OKANOGAN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
RECORD OF THE PROCEEDINGS

April 4, 2017

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on April 4, 2017, with, Commissioner Chris Branch, Commissioner Andy Hover, and Amanda McAllister for Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board present. Commissioner Jim DeTro is out of town.
Albert Lin arrived at 8:30 AM

Emily Sisson, member of the public, arrived at 8:45 AM and taking notes

Commissioner Branch opened the day at 9:00 AM

Commissioners Staff Meeting
Tanya Craig, Debi Hilts, Perry Huston, Albert Lin, Laleña Johns, Josh Freel, Leah McCormack

Legal bids for the newspaper were discussed. We have received two bids for the legal newspaper. Commissioner Hover asked how many times a public hearing can be continued. Mr. Lin responded that he is not aware of a limit.

Ms. Hilts discussed a phone conference in regards to a salary survey. They have come up with nine counties and the highs, lows, and medians. They will have the survey ready by July 1st. She has all of 2016 AWC that will break everything down and will do a spreadsheet for the type of information that they ate looking for. Currently there are 22 open positions open in the county. 17 are through Public Works. There has been an overabundance of applications that have been turned in for the fairgrounds office position. The emergency management position will soon be advertised. Information was sent to PEB about insurance and they will send more information. The Public Works department has a composite insurance plan. The Law Enforcement information was not sent as that will not be changing. The Solid Waste Contact will be taking place May 2, 2017 and the sheriff’s conference room was reserved for that whole day. Ms. Hilts will be at training May 3rd, 4th, and 5th for training.

Mr. Huston stated that he doesn’t believe he has anything to update the commissioners about.
Commissioner Hover asked Ms. Johns if the legal bids got advertised. Ms. Johns responded that it was advertised and that it is the Auditors responsibility to submit advertising. Ms. Johns went on the read the RCW regarding her responsibilities.

Commissioner Hover suggests that we list out some of these things that the RCW states and make sure that the responsibility falls in the correct hands for all the procedures. He was concerned because the newspaper situation was so contentious last year and wants to make sure that everything is done right and that correct procedure is taken. Ms. Johns expressed her issue is that there is not a set order for these procedures. Ms. Craig believes that there are two separate orders. Commissioner Hover stated that it’s the newspapers responsibility to go to the courts to be declared a legal newspaper. If they do not do this then they can’t be awarded as the county’s legal newspaper. Mr. Lin stated that there has never been a decision made in our state regarding this matter. He would require that each newspaper present to the commissioners an order stating that they are a legal newspaper and if they do not have that then they need to do it. Commissioner Branch stated that this should be done annually.

Ms. Johns stated that in the past the Gazette hasn’t been able to declare the legal newspaper because they do not have a manned office within the county. Mr. Lin went on the give the meaning of the word “let” and how it applies to the RCW. Commissioner Branch asked if there was additional language regarding the contract and getting it signed. Mr. Lin responded that there is not. The concern of the board is being opened up to exposure. Mr. Lin stated there have not been any cases regarding matters related to this. Ms. Johns went to read parts of the RCW regarding the newspaper being adjudged and following this letter to the law. Commissioner Hover stated that he wants to make this reoccurring process easier and to simplify it. He further discussed all the procedures and making a schedule for each step. Ms. Johns stated that in the past both cost and circulation were considered by the board in the decision making process.

Commissioner Hover stated that he received a phone call of a person wanting to ride their horses on the track. Ms. Craig responded that there needs to be waiver signed and that the county would be taking on extra liability and that isn’t something that the county wants to do. Mr. Lin explained that there are all different kinds of waivers and discussed certain language that would need to be in this waiver. Ms. Craig has concerned because the track has not been well maintained. Mr. Freel expressed his concern because the guard railings are not in very good condition and is worried about the risk of horses getting hurt. Mr. Lin asked if Ms. Craig has enquired within the Risk Pool about this topic. Commissioner Hover stated that we need to have a policy and that we need to have a day fee and discussed what that fee should look like. Mr. Freel discussed other expenses besides just fuel.

