April 18, 2017

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on April 18, 2017 with Commissioner Jim DeTro, Commissioner Chris Branch, Commissioner Hover, and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board present.

Emily Sisson member of the public taking notes arrived at 8:50 a.m.

Commissioners’ Staff Meeting
Albert Lin, Tanya Craig, Perry Huston

Risk Manager Tanya Craig provided her staff report. She discussed upcoming PERC training this Friday. Commissioner Hover discussed the Douglas County wish to amend the Jail Housing contract to reduce the max number of beds from 40 to 30 in order to help afford some other funding to help with the Jail capital improvements. Ms. Craig stated it would be written into the contract to secure/obligate certain funds for the improvements. Mr. Lin and Ms. Craig are working on a document with some language for Douglas County attorney to review and comment. Director Huston discussed ways we should ensure the funds received for the improvements are kept separate from the general fund.

Mr. Lin discussed the resolution authorizing the special election for imposition of sales tax for the Juvenile and Jail facilities Resolution 61-2017. The time frame was left incomplete on the adopted resolution. Director Huston will draft another resolution to identify that time frame. Mr. Lin discussed the Transportation tax as the board has concern that it goes on forever as no term was articulated for the purpose. Commissioner DeTro stated it is unknown how much is needed. Director Huston will put it back on his study session. His understanding is that there be a distribution to help support the general fund. The bonding issue is mute as we do not know what level of improvements are needed at this time, which is what he thought the direction was from the board. Commissioner Branch thought it would be indefinite over a period of time the Juvenile and the Jail ongoing improvement would be hard to fund. There isn’t enough juice in the resolution as is and the costs will need to be supplemented in the end. Director Huston reiterated that this would be indefinite or set a sunset or indefinite until another board repeals it. The board would like the dates left out of the resolution for Juvenile Detention and Jail facilities.

Commissioner Branch stated as time goes by the facilities just get worse and it would be irresponsible not to collect indefinitely due to the cost of maintaining and improving the facilities. Director Huston reminded the board that the previous board adopted a resolution identifying the facility issues with the Juvenile detention facility.

Joe Poulin updated the board on the energy project stating that keeping the Jail cool is a concern. The plan is to connect the new system to the City water until the water line from the new well is installed. Ameresco would be responsible for the extra costs for the water. Central Services need for a generator was discussed. There is not a way to run a line from the Jail generator to the Central services without a lot of cost. It might be more cost effective to provide a separate generator just for the courthouse which would include power for Central Services. The commissioners would like the specific information on how much power is needed to provide a generator for the courthouse.

Update Risk Management/Human Resources- Tanya Craig, Debi Hilts

Executive Session RCW 42.30.110 (g) Performance of a Public Employee
Commissioner Branch moved to go into executive session at 9:43 a.m. for 10 minutes inviting Tanya Craig Human Resource and Risk Management Director to discuss the performance of a public employee. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Executive Session ended at 9:50 commissioners waited three minutes. no decisions were made.

Commissioners discussed Grizzly Bears coordination and their wish to provide their letter to the Park Service to the Washington Outfitters and Guide Association. The board directed the Clerk of the Board to send the letter to the guide service. The letter was emailed to the association by the Clerk as directed.

Motion Closed Session Union Negotiations 42.30.140 (4)(b)
Commissioner Branch moved to go into Closed Session to discuss union negotiations at 10:05 a.m. for 10 minutes inviting Tanya Craig. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Closed Session was extended another 5 minutes.

Closed Session ended at 10:15 decisions were made.

Discussion Alta Vista Irrigation Dist. Brian Kirchner
Joe Poulin

Mr. Kirchner arrived at 9:50 a.m.

