April 11, 2017

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on April 11, 2017 with Commissioner Jim DeTro, Commissioner Chris Branch, Commissioner Hover, and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board present.

Staff Meeting
Albert Lin, Josh Freel, Tanya Craig, Perry Huston, Dennis Rabidou

Commissioner DeTro explained some issues that he is bothered about because there are many folks not in favor of putting the communications tax issue on the ballot. He has been checking out the TRANGO buses and it appears there are 15 in total. He considered that the 4/10th of one percent sales tax revenue was excessive given the buses are never full and wonders what the actual ridership is. He explained that the original meeting with Mayor Cindy Gagne and Roger Bauer they discussed 1/10 of one percent and they voted against the 4/10ths but were out voted and it went ahead as a stealth campaign. He proposed to this board that because TRANGO has a fat budget that we put on the ballot to take 1/10th to communication and 1/10th to juvenile ballot. Director Huston explained he is not sure it can be repealed since we are a code county and no authority for referendum which may not be prescribed in law. Unless the PGBA board elects to put it back on the ballot to do that. His point is even if citizens wish to put an initiative on the ballot they may not be able to. Commissioner Branch asked what their ridership numbers are as that is part of the picture. Commissioner Hover stated it was initially supposed to be a free service but they charge $1 to use public transportation. Commissioner DeTro stated they will have the fattest budget of any public entity here shortly and here we are going to lose our Juvenile because people are going to vote that down because of the tax burden. With our Communications deteriorating to the point we can no longer operate and that will be voted down too. How is that going to help our emergency operations obligation? That extra 2/10th could be split between communication and juvenile, stated Commissioner DeTro.

Motion Appoint Hover to PTBA
Commissioner Branch moved to appoint Commissioner Hover as the county representative on the TRANGO PTBA. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Branch stated as a member of that body the county should have the budget information available to it. If not we will go further to obtain it. Commissioners would like Director Huston to research the PTBA formation and the county’s roll on that board. Commissioner Branch stated the county has not taken a participatory roll in the past and we should participate before jumping on them. The cities and towns are the other members and that will come right back to us as a “where were you?” Commissioner DeTro replied he was right on.

Mr. Freel asked about the little red barn. That belongs to the Cattlewomen and there is an agreement with the county outlining the use and insurance on the structure.

Commissioner Hover discussed the request for use of the race track. He is not sure what to do about the situation knowing the rails are in disrepair. He asked Mr. Freel to stop disking the track. He needs to know what to do with the track are we going to allow people to use it knowing there are issues put into place addressing the attractive nuisances. Tanya Craig stated if safety warning signs are in place that in a way is acknowledging there is an issue. Director Huston stated if we have a facility we are not taking care of then we board it up. The group discussed how to address the liability issues for use of the track and grounds. There are some decisions that must be made. Commissioner Hover asked if donations were enough to bring it up to a higher safety standard we do not have the funds in our budget right now to address the issues. Commissioner DeTro agreed. We do not have the money to just go out and fix it. Commissioner DeTro stated we might have to put a padlock on it until the issues are addressed. Commissioner Hover would like to walk the fairgrounds and see what the concerns are. Tanya Craig replied that they can go over there. Commissioners Hover and Branch are in favor of taking a look. Director Huston recommended things be priced out to help people know what they are donating to. WE are at the point of either board it up or pricing it out.

Commissioner Hover discussed the conversation with Douglas County yesterday regarding our Jail. They would like a provision for low rate and then have something on top of that for improvements. They want like a tiered rate due to only having 32 inmates average. They would like to only pay for the beds they need but also have a guarantee for a certain number of beds when they need them. Premium for a certain number and then less for those not needed. There is some willingness to contribute some money. Ms. Craig stated she does need to break out the statistical rate for number of beds used historically in order to provide a better picture for moving forward.

Director Huston discussed the Joint Legislative Action Review Committee (JLARC) and Joe Tovar of Ruckleshaus request to address the North East Washington Counties (NEWC) and that discussion is being rekindled to reconsolidate certain land use processes The VSP process was discussed. Commissioner Branch stated Mr. Tovar has been involved with the growth management act and he would like to bring everyone to the table to discuss some ideas. They propose a process to assemble special interest groups and meet with them separately to get all the ideas out and then in the end in another forum have additional discussion He will describe it better when he comes.

Emily Sisson member of the public taking notes arrived around 10:30 a.m.