Commissioner Hover discussed fees per person and not per group and asked Ms. Craig to ask the Pool and she will further research other counties that have tracks and find out what they do in regards to the legal side of allowing people to use their tracks. Commissioner Branch asked what the state of the track is right now. Mr. Freel stated that there needs to be quite of bit of maintenance done before it should be used. Mr. Huston discussed we would be then taking on added responsibility to maintain the track consistently if people were going to be using it year around. Commissioner Hover asked what is the point in the county having a racetrack that is only being used once a year and then the rest of the year it just sits unused. Mr. Freel stated that the Vintage Board came by the grounds yesterday and they want all the buildings pressure washed and making many other demands that he will not be able to get done by the time they need it done. They now want to come down and volunteer to get this stuff done but for a cut rate on their fees. Commissioner Hover stated that if they are willing to volunteer time they would be open to adjusting their fees.

Update-Clerks Office
Charleen Grooms, Susan Speiker

Ms. Grooms provided some background on collections and some changes that have been made. Ms. Speiker provided that commissioners with paperwork regarding these changes from Alliance to Dynamic. Many cases were transferred. She went through the information provided and broke it down for the board. She explained the increase in receiving fees through their office. Ms. Grooms stated that wage will begin to be garnished with certain people and now there are some regular payments coming in from people that were staying under the radar.

Commissioner Branch asked about jurisdictions. Ms. Speiker stated that it was a “seamless” transition. We are spreading the word about the new company being used. Ms. Grooms sated that the courts are waving so many fees lately and the juveniles are hardly ever being charged fines and that a lot of adults are getting their fees waved. A lot of the outstanding debt is so high because of interest. This is 12% interest.

Ms. Speiker explained the schedule and that it is quarterly and the new employee is doing very well and is training to be passport agent. Commissioner Hover asked how many people in the office can do passports. Ms. Grooms replied that almost everyone in the office is either able to or in training to do so excluding herself and Ms. Speiker.

Ms. Speiker expressed that they love their new desks and that getting those has really opened up the office. Ms. Grooms explained that they are now paperless.

Clerks Dismissals
When Ms. Grooms came on in 2011 these has not been done in about 15 years and that they have been working on trying to do ten a week which I how is started out and the judges didn’t want more than 10 at a time to sign and wanted to make sure the investigations were done. There have been almost 1000 cases closed since Ms. Speiker started in August. Ms. Speiker explained the process in closing a case. Commissioner Hover asked about the security protocell for their files. Ms. Grooms explained as long as they are locked and only a few people have the keys to access them but they are not in a climate controlled area. Commissioner Hover stated that it would be good to get these files into a climate controlled facility and possibly brought up the Public Works facility.

Commissioners will bring this up with the Public Works staff later this afternoon.

Temporary Employee
Ms. Grooms explained that when an employee is needed that they would like to hire them two months in advance so that they could properly train them. A current employee has a terminal spouse and needs to take some time off and they would like to get someone in to fill that position while she it out. The Current employee has about 4 months built up so she will still need to be paid while she is off. It was brought up to have an OJT person come in for the position.

Commissioner Hover asked about the chances of the current employee coming back. Ms. Grooms stated that it is not guaranteed that the current employee will be coming back but that it has not been officially talked about with that employee. Ms. Grooms stated that even a part time employee would be very helpful.

Resolution 57-2016 Revising Fees for Planning Department
Commissioner Hover moved to approve resolution 57-2017 to revise the fee schedule for the Planning Department. Motion was seconded all were in favor motion carried.

Update-Public Works
Ben Rough, Perry Huston

Office Space Rental
Mr. Rough explained that the agency that was interested in the space available at Public Works came and looked at it and decided that they do not want to use the space. Commissioner Hover stated that the Clerk’s Office may be interested in using the space for storage of files. Mr. Rough will send out an email to Department Heads to let them know that the space is available. Commissioner Hover explained how much pace the clerk’s office might need. Mr. Rough stated that the space is 1800 square feet and the ceiling 10 foot high and that it should be enough space for the clerk’s files. It is its own office space and has its own entrance. Mr. Huston stated that he could theoretically abandon the natural resources space if there was somewhere else to put his files.