Mr. Kirchner explained that the Virginia Grainger building irrigation has not been used and therefore the district would like to disconnect the service when the city repaves the street and the cost to service the Grainger building could be affected due to the upgrade. He explained to do it the VG building is the end of the line and only serves this property. Mr. Kirchner stated he previously discussed this but due to the cost the county has not connected even though it pays about $140 per year assessment. It would cost Alta Vista too much money and therefore they would prefer to discontinue the service to the building.

The Courthouse and Juvenile buildings are served by Alta Vista but that service would not be affected.

Commissioners discussed putting the water in a trust and the possibility of expanding the service. Mr. Kirchner would like not to involve Dept. of Ecology as the district doesn’t use that much water and could be determined as insignificant, even though it benefits the city in that it benefits their potable water users. He further stated he would like to mitigate this situation before Ecology has to be involved. Alta Vista is not able to expand its services and does not have the means to do so in terms of water rights and pumping systems. Commissioner Hover asked if the school downhill has water rights. Mr. Kirchner stated the system ends here at our building and they are not served by it. The water comes from Okanogan River and it is not metered. The square footage used is much less. The landscaper for the VG building did not wish to spend more to hook up the system and the administrator at the time did not wish to hook up either.

Joe Poulin stated when the county moved into the building it was set up to use city water and the Alta Vista pipe was capped so we have never used the districts water at the VG. Commissioner Branch stated the city does treat its water. Mr. Kirchner would like to discontinue the service so the district doesn’t have to pay for the cost to upgrade when the city does its street project in the next year or so. If the county wished to use it it would need a really good filtering system as the water is dirty. Joe Poulin confirmed that we haven’t used the water and doesn’t know if we would need it in the future.

Commissioners believe a petition to withdraw is required to begin the process for disconnecting the service. Commissioner Branch provided the statute that he thought the petition would be filed under so thatn the Civil Deputy Lin could provide an opinion (i.e. RCW 87.03.650)

Someone with white hair member of the public taking notes arrived at 11:00 a.m.

Update- Public Works –Josh Thomson & Ben Rough
Engineer Josh Thomson, Admin. Ben Rough & Laura Super member of the public taking notes.

Engineer Thomson provided his agenda and discussed the emergency road conditions and status of listed roads.

Culvert replacements were discussed.

Gravel crushing contract bids were opened last week with one bid. He recommended rejecting that bid due to high cost. He would like to add one more pit and then go out and try and get more bids. He would like to attract more bidders. Commissioner Hover asked what the quantity 14500 for cover stone and top course from two pits and some land fill cover. We usually shoot for two cycles in order to last a few years. The Bailey pit would last several years.

Commissioners discussed petitions and what that process entails for certain public requests such as changing the name or speed limit of a county road and what considerations the board would look at. Safety issues that happen when roads have inconsistent names when referenced by other agencies. Engineer Thomson stated the county has initiated road name changes before but that road only had one resident not many.

Liberty Woodlands experienced a power outage which caused the pump to freeze at a cost to repair of around $3,000. The pumps should be moved inside so they do not freeze. A supplemental will be needed to replace two pumps and there are funds to do this just not enough budget.

Conconully overlay project has begun and the contractor believes they will finish early.

Plan reviews are to DOT for the Highway 7 3R Tonasket Bridge South. There are some things they are working on that might require removal from the project.

The bridges are moving along.

Hubbard Road property sale information would go through the County Treasurer per the resolution.

There are some increased flows affecting state route 155 from Twisp to Pateros which is the last route out of Twisp and Winthrop that are some concern. Engineer Thomson will keep in contact with DOT regarding the flows.

Ben Rough provided his administrative agenda. Mr. Rough updated the board on recruitments for open positions stating interviews were held last week. He explained which employees have a modified schedule with four ten hour days. He and Engineer do have a modified schedule which provide an efficient use of staff. He will meet Josh Freel over at the fairgrounds to establish what the costs will be for some of the work needs on those grounds. Cost estimates for scales at the landfill were discussed. Commissioner DeTro asked if it would be more efficient to bring the pit scale up to the landfill or whether it more efficient to move forward with a purchase. The Central one does need repair but last years repair should last to extend the life another year or so. It appears that work should hold it over until next year. They are looking at an above ground scale for the Central landfill. The scale replacement for Ellisforde is a priority and it is being customized to fit what we have.

