Here’s what you need to know:
- At the Kings County Board of Supervisors meeting on September 13, 2022, the supervisors approved property tax rates within Kings County for the fiscal year 2022-2023. The county budget reflects its share of the $1 increment of property taxes.
- The supervisors accepted the California Department of Public Health’s Future of Public Health funding allocation for $1,175,830 to enhance the public health workforce and infrastructure.
- On behalf of Assemblymember Rudy Salas, Alicia Ramirez announced that the Kings County Fire Department would receive $5.5 million from the State. Kings County Department of Public Works will also receive $6 million to complete the Kettleman City Pedestrian Bridge over Highway 41. $6 million will be for the expansion of the Kings County Superior Court and the creation of a new judgeship.
- How will the property tax rate affect residents in the County?
- Will the additional funding for public health workers be sufficient?
- What projects are expected with State funding to different departments in the County?
According to its website, Kings County is a “general law” county, which means the state constitution and state general law determine the county’s governmental structure.
The board of supervisors is the governing body for Kings County and many county special districts. Each of the board’s five members is elected non-partisan to a four-year term.
The board sets policies and depends on the county administrator, county officials, and department heads to fulfill its wishes.
The board of supervisors has administrative, legislative, and quasi-judicial duties and responsibilities prescribed by the California State Constitution and Statutes.
On Tuesday, September. 13, 2022, the meeting was held at 9 a.m. in the board chambers, located at 1400 West Lacey Boulevard Administration Building No. 1, Hanford, California.
Kings County County Board of Supervisors Members present:
- Joe Neves, District 1 (Lemoore & Stratford)
- Richard Valle, District 2 (Avenal, Corcoran, Home Garden & Kettleman City)
- Doug Verboon, District 3 (North Hanford, Island District & North Lemoore)
- Craig Pedersen, District 4 (Armona & Hanford)
- Richard Fagundes, District 5 (Hanford & Burris Park)
- Fire Chief William Lynch
- Assistant Fire Chief Josh Cunningham
- Administrative Officer Edward Hill
- Administrative Analyst Matthew Boyett
- Administrative Officer Analyst Domingo Cruz
- Behavioral Health Director Lisa Lewis
- Behavioral Health Deputy Director UnChong Parry
- Community Development Director Chuck Kinney
- Finance Director James P. Erb
- Assistant Finance Director Rob Knudson
- Public Health Director Rose Mary Rahn
- Human Service Director Wendy Osikafo
- Deputy Clerk Diane Badasci
- Sean Cash
- Jay Wood
- Sarah Harp
- John Criscom
- Rebekah Bell
- Sheila Grant
- Christine Olvera
- Clarissa Ravelo
- Scott Holwell
- Tyler Pepe
- Garrett K. Jones
- Kelly Luna
- Matthew Boyett
- Nichole Fisher
- Marie Waite
- Alicia Ramirez
- Cynthia Baruch
- Anthony Yun
- Tiffany Diaz
- Melissa Scheffel
- Monica Connor
- Dusty Ference
- Charlie Flores
Assistant Fire Chief Josh Cunningham mentioned that the state offered an in-strike team in response to last week’s heatwave.
Now, the Fire Department has deployed nine personnel in Tahoe, along with two engines and two battalion chiefs.
On the Mosquito Fire, the Fire Department has contained 49,761 acres, 18 percent of containment.
On behalf of Assemblymember Rudy Salas, Alicia Ramirez announced that:
- Kings County Fire Department will receive $5.5 million from the state.
- Kings County Department of Public Works will receive $6 million to complete the Kettleman City Pedestrian Bridge over Highway 41.
- $6 million will be for the expansion of the Kings County Superior Court and the creation of a new judgeship.
The board (5-0) unanimously approved the minutes from the regular meeting for August 30, 2022.
In the consent calendar, the board (5-0) unanimously approved items as follows:
A. Behavioral Health Department:
- The board approved the agreement with WestCare California, Incorporated, for retroactively regulating substance disorder program services from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023.
Under this agreement, KCBH provides oversight of the program services to comply with Federal, State, and County contract guidelines.
Program oversight is also designed to meet countywide needs and state mandates for the prevention, intervention, and treatment of alcohol and other drug misuses, abuse, and addiction.
The contract also has specific outcome goals, including the type of participants funded under the agreement, the number of individuals to be served each year by each program, and the use of evidence-based practices to enhance outcomes.
The contract completion is late due to extra time to negotiate the scope of work and the budget to ensure all required elements are included and agreed upon between both parties.
- The board authorized the transfer of appropriations from contingencies for the purchase of the mobile library for $238,000
On September 28, 2021, the board approved and awarded the contract to Farber Specialty Vehicles for $238,000. The total purchase price is $238,000, $205,000 from grant funds, and $33,000 from the library fund.