Mr. Rough explained that there is a local company who expressed that they would like an opportunity to put together a bid for services for printer scanner copier services for files but that they never took it anywhere. Mr. Rough will contact the clerk’s office

Position Openings
Mr. Rough explained position openings and that interviews have been being conducted. The maintenance operator position has been filled. They are trying to consolidate the interviews for people that are applying for multiple positons.

Fairground Soil
There was a complaint that there is some contaminated soil at the fairgrounds and the matter is being investigated and the soil is being tested and it has ended up being a lot less soil than they thought.

Conconully Sewer line
Conconully will be working on this next week and the matter is progressing. Public Works would like to get out of the utility business. Hopefully this will be wrapping up in about a year and a half.
Mr. Rough stated that the Conconully system will need to be upgraded.
Commissioner Branch asked if there are on bonds on the sewer plant. Mr. Rough responded there is not.
Commissioner Branch discussed the pump issue in Tonasket in the past and to make sure that certain discussions are had to prevent certain issues that happened with the pump issue.
Mr. Rough stated that the vaults will need to be replaced they have not been replaced since the 80s.
Commissioner Branch asked about the fee for the sewer. Mr Rough responded that it is 64 a month for each connection.

Solid Waste Landfill Leachate
Mr. Rough is considering contacting Omak but the further than you get from the landfill the less trips a day someone can take. There was an issue with sodium. They are hiring another truck driver to do the watering. Hoping this will take care of the issue.

The Omak system is large and may be able to take the leachate with less issues. He will go through the process to figure it out and will keep the board updated. He doesn’t think we will have this problem next year. He would prefer to not have to build another lagoon. Commissioner Branch asked if there was space for another lagoon. Mr. Rough explained that there is an area but it would have to be pumped up to the new area for the additional lagoon. Commissioner Branch asked about the SWAC and the comp plan.

Solid Waste Scale Replacement
Mr. Rough stated that this is being handled currently and that a new scale is in the process of being purchased

Active Shooter Training
Mr. Rough explained how great this training was and how beneficial it was to their department and he highly recommends it to the community. Commissioner Hover had a discussion with the Sheriff’s Department and with the communication and distance between our offices that by the time the Sheriff’s department would hear of a problem the office would be in trouble.

Methow Valley Clean Up
Mr. Rough spoke to Mr. Lin about the finance part of the event and that the county cannot fund this kind of event and that we should not offer our equipment to aid.
Commissioner Branch stated it would probably work better to find your own solution to present to the attorney to overcome the liability side of it. Mr. Rough wants to see what other agencies of.

Albert Lin arrived at 1:40 PM
Mr. Lin arrived to discuss legal matters regarding procedural error regarding the legal newspaper procedures. Mr. Lin recommended that the bids not be opened and offer an extended period of time for additional bids. And have the newspapers resubmit everything. Mr. Lin advised to continue the legal bid hearing five weeks from now.

Motion Executive Session RCW 42.30.110 (1)(i)
Commissioner Hover moved to go into executive session at 1:50 pm inviting Albert Lin and Perry Huston regarding ongoing litigation issues for 10 minutes, motion seconded, all were in favor, motion carried. Session ended at 2:00 pm. No decisions were made.

Citizens Comment Period
No citizens to comment

Discussion-Communications Projects-Mike Worden
Mike Worden, Perry Huston

Mr. Worden discussed contract with the state and ComTech. The contract is a confidentiality agreement that each county must sign individually. Mr. Worden moved on to discuss the site being built on Bodie Mountain. It is adjacent to private property which is the closest source of power. The owner of this property would want compensation for the use of his property. An easement was prepared for the commissioners to view. The owner of this property is State Representative Joel Kretz.

Mr. Worden explained possible other routes that could be taken rather than to use this private property but this would be the most effective and efficient way. Mr. Huston asked if there has been an appraisal done. Mr. Worden responded there has not.

Commissioner Hover suggested having the Assessor do an assessment of the property that will be being used. Mr. Worden explained why they have chosen the Bodie site and that it also meets DOT needs to use this site. There are no other power sources that are close that are financially viable. Commissioner Hover asked what the timeline is for this agreement. We have requested the extension for the funds to be spent. That deadline is June 30, 2017. Additional steps will burn into his available window. Mr. Huston recommended approving by resolution if it is to be approved.

Commissioner Hover asked when it was decided that we would need to go across this property. Mr. Worden guessed that this decision was made in late 2014. Commissioner Hover asked when the owner came back with the offer. Mr. Worden responded that the owner came back about Thanksgiving of 2016.

Commissioner Hover asked for the proposals that the Sheriff’s office gave to Rep Kretz for the easement to go across his property prior to the 50,000 that he countered with. Mr. Worden stated that Rep Kretz asked that prior notice be given to him when someone will be coming in to do maintenance on the project and that Ferry County PUD has agreed to a $100 penalty every time this were to happen. Mr. Huston will create a resolution for the commissioners to look at.

Mr. Worden stated that Rep. Kretz highly values his remote property and that he struggled with how to support the project. Commissioner Hover stated that the Sheriff’s Department made offers and Rep. Kretz counter offered until he was happy with the outcome. Mr. Worden asked if we have any feedback from the public on the current projects that are being worked on. Commissioner Hover said we do not yet have any feedback. Commissioner Hover knows that communications are important in this area. His idea is to have the funding for the juvenile put onto the ballet. Mr. Worden stated that he has heard discussion about evaluating before deciding on public things and there needs to be more development on how other entities are going to play in and that we need them to support. The sooner we can get ballets to go towards that the sooner it can get done.

Commissioner Branch stated that a lot of the public is made up of first responders and that we need to develop this concept and that he has heard that there is a lot of problems out there with communications. He believes that if the towns, cities, fire districts, and ambulances were all on the same page then it could go a long ways.

Bid Award- Newspapers
Perry Huston, Employees from each paper present

Commissioner Branch opened the discussion.
Commissioner Branch explained that the proper legal notice was not published like it was supposed to be according to the RCW.

Commissioner Hover stated that legally we must advertise once five weeks prior to the awarding. He explained that we have not opened the current bids that were sent in and asked that they resubmit their bids. He apologized and stated that there was miscommunication and that we just want to do this legally.

Commissioner Hover stated that for this year the Clerk of the Board will be sending out the paperwork and handling that part of it. But for future dealings we need to sort this out as to who is responsible for doing what.

Commissioners believe that the auditor should be taking responsibility for this according to the statute and RCW.

Motion- Legal Newspaper
Commissioner Hover moved to continue the hearing to May 15, 2017 at 11:30 am.
It has been decided that these two bids will be rejected as they are unopened due to procedural error and new packets with information will be sent out and we will re-advertise according to statute and ask that the bids be retained and remain unopened and allow the two bidders to amend their bids if needed. Motion was seconded. All were in favor, motion carried.

Resolution 58-2017- Budget Adjustment for Jail
Commissioner Hover moved to approve resolution 58-2017, a budget adjustment for the jail in the amount of $80. Motion seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Approve Consent Agenda
Commissioner Hover moved to approve meeting minutes for March 20, 21, 27, and 28, 2017. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Hover moved to approve the consent agenda items 1-12 removing items 8 and 12. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

1. Approve Meeting Minutes-March 27 &28, 2017
2. Contract-Liquid Asphalt-Idaho Asphalt Supply, Inc.-Public Works
3. Appointment Letters-S.W.A.C- Michel, Carter, Turner, Bustamante, Howe
4. Appointment Letter-Civil Service-Bertha Wandler
5. Appointment Letters-Horticultural, Pest, and Disease Control Board- Seccomb, Smith, and Van Buskirk
6. Appointment Letters- Fair Advisory Committee-Mike Egerton and Sam Buchert,
7. Appointment Letter-Water Conservancy Board- John Hubbard
8. Appointment Letters- Planning Commission- Schultz, Roberts, Miller, Rawley, Dart, Porter
9. Contract- Solid Waste Dozer-NC Machinery-Public Works
10. Agreement –LTAC Funds-Loup Loup Ski Education Foundation
11. Agreement –LTAC Funds-Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce
12. Resolution 58-2017-Budget Adjustment- Jail

Sheriff 911 Dispatch Confidentiality Agreement
Commissioner Hover moved to allow the vice chairmen for the absent chairmen to approve the 911 Dispatch Confidentiality Agreement with ESINet Vendor, motion was seconded, all in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Branch adjourned the hearing at 4:25 p.m.