possible.

Mercy North Auburn will offer a range of housing options for various income levels and will also include units for the “No Place Like Home” program. The project will also include community facilities such as a multipurpose building, open space areas and a play area for kids.  The project is due to be completed by the end of September 2021.

Special Meeting August 18
At a special meeting on August 18 the Board of Supervisors will be asked to approve a $1.2 million grant program to assist restaurants and bars in Placer County impacted by COVID-19. If approved, eligible restaurants and bars could receive a $1,000 grant.  Funding for the grant comes from the Federal CARES Act funds allocated to Placer County by the State of California. Placer County recently approved an $8 million grant program for small businesses and non-profit organizations in Placer County, and restaurants and bars could be eligible for funds from that grant program as well. Information on grant programs will be available on a soon-to-be-launched Placer Shares website. 

The Board of Supervisors will also receive an update on COVID-19 from Public Health Officer, Dr. Aimee Sisson at the special meeting.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.

– Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


Hidden Falls Regional Park closed Aug. 15 and 16 due to extreme fire weather conditions

Hidden Falls Regional Park in North Auburn will be closed Aug. 15-16 due to extreme fire weather conditions.

“Wildfire prevention is at the top of our priority list,” said Placer County Parks Administrator Andy Fisher. “We truly appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding about the decision to close the park for a couple of days due to extreme fire weather conditions.”

Visitors with reservations during closure days will be given credit for the purchase price of their reservation towards a future date. Learn more

 


 

Placer County temporarily increases trash service in North Lake Tahoe

Placer County has temporarily increased trash service in North Lake Tahoe due to increasing demand in the region.

“Frustrations in our area have run high due to overflowing trash bins and litter in outdoor areas,” said District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “We’ve been working with partner agencies, including land managers and Truckee Tahoe Sierra Disposal, to address these issues by increasing service throughout North Lake Tahoe.”  Learn more

 

 


 

Beat the heat and stay cool

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning through the rest of the week, with temperatures expected to soar above triple digits. Be sure to practice heat safety and know the signs of heat-related illness. Learn more

 


 

Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | August 7

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | August 7

Visitation Impacts
As a result of COVID-19 we are all facing new situations every day that affect different aspects of our lives. In addition to the primary health impacts of the virus and the impacts to our economy, COVID-19 has created other impacts – one of which is increased visitation at our local public recreation facilities from county residents and people from outside areas.  Whether because businesses have been shut due to state orders or because people are choosing recreation options that allow for greater physical distancing, much of the focus of recreation has shifted to outdoor activities as result of COVID-19. Although we welcome outdoor use of our beautiful area, the number one concern is the health and safety of our residents. We also need to make sure that there are no impacts to our natural resources.

As the summer months have progressed there has been growing public demand on canyon access points, parks, trails, rivers and lakes on public lands in District 5 from Auburn to Tahoe.  We are not alone.  Public lands throughout the nation are experiencing high volumes of visitors, and in many cases public land managers are reporting record-breaking numbers of guests. Frustrations in our area have run high due to well-over-capacity parking, over-flowing trash bins and litter, and overcrowding of outdoor areas that have historically seen very few visitors.  Sometimes these issues are nuisances, other times they can become life and safety issues. 

Aerial photo of Yankee Jims Bridge.

Recently the Yankee Jims area made headlines due to unsafe conditions as people poured in from out of the region, blocking access along Yankee Jims Road. The parking area at the Yankee Jims Bridge allows for 12 cars to park legally, and on one day there were more than 300 vehicles packed in along the narrow canyon road. This made it impossible for emergency vehicle access to the area – which is particularly concerning as we are in wildfire season – and caused a traffic jam that lasted for hours.

As a result of this hazardous situation, public safety officials from multiple agencies have been working together to find a solution. The California State Parks Department closed all parking in the area and began issuing citations to illegally parked cars, and the Placer County Department of Public Works placed “No Parking” signs along the roadway. The Auburn State Recreation Area also issued a news release alerting people of the parking lot closure and parking restrictions along Yankee Jims Road.  State Parks personnel issued 117 citations the first weekend of enforcement, and as a result of increased signage, including the placement of electronic signage well in advance of entry points to Yankee Jims Road, the number of citations dropped to 70 this past weekend.

The situation at Yankee Jim’s Bridge and other heavily-visited areas in District 5 remains an ongoing issue, but the coordination between state and local agencies has resulted in progress toward addressing the problems. I have received calls and emails from people who want the county to prohibit access by non-residents to these areas, but unfortunately it is not simple.  We do not have the ability to close the state or federal highways that lead to our areas, so we need to focus on addressing the issues that arise with increased use of these public facilities. Failing to take a broader approach to addressing these situations would literally push the problems down the road to the next open spot.