City of Conconully utility maintenance agreement was discussed which allows us to reimburse the town for certain costs. All we need is an acknowledgement of that 1990 agreement to ensure both parties are still comfortable with it. There is maintenance language in that agreement which was difficult to find.

Solid Waste equipment purchase was discussed as the Bridge port transfer station needs a replacement computer. Previous Garbage bins quotes were discussed that may have increased, but there is budget for the bins. He will go out for bids for them soon. Commissioner Branch inquired as to whether the bins were typically built to the standard or whether the design was available, prebuilt. The lids are custom built, but the bins themselves are pretty standard.

Commissioner Hover left for the day at 11:45 a.m.

Mr. Rough explained PW was approached about changing over the lighting in the ER&R shop to convert to LED lighting. A Rebate we would be reimbursed around $5,000 of the $16,000 cost. A quote to install the lighting is being created. The thought to convert to larger light fixtures was also discussed. The cost is still being identified. They would like to stick with the small works roster. The rebates are going down after this year. Mr. Rough will give another update once he has some additional information as this project proposal continues.

Commissioner DeTro stated we will find out whether the full SRS payment is realized this year or not. Engineer Thomson stated we have received only about $70,000 of the $500,000 or so. This will affect the schools significantly. It will depend on Congress whether or not these funds will be reauthorized in the future.

Commissioners adjourned for lunch at 11:55 a.m.

Citizens Comment Period
Members of the public: Laura Super, Patti Cockfield, Craig Olson, Jean Olson, Wendy Snook

Mr. Olson recorded the meeting.

Patti Cockfield commented that the road culverts are really good on Chiliwist Creek. She explained a problem where after the fire the water found a new way to go and above 6.5 miles above the water found a low spot which is the road has deposited a lot of silt has been deposited. She has about half the Chiliwist which is still needing fixed on the lowest point of the road. She would like the creek put back where it originally flowed. The state would require some mitigation and some sort of plan that Fish and Wildlife could review. Commissioner Branch stated one fix the Tonasket Creek was provided was flood plain by design program they can re-establish flood plains and make a catch basin that is serviceable and can be cleaned out periodically. She discussed ATV’s because it seems to her that we should be able to catch those that ride off road. She asked if there are off road and on road licensing. Commissioner DeTro stated there are both. Ms. Cockfield stated it is a lot cheaper way of getting around the neighborhood. Commissioner Branch observed that some areas with private land he doesn’t see illegal use of off road riding as much in the DNR and Forest Service lands where they were ridging where they clearly ought not to be. He asked if that was the situation from the land owners point of view.

Commissioner Branch discussed a possibility of having a meeting with neighborhoods regarding opening up roads to ATV WATVs.

Ms. Laura Super representing the Methow Citizens Council she wanted to check in on the Title 20 hearings and SEPA notices as she has been getting calls. There seems to be some issues with the comments about DOE legal deficiencies on water rights. She advised starting with single well permits rather than those that are controversial. Determine water adequacy with public health and DOE then take on the one the ground issues rather than putting the public out there in front. Good idea to establish procedures before addressing this before it becomes a legal issue. Commissioner DeTro stated there is some good legislation put forth that has made it through the house but is being held up by democratic caucus. We were hoping it would have been resolved by the bill. He shared that some experts are saying it is a GMA lawsuit not a comprehensive plan issue. It is hard to tell where Okanogan County fits into this. He stated the county was waiting until some off those issue would have been addressed through adoption RCW 36.70 and other places. Commissioner Branch was looking at it from the perspective the court decision implication that RCW 58.17 subdivision and RCW 36.70 planning statute are affected since these statutes mention that water must be considered. It could migrate from GMA to those areas. We do partially plan under GMA with regard to recharge areas. The case has touched us in certain areas. We inherit the planning decision of the past under RCW 36.70 and at the building department level. We are having some potential vesting of water for development and that is problematic. It is concerning that it is at the lot level and not sure this will be resolved. Ms. Super stated many comments will be raised on these issues to the legislature in order to get through this.

