The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors will vote on a settlement agreement covering two lawsuits challenging the county’s approval of a proposed quarry project at Tuesday’s meeting.
Under the proposed agreement, the Cooperstown Quarry will pay 7 cents for every ton of rock extracted from the quarry to the city of Riverbank, which amounts to about $4 million over the life of the five-year project. It also sets limits on operating hours, rail car traffic and requires periodic testing of rock samples for asbestos.
The city of Riverbank filed a lawsuit in April against the county and quarry owners after the Board of Supervisors allowed the project to move forward without a detailed environmental impact report, which is a requirement under state law for major projects that have significant environmental impacts.
Environmental groups Friends of the Mother Lode and Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center also filed a separate lawsuit over the project, but agreed to engage in joint settlement negotiations, according to meeting documents.
The agreement would require the petitioners in each lawsuit to dismiss their cases against the county within 15 days.
The board will also hold a public hearing to consider adopting the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 budget with the changes made since the initial version of the budget was approved on April 3 and modified on June 5.
An $8.1 million increase from the original budget is expected, due largely to a $2.4 million increase in carryover fund balances, $3.2 million in funding for the Mono Way Widening Project and $1.1 million in general fund revenue, according to meeting documents.
County Administrator Craig Pedro presented a preliminary budget plan in June that slashed about $1 million from law enforcement in an effort to account for a $1.9 million shortfall in the General Fund, which is the county’s largest operating budget, but the Board of Supervisors directed county staff to find ways to restore law enforcement funding.
Pedro told board members at the Aug. 7 meeting that he and his staff pored over thousands of line items in the budget to find additional cuts.
The adopted budget up for approval Tuesday provides funding for additional staffing in various county departments including County Counsel, Facilities Management, the District Attorney’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office and the Community Resources Agency.
It also factors in two additional positions in the county jail and three in the probation department using funds provided by the state as part of the “public safety realignment” that went into effect last year.
Also Tuesday, the board will consider:
• Approving a cooperative agreement with the Dodge Ridge Corporation to transfer road maintenance responsibility of a portion of Dodge Ridge Road. The portion is scheduled to be repaved with Proposition 1B funds and the agreement would require Dodge Ridge to maintain it after work is completed.
• Approving the tenants of an agreement between local government groups and federal agencies, invoking the terms of it with the Stanislaus National Forest and Bureau of Land Management Mother Lode Field office. The agreement is intended to improve communication between the local and federal agencies on land use plans and decisions.
• Accepting the resignation of Mari Brabbin as a mentor to the Tuolumne County Youth Commission and appointing Alexis Ketchem as an alternate for a term expiring June 30, 2014.
• Approving an indemnification agreement for requested assistance and resources between the city of Sonora and Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office. The agreement requires the agency requesting assistance take responsibility for any legal action arising out of an incident and hold harmless the agency providing assistance.
• Voting on a resolution adopting the 2012-2013 Tuolumne County Tax Rates. The board is required to fix the tax rates for the county, schools and special districts each year by Oct. 3.
• Voting on a resolution rescinding the conflict of interest code passed in 2002 and approving an updated conflict of interest code that adds and eliminates certain governmental agencies required to adopt it. A conflict of interest code designates positions required to file statements of economic interest.
• The Board of Supervisors will go into closed session for a conference with labor negotiators and a conference regarding the lawsuit filed against the county by residents of Quail Ridge Ranch.
PUBLIC MEETING: The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the county Administration Building, 2 S. Green St., Sonora.