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Tuolumne County Supervisors Tackle Variety Of Issues

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Sonora, CA — Besides hearing an update on COVID-19 response, the Tuolumne County Supervisors heard the latest on the jail construction, Community Resiliency Centers and current budget.

During the opening presentation at today’s meeting about the coronavirus response, public health officer, Dr. Liza Ortiz, noted that Tuolumne County still has four confirmed cases. Two of those have fully recovered and the other two are living at care facilities, and receiving treatment, outside the county.

She stressed that more information would be known later this week about how quickly the county can move through the upcoming “Phase II” related to loosening business restrictions, but noted that Tuolumne County is in a good place related to indicators like minimum testing capacity, contact tracing, support for vulnerable populations, hospital surge capacity and congregate living readiness. She also noted that the county will receive a boost in testing supplies over the coming days and weeks.

Later in the meeting, the supervisors approved adjustments to the 2019/20 fiscal year budget. It was noted that over $500,000 will be saved because the county does not anticipate the state allowing many services to reopen prior to the end of the fiscal year, June 30, such as recreation programs, Standard Park and the libraries. However, some funding is still being set aside in case the library can be reopened in a modified fashion.

Discussion related to the upcoming 2020/21 budget was originally scheduled for today’s meeting as well, but the board postponed it to a special meeting on May 12.

The board also approved several items related to Community Resiliency Centers in Tuolumne and Groveland that are scheduled be up and constructed by 2022. The funding for the two projects is coming from a federal National Resiliency Competition grant. Supervisor Anaiah Kirk requested assurances from Deputy County Administrator Maureen Frank that the projects will not add to the debt, long term, and that they will be self-sustaining revenue wise. The final votes on the related items were all 5-0.

The board also approved some change orders related to the new jail under construction at the law and justice center site. The project is now anticipated to have substantial construction completed by May 30 and final construction done by June 30. The project has seen several delays, including a month ago when many workers had to stop construction because some crew members were tested for possible COVID-19 (the tests came back negative).