Nevada County's top government stories of 2019 – The Union of Grass Valley

The slow, grinding mechanics of government can often feel too distant and divorced from everyday consideration to impact our lives.

But with local government tasked with taking on telecoms, coming up with cannabis compliance codes and ensuring internet access, over the past year Nevada County governing agencies have flexed their influence.

Here are the Top 5 government stories of 2019:


In January, the California Public Utilities Commission approved Race Telecommunications’ purchase of Bright Fiber Network, the company that in December 2015 was granted $16 million in government funding to bring a gigabit internet connection to Nevada County. After receiving the grant funding, Nevada County-based Bright Fiber was unable to secure the remaining private funding for the $27 million project which would bring fiber to 1,941 western Nevada County households along Highway 174. Race’s purchase allowed the project to finally move forward, with completion slated for May 2020, and mandated to be completed through the grant funding by January 2021.

“It’s been a 10-year journey to arrive at the point where construction can finally begin on this transformational gigabit fiber project in an area of rural Nevada County, where broadband internet access is severely limited,” said John Paul, originator of the Bright Fiber project, in Race’s release.


Three and a half years after a ban on outdoor marijuana growing was proposed, Nevada County in May approved an urgency ordinance allowing grows of five or more acres. The battle between the county and growers was sparked when the proposed ban was made into a June 2016 ballot measure that failed to pass. The ban’s rejection forced supervisors to look toward new grow rules, creating a community advisory group that over several months formed the basis of the county’s new ordinance. That was followed by more

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