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Tuolumne County Highlights Fourth Quarter Accomplishments

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Sonora, CA — County leaders gave a presentation on some of the highlights of the fourth quarter of last year.

Public Safety and Roads were identified as the board of supervisor’s top priorities, and the six focus areas were fire preparedness, land use, road improvements, vulnerable populations, county infrastructure and employee development.

Many department heads came up and delivered reports at today’s supervisor’s meeting. For example, related to infrastructure projects, Deputy Administrator Maureen Frank said that the two planned community resilience centers are going through the planning process, with one planned in Groveland and the other in Tuolumne. Meanwhile, the 60,000 square ft. new jail has faced some delays. She says it is a “complicated and tough” project. While there was initially a hope that it would be completed this winter, it is now on pace to be done “sometime in the spring.”

Frank is also working on a law and justice center programming document that focuses on services not at the law and justice campus. Part of the process is identifying the potential best use of three parcels sitting vacant at the law and justice center site.

Ag Commissioner Kelly Schroeder, who oversees the air pollution control district, noted the county is working on its prescribed fire burn program. A few thousand acres have been approved, and another request just came in for 800 more acres. The county has also replaced nine wood stoves as part of a program for lower-income residents.

Community Development Director Quincy Yaley says they released a request for proposals for a Title 17 zoning code update, which includes addressing issues related to affordable housing and new related state laws. Her department also released a request for proposals to conduct a Climate Action Plan which is one of the mandates of the new General Plan Update. The county expects to make decisions and initiate those two projects in March. CDD is also continuing to implement and work on its first time home buyer program, and housing rehab program.

On the topic of facilities, Assistant County Administrator Eric Erhardt says they replaced a hot water heater at the county jail, completed updates to the concessions at Standard Park, and made repairs to the farm advisor building where a water line failed. They are also looking at procedures to make the facilities department more efficient.

Andy Murphy, Assistant Fire Chief, noted that in addition to emergency response calls, there were several open houses and fire prevention events.

On a health-related note, there is a new Medi-Call Navigation project that received $514,000 in grant money. It is intended to help enroll and retain services for 7,000 vulnerable residents.

The Department of Social Services received 221 referrals in the fourth quarter for abuse and neglect of children and investigated 71 incidences per month. 18 of those were severe and required an immediate response.

Kim Macfarlane, Public Works Director, said crews patched 30 roads with hot asphalt, conducted clearing, repairs, striping and sign placement. They also finished j-59 shoulder repairs.

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