Kary Christiansen was present at the Monday Nevada City Council meeting to speak about the city’s need to adopt a proper notification period when it’s going to do work that has an impact on residents.
Christensen, who lives at 420 Westwood Dr. in Nevada, said street work in front of their house was started before they received any notice of such work.
“I wanted to let it be known the frustration and lack of communication…,” Christensen said.
Most upsetting to her and her husband, Brian, was the fact that they had just poured a new driveway less than two weeks ago, and then found workers about to cut into two feet of their brand new concrete.
Christensen said she agrees that the street in front of her home needed work, but she wishes the city would have let them know about this work much earlier. She wasn’t there to ask for any money she was out on this; she was there to ask that policies be put in place about notifying residents far enough in advance when there will be work on their streets or property.
City Administrator Matt Mardesen said that a “wrench in the plans” caused the city not to get proper notification made on the project. “I’m not trying to make excuses; we should have had a letter out earlier,” Mardesen said.
Christensen said she wanted to bring the matter forward because she doesn’t want another homeowner, in the future, to feel the frustration she’s felt. She said if she can be part of fixing the problem, she’ll be happy with that. She also indicated that because the street work happened so suddenly, her kids didn’t know where the school bus would pick them up or drop them off.
Mardesen said it was an oversight on the city’s part. “We admit it,” he said, vowing that the city will strive to do better.
Councilman Brett Barker thanked Christiansen for bringing this matter to the city’s attention, so they can try to do a better job of communicating with residents about upcoming projects.
In other business:
• Stephanie Badger was sworn in as a probationary member of the Nevada Fire/EMS as an emergency medical technician. (See a video of her swearing in moment on the Nevada Journal Facebook page.)
• The Nevada City Council heard a few words from Laura Bell of YSS about National Recovery Month, which is going on in September. “This is a national event recognizing the importance of working with people in recovery and connecting them with services — both for mental health and substance abuse,” Bell said.
• The city received thanks from Mike Fritz, director of Good Neighbor, which serves the county. Fritz told the City Council that Nevada has provided funding to help Good Neighbor with its mission of helping those in need with things like emergency rent, gas, food and the such. “You’ve helped us, year in and year out, to provide that funding to Nevada residents, and I don’t take that help lightly,” said Fritz, who is a resident of Nevada. “I’ve sent you thank-yous for years … but wanted to come first-hand and say truly, thank you.”
• Al Kockler asked the city to help compensate him and co-property owner Marc Olson for damage done to the driveway of their four-plex apartments across from where Quirks was located. “Basically a bunch of cement was cracked,” he told the council. He said the damage was done by the construction workers who were working on the street. It was going to be a $2,000 repair.
“All we’re requesting is for a portion of this to be covered by the city,” he said, “because the city is partly responsible for this.”
Mayor Lynn Lathrop asked city administration to bring some information about this back to the council at its next meeting, so they could discuss the damage and determine what they want to do.
Councilman Brian Hanson commented that if it was broken by the construction workers, then “it’s not our dime, it’s the construction people’s dime.”
• The city granted temporary easement to the American Legion to affix a box for flag disposal in front of the Legion building along the sidewalk. The city plans to approve permanent easement for the box at its next meeting.
Don Kockler, commander of the American Legion, was on hand to tell the council about the new box for proper flag disposal that was “fixed up” for them by the high school’s FFA group.
• City council members got a look at the new Viking turnout gear that will be ordered for the Nevada Fire Department. The gear, which is like what Nevada will be getting, only Nevada’s will be a tan color, not black, was shown by Fire Chief Ray Reynolds and Andrea Gerritson, Alex Air Apparatus sales representative. A dozen sets of turnout gear were approved, and 10 more are needed to outfit all department members, which Reynolds hopes to have happen soon. The new gear will replace gear that is 16 years old, and meets the standards set in 2000. Current standards were set in 2013. The new gear is very flexible, lightweight, more tailored to the human body and very water-repellent. It also has great reflective striping and has the DRD — Drag Rescue Device — which is now required, but that Nevada’s old gear doesn’t have.
• The council heard from Parks and Recreation Director Tim Hansen that work is happening at Fawcett Family Aquatic Center this week by the slide restoration contractor. Work on resurfacing the slides should be completed by the end of the week.