Discussions on using Dixie Fire settlement funds will begin as the new year approaches in the Plumas Supervisors Chambers.
This week, the board brought back the discussion to flush out how they will proceed in determining where the monies will be allocated.
CAO Debra Lucero clarified that this settlement differs from the monies received in the DA’s settlement and the 46 million that went to over 150 individuals as a result of the fire.
Lucero added that there remain many holes in departmental budgets that these funds would appropriately fit into. She also shared that over the next several years, the county will incur around 5 million dollars in road repair costs as a result of the fire as FEMA does not cover the damage in the event of disaster.
Chairperson of the Board Greg Hagwod said he would like to emphasize that although the needs of the community are great and there are many interests to fulfill from losses due to the fire, the “intent and purpose of the settlement is specific to the county interests and its losses”.
With that said, the board will be hearing from the community on their thoughts and ideas on how the board should appropriate the funds.
CAO Lucero stressed that a decision does need to be made before the start of the next budgeting process, as she had stated many of the county departments have large holes in their budgets that need to be filled to ensure a sound budget for the next fiscal year.
Hagwood concluded that this is the beginning of a larger discussion in which he hopes the board will be able to create a list of projects and needs which can be narrowed down in the process with community input.
No action was taken during the board’s November 7th meeting, yet the discussion has been left open and will likely continue into the following month.