Discussion DSHS Master Contract
Skip Rosenthal, Lisa Apple, and Tensin, Albert Lin

Mr. Rosenthal explained the master contract for DSHS is due by June

Commissioner DeTro took a break at 10:10 a.m.

Motion DSHS Master Contract
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the DSHS Master Contract for the period of July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2023. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Jim Nobly is the new CEO replacing Skip Rosenthal when he leaves at the end of April. Mr. Nobly will be coming for an initial visit on the 20-21 of April and would like to meet with the commissioners if available. Mr. Rosenthal stated Lisa Apple chief compliance officer was selected as the interim CEO until Jim comes on board in June. Skip is leaving the end of April. She understands the agency as well as anyone. The DSHS master contract does give the responsibility to the agency involved. Mr. Rosenthal explained some of Mr. Nobly’s background and believes he will be a good fit he is from Montana too. This is a more sophisticated system of behavioral health in Montana. The integration moving to managed care there are some real progressive things happening. OBHC and the county has been taking some aggressive action in terms of integrated care.

Mr. Rosenthal explained a letter from Christine Barada regarding RSN dated March 8, wanting commissioner involvement to get some relief for state bed fines. Tensin explained a meeting with Governor’s office to attend to discuss use of beds at Eastern State hospital each BHO gets a certain number of beds. Greater Columbia has loaned extra beds to Spokane but recently there have been some beds taken back. There has been some changes due to the True blood case and a question about mental health issues standing in the way of standing in trial. Treatment to restore competency so they can stand trial was discussed and one reason why th beds were loaned. The allocation doesn’t work properly. He discussed how long it takes to get evaluated for competency. The Spokane jail has many inmates needing to be evaluated and there are not enough beds. There is a need to speed up the process. The fines Spokane is facing is around $3 million a year. They requested the governor to continue borrowing the beds from Greater Columbia or do away with the fines. Looking into the future with managed care coming in they won’t be faced with the allotment of fines so would like to fast forward under that. That is one reason they request a commissioner attend the meeting. Tensin offered to go with the commissioner to the meeting. Mr. Rosenthal stated Spokane RSN has been really good to Okanogan County. It is really their commissioners who have taken the risk for everybody. By being part of Spokane they have accepted the risk and make the decisions on behalf of Okanogan County. They are in a bind now and really need commissioners to show the BHO of its support. Tensin would be able to help April 28 at noon. Commissioner Hover and Commissioner Branch will work out some logistics with previous engagements that day but one will attend the April 28 meeting. Mr. Rosenthal stated the rates are a lot better with Spokane are much better than if we joined the other RSN, so he believes it will continue to be enjoyed.

Commissioner Branch thanked Mr. Rosenthal for his service to Okanogan County. Mr. Rosenthal explained some of the changes he was part of that were very positive for staff and service delivery and the fact that the agency is solvent and been able to put some funds away in savings.

Commissioners discussed departmental vehicle and large expense requests. Juvenile Rabidou was asked to wait on the Juvenile vehicle purchase and to research the costs between one purchased locally versus one purchased through state contract. There are several requests that will need funds from Contingency Reserve funds. The board was emailed quotes by Mike Beaver from Columbia Ford in Longview, WA for $28,966.65 and Jess Ford in Omak, WA $30,893.30 for a 2017 Ford Interceptor AWD pursuit rated Utility SUV for Juvenile Department. The commissioners discussed the difference between a regular vehicle versus a police vehicle. Commissioner DeTro explained that if we spend some additional money up front then we won’t have to spend as much later on.

Bid Opening Gravel Crushing Project
Josh Thomson, Amanda Moody, Perry Huston, Shelley Tugaw, Ben Rough

Engineer Thomson explained that the single bid received was accidently opened by Public Health staff. The commissioners discussed whether Albert Lin should determine if the single bid should be refused. Director Huston explained that since we only got one bid no one else was impeded.

Commissioners should explain in their process why it would not be impeded. Engineer Thomson explained that the award for Gravel Crushing has been awarded to several different bidders throughout the years.

Commissioner DeTro opened the bid stating it was received on time.

A bid bond and declaration was provided.
Total bid was $899,950 for the following pits Winthrop pit Bailey pit

Engineer Estimate was $703,500

Engineer Thomson stated the bid would be reviewed and a recommendation provided for commissioner consideration.

Public Works Update
299 overtime hours were noted by Engineer Thomson. Commissioner Hover asked about what happens since the county initiated a state of emergency for flash flooding. Engineer Thomson explained the advantages.

