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Supes vote to move 69 county jobs from Auburn to Rocklin

Physicians could fill space in vacated Sierra Medical Group-owned office
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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The Auburn area is losing more Placer County jobs as the county increasingly shifts its focus to the more populous Roseville area. With much of the court system poised for a summer shift from Auburn and North Auburn locations to the soon-to-be-completed Bill Santucci Placer County Justice Center, the Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 Tuesday to adopt a resolution authorizing a move by the Child Support Services Department to a Sunset Boulevard office building in Rocklin. The move represents a shift of all 69 positions in Auburn to the new Rocklin office. The shift is contingent on completion of lease negotiations with Sunset Commercial Center owner Oates Investments and early termination of the current lease with Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital on the 11795 Education St. facility. Albert Richie, Facility Services Department deputy director, told supervisors before the vote that Sutter Auburn Faith parent corporation Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region has long-term plans to take over the location and with the current lease up next year, encouraged the county to look elsewhere. Owners of the Rocklin property offered a lease package with a base rent of $1.93 per square foot and sweetened the offer by agreeing to pick up costs for utilities, janitorial and maintenance expenses. Other inducements included 12 months of free rent spread over the first 30 months of an initial 11-year lease. Troy Held, Child Support Services director, said the North Auburn facility – which has been occupied by the county since 1994 – has 69 allocated positions. With a hiring freeze now in effect, 51 county employees now work in the building. They would all transfer down to Rocklin, he said. The move date would depend on how negotiation go, Held added. The department has a caseload of about 9,500, with nearly two-thirds in the South Placer Area and 30 percent in the mid-Placer area that takes in Auburn, he said. “With gas prices going up, we’re hearing more complaints about the drive,” Held said. The department has also upgraded its Web services to augment phone assistance to South Placer County clients. The department, which includes caseworkers and attorneys, will be about a 1½-mile drive from the justice center, Held added. With the county shift from Education Street’s Auburn Sierra Building, Sutter Auburn Faith Chief Administrative Officer Mitch Hanna said plans by the Sutter Medical Group are to move specialists and primary care physicians into the space. Like the county, the medical group wants to have its people near main facilities, he said. As well, it will provide a facility to locate new physicians being hired by the group. As many as 10 new physicians for the area are currently being recruited, Hanna said. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com.