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Tuolumne County Approves Chicken Ranch Fire Station Fee Waivers

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Jamestown, CA — Citing that it is a decision that has been 20 months in the making, the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors voted to waive $16,000 in fees to the Chicken Ranch Rancheria for the construction of a new Tribal Fire Station in Jamestown.

The facility will be located on Nelson Road, off Chicken Ranch Road, in Jamestown. It will include a $4-million building, a $1-million engine, and other brand-new apparatus and equipment that are needed.

Tribal Chair Lloyd Mathiesen indicated the waiver request was an olive branch for the numerous, essentially free, resources the Tribe will be providing the county via an automatic aid agreement when responding to neighboring fires.

Mathiesen has been critical of the amount of time it has taken for the county to review the proposal, and how the Tribe has been treated, and disrespected, throughout the process.

Supervisor Ryan Campbell questioned whether the automatic aid agreement with the county was contingent on approving the waiver.

Mathiesen, after voicing strong displeasure about the process, responded, “Whether you guys approve it or not, I really don’t care. We are going to give mutual aid, period. This is our community and I know what this means. There are too many good people who work here, and are blue collar, and can’t afford a (county) tax hike, or anything else.”

Supervisor Jaron Brandon, who represents Jamestown, along with board members Anaiah Kirk, David Goldemberg, Kathleen Haff, and Campbell, all voiced some criticism of how the process played out from a county perspective, and were all hopeful of more open conversations, moving forward.

Mathiesen had stated that the Tribe’s relationship with the county has historically been negative, dating back generations, and it also “hasn’t been good,” over the past decade.

The final vote to approve the fee waivers was 5-0.