Updates on recovery efforts from the 2015 Butte Fire, including burned tree removal and post-fire road repairs, and a plan to spruce up the Government Center complex on Mountain Ranch Road were among topics discussed Tuesday by the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors.
A total of 113 private properties have been cleared of trees burned in the Butte Fire, Jeff Crovitz, county public works director, said in a presentation on tree removal insurance recovery. There are 46 properties with insurance that may be eligible, and county staff are preparing letters to send to property owners.
Mel Knight, a Butte Fire community liaison, estimated $6.5 million in insurance money has been collected for debris and ash removal from properties impacted by the Butte Fire.
“There’s always a new disaster coming, and we are not done with the Butte Fire,” Jack Garamendi, District 2 supervisor, said of the costliest, most destructive fire in Calaveras County history. “If a tree falls and hurts someone, we own this. There will be no excuses. This is a real liability for us.”
Kevin Wright, the county ag commissioner, and Lynn Wunderlich, a farm advisor with U.C. Cooperative Extension-Central Sierra who specializes in wine grapes for Calaveras and neighboring counties, gave an introduction and invitation to the Annual Foothill Grape Day scheduled March 29 at Amador County Fairgrounds in Plymouth.
Wunderlich also updated supervisors on red blotch virus, which she described as a devastating disease that can harm red grapes. The disease, first discovered in 2012 in Napa County, has been traced to insect greenhouse transmission, which was verified in 2016.
Red blotch virus has been detected in two Calaveras County orchards, Wright said. Local growers are aware of the disease.
Patrick Martin, county facilities manager, made a presentation on a plan to spruce up the Government Center campus, including the main plaza. The project, funded by a $10,000 grant to the county from the Calaveras Community Foundation, is intended to foster civic and community pride.
Copperopolis resident Al Segalla suggested to Martin that fundraising for the project could be boosted by selling a thousand ornamental bricks for $100 each, so that donors can eventually see their names on a project they helped support.
The next meeting of the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors is scheduled March 20 in San Andreas.
Contact Guy McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.