We will continue to partner with personnel from State Parks, California Highway Patrol, CAL FIRE, Placer County Sheriff’s Office, and staff from our Department of Public Works to develop solutions for issues in our area as they arise. We also continue to rely on public education to encourage visitors to plan ahead and make sure the area they want to visit is open, to make alternative plans, and to visit these areas on non-peak days.  

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.

– Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


SURVEY: Has your business been impacted by COVID-19?

If your business has been impacted by COVID-19 please take a moment to complete this survey. We can use your valuable input to help enhance the way we assist businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. Your answers will guide us in developing more resources to aid businesses in Placer County. Just a few minutes of your time can make a big difference. TAKE SURVEY

 


 

Gypsy moth warning issued in the Foresthill region

Placer County is issuing a gypsy moth warning in response to finding a moth in the Foresthill area last Thursday. Gypsy moths are an invasive species whose caterpillars feed on tree leaves, threatening forested areas especially. Though findings are extremely rare in Northern California, Placer successfully prevented a gypsy moth infestation several years ago in the Dutch Flat area. Learn more

 


 

Input sought on transportation plan in North Lake Tahoe

The community is being asked to provide input on the Resort Triangle Transportation Plan, which is a regional effort to make traveling around North Lake Tahoe easier. There are several opportunities for input, including an online community survey and a virtual community workshop that is available through August 10th. We hope you will take some time to learn more about this project and share your thoughts. Learn more

 


 

Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | July 31

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | July 31

New and Improved COVID-19 Dashboard

I hope you have had a chance to visit the County’s online COVID-19 dashboard, which provides up-to-date information on the virus in Placer County.  The dashboard was originally launched in April and last week Placer County launched an updated version that provides additional information in a format that is easier to read. You will find the updated dashboard on the county’s Novel Corona Virus COVID-19 page under the “Cases in Placer” tab.  

One important change to the dashboard is how the number of confirmed cases are reported by day. Previously the number of cases per day was based on the day a case was reported to Public Health, but the new site reports the number of cases by the date the test was conducted. This update will more closely reflect the actual spread of COVID-19 in the community and also brings Placer County into line with methods used by many other California counties.

Another change you will see on the new dashboard is that cases are now identified by region based solely on zip code. The dashboard originally split Placer County into three regions, South Placer, Mid Placer, and East Placer, and in some instances zip codes crossed into multiple regions. Identifying cases by region based on zip code allows for greater efficiency and simplicity of reporting regional case information.

Finally, the updated dashboard includes additional tabs where specific data can be found. For example, information on cases broken down by region can be found on the ‘Cases by Zip Code’ tab. You can also toggle between the ‘Zip Code’ and ‘Region’ options on the map to see cases by zip code versus cases for each Placer County region.  Another important tab to be aware of is the ‘Data Notes’ tab, which contains definitions and information for the data presented, and this tab also includes answers to many questions about the data.

State Monitoring List
I have received a lot of questions regarding whether or not Placer County is still on the State’s COVID-19 Monitoring List. The answer is yes. Although our metric for hospitalizations fell below the State threshold for two days last week, our rate of new COVID-19 cases still exceeds the State threshold. Additionally, the California Department of Public Health has stated that once a county is placed on the Monitoring List, indoor business operations will continue to be restricted until the order is amended or rescinded by the State health officer – not just until that county is removed from the Monitoring List. 

At our meeting on July 28 the Board of Supervisors asked the Public Health Officer to address this requirement with the State, as businesses in the county should be permitted to resume indoor operations, using physical distancing and requirements for face coverings, if our numbers drop below the threshold for the Monitoring List. The state’s order does allow for schools in counties that are on the Monitoring List to resume in-person instruction once county metrics fall below Monitoring List thresholds for 3 consecutive days and remain below thresholds for 14 additional consecutive days.

Looking Ahead
I will continue to encourage people to wear their face coverings and practice physical distancing. We do not know how long this will go on, but we need to find a way to balance public health and safety with a sustained economy. I am confident we can do this by working together and focusing on our common goals.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.

– Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


Placer County approves alcohol ban in two locations

The Placer County Board of Supervisors this week approved ordinances restricting alcohol in two separate locations in Placer County. At its July 27 meeting the Board extended the Truckee River alcohol ban until October 15, and on July 28 the Board approved and alcohol ban at the Placer County Government Center in North Auburn. Find more information about these Board actions in our online newsroom

 


 

Board of Supervisors renews CAL FIRE contract

The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution today authorizing a $13.6 million CAL FIRE contract, which includes first-time funding for a new fire marshal and provides fire service and medical response to nearly one-third of the county. CAL FIRE has been acting as the Placer County Fire Department for nearly 50 years under a cooperative fire protection reimbursement agreement. Learn more

 


 

Eligible small businesses and nonprofits may begin applying for grant funding Aug. 25

Beginning Aug. 25, eligible small businesses and non-profit organizations in Placer County can begin applying for Placer Shares grant funding to offset impacts caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting state shutdown order. Learn more

 


 

Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov