County board to hear about flooding

Deede Will, left, helped out a neighbor secure a fence as they prepared to move some cattle out of the water last week. Photo by Nick Lovejoy

County supervisors Tuesday morning will receive an updated report on flooding related to Pacheco Creek.

Other items on the agenda include grant approvals, appointments to several county commissions, a presentation on future broadband internet expansion from AT&T, and updates on the Winter Warming Shelter and county roads.

Supervisors had been expected to consider a possible shortfall for the jail expansion project, but that consideration was delayed.

Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. at the County Administration Building, 481 Fourth St. in Hollister.

Flood update
Supervisors will hear an updated report from the San Benito County Office of Emergency Services concerning the Pacheco Creek flooding.

Recent rainfall has wrecked havoc on the region, including flooding in the Lovers Lane area caused by a breach in the Pacheco Creek levee. The county office of emergency services declared a local emergency, which was then ratified by supervisors Jan. 17.

The report will give an update on damages from the Jan. 6 and Jan. 18 storms, the staff report states.

AT&T broadband
Telecom provider AT&T will present to supervisors on proposed broadband infrastructure plans for San Benito County. The build-out stems from Federal Communications Commission reforms.

The staff report notes that the FCC adopted changes to expand broadband availability to 23 million Americans (as of Dec. 31, 2013) who didn’t have access to infrastructure capable of providing 10-to-1 megabits per second fixed broadband.
There will be new site builds and modifications to existing sites in the county, the staff report notes.

AT&T is expected to share where sites could be located, as well as the number of residents served.

Grant approvals
Two consent agenda items deal with approving grant agreements.

If supervisors accept the 2017 Community Services Block Grant, the county community services and workforce development office would receive an initial allocation of $70,764 from the State Department of Community Services and Development.

The staff report notes that the state would amend the county’s contract with an augmentation of $195,875, providing a total amount of $266,639 for 2017 funding. Funding will be used to operate anti-poverty programs including the Winter Warming Shelter, supportive services for low-income residents and general operations for other department programs.

Additionally, supervisors could approve an Emergency Solutions Grant with the City of Salinas in the amount of $190,000 from Dec. 19 of last year through Dec. 19, 2017. The staff report states $100,000 would go to winter shelter operations and that the remaining $90,000 would provide rapid re-housing activities to those experiencing homelessness to be “quickly” re-housed and stabilized. That includes short-term rental assistance, mediation, credit counseling, security/utility deposits, utility payments, moving cost assistance and case management.

This week’s consent agenda has multiple items relating to appointments for county commissions and boards.

Former District 1 Supervisor Margie Barrios could be appointed to the County Behavioral Health Board. The board functions as a consolidated mental health and substance abuse board, according to the staff report. If appointed, Barrios would represent District 1 for a term from Jan. 24, 2017 through Jan. 24, 2020.

Jean Zlotkin and Mark Tognazzini are being recommended for Planning Commission District 1 and District 2, respectively. If appointed, their terms would last from Jan. 24 through Jan. 2, 2020.

Mindy Sotelo could become the District 3 representative for the Parks and Recreation Commission. If appointed, her term would last from Jan. 24, 2017 through Jan. 24, 2019.

Robert Hillebrecht could fill a vacancy on the Resource Conservation District Board of Directors that would last through Nov. 2020. The current vacancy is due to a resignation. According to the staff report, the district has worked on a volunteer basis with local landowners in the county for conservation improvements since 1961.

Ellen Laitinen is being recommended for an appointment to the Community Action Board. If appointed, she would serve a three-year term as representative for the private sector for District 1. The term is noted in the staff report as Nov. 8 through Nov. 8, 2019.

Additionally, Pierce Timothy could also be appointed to the Community Action Board as a representative for the board of supervisors for District 2. If approved, he would serve a three-year term effective through Nov. 10, 2019.

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