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Indian Valley Record
Greenville, California
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September 8, 2010     Indian Valley Record
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September 8, 2010
 

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Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2010 5B County road department to begin federal projects Joshua Sebold Staff Writer jsebold@ptumasnews.com The Plumas County Board of Supervisors awarded bids in August for planning work on six road projects that will be primarily funded by federal programs. Bridges \\; The projects included four bridges, which will be funded primarily by a federal' bridge program with a match provid- ed by the state from an account specifically intended for infrastructure. The county only has to pay for a small fraction of the planning cost for the projects and none of the construction costs. The county's share of the planning cost is already in the road department's budget and comes from the county's share of the state's Proposi- tion 1B bonds, which were passed for highway work among other things. In a short interview County Public Works Director Bob Perreault estimated it would take two to three years for the planning to be completed on the pojects. Residents won't be seeing construction under- way for a while. He also reported the cost for the projects would be ap- proximately $1 - $3 million per bridge. Spanish Ranch The plans for the Spanish Ranch Road bridge project planning will be approximate- ly $375,332 with the county funding around 11.5 percent of that cost, which pencils out to around $43,000. The current one-lane bridge will be replaced by a two-lane structure. Sloat The Sloat-Poplar Valley Road bridge project planning, at an estimated cost of $673,074, will also receive 11.5 percent of its funds from the county, $77,000:  ' Public Works Engineering Assistant John Manlee said this bridge was particularly important because "it is the only access really to that area of the county. When that bridge goes out, the detour is approximately 125 miles to get around." Denton The Denton bridge project- planning phase will cost $228,824, with the county covering 20 percent, about $45,800. Graeagle Supervisor Ole Olsen said the original bridge was built around the turn of the century. Public works employees acknowledged the community was very attached to the cur- rent structure for that reason and a contractor with exper- tise in the environmental planning process, which in- cludes evaluating historical significance of an area, had been hired for that reason. They added options would be explored for retrofitting the bridge, but even if a new bridge was needed the intent was to leave the current structure in place if possible. Public Works also ex- plained the museum would be working with the contractor and meetings would be held for community input. Chester r Lake Rd. l, av|ng -, Cromberg Port0la Blrsden  Bailey Creek The Bailey Creek bridge project planning will cost $621,205, with the county paying for about 11.5 percent, approximately $71,400. Public Works Assistant Director Marty Byrne said as far as he could tell there was no controversy around this project. Paving The two remaining projects were paving jobs funded by the stimulus package, both shorter than two miles long. Manley said both project bids came in significantly lower than the engineering estimates because fuel prices didn't spik: as niUClt'his summer as they did last year. The projects shouldn't last longer than a week and will begin work on the ground after Labor Day, Bucks Lake Road This project will begin at Bellamy Lane and progress west for just over a mile. The winning bid was $229,694 compared to an esti- mate of $300,000. Grizzly Road This project will begin less than a mile north of Highway 70 and proceed for just over one-and-a-half miles farther in that direction. The winning bid was $268,268 compared to an esti- :tnt:$3851064. : ..... : ' Farm bill takes aim at estate tax Efforts to protect family farms and ranches from be- ing broken up to pay federal estate taxes gained momen- tum as a bill to defer estate taxes on farm assets was in- troduced in the U.S. Senate. The Family Farm Estate Tax Deferral Act of 2010, in- troduced in the Senate by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D- California), would defer es- tate taxes on farm and ranch assets, as long as the property remains a family agricultural operation. The bill would also exclude land enrolled in a qualified conservation ease- ment from the estate tax. The Feinstein masure is similar to one re-introduced in the House of Representa- tives in May by California representative Mike Thomp- son, D-Napa. "These bills keep the 'fami- ly' in family farms, by assur- ing that family members can pass their farms and ranches to the next generation," Cali- fornia.Farm Btreau Presi- dent Paul Wenger said. "No issue hits home more person- ally for family farmers and ranchers." When a death occurs in a farming family, the remain- ing family members often must re-mortgage the farm or estate tax, Wenger said, forc- ing multi-generation farmers to make life-changing deci- sions. "This thoughtful reform of federal tax laws will benefit the great majority of farms and ranches," he said, point- ing out that more than 95 per- cent of California farms are operated by families, individ- uals, partnerships or family corporations. 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