July 17, 2024

Plumas County News

By Meg Upton
[email protected]

     Dixie Fire Collaborative county liaison, Kest Porter made a presentation at yesterday’s board of supervisors meeting to update the board on Dixie Fire recovery in Greenville, Indian Falls and Canyon Dam and Warner Valley.
     “Four houses are being framed up in Greenville. That is pretty exciting for us,” said Porter.
     He also let the board know about the upcoming Phase 1A Weekend of workshops and community meetings Sept. 15 through 17. Here are some highlights from his presentation.
     “The Air Fiber project to bring free WiFi to the Indian Valley Medical Clinic and the Pop-Up Business District was completed on Friday, Aug. 19.  Some adjustments will strengthen the current signal.  There’s also a free hot spot for the public at The Spot.  The free WiFi will last until fiber optics cable is brought into Greenville, then it will serve as emergency backup internet,” said Porter.
     This does not include the schools’ Internet capabilities. As of last Thursday, teachers, students, and staff were still having difficulties either getting online or maintaining a signal on the two campuses.
Innovation Hub
      “The Indian Valley Innovation Hub is working with four innovators on business ideas. Three more will be presenting their ideas at the end of next week,” said Porter. The Innovation Hub was part of the Plumas Sierra County Fair’s John Steffanic’s plan to showcase and support small business ideas and products from Indian Valley to be exported out of the valley.
Pop-Up Business District
     Aside from the food trailer restaurants (who are also finalizing their hours of operation for the fall—more on that when it happens), The Spot, as it is known, where Pine Street intersects Highway 89,  will soon be home to temporary buildings housing the Indian Valley Thrift Store (hoping to open mid-month), a fitness center, Hunter’s Pet Corner for food and supplies, and a hardware store.

     After Porter’s reporting on the positive moves forward in rebuilding Greenville, he also made requests on behalf of the DFC and former residents trying to rebuild.
     “Here are five things you could do that displaced residents would appreciate,” he began. Most of these centered around helping displaced residents navigate county ordinances and California state requirements for building.
     “Establish a variance for sprinklers soon, though it doesn’t look like that can happen in town. If people wait too long for the sprinklers, they will lose out on solar exemption,” warned Porter.
     “Create a blanket setback exclusion for small lots. We have many lots that are far too narrow for a 30-foot setback, so many people will have to go through the process of getting a variance. Having the County remove athis hurdle would be appreciated,” said Porter, empowering the board to lend their support to Greenville with more than rhetoric.
     “There appears to be a problem with building if hazard trees are standing on the next lot. Requiring landowners to clear dead trees that threaten neighbors would help eliminate another hurdle for those who want to rebuild,” said Porter. There appears to be quite a few abandoned lots downtown that fit this description. Without a landowner responding to these issues, it would fall to the county to ensure public safety.
     “Two Innovators are running into problems with rendering disposal for their slaughter business. Clint Koble would appreciate a conversation with a supervisor who deals with Waste Management,” said Porter. Koble is the co-chair of the Dixie Fire Collaborative.
     Finally, Porter reminded the board that, “California Statute requires anyone wanting to buy or operate a well-drilling business to have four years of experience just to get the license. If there is anything the County can do about making that regulation more flexible or workable, please contact Clint Koble.” With this Porter acknowledged what many in Indian Valley know: there simply is far more work in rebuilding Greenville than there are certified and licensed workers to do the work.

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