Documented by Josef Sibala
Here’s what you need to know:
- The Kings County Board of Supervisors awarded a $1 million construction contract to Kroeker, Inc. for raising a section of the Stratford Levee in response to flooding.
- The board authorized retroactively purchasing a Dexter T-400 washer/extractor, effective Sept. 11. Fire Chief William Lynch said the equipment will clean the turnout gear, removing carcinogens.
- County Counsel Diane Freeman said campaign-related activities are prohibited in the meeting. Evette Chavez Villareal urged instituting simultaneous translation of the Board of Supervisors meetings and requested an update on the ARPA committee.
- When will the county provide simultaneous translation for the meeting?
- How will flooding in the county be resolved by the county?
- When will the Stratford Levee Construction Project be completed?
According to its website, Kings County is a “general law” county, meaning the state constitution and 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 in a nonpartisan manner 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 state constitution and statutes.
The meeting was held at 9 a.m. in the board chambers at 1400 West Lacey Blvd. in Administration Building No. 1 in Hanford.
Kings County County Board of Supervisors members present:
- Joe Neves, District 1 (Lemoore and Stratford)
- Richard Valle, District 2 (Avenal, Corcoran, Home Garden and Kettleman City)
- Rusty Robinson, District 4 (Armona and Hanford)
- Richard Fagundes, District 5 (Hanford and Burris Park)
- Doug Verboon, District 3 (North Hanford, Island District, and North Lemoore)
- County Counsel Diane Freeman
- Evette Chavez Villareal
- Fire Chief William Lynch
- Chief Engineer Mitchel Cabrera
Freeman stated that in the last meeting, a member of the public seeking office addressed the board to provide campaign-related information. She said that campaign-related activities are not allowed at the meeting.
Evette Chavez Villareal urged instituting simultaneous translation of the Board of Supervisors meeting and requested an update on the ARPA committee.
A. The board (5-0) approved the minutes from the meeting of Sept. 19.
Consent Calendar: The board (5-0) unanimously approved items as follows:
A. Agricultural Department:
1. The board OK’d a cooperative agreement with the California Department of Food and Agriculture for the County’s Asian Citrus Psyllid Detection Program effective Oct. 1, 2023-Sept. 30, 2024.
According to the agenda packet, revenue of $99,625 for this program is included in the fiscal year 2023-24 adopted budget.
The agricultural commissioner deploys and services insect traps according to state protocols established by this agreement to protect Kings County agriculture and the public from the introduction of the Asian citrus psyllid, a vector of Huanglongbing, also known as HLB or citrus greening disease, a devastating disease of citrus trees.
2. The board approved a cooperative agreement with the California Department of Food and Agriculture for the county’s Nursery Inspection Program retroactively effective July 1, 2023-June 30, 2024.
According to a report in the agenda packet, revenue of $500 for this program is included in the proposed Fiscal Year 2023-24 budget.
The cooperative agreement with the California Department of Food and Agriculture is for nursery inspections. The county will inspect all nursery stocks at producer/wholesale nursery locations within the county according to the protocols established in the cooperative agreement.
This is an ongoing program; however, the current agreement from the California Department of Food and Agriculture was not offered to Kings County until Aug. 1, 2023.
3. The board OK’d a cooperative agreement with the California Department of Food and Agriculture for the County’s Asian Citrus Psyllid Bulk Citrus Program effective Oct. 1, 2023-Sept. 20, 2024.
According to the agenda packet, revenue of $19,602 for this program is included in the fiscal year 2023-24 adopted budget.
According to state protocols, the agricultural commissioner provides quarantine response and regulatory enforcement activities to protect Kings County agriculture and the public from introducing the Asian citrus psyllid, a vector of Huanglongbing, a disease that kills citrus trees.
The Asian citrus psyllid has been found throughout California, and is threatening local citrus trees, the commercial citrus industry and the thousands of jobs it supports.
Kings County is in a Regional Asian Citrus Psyllid Quarantine that regulates the movement of nursery stock and bulk citrus.
Kings County citrus growers, shippers and transporters must enter into compliance agreements with the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The Kings County Department of Agriculture serves as the program officer to oversee the enforcement and compliance of these agreements. Citrus shipments from outside this regional quarantine must be inspected for the insect and host material upon arrival in Kings County.
Outreach to citrus growers, packers and shippers to explain terms of the compliance agreements, exhibits and regulatory requirements, records inspections, hold/rejection/violation notices and trace-back and trace-forward activities when required due to detection of the insect are all activities performed by the Kings County Department of Agriculture.
B. Behavioral Health Department:
1. The board approved the first amendment to an agreement with the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) for the Behavioral Health Quality Improvement Program (BHQIP) retroactively effective from Jan. 1, 2023-June 30, 2024.
According to agenda packet materials, as a part of the amended agreement for BHQIP, CalMHSA offered interested counties within the joint power agreement an optional flexible spending account for obtaining Subject Matter Expertise Services to allow counties to leverage additional professional services to help navigate this process.
This service will bring subject matter experts across the state and country to lead counties to be successful and well trained through the implementation process of CalAIM, as well as to meet the outcomes required for participation in the program.
The available professional service offerings include but are not limited to, fiscal/payment reform, interoperability and data analytics.
Administrative priorities of the department may be met by this agreement in the following areas: modeling the fiscal impact of payment reform, contract support, fiscal consultation, data systems management and program outcomes.
This program also adds an option for consulting and configuring the coordination and integration of systems operations across county agencies and other services requested by the county at an hourly rate.