Hoishitt road culvert has a temporary culvert in place to address flooding which will require a permanent fix later on. Mr. George is meeting WDFW up there right now.

Additional concerns with county road systems were discussed by the Engineer. Director Huston mentioned as the board looks at regulatory documents mitigations are going to be something in the discussions and motivation behind some of what we are seeing should be brought to the officials. The bigger picture should include and whether putting extra effort in one place would get good results in another. It doesn’t hurt for them and the board to articulate why. Document what their position is so we are in a position of knowledge.

Public Hearing Cattle Guard Franchise Derek Olma
Shelley Tugaw, Josh Thomson, Ben Rough Perry Huston

Commissioner DeTro opened up the hearing for staff report.

Shelley Tugaw explained her report for cattle guard. This franchise is on Siwash creek road for a 24x8 foot heavy duty guard. The application was received and a public hearing was set. A notice was sent to the legal paper of the public hearing. The franchise hearing was posted in several places including the courthouse. There were no public comments received.

Engineer Thomson state the road is not paved and it up 1.1 miles up Siwash Creek Road.

Commissioner DeTro closed staff and opened up for public comment, no one wished to comment so he closed and opened up to the board.

Commissioner Branch moved to approve the Cattle Guard Franchise No. 01.17 for Derek Olma on Siwash Creek Road. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Director Huston explained the importance and reasons for recording the hearing and suggested the board consider quasi-judicial record.

The Clerk of the Board normally records the hearing but the recorder was accidently not turned on. The board considered redoing the hearing with the recorder on. Director Huston explained why it would a good idea to reconsider.

Commissioner Hover moved to reconsider the previous vote and reinitiate the previous process.

The commissioners did have staff participation and made a motion to approve.

Commissioner DeTro opened up the hearing to staff.

Shelley Tugaw gave her staff report for the application for Cattle guard Franchise. She explained this franchise is on Siwash creek road for a 24x8 foot heavy duty guard. The application was received and a public hearing was set. A notice was sent to the legal paper of the public hearing. The franchise hearing was posted in several places including the courthouse. There were no public comments received.

Josh Thomson stated Siwash Creek road is not paved and it is not a primitive road.

Commissioner DeTro closed to staff and opened up for citizen comment, no one wished to comment.

Commissioner DeTro opened for commissioner discussion. Commissioner Hover asked if there was a gate in place right now. Ms. Tugaw stated no nothing is in place.

Commissioner Branch moved to approve the cattle guard franchise No. 01-17 for Derek Olma on Siwash Creek Road. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Branch discussed processes and asked about establishing a process for quasi-judicial decisions the board handles. Director Huston replied that the main reason is to provide a public process, but Mr. Lin could certainly be able to weigh in on the legal aspects.

Commissioner Hover asked what the cattle guard franchise fee covers. Engineer Thomson explained it should cover the cost of staff to process the franchise. The guard itself is paid for by the applicant. Once the guard is established the cost is only $10 per year.

Ben Rough asked whether the county would like to retain the process for cattle guard franchises under their purview or place it under the hearing examiner. Commissioners do not wish for hearing examiner do these. Commissioner Branch discussed the process under the hearing examiner where the questions would be asked regarding conflict of interest and appearness of fairness, and that if we are acting in a quasi-judicial process that these questions would need to be asked. Director Huston explained he applies a very narrow thought on the quasi-judicial process. It is an exclusive franchise in the name of one person, but is non-exclusive in that we can give another person a franchise in another place on the same road.

Ben Rough provided Engineer Thomson’s agenda to the board and Clerk of the Board.

Director Huston discussed his direction regarding the ATV roads list and environmental review still needed. Commissioner Branch suggested the board provide for any additional other roads for sub basin that the board should have additional interactions with people about. Director Huston suggested the proposal list that was created be reviewed to click out the roads the board does not wish to consider then he will write the environmental checklist to conduct the review and look at those sorts of mitigations that might happen that we ran into in the past. Engineer Thomson discussed other twists in the process. Director Huston would like to get the environmental review started. The Critical path is choosing the roads within District 3 that the board does not want to open for ATV so the environmental review can begin.

Maintenance & Road Conditions

Current Projects
Conconully overlay project will begin soon.

Engineer Thomson discussed the projects and timelines for them.

B-3 and B-15 bridges have water issues so it will need to dry out before construction can begin again.