The original estimated timeline for delivery of the vehicle was January 2022. The onset of a global pandemic led to ongoing supply chain issues, including a worldwide semiconductor shortage.
However, in December 2021, Farber obtained a vehicle and started fitting in January 2022.
Due to the uncertainty of the delivery time, the mobile library funds fell to the fund balance at the end of the fiscal year 2021-2022.
Final inspections happened in late August, with anticipated delivery in late September 2022.
C. Public Health Department:
- The board authorized the Public Health Director to accept the California Department of Public Health’s Future of Public Health funding allocation for $1,175,830 to enhance the public health workforce and infrastructure;
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is allocating funds that shall be used to enhance the public health workforce and infrastructure.
It will enhance the Kings County Department of Public Health’s (KCDPH) ability to respond during times of crisis.
CDPH requires at least 70 percent of the funds to support the hiring of permanent staff.
The funding allocation requires that the KCDPH meet the following five minimum requirements:
1. Achieve 24/7 health officer coverage.
2. Meet the Department’s Community Health Assessment (CHA)/Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) and local strategic plan goals.
3. Establish and meet local Health Jurisdiction’s equity goals.
4. Establish a plan to use these funds to become or sustain a capacity as a learning organization, including continuous quality improvement and Results-Based Accountability/evaluation.
5. Commit to Health Officer and Health Director participation in Regional Public Health Office monthly or quarterly meetings as determined by the Region and CDPH.
CDPH will receive the work and spending plan by September 15, 2022.
The KCDPH has established an internal workgroup to determine up to 20 objectives to help the department accomplish the five minimum requirements.
The KCDPH anticipates administering a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the CHA in early 2023.
- The board authorized the Public Health Director to sign the three-year agreement of the Women, Infants, and Children Program for $6,586,512.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a federally funded nutrition program that provides education and breastfeeding support.
- The board retroactively approved the Health Care Program for Children in Foster Care Program Plan and Budget, effective for the Fiscal Year 2022-2023.
The Health Care Program for Children in Foster Care (HCPCFC) program serves a caseload of about 500 foster children in Kings County. The nurses assigned to this program work collaboratively with the social workers of the Human Services Agency Child Welfare program.
The local HCPCFC Public Health Nurses (PHNs) ensure that the preventative health needs of foster children and youth are met and act as consultants to social workers and probation officers for the child’s medical needs.
Duties include the monitoring and oversight of psychotropic medication for foster care children and children in group homes, which requires the oversight of three HCPCFC PHNs.
Preventative physicals for foster children and youth are given by the 19 Child Health and Disability Prevention (CHDP) providers in Kings County.
The budgets for this program do not necessarily reflect the entire allocation, as the funding may be based on caseload, the breakdown of MediCal vs. non-Medi-Cal clients, and other funding directives the State sets.
- The board retroactively approved the Child Health and Disability Prevention Program Plan and Budget for the Fiscal Year 2022-2023.
The combined state and federal allocation amount for the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 budget for the Child Health and Disability Prevention program is $384,680.
D. Public Works Department:
- The board authorized the Public Works Department to advertise the Central Services Generator Replacement project.
Kings County Dispatch and Information Technology are served by two generators that have been in service since the construction of the Government Center in 1974.
The original design was to have one generator supply emergency power to both departments, which allows the generators to have redundant emergency power in case one of the generators fails.
Throughout time, the load demand has increased above the capacity of just one unit.
Therefore both generators are in service to supply emergency power leaving the system vulnerable to the lack of redundancy.
These generators have been in service for almost 50 years and need to be replaced with tier 4 units.
E. Sheriff’s Department:
- The board authorized the purchase of an overhauled engine for the Cessna T206H airplane.
The cost of an overhauled engine for approximately $117,000 with sales tax. The installation of the overhauled engine is estimated at $30,000.
- The board signed the Agreement with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for temporary housing of County of Kings’ inmates.
Penal Code 4007 allows the removal of any inmate from the jail and moving the prisoner to any California state prison for safekeeping if the inmate is likely to be a threat or cause damage to the facility. This agreement is entered into with CDCR to house inmate Eddie Enrique Rosas.
- The board authorized the purchase of an $80,000 mini-caliber robot from ICOR Technology, Inc.
The robot will assist with many situations, such as bomb identification and disposal, retrieving packages, crisis negotiations with barricaded suspects, and inspections of planes, trains, buses, or vehicles.
- The board approved the agreement with Evidence IQ, Inc for a $9,999 Ballistics Camera and Software.
The Ballistics IQ system can drastically increase efficiency when conducting firearms-related investigations. The system will share data with the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN), which will compare the information to other uploaded data.
- The board approved the Memorandum of Understanding with the Tachi-Yokut Tribe for Animal Services.
