Butte County to hold last redistricting meeting before map deadline

OROVILLE — After months of redistricting tension all around, the Butte County Board of Supervisors is planning the adoption of a new district map for Tuesday.

The board will choose from three maps, two drawn by Redistricting Partners representative Chris Chaffee and one drawn by Supervisor Tod Kimmelshue.

A map must be submitted on Wednesday in order for the county to meet its deadline so the final vote will be held during Tuesday’s meeting as to which map the county will be going forward with.

“Every ten years following the federal census, the boundaries of the supervisory districts of the County must be adjusted so that the districts are similar in population,” the item’s agenda report said. “Redistricting Partners, the consultants hired to manage the 2021 redistricting process in Butte County, have publicly presented at seven Board of Supervisor’s meetings as well as three community outreach meetings, with the intent of educating and informing the community on the redistricting process, and gathering public input.”

Once the board selects a map, Chairman Bill Connelly will sign the final resolution and the map will be used in future elections for the next 10 years unless challenged.

Other business

The board will hold a public hearing, and vote on a resolution, for the adoption of the Groundwater Sustainability Plan for the Butte Subbasin.

Butte County agreed in 2019 to create a plan for the area with the deadline of Jan. 31, 2022. A presentation was given to the board on the plan during its Oct. 26 meeting. The county is one of eleven Groundwater Sustainability Agencies that use the subbasin.

Up until 2018, the California Water Service Company in Oroville purchased roughly 3,000 acre-feet of water from PG&E per year for the Lime Saddle Powerhouse that was delivered via the Miocene Canal.

Since the Camp Fire, the plan has had to shift due to the severe damage to the canal.

On Tuesday, the board will vote on whether to extend the agreement between PG&E to allow for the water to come from an alternate point.

If approved by the board, the county will seek an agreement with the Department of Water Resources to allow for the new method of transportation.

A discussion will be held on the feasibility of maintaining Project Roomkey and related activities. Project Roomkey has been used for aiding the homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Activities have included expanding emergency shelter spaces to meet social distancing requirements, moving high-risk individuals into non-congregate shelters, and providing wraparound and monitoring services to qualifying homeless individuals who were placed in NCS. In an effort to continue providing services, the Department applied for and obtained Emergency Solutions Grants – Coronavirus funding and contracted with United Way to help oversee the NCS operations in Butte County,” the related agenda report said.

Supervisors Debra Lucero and Tami Ritter asked that the board hold the discussion and consider continuing services. If it does continue, an additional $1.5 million will need to be appropriated from the general fund.

An ordinance that created oversight for industrial hemp will be back before the board for review one year after its implementation.

The Butte County Board of Supervisors generally meets at 9 a.m. on the second and third Tuesday of the month at its chambers located at 25 County Center Drive, Suite 205 in Oroville. Meetings are free and open to the public. Those who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask while in the building.

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