July 18, 2023 — Kings County Board of Supervisors

Documented by Ramon Castanos

Here’s what you need to know

  • The Kings County Boards of Supervisors heard public comments regarding a proposed development to house individuals experiencing homelessness. The speakers asked the board to choose a different area away from a hotel.  
  • At their next meeting on July 25, supervisors will discuss a chemical waste landfill and permits for it. Bob Henry, the county’s manager for chemical waste, said that they have resubmitted a permit, and said 10 years to get the project approved is too long. In addition, a recent inspection delayed the work even further, he said.  
  • The board held a hearing regarding medical funding for the Santa Rosa Rancheria Tachi Yokut tribe. If approved, the funding would support hiring and training local Tachi tribe members for health care services to forge community trust in the system.

Supervisors present included:

Joe Neves, District 1 – Lemoore and Stratford

Rivard Valle, District 2 – Avenal Corcoran, Home Garden, and Kettleman city ( he was absent from the meeting) 

Dough Verboon, District 3 – North Hanford, Island District and North Lemoore 

Rusty Robinson, District 4 – Armona and Hanford 

Richard Fagundes, District 5 – Hanford and Burris Park 

Follow-up questions

  • Is there any study that homelessness shelters increase crime in an area? 
  • Why does it take 10 years for a landfill to be built and improved? 
  • What is vaccine injury? 

Actions/Discussions/Public comment

  • Several speakers objected to a new homeless shelter in the Hanford area that was not on the agenda. Ali Shaken, developer of a hotel near where the shelter will be built said: 
  • She said that she lives in Visalia, but is a developer of that hotel, just west of the Hyundai dealership.
  • She said the Fairfield is the first Marriott product in Kings County. 
  • She said they found out about the housing project the day prior and have concerns about potential impacts on their employees and staff. 
  • “To put a facility that’s going to hurt us will make it even more difficult. I understand the concept of not in my backyard, but this is not the location for that. Look at San Francisco and see what issues they have. The large hotels are closing because of the homeless issues that they have. This is more of a mental issue, mental condition issue and also some poverty. So please, we need your support in not supporting this project,” said Shaken. 
  • Hanford resident Kimber Regan, who said he’d been living there since 1969. “If the homeless shelter does go through, and if you guys do support it, … it’s a situation that’s going to be destroying future businesses or developments in Hanford because it’s a bad choice. Whenever you drive down the freeway, you will be able to see the homeless. We’ve listened to people for years saying if you want t o find Hanford drive down (Highway) 41. And you can smell cow poo and you turn left. I don’t want it to be that whenever you’re driving into Hanford, look for the homeless place, all the homeless people right there on the freeway.”
  • He predicted vandalism, said the county was trying to slip the project “underneath the rug” and said there are other locations that would be more suitable for the homeless facilities. 
  • Next there was a discussion of landfill permits. 
  • Bob Henry, the county’s manager for chemical waste:
  • “Early report of activities for the chemical waste management facility (report period of April 11 through July 17). He said the permit was first issued in 2003 and the permit expired in 2013. The county has been resubmitting for a renewal permit, he said, ever since “and we’ve had to do revision after revision after revision. 
  • He said back in April, finally, I think we’ve reached an agreement with DTSC. And with that, you have closure plans, you have your waste analysis plan, you have all these different plans that you have for the operation of the facility. Anyway, we resubmitted everything. 
  • The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District scheduled its annual facility inspection, (and found) no violations, no area of concern on April 19th. We also have Kings County Environmental Health Services facility, (which found) no violations, no area of concern. It was a heck of a week that week.”
  • Henry described more details of the process through various agencies and said he expected the project to be approved by the fourth quarter of 2024. 
  • “And that would be a 10-year permit. And we would hopefully get it renewed within 10 years,” Henry said..  
  • The board also held a hearing regarding health funding for the Tachi Yokut tribe, and opened a public discussion about it.
    • Nicholas Montoya of the Kings County Department of Public Health made a presentation, seeking authorization to approve a funding agreement with Santa Rosa Rancheria Tachi Yokut tribe. He said that in 1934 Santa Rosa Rancheria was established in Lemoore as a home for approximately 200 Tachi Yokut individuals in 1994. 
  • “The Tachi Yokut people obtained a federal recommendation, marking an important milestone for the tribe. To this day, the tribe remains dedicated to safeguarding their culture and customs, both striving to enhance the well-being of their members and future generations to come. The partnership between the Kings County Department of Public Health and the tribe promotes and improves the well-being of the residents of the Tachi Yokut community by providing health education, outreach and engagement as well as referrals and linkages to services promoting health outcomes to the Tachi Yokut community. This agreement will allow the tribe to hire a staff member under their education department to serve as the health educator and licensor with the Kings County Department of Public Health, with the goal of becoming a trusted individual within their community.”
  • He said expected results include “community engagement measured by the health educator meeting with the majority of the tribe’s households, conducting community outreach events and screening and linking to services to improve their overall health outcomes.”
  • He said the county would use funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemiology and laboratory capacity enhancement protection expansion grant approved by the board on Sept. 15 2020. The cost of the program would be $124,000,
  • During a public comment period a man named Cal, who said he had invested in real estate in the area, asked about “vaccine injuries” that he said were on the rise. 
  • Montoya told the man that the health department promotes all immunizations and vaccines for any community. 
  • Cal said he was concerned about vaccines being given despite parents’ religious and personal beliefs. 
  • A representative of the county health department said they would “not be providing immunizations as a part of this agreement.” 
  • If any resident of the community presents to a clinical site for a vaccination, they are given health information and all the facts about vaccinations and all the research,” she said. 

If you believe anything in these notes is inaccurate, please email us at fresnodocs@fresnoland.org with “Correction Request” in the subject line.

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