The Tachi-Yokut Tribe will pay a one-time contribution of $120,000 within 15 days of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to cover the cost required by the shelter to increase space capacity at the County Shelter to care for animals brought in from the Reservation.
The Tachi-Yokut tribe will also pay additional standard county costs for services on a case-by-case basis that will be billed monthly to the Tribal Council.
- The board approved amendment number three to the agreement with Vanir Construction Management, Inc. for continued construction management services during the construction phase of the Juvenile Center Remodel Project.
The project includes, but is not limited to, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, security and fire protection systems, and all other necessary appliances.
This construction will enable the facility to be better equipped to provide services to the entire juvenile population.
The original estimated completion date was October 20, 2022, but now it is projected to be January 17, 2023. It is also anticipated that the occupancy date is April 18, 2023.
- The board denied the claim for damages filed by Joseph McCasland.
On July 13, 2022, a claim for damages was filed by Joseph McCasland, claiming the county failed to ensure proper removal of a crosswalk creating a dangerous condition that caused the death of his descendant.
After review of the claim, county counsel’s office finds that the county is not liable for any damages, and McCasland finds no cognizable claim.
Under Government Code section 912.6, staff recommends that the board find the claim without merit and deny the claim.
- The board appointed one member from alternate to primary representative on the Kings County Fish & Game Advisory Committee.
The board appointed Abel Luevano today from alternate seat #3 to primary seat #2.
Regular agenda items are as follows:
A. Behavioral Health Department (presented by Behavioral Health Director Lisa Lewis and Deputy Director UnChong Parry)
1. The board (5-0) approved the agreement with the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) for the Mental Health Plan contract, retroactively effective from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2027
Supervisor Peterson asked how the Behavioral Health Department would respond to new mandates such as the CARE Courts.
Given the funds, Director Lisa Lewis expects the department to undergo structural change and implement CARE Courts in October 2024.
B. Community Development Agency (presented by Community Development Director Chuck Kinney)
1. The board accepted the monthly report of the Planning Commission’s actions from their September 12, 2022 meeting.
The Planning Commission reviewed Conditional Use Permit No. 22-02 (Kings Csg 3, Llc).
An applicant proposes establishing Kings CSG 3 LLC Solar, a 3-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic solar power plant generating electricity for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E).
The plant will cover approximately a 20-acre portion of a 243-acre agricultural parcel located on the south side of Highway 198, immediately west of Avenal Cutoff Road, Lemoore, Assessor’s Parcel Number 024-190-055.
Establishing dry farm seasonal grazing will retain agricultural uses within the project area.
C. Department of Finance (presented by Finance Director James P. Erb and Assistant Finance Director Rob Knudson)
1. The board (5-0) established property tax rates within Kings County for Fiscal Year 2022-2023.
The county budget reflects its share of the $1 increment of property taxes. The Assessor’s Office and Department of Finance will recover an estimated administrative fee of $994,025 from the current secured property taxes collected in the fiscal year 2021-2022.
Rates may increase or decrease yearly due to fund balance, principal, and assessed valuations changes.
D. Fire Department (presented by Fire Chief William Lynch)
1. The board (5-0) authorized the Fire Chief to initiate a vehicle search to replace Dozer 9’s transport vehicle within the price range of $150,000 to $250,000.
Given the status of the Fire Department’s Dozer Program, Dozer 9 is being requested to assist with wildland fire incidents throughout the State.
The current semi-tractor vehicle is underpowered for over-the-road hauling of the dozer, particularly in steep or hilly terrain, which poses a safety concern related to vehicle operation and reliability.
E. Administration (presented by Administrative Officer Edward Hill and Administrative Analyst Matthew Boyett)
1. The board (5-0) adopted a resolution continuing to declare a local emergency due to drought conditions in Kings County.
By declaring a local emergency due to drought, the County provided the ability to seek additional resources to expeditiously mitigate the effects of the drought and address the water supply and ecosystem challenges within Kings County.
F. Public Health Department (presented by Public Health Director Rose Mary Rahn)
Public Health Director Rose Mary Rahn said that Covid cases have steadily decreased to 533, while BA-5 remains the dominant variant.
She mentioned that the Bivalent boosters are available in the Public Health Department.
1. The board received an update on the local emergency in Kings County due to the imminent and proximate threat of exposure to COVID-19 on the residents of the County of Kings and took action as deemed necessary.
The closed session consists of;
- Personnel Matter: [Govt Code Section 54957] Public Employee Appointment: Job Training Office Director
- Personnel Matter: [Govt Code Section 54957] Department Head Evaluations
- Litigation initiated formally: Title: Davidson v. Malone, et al. 22C-0139 [Govt. Code Section 54956.9 (d)(1)]
The meeting lasted until 1 p.m. The next board meeting will be on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, at 9 a.m.
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