The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the use of a portion Government Center property in San Andreas for a “scattered site” emergency shelter pilot project. During their meeting, supervisors also authorized the board chair to execute an agreement with the Gordian Group Inc. for job order contracting services over the next three years.

A portion of Government Center land at 891 Mountain Ranch Road, between the Behavioral Health Clinic and the library, will be used as one of two sites in the shelter project.

The other site is on property owned by the Blue Mountain Coalition for Youth and Families at 174 Spink Road, West Point.

The Calaveras County Homeless Task Force is spearheading the project, which aims to help community members who lack stable housing by building approximately 10 tiny houses equipped with showers, bathrooms, sinks and small kitchen areas for use as emergency shelters.

The program also includes intensive case management for those temporarily placed in the shelters.

Approximately $1.2 million in one-time funding has been secured through the state’s Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP), in partnership with the four-county Central Sierra Continuum of Care, in order to address the immediate emergency needs of homeless individuals and those at imminent risk of homelessness in the county.

Calaveras County’s portion of the HEAP funding is $302,412.

The Homeless Task Force plans on building between three to six units at each location for the “scattered site” shelter project. The units will be portable, allowing them to be moved to different locations depending on community needs.

“Scattered-site” refers to the development of publicly funded, affordable housing units throughout diverse, middle-class neighborhoods, rather than concentrating shelters in one neighborhood.

County staff and community partners will collaborate on case management and oversight.

“I really want to emphasize the point that this is a pilot project,” Director of Health and Human Services Kristin Stranger said at the meeting. “We know that this is going to be a learning experience. We know that other jurisdictions are much further along in terms of addressing emergency needs, but we’re confident that this well-developed, collaboratively developed pilot could be something that would be really beneficial to our community.”

District 3 Supervisor Merita Callaway thanked Stranger for her work on addressing the issue of homelessness.

“I need to really thank you and the task force,” Callaway said. “It’s been very embarrassing as a county to not have anything, to have not done anything, for all these many years, and the issue has been here, and our adjoining counties have had shelters in place, whatever format that looks like, so I’m really … proud of the county, and you and your task force, for stepping up and providing this.”

The board also authorized an agreement with the Gordian Group Inc. for job contracting services in an amount not to exceed $600,000 over a three-year period from July 24, 2019, to June 30, 2022.

Director of Public Works Joshua Pack delivered a presentation to the board on the benefits of utilizing job contracting services in public projects.

According to Pack, the current public contract code limits the flexibility of government agencies when it comes to carrying out projects and creates a large procedural burden even on smaller projects. This has led to difficulty in delivering projects in a timely manner.

Currently, the design-bid-build process is used for many public projects in Calaveras County. This process entails significant administrative efforts and costs, and is generally accepted as the slowest method of project delivery, Pack said.

While it generally takes over five months for construction to begin under the design-bid-build process, with job order contracting, construction can begin “within weeks, or potentially days,” Pack said.

Job order contracting is ideal for small and medium projects that are repetitive in nature and involve maintenance, repair, renovation and improvement, he said. It isn’t ideal for large projects, and it can’t be used for new construction.

“We view this as a tool in the toolbox,” Pack said. “It’s not a tool to replace our traditional processes; it’s a tool to be used for those small and moderate projects that need to be delivered quickly.”

Job order contracting will allow contractors to carry out various individual projects under a single bid using competitively bid, preset prices, which will save time and money, Pack said.

The Gordian Group will prepare an annual task catalog comprised of construction tasks and unit prices. The prices will be based on local wage, material and equipment costs. Contractors will bid on likely projects beforehand, so possible contracts will be in place before needed projects arise.

The task catalogue will contain “thousands if not tens of thousands of individual items that could be delivered, or asked for by the county from the contractor community,” Pack said.

Pack compared the process to having on-call contractors, only with preset prices. It will also provide more opportunities for local contractors than the design-bid-build process, he said.

Gordian will charge no initial upfront cost, and will be paid a 5.06% fee for the value of the work done by the county.

Pack said that Public Works alone has a minimum of $17.8 million worth of projects eligible for job order contracting, and that he believed his department could save upward of $900,000 over the next three years in administrative costs through the contract with Gordian.

Neighboring counties have been employing job order contracting successfully for years, Pack said.

“I hope to have this in place by early 2020,” Pack said. “The county as a whole can take advantage of this.”

District 4 Supervisor Dennis Mills spoke in favor of authorizing the contract.

“I don’t see any downsides to it,” he said.

In other business:

The board adopted a proclamation recognizing August 2019 as Child Support Awareness Month in Calaveras County.

The board chair was authorized to carry out an agreement with The Resource Connection of Amador and Calaveras Counties, Inc. for CalWORKS Stage 1 child care services for the period of July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020, in an amount not to exceed $200,000.

A county abatement and assessment lien was authorized for the recovery of costs of abatement pursuant to a citation issued to Karen M. Piper at 2101 Gold Strike Road, San Andreas.

The Public Works Department was authorized to purchase two 2020 Mack Granite 42FR Chassis 10-foot Dump Body trucks for an amount not to exceed $305,385, and a 2020 Mack Granite 64FR Chassis 15-foot Dump Body truck in an amount not to exceed $187,325, from the National Auto Fleet Group in Watsonville.

The board also adopted plans and specifications for the 2017 Winter Storms Hawver Road Project, the O’Byrnes Ferry Road Left Turn Lane Project, and the 2019 Annual Striping Program.

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Reporter

Noah Berner has lived in Calaveras County most of his life, and graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in history.

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