Announcements regarding hearings, grants, and public comment notices of importance to California's rural counties.


USDA Grants Available to Help Rural California Repair Their Homes Damaged By Floods and Fires in 2022

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development announces the availability of grants to help people repair their homes that were damaged by severe weather or natural disasters in 2022, including the California Mosquito, Oak, Coastal, Fairview, and Mill fires as well as severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides.

People living in identified counties in California may be eligible for the funding. The homes must be located in presidentially declared disaster areas.

The grants will be available through supplemental disaster funding under the Rural Disaster Home Repair Grant Program. Through this program, people may apply to receive grants of up to $40,675 directly from USDA to repair their homes.

Funds will be available until expended. They may be used to:

  • Pay for home repair expenses that were a result of a presidentially declared disaster in calendar year 2022.
  • Prepare a site for a manufactured home.
  • Relocate a manufactured home.

To be eligible:

  • Applicants must have household incomes that do not exceed the low-limits based on their household size and county.
  • Homes must be located in an eligible rural area.
  • Homes must be located in a presidentially declared disaster areas 2022.

Residents in the following counties may be eligible for the funding: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Inyo, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, and Yolo

For more information on how to apply, visit the USDA website here.


Cannabis Grant Applications Now Open for Local Jurisdictions

The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) has announced a Retail Access Grant to provide resources for local governments to develop and implement cannabis retailer licensing programs. This funding can be used by counties that currently do not have a cannabis retail licensing program to comply with SB 1186, with funding (ranging from $100,000 to $325,000) awarded based on population and can be used for personnel costs (such as salary and benefits for local government staff), permitting expenses (e.g. software costs), environmental reviews and other uses. The grant guidelines may be found here, and Phase 1 applications ($10 million total) are due by 5pm on April 28, 2023.   DCC is providing “priority review points” to cities or counties in the following RCRC grant-eligible counties: Amador, Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Madera, Placer, San Benito, Sutter, Tehama, and Yuba.  

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced over $20 million is available in 2022-23 for Cannabis Restoration Grants, including to support the cleanup, remediation, and enhancement of watersheds and wildlife habitats impacted by illicit cannabis cultivation. CDFW is accepting grant proposals from eligible applicants, such as counties, on a rolling basis until funding is exhausted. Project types may include, for example, cleanup and remediation of impacts on (qualified) public land and private land, decommissioning roads, upgrading road crossings, upgrading culverts, and other projects that minimize erosion and sediment delivery, increase water conservation, and/or enhance biodiversity and wildlife habitat. Program guidelines can be viewed here; for more information, see here


Upcoming PG&E Wildfire Safety Webinars

PG&E hosts online webinars throughout each year for anyone who is interested in learning more about the Community Wildfire Safety Program. These virtual gatherings allow community members to learn more about wildfire safety and emergency preparedness, meet with PG&E representatives, ask questions and share feedback. For anyone who is not able to join a live webinar, presentations and video recordings of our past webinars are available on the PG&E website here

The next webinar is scheduled for March 30, 2023 (Napa and Marin Counties)

Join webinar 
Attendee Dial In:  1-888-790-1836
Conference ID: 7108900

For a full list of upcoming webinars, see here.


Office of State Public Defender Announces Launch of a New California Data Hub with County-Specific Resources brought to you by the Vera Institute of Justice

On March 16th,  the Vera Institute of Justice launched a new California Data Hub, which provides county-specific resources for county leaders interested in analyzing spending for criminal justice. With a separate fact sheet for each county, the data hub combines CDCR, DOJ, BSCC and Controller’s office data to give easy access to charts that can be downloaded. It includes helpful data points such as:

  • Dollars spent on different parts of the county budget, including a breakdown of prosecution, defense, probation, sheriff
  • Arrest rates by race within a particular county
  • Percentage of people incarcerated within the county who have a mental health issue
  • Percentage of people in your county jail who are awaiting trial
  • Percentage of cases that are misdemeanors / felonies / violent felonies within a county
  • Suggestions of what specific resources a county could pay for if they kept jail spending at 2017 levels (i.e. 34 mental health counselors, 225 one-bedroom apartments for the homeless)
  • Statewide comparisons for incarceration rates by county
  • Downloadable images and data sets

Explore the data hub here.


CALEPA and DTSC Issue Interim Advisory on Handling and Management of Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer

The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) and the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) issued an Interim Advisory on Handling and Management of Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer on March 16th. The coronavirus pandemic triggered the need for large volumes of alcohol-based hand sanitizer for businesses, schools, and other entities across California. Some of these entities procured alcohol-based hand sanitizer in excess of need and could not consume or manage the excess material. Much of that alcohol-based hand sanitizer is now expiring. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer may be considered a hazardous material, and additionally, an ignitable hazardous waste once it is no longer usable for its intended purpose. Read the full advisory here.


The CivicSpark Fellow Application for the 2023-24 service year is Now Open 

For 11 months, beginning in September, over 100 Fellows will bring energy, commitment, and drive to support communities tackle their climate and community resilience challenges while gaining professional experience. After launching pilot cohorts in Colorado and Washington last year, CivicSpark is excited to continue to serve those states, in addition to California. The priority deadline is April 7th. 

