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Calaveras Supes Talk Asphalt Plant, RCD, New Sheriff

San Andreas, CA – More appeals relating to the proposed asphalt plant at Hogan Quarry are at the top of what looks to be a lengthy meeting for the Calaveras supervisors this coming Tuesday.

As previously reported here, the project, which received initial county planning commission approval, has remained entangled for months in legal filings by concerned neighbors who oppose the operation on the grounds that such a plant would involve the use of hazardous materials onsite, therefore creating a significant effect on the surrounding environment. The latest appeals filed by Joyce Techel, Janice Bassett, Brock Estes, Benedicto Estoesta, Richard and Terri Henderson and Lora Most disagree with the commission’s position to the contrary. Adding another snarl to the issue was a determination by the county health officer that a conditional use permit must be filed by plant operators Ford Construction and CB Asphalt on the grounds that there “may” be significant environmental impacts.

Since a record of evidence and testimony has already been made at the commission level, the board will need to independently weigh the existing evidence. If it finds in favor of the health officer’s determination it must make findings granting the appeals, which would also serve to reverse the commission’s decision. If the supervisors agree with the planning commission that there is not substantial evidence supporting the health officer’s determination, it must make findings denying the appeals, which will uphold the planning commission’s decision.

Another regular agenda item involves the probable adoption of a resolution allowing the county’s Resource Conservation District (RCD) proposal on the June 7 ballot. In counties across the state, jurisdictions use RCDs to collaboratively optimize land, water, wildlife and other resource conservation efforts. In late September, the supervisors resolved to have the Calaveras Local Agency Formation Commission pursue proceedings that included posting notices and holding a public hearing, at which no protests were filed. On Jan. 25, the commission passed a resolution approving an RCD for the “unincorporated” areas of the county except for East Bay Municipal Utility District lands.

The supervisors also plan to hash out how they will handle the formal public interviewing process of the final candidates seeking the board appointment to County Sheriff, a position Capt. Jim Macedo has held on a fill-in basis since the untimely death last fall of the elected Sheriff Gary Kuntz. The board still needs to formulate questions for the three to five top finalists and determine just how it will conduct its public interviews, including whether to allow the members of the public to pose their own questions. At its Jan. 12, meeting the supervisors determined that recruitment would be run by county human resources and administration staff, with assistance in paper screening the applications by Capt. Macedo, after which applications will be ranked by an interview committee of three sheriffs and or command staff who do not have any conflicts of interest and come from similar size counties.

Following an 8 a.m. closed session involving legal counsel and personnel matters, the meeting will open to the public at 9 a.m. in the supervisors chambers at the county government center (891 Mountain Ranch Road).