2. The board OK’d the agreement with the California Mental Health Services Authority for participation in the Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification Program effective upon execution through March 31, 2025.
According to the agenda packet, the agreement allows continued partnership with CalMHSA to implement the Medi-Cal peer specialist certification program on behalf of Kings County, which includes additional elements of quality assurance, oversight and monitoring.
CalMHSA will implement and administer all components of the Peer Support Specialist Certification program, including required data collection and submission to DHCS, certification of peers, exam administration, investigations, approval, auditing and monitoring of training vendors.
C. Community Development Agency:
1. a. The board found that the notices of partial nonrenewals are exempt from environmental review under California Environmental Quality Act guidelines;
b. The board OK’d the notices of partial nonrenewal for the following Land Conservation Williamson Act contract numbers: 34, 196, 210, 643, 834, 872, 892, 1000, 1612 and 2031.
According to an agenda packet report, the Kings County Community Development Agency has received one application for a lot line adjustment and four applications for site plan review agricultural land divisions to retain an existing farm home and issued six building permits on undersized parcels.
These applications created property less than 10 acres in size that are currently restricted by Land Conservation Williamson Act Contracts. The notice of partial nonrenewals will remove about 41 acres of land from the county’s Land Conservation Williamson Act Program over the next nine years.
Approval of the partial nonrenewals will cause the property taxes to increase incrementally up to market value until they are no longer under contract.
D. County Counsel:
1. The board appointed R. Patrick McCarthy to a four-year term as director of the Green Valley Water District to qualify, take office and serve as if elected at a general district election.
2. The board appointed Danny Newton director for Division 1, Gabe Cooper director for Division 2 and Ralph Gilkey director for Division 5 of the Tulare Lake Drainage District.
3. The board appointed Michael Boyett director of Division 1, Matt Gilkey director of Division 3 and Beau Howard director of Division 4 of the Corcoran Irrigation District effective Dec. 1, 2023, at noon.
Regular agenda items were as follows:
A. Fire Department
1. The board (5-0) authorized retroactively purchasing a Dexter T-400 washer/extractor, effective Sept. 11.
According to agenda packet information, due to staff shortages for most of the grant cycle in the Victim Witness Program, the District Attorney’s Office requests a reallocation of funds.
With the assistance of the Kings County Purchasing division, a request for bids was completed on June 30.
The bidders responded with the prices, terms and conditions stated by the Purchasing Division. As a result, the most cost-effective bidder was chosen, and a quote was provided to the granting agency.
CalOES granted permission on Aug. 22 to purchase an SUV for the Victim Witness Program. The grant is on a federal funding cycle requiring that the purchase must be made before Sept. 30.
The Victim Witness Center said there were problems with one of their vehicles. The granting agency eventually submitted and approved the request to reallocate funds.
Lynch, county fire cheif, said the equipment will clean the turnout gear, removing carcinogens.
2. A. The board (5-0) authorized the purchase of one Rescue 42 CTC Strut Kit; b. authorized the purchase of one Rescue 42 Combination Kit;
According to a report in the agenda packet, the purchase amount of $7,773 for both Rescue 42 stabilization kits will be funded from California Emergency Services (CalOES) pass-through funding awarded to the Fire Department from the state budget and accounted for in the Fire Fund.
On April 4, the board approved having the Fire Department accept pass-through funding from CalOES for $4 million. The department is seeking authorization to purchase two vehicle stabilization kits to be added to the extrication equipment inventory.
This system is deployed at other stations throughout the county. It offers a quick and efficient ability to stabilize all types of motor vehicles that roll over or are unstable because of a collision.
Lynch said that the system allows for the safe extrication of passengers or victims, and increases the safety of firefighters during vehicle extrication incidents.
These new stabilization systems will be located at Fire Station 5 in Armona and Fire Station 2 in Hardwick
The county purchasing manager has approved the sole source purchase of the Rescue 42 Stabilization Kits from L.N. Curtis and Sons, as they are the only California vendor authorized to sell these systems.
B. Public Works Department
1. The board (5-0) awarded the construction contract to Kroeker Inc. for the Stratford Levee Construction Project.
Cabrera, chief engineer, said the project was in response to flooding and that Public Works prepared specifications for raising a section of the Stratford Levee.
The project was advertised on July 11, with bids due on Aug .8. The lowest responsive, responsible bidder was determined to be Kroeker Inc., with a bid of $1 million.
2. The board (5-0) approved an agreement with Aspire Homes CA Inc. for the Tract 936 Phase 8 & 9 Subdivision Improvement effective from Sept. 12 to the end of construction and approval of the county.
The Kings County Advisory Agency approved Tentative Tract 936 on Aug. 21. The developer is required to build improvements for this new subdivision. After the improvements are completed, the final map may be approved under the terms and conditions of the agreement.
Public Works has reviewed and approved the improvement plans. The developer will provide the required surety, guaranteeing the proper construction of the improvements before the approval of the final map.
Cabrera mentioned that the county would not accept the obligation of maintaining the roads built under this agreement. However, the right of way dedications will be accepted on behalf of the public. A zone of benefit will assess the individual properties to provide for road maintenance.
Closed session includes the following:
- Workers Compensation: (one case)
- Significant exposure to litigation: (two cases)
Receipt of tort claim or other written threat of litigation
Additional Information: Noma Law Firm, claim for damages
Additional Information: Allied World National Assurance Co. et al., notice of claim
The meeting ended at 1 p.m. The next board meeting will be held on Sept. 12, at 9 a.m.
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