Ms. Super is from her personally on French Creek. She heard from Engineer Thomson earlier that the last highway out of the Methow is being threatened. Some of the older county roads are no longer open due to vacation, private gates, and may not be assessable. She explained some inherited situations of the board. Attorneys are defending the decisions made before and asked how they can be objective. She has not heard why the commissioners cannot hear from their public regarding these issues. She urged the commissioners to have the attorneys work towards a public process and be open and helpful to providing information to the public about this. Commissioner DeTro commented that the prosecuting attorney is an elected official and the board doesn’t direct him. The Deputy prosecuting attorney is directed by the elected prosecuting official but does help the commissioners on legal issues. Commissioner Branch responded that the board has budget control; however elected officials should attempt to work with other elected officials rather than using budget authority to work the public. He doesn’t wish to take an adversarial position on things as that is even more challenging. When it comes to the prosecuting attorney’s office the deputy is the board’s appointed attorney, but when the attorney is appointed they are appointed by the elected prosecutor otherwise the board has to pay someone else and that could appear biased.

Mr. Craig Olson on Benson Creek commented that his crossing has a lot of build up which made him have to use an alternative route. It is imperative where ever the county can to maintain open historic roads so that people who have used them can go back and forth. Gates need to come down if they are in place. He would like to see the roads open.

Ms. Wendy Snook small farmer up Libby Creek. She asked the board what the three main reasons for someone to want to close that road. Commissioner DeTro stated because of the quiet title litigation suit this is one thing they cannot comment on that. The board cannot say. Commissioner Branch stated he has no knowledge of the situation specifically.

Ms. Snook wished the back road the Lloyds old logging road would have been kept open when the fires were happening. If that road had been left open it would have been a good escape route but fortunately the fire didn’t warrant its use for escape. She said most of the land back there is Gebbers land and respect their business but if there are water issues and vying over the water it belongs to everyone. The Planning Commissions job to address this. Roads need to be kept open for fire wood and alternative escape routes. Much is fenced off now, the Benton’s, is no longer assessable. One big family seems to be cutting everyone off from accessing open spaces to the rest of the public. She wants to see roads kept open for safety and water belongs to everyone lakes, creeks, high mountain fishing and doesn’t belong to one person with a lot of power. The Snook’s are three and half miles up Libby Creek.

Commissioner Branch stated this was public comment period and what was said has no bearing on the decisions of the board.

Update County Building Official-Dan Higbee
The recorder was kept on by member of the public Ms. Olson.

Building Official Dan Higbee provided the building permit activity trends. (attached) The trend is 10 behind last year. Mr. Higbee went over the information. The commercial breakdown was explained which they do not see a lot of. Honey Bear Growers on one commercial outfit noted. Permits due to fire are listed but likely coming to the end of those. Cost recovery report was discussed with only $2,000 down over last year. Commissioner Branch asked about the cost to do business as that is the comparative cost analysis that he likes to see (cost vs expense). Overall in June we should see both revenue and expense showing about 50% for both. Mr. Higbee discussed bills being reviewed by the legislature in regards to another unfunded mandate.

Nightly rentals were discussed.

The building department receives stipends for cell phones, but Mr. Higbee would like to see are county issues cell phones to avoid their personal cell phone being subject to public records requests. He would like the board to consider a proposal for that.