City of Tonasket Proposed Annexation
Commissioners discussed the proposed annexation which includes the County Shop and considered the City’s need to establish a new road on the County property to the City park. Commissioner Branch described the need for a safer crossing.

Barkley Ditch piping project

Ben Rough asked for additional half hour be added to their time to discuss all items on the public works agendas. The board was agreeable to that.

Ben Rough provided his agenda to the board and Clerk of the Board.

Mr. Rough asked the board about cost savings for purchasing supplies like with Amazon Prime or Costco versus commercial vendor subscriptions. Commissioner Hover stated there are some retail stores going bankrupt due to Amazon online orders which took over 50 percent retail sales away from businesses. Commissioner Branch stated it may be that local business sometimes can provide the product sooner than another vendor such as for parts or supplies.

Open position status for the most part is about done for temps and some permanent positions.

Ben Rough will meet with Treasurer to be able to use card readers at public works and transfer stations. Who would pay the fees public works or the public? If it were an option then the person would pay the convenience fee. The option should be there to pay either cash, check or card.

There is some soil at Fairgrounds that was thought could be used as cover soil. There is soil with oil and paint sawdust and Fairgrounds informally asked Public Works to help clean it up, Mr. Rough stated costs would run around $10,000 to $15,000. A conversation with Josh Freel Fairgrounds manager will need to be done. This would be a piece-meal kind of job that would be done over time. Commissioner Hover stated he would not want to go all in and over extend the fair budget. The most critical clean up should be done first. Commissioner Branch asked if volunteers could be used to haul it out like the paint and other stuff. The hazardous waste is of greatest concern. Commissioners thought the sawdust could be applied to the grounds landscaping and perhaps the rodeo grounds. Mr. Rough has a list of items he will email to the commissioners.

Contracts for Solid Waste Environmental Engineer will be on next week’s consent agenda.

Conconully Town council will meet to go over the agreement for utility maintenance costs. There have been some issues that are being worked on for resolution. The HVAC for public works building and annual service agreement was discussed. That agreement will be forth coming as well.

Commissioner Branch added to the earlier discussed franchise agreement process. He also stated it was not mentioned in the code what process is to be used. He didn’t realize that and would hate to get that into a land use issue. He asked Public Works staff to tix that since he felt it was under their purview.

Discussion –Conditional Use Permit Emerald City Cannabis
Perry Huston and several members of the public who signed in

Forest Hurley is a property owner in Okanogan County who applied for a conditional use permit. His issue is that according to the requirements for local permit met all requirements for the permit for water and a lot of things. He believe the county has a training issue with the Hearing Examiner and he doesn’t understand what his job is and making decisions on opinions that are not required in law. As a business owner he looked into what is required in the county but the hearing examiner based is decision on things other than what is required. He is at the whim of someone who doesn’t have the proper training so he knows what his job is. He has listened to the community comments during that hearing. If there is a legitimate reason such as not adequate water.,

Director Huston commented that he did meet the requirement for the permit but have not offered a quality analysis He met the minimum requirements. Commissioner Branch asked where the 17.A.290 was located online. Mr. Hurley would like to offer in his reconsideration three options to grow in the school so no one can see it or smell it, but was denied anyway. He even went further with another option to use the building for processing. He needs guidelines that he can follow, and spent over $100,000 of his money for this based on the confines of the laws visible by him of the county. He needs guidelines to follow in order to move forward and measure because he did meet the minimum requirements. In his reconsideration submittal he made some concessions to no grow outside but rather grow inside with carbon filters. He is begging to bring jobs into the county. Commissioner Hover asked what the process for appeal is for appeal the hearing examiner. Director Huston stated the code provides for a decisions that were made in error or were when an erroneous mistake is made. It is a land use decision and is appealable to the superior court. Commissioner Branch asked what the basis was for the denial. Director Huston thought it was mostly compatibility for that building. The conditional use permit in zoning shows that the use can happen if certain things are mitigated including future uses. The hearing examiner offered his final decision and found no conditions for the activity based on the scope but what was in front of him was found not to be compatible. Commissioner Hover asked about motion to reconsider. Director Huston thought it could have happened at the hearing. The record is closed and reconsidering is based on new information or interpretation of the statute. The hearing examiner qualifications include experience and in the end he is under contract with the county. Commissioner Hover reiterated that the only thing the board can do is review the qualifications of the hearing examiner. Mr. Hurley stated he noticed that it is better to resubmit for an entirely new processes, but he wants to know that in his findings one person testified for 150 other people in Malott and there was no basis to enter that into the record. He wishes to refile but would like to know what standard he will be held to. He just wants to know what standard he will be held to so it is a fair playing field. Commissioner Branch stated the standard is the interpretation of the code. Mr. Hurley stated bits and pieces of the code was taken and not the full interpretation of the code. Commissioner DeTro stated that is Mr. Hurley’s opinion. Commissioner DeTro stated the board cannot rehash this based on Mr. Hurley’s opinion and then circumvent the process that is in place. Mr. Hurley is asking the board to review the qualifications of the hearing examiner before he refiles. Commissioner Branch stated he will personally find out. He is not familiar with the basis of the denial, however the zone code is a tool that could deal with that which may identify areas that are more compatible. Mr. Hurley stated before he throws another $1,000 at another appeal that the hearing examiner is upholding the law not an opinion. Commissioner Hover stated they interpret the law and strictly adhering to law is only one part of the interpretation. Mr. Hurley had substantial documentation for acceptable water use. Director Huston stated no one questioned the water supply they are questioning how much would be used. Usage was the term used. Commissioners can read the determination but they cannot determine whether the Hearing Examiner was right or wrong.

