Stanislaus County Supervisors Watch

The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors meets today at 9 a.m. in the basement chamber at Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St., Modesto. The board is scheduled to:

Close Tenth Street Place the week after Christmas. Modesto officials, who share the seven-level building with the county, agree to close Dec. 28 until Jan. 4, according to a county report, and county offices would close at noon on Christmas Eve. Going dark will reduce vacation liability for 350 county employees, who would be allowed to use furlough days. The county's Cooperative Extension and Area Agency on Aging and Veteran's Services, which operate elsewhere, also want to close that week, which is traditionally slow at government offices.

Beef up fraud investigations on in-home support services. The county's 24 public assistance investigators catch wrongdoing in 1.1 percent of in-home services, but statewide estimates suggest actual fraud running as high as 25 percent. A pilot program focused on pinpointing problems during the application process would rely on a $333,300 federal and state grant, with a $64,500 local contribution. The money would pay for surveillance equipment and temporary staff, who might be hired permanently if state funding stabilizes. The county's Community Services Agency would issue a fraud report in August.

Using eminent domain, seize eight private properties needed to widen Kiernan Avenue. The land lies in the area of future work, between Dale Road and McHenry Avenue. Owners dispute prices offered by the county based on appraisals. Ownership groups are represented by David Snyder, Ernest Howard, Savina Nessier, Deborah Darby, Larry Kuzni, Brian Fosnaugh, James Bettencourt and Glen Dorrity. Crews continue first-phase construction from Highway 99 to Dale.

Accept a $750,000 state grant to help homeowners rehabilitate houses. Money comes from an initiative passed by California voters in 2006. County officials say they will help up to 25 owners with loans of up to $60,000 each.

Hold a public hearing on a $300,000 state grant supplementing law enforcement salaries. The sheriff's $200,000 share would be split evenly between jail sergeants and patrol sergeants, and $100,000 will pay for part of an investigator's salary and two legal clerks with the district attorney's office.

Hire Nolte Associates for $28,000 to design sewer improvements to the minimum-security Stanislaus County Honor Farm near Grayson. Nolte, of Manteca, was the only firm to bid for the job. Total cost is estimated at $363,000.

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-- Garth Stapley

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