Register for an upcoming informational webinar and visit our website to learn more about our program and how you can support and strengthen communities.

For more information, visit the website here.


Training: Land Use Planning for Wildfire (Free!) 

The Board of Forestry and Fire Protection announces the launch of the CAL FIRE / Office of the State Fire Marshal’s Introduction to Land Use Planning for Wildfires in California Trainings.  

These free, all-day, in person trainings are open to land use planners, fire marshals, fire chiefs, fire mitigation specialists, building officials, and other professionals from government agencies and the private sector engaged in planning, policy, development review and/or approval activities in California. 

The following is a list of upcoming trainings across the state. 

  • April 18, 2023 – Del Rey 
  • April 20, 2023 – Los Osos 

Space is limited. For more information and to register, see here

view flyer


Career Opportunities

Mendocino County (NEW!)

  • Environmental Health Technician $46,072.00 - $56,035.20 Annually; apply by 4/3/23
  • Environmental Health Specialist I/II – $55,993.60 - $75,067.20 Annually; apply by 4/6/23

For full job descriptions and application, please direct candidates to

Sierra County

  • The County of Sierra is seeking a Director of Health and Social Services, responsible for the management and administration of Department of Health and Social Services.  A full description and qualifications are available here. For more information, visit the county website here or call (530) 289-2879.
  • The Sierra County Department of Transportation is recruiting for a Transportation Planner II or III, depending on qualifications. This position is open until filled. For more information, see the county website here or call 530-289-2879

Tuolumne County

  • Tuolumne County Public Works is seeking an experienced integrated waste professional with extensive knowledge of environmental regulations and compliance to oversee the collection, transportation and disposal of solid waste and hazardous materials, provide public outreach and training, promote recycling programs, maintain two closed landfills, and negotiate and monitor contracts for environmental and landfill services. The Director of Solid Waste, as a key member of the management team, will oversee a staff of four and provide expert advice and support to the Director, Board members, and the community.  Bachelor’s degree and three years’ experience in solid waste management with two years at a supervisory or higher level. Flexible schedule 90/8 or 20%-40% telework considered for right candidate. Position is open until filled. EOE For additional details, see here.

Yolo County

  • The County of Yolo is recruiting to fill one (1) regular, full-time position in the class of Public Information Officer (PIO) at the County Administrator's Office. The role of the Public Information Officer is to manage the County’s communications with the public through press releases, social media, videos, live media and the County website. The PIO informs and engages the community and other stakeholders regarding County activities, services, and strategies.  The PIO also functions as the County Spokesperson which requires knowledge of County programs and policies. As a member of the County Emergency Operations Center personnel, the PIO also acts in a lead capacity in disseminating information during an emergency. The full job announcement can be found here. This position is open until filled.


CMSP Offering Healthcare Infrastructure Development Matching Grant

The CMSP Healthcare Infrastructure Development Matching Grant program (HID Matching Grant) will help CMSP counties and non-profits contracted with CMSP counties to expand their physical capacity to provide healthcare and behavioral health services by providing required local level match funds for state, federal or other infrastructure grants.  Up to $10 Million may be awarded!  Awards range up to $500,000 for projects serving a single CMSP county and up to $ 1,000,000 for projects serving multiple CMSP counties. HID Matching Grant applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, beginning February 1, 2023 through June 1, 2023.   Applications will be considered as they are received and will be submitted to the Governing Board for consideration at an upcoming regularly scheduled public meeting of the Board. Completed applications must be submitted to by June 1, 2023. To learn full program details and requirements, or to download an application, visit the CMSP website here.


Institute for Local Government Launches New Digital Planning Commissioner Handbook & Regional Trainings

The Institute for Local Government (ILG) recently released an updated version of their Planning Commissioners Handbook. This handbook is designed to support planning commissioners, their staff, and other officials interested in land use and planning; to help local officials understand the planning process; and provide a glimpse of some potential planning challenges commissioners may experience during their terms. The handbook describes the major terms, plans, and policies that make up the framework of local planning, as well as typical stakeholders in the process and the basics of reviewing applications for development.

In conjunction with this release, ILG is hosting regional training sessions for planning commissioners. These interactive sessions will take place in person at various locations throughout the state and will cover topics such as the role of a planning commission, how to work effectively with staff and the governing board, effective community engagement, CEQA basics, required planning documents, and local and regional planning challenges and opportunities. Each session will give participants the opportunity to engage with experts in the field and fellow planning commissioners to hear best practices, emerging trends, and lessons learned. All sessions are FREE but space is limited and registration is required. Find a full schedule and register here.

Next Trainings: Tehama, Glenn, Butte, Colusa, Yuba and Sutter Counties, POSTPONED to April 14, 2023


Access the State Grants Portal for a Multitude of Funding Opportunities

Billions of dollars are up for grabs to public agencies and other entities, including tribes and businesses. Grant seekers can access a centralized portal of grant and loan opportunities here, or sign up to receive new grant opportunities delivered straight to your inbox