Cannabis operations and vesting is for zoning and he has had a total experience with those operations and most are not legal nor signed off by him on what they are doing. He doesn’t have enough employees to chase those down. He runs into it during his normal routes for business. Commissioner DeTro stated if they are not in compliance with the Building department they are not vested. Mr. Higbee stated he and Director Huston have a difference of opinion on that. Commissioner Branch thought that might be correct. Mr. Higbee believes he would go to all sites to be consistent. He doesn’t have the man power to do that right now due to how busy he is. Commissioner Branch asked if he journals what he does see when they go out. Mr. Higbee stated no just mental notes, but the Clerk of the Board does sent all new operations notices from the state to him so he does look those up. Commissioner DeTro stated it should be addressed. The new ones require a CUP and must be permitted in all requirements. Commissioner DeTro would like to discuss further with Director Huston and Mr. Higbee. Commissioner Branch would like some more detail. Mr. Higbee discussed the extraction processes and new building regulations have been adopted due to hazardous gases and dangerous chemicals and he knows those are going on but they are not permitted. He cannot address those permit issues with those types of marijuana operations. Without a Fire Marshal there is no one to enforce those laws, state Mr. Higbee.

Discussion Vintage Faire – Fairgrounds Logistics- Jacki & Group
Josh Freel, Fairgrounds Manager, Colleen McNeal, and Jacki

Ms. McNeal stated they have been on site at the fairgrounds and they are concerned about the stuff that needs to be done prior to the Vintage Faire. They would like to go onsite this weekend to start doing the cleaning because it is a mess. There are no fairgrounds staff other than Josh Freel and vendors will start arriving next Friday. She would like to get set up, but the Beef Barns are used by vendors and there is cow poop all over everything. They are not a bunch of princesses and do not mind working but it needs to be pressure washed and a lot of stuff stored in the building that need to be removed.

Josh Freel stated the fair took place and every single building was trashed and left that way after the fair. Ms. McNeal stated there is a lot of cleaning to do as well as picnic tables to be put out and debris to pick up scattered all over the place. Jacki stated they have one weekend left before the Vintage Faire so they would like to get started early this Friday. Mr. Freel thought he could get them set up with a set of keys nothing is going on this weekend. He can do that tomorrow afternoon. The big things is they cannot clean out the building by themselves because there is stuff in those buildings that must be moved out. There are the show cases and cinder blocks that must be moved. Mr. Freel doesn’t know what to do about moving the stuff.

Josh Freel suggested the Courthouse Maintenance crew help out and then bill the fairgrounds for their time. The Clerk of the Board stated she would ask the crew if they can help out, but there would need to be some consideration that one fund doesn’t benefit another. Ms. Craig was asked to contact previous Fairgrounds workers to temporarily help out.

Mr. Zabreznick stopped by to discuss the use of the fairgrounds. If he is not renting the fairgrounds race track then the county is not liable if he gets hurt. Mr. Zabreznick stated he was supposed to meet with Commissioner Hover.
Ms. Jacki asked how the contract should be addressed. Josh stated an hourly rate for volunteer deductions or come up with a number right now. The Vintage Faire stated if we can get the people and get the work done beforehand they will pay what they are required to. If they have to help out then that should be negotiated. Josh Freel stated he will meet the Vintage Faire at the fairgrounds tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.

Discussion – Fairgrounds Improvements – Josh Freel

Mr. Zabreznick really would like to use the race track to practice on, but the county must consider all the issues with that kind of use. Mr. Zabreznick contacted other County Fairs to find out what the status was on those tracks. Mr. Freel stated the board has acknowledged there is a safety issue with the track it establishes a liability issue from this point forward. Commissioners are currently discussing the status of the use this week. There was someone who let someone in who stayed at the fair without permission due to having a set of keys, explained Mr. Freel but the board is not aware of that situation as he has not had a chance to give them an update about it. Mr. Zabreznick would like to know how the county makes the fair work? Ms. Craig stated a walk through is planned with Commissioner Hover and Josh Freel of the Fairgrounds and assess