Supes to discuss helping homeless, Caldor Fire victims

Noel Stack / Mountain Democrat

The long-delayed contract to construct a homeless shelter/navigation center on Perks Court in Placerville is back on the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors’ agenda this week as is an effort promoted by District 2 Supervisor George Turnboo to purchase tiny homes for Caldor Fire victims.

Third time’s a charm?

In April 2022 supervisors declared a homeless shelter crisis, which exempts an emergency shelter from certain provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act and exempts the shelter from competitive bidding requirements. The Aug. 23 agenda item asks that a nearly $3.66 million contract go to G&G Builders Inc., which was awarded a no-bid, $140,000 contract in May 2022 to compile information about the Perks Court site, establish cost estimates and establish a construction schedule for the project. The board set the goal to have the center operational by fall — now a month away.

Last month the supervisors planned to vote on the construction contract at the July 26 meeting; however, the matter was delayed two days after Health and Human Services staff and Chief Administrative Officer Don Ashton acknowledged a budget error — appropriations were not included in the county’s approved 2022-23 budget. “Over the weekend I was made aware of an oversight related to the budgeted appropriations that precludes the board from being able to approve the contract without a budget transfer,” Ashton wrote in a letter to supervisors.

The second delay came at the special meeting called July 28, when District 3 Supervisor Wendy Thomas had to recuse herself due to a complaint filed with the Fair Political Practices Commission. The Board of Supervisors must approve the contract by a four-fifths vote and Turnboo has consistently opposed his fellow supervisors’ plans for this homeless shelter/navigation center.

Tuesday the supervisors have the opportunity to include the project in the budget and approve the construction contract, should four of five support the agenda items. The matter is scheduled to be heard at 9:30 a.m.

Going tiny?

At the 11 a.m. time allocation Turnboo is expected to urge fellow supervisors to support his request that the CAO explore the purchase of “tiny” homes (not exceeding $1.5 million total) only for those 75 Grizzly Flat residents without insurance who lost their homes during the Caldor Fire. The agenda item asks that staff report back with their findings in 90 days.

Also scheduled at the 11 a.m. time allocation, supervisors plan to discuss and possibly approve an urgency ordinance entitled the Caldor Fire Resiliency and Rebuilding Ordinance, which will “allow for the waiver of … 100% of all applicable Planning and Building Department and Environmental Management Department permit fees for eligible applicants, including those that are insured and uninsured in order to lessen the financial burden and provide an increased level of relief to residents displaced by the Caldor Fire.”

The board will also hear a presentation on the status of the Caldor Fire road repair project and could authorize the Department of Transportation director to take all necessary actions to approve and award the contract to the lowest, responsive bidder for the emergency repair projects.

Open session of the Board of Supervisors meeting begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, in the board chambers, 330 Fair Lane, Building A, Placerville. The meeting is also live-streamed via Zoom and YouTube.

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