We asked you to rank the Nevada County Board of Supervisors (BOS) objectives for 2022 and the votes are in. Emergency preparedness is by far the top priority for readers, followed by broadband. Fiscal stability and core services round out the Top Three.

priorities podium

The obvious caveat: This is not a scientific poll, just a snapshot in time how readers who took the time to vote rank the BOS objectives. However, given the number of responses, it’s fair to say emergency preparedness is at the forefront for many in the coming year and the foreseeable future. It might also explain the interest in our ongoing 12-week “Getting Ready for Peak Fire Season” series.

The BOS’ emergency preparedness objective was defined as follows: Lead the community in all hazards planning, preparedness, response, and recovery with a focus on wildfire. Do this by focusing on improving countywide evacuation routes and safety, continuing to strengthen early alert and critical communication systems, partnering closely with residents in emergency preparedness, defensible space, home hardening, green waste disposal, and fire-safe land stewardship.

Broadband coming in second place is defined as Equitably expand broadband to support economic development, distance-learning, telework, telemedicine, and general quality of life for all residents by championing the implementation of Nevada County Broadband Strategy Plan policies and last-mile infrastructure projects.

Many residents experienced first-hand the fragility of the telecom systems during the winter storm or during prolonged power outages. Adding reliable broadband services to rural neighborhoods will notable improve emergency communications and provide opportunities for new and existing businesses.

Maintaining Nevada County’s financial stability and core services rounds out the podium, a reality-grounded priority for many. Without adequate revenues, even core services like public health and safety would undergo cuts and nobody likes to drive on poorly maintained roads.

Economic development, housing and homelessness compose the second tier of priorities, according to reader votes. The BOS unanimously allocated 30% of the County’s $19.3 million allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), approximately $5.8 Million, to support “Community & Economic Resiliency.” $2.5 million will go towards infrastructure improvements for Nevada County Economic Recovery Funds. This is on top of the $3.5M for Economic & Community Resiliency allocated in 2020 out of the state’s portion of the CARES Act distributed to counties.

Since 2017, eight developments have been in planning, active construction, or completed, totaling 301 new units of affordable housing throughout the county: 157 units for Western Nevada County and 144 units for Eastern County. A total of 175 units are now complete and are in the process of leasing or have residents already moved in. Information addressing the complex issue of homelessness impacting our community can be found on the county’s Better Together Nevada County: Homeless Initiative page.

Recreation has been impacted by the ongoing pandemic. The BOS set aside $800,000 to $1M to enhance public safety and economic development by investing in infrastructure and services at Countywide outdoor recreation destinations, including satellite call boxes at river crossings. 

Cannabis, still a developing industry in Nevada County, is also board objective defined as follows: Maintain and continue to improve the cannabis permitting and enforcement program to promote permitted cannabis activities while implementing additional on-site supply chain license types and tools to mitigate impacts.

Our thanks to the readers who took the time to share their priorities and a reminder that you can share your priorities at any time with the BOS by emailing BOS.PublicComment@co.nevada.ca.us for any upcoming board items or contact your supervisor directly:

The ranking as of publication time