Yuba Water Agency today voted to begin covering 50 percent of the Yuba County Board of Supervisors’ annual salaries, freeing up the county’s general fund for other priorities. This is not increasing the salaries in any way, just reallocating where the funding comes from.
Five of Yuba Water Agency’s seven board of directors make up the county’s Board of Supervisors, and have traditionally been paid for their services through their salary from Yuba County. In recent years, following Yuba Water Agency taking over hydropower operations from PG&E, a much larger portion of the supervisors’ time is now spent conducting business for the water agency.
“I was a director for the water agency back in the 90’s, and again today, and I can tell you, first-hand, what a difference it is in the workload,” said Brent Hastey, Yuba Water Agency chairman and one of two directors that does not serve as a county supervisor. “Since we took over hydropower operation, it’s been a pretty major commitment. We are investing a lot of time, energy and passion into making Yuba County a better place for all of us.”
Yuba County additionally provides facilities and services for the supervisors that also benefit Yuba Water Agency and its board of directors, including clerical and election-related services, office space, training, supervisor chambers, conference space and other support.
“Any funding the water agency gives has to be related to it’s missions of reducing flood risk, ensuring a sustainable water supply hydropower generation, fish habitat enhancement and recreation at New Bullards Bar,” said Gary Bradford, Yuba Water Agency director and county supervisor responsible for the area of Plumas Lake and Wheatland. “So, by having the agency cover more of the cost of supervisors’ salaries, that ensures that the county can use that funding on other critical items that the agency cannot legally fund. That could include road/infrastructure improvements, code enforcement, additional public safety, or any number of the things the county can invest in that the water agency cannot.”
The current salary for Yuba County supervisors is $4,496.00 per month. This funding change translates into approximately $135,000 per year that the county will have to spend on other priorities.