Nevada County to get $6.6 million in grant funds

Three programs in Nevada County will get $6.6 million in federal funds, U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa and other officials announced Friday.

“We’ve secured $6.6 million in a 2021-22 appropriations bill for three community grant programs in Nevada County,” LaMalfa said. “A Sheriff’s Office dispatch center was awarded $4.8 million for a community-oriented technology and equipment grant used for radio infrastructure. It’s an age old problem we have to stay interconnected with all our agencies with the day-to-day fire danger we face. We have work to do in our forests that is needed, so we’ve got to give our homes a fighting chance. And this grant will help our first responders, police, fire and ambulance allow for more inter-operability.”

The two other programs are a fire suppression system and a shaded fuel break.

Sheriff Shannan Moon said the new radio system will be a game changer for safety.

“It’s not just safety for first responders trying to do their due diligence trying to investigate a criminal act, or a fire evacuation, but it also makes us more efficient,” she said. “And it’s been over 20 years, and like everything, technologies advance. With this new system, we can ensure safety of first responders and our community.”

Having her staff getting current information from conditions on the scene helps them make correct decisions in the filed. It is critical for their safety and the faster they can get information the more they can secure the safety of the public, Moon said.

Additionally, LaMalfa said there is a $1.05 million U.S. Department of Agriculture facilities grant for the North San Juan Fire Suppression System. This small, forested community lacks a public water service and an emergency water pipeline.

Supervisor Dan Miller thanked LaMalfa for his leadership to secure the funding, as well as $750,000 for the Poderosa West Grass Valley Defense Zone through the U.S. Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry Landscape Restoration Program. He pointed out this is Phase 2 of the project, an expansion of Phase I that Gov. Gavin Newsom identified and was completed in March.

“The project is a priority for first responders and mitigation experts and state leaders and consists of (California Environmental Quality Act) analysis and treatment to modify fuels to create a defense zone along homes and roads, including egress and ingress routes,” said Miller. “This $750,000 funding will be leveraged with county matching funds to treat another 600 acres and provide protection to more than 3,000 homes that are with a mile and a half of the project boundaries.”

Miller said that in January supervisors again prioritized wildfire protection among the most important issues and will continue to do so.

William Roller is a staff writer with The Union, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at

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