Mr. Hurley would like to know what standard he will be held to if he reapplies. Commissioner Branch explained what the board can do is look at the zoning code criteria and consider whether those result in places where this type of operation is appropriate or not in certain areas. This board was not involved with hiring the hearing examiner, but they do wish to hear about problems that exist so they can look at the zone code and try and address the issues. Mr. Hurley stated he is spending over $8,000 per year. Commissioner DeTro stated his bad investment is not their problem. Mr. Hurley stated he made his investment based on the available code and rules that existed at the time. Commissioner DeTro commented that there are many different scenarios to consider with that type of investment. Mr. Hurley thanked the board for their time and stated it is difficult when the standard is not clear and recommended that the county make the process and laws and standards as clear as can be because the growers group are very interested in coming to Okanogan County even though electricity is more expensive. He knows of 36 tier three businesses interested in moving here because they were being kicked out of Chelan County right now but he would really like to know. He plans to process and grow inside so there is nothing visible, no smell, and he has modified his usage of the area. He believed he followed the road map set out by the county. Commissioner DeTro asked why the other county is kicking out those businesses. Mr. Hurley stated that county wanted zero plants outside. He was hoping to employ over 30 people full time over a two year build up here and was hoping to be a hub for moving the product across the state. He has to be able to start somewhere and he really hopes to not lose his investment. He doesn’t wish to move to Grant County and wants to live here where the mountains are. He just wants a chance to be successful. Commissioner Branch stated it is predictability which he seeks.

Consent Agenda Items
Commissioners discussed the consent agenda items listed including resolutions 61-2017 and 62-2017 having to do with Sales and Use Tax issues for Juvenile Facilities and Emergency Communications systems. Director Huston explained strategic plans to consider the sales tax for operations, repairs and maintenance. Bonding might be done for some other aspect of the project.

Motion Consent Agenda
Commissioner Branch moved to approve consent agenda items as presented 1-7 except for Items number 6. Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.
1. Approve Minutes- April, 3 & 4, 2017
2. Agreement-LTAC Funds-OkFiberFest
3. Agreement- Dispatch, WAMIL 911 Contract E17-025 Amendment
4. Application for Renewal- Cattleguard Franchise-- # N-41, 1-81, N-171, 02-02, N-209, N-73,
N-189, 07-13, 08-13-Public Works
5. Resolution 61-2017-Request for Election- Sales and Use Tax for Juvenile Facilities
6. Resolution 62-2017-Request for Election- Sales and Use Tax for Emergency Communication Systems
7. Resolution 63-2017-Purchase of Easement- Bodie Mountain-Joel Kretz

Director Huston stated he would submit a press release on the approval of the sales tax resolution for Juvenile Facilities.

Motion Commissioners Proceedings Special Meeting March 17, 2017
Commissioner Branch moved to approve commissioners proceeding for Special meeting of March 17, 2017 as presented. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion CDBG Public Services Grant Request No. 6 Contract No. 16-62210-011
Commissioner Hover moved to approve CDBG Public Service Grant Request No. 6 and authorize the chairman to sign. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion CDBG Housing Rehab Grant Request No. 2 Contract No. 16-62210-029
Commissioner Hover moved to approve CDBG Housing Rehab Grant Request No. 2 and authorized the chair to sign the A19 form. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Branch adjourned the hearing at 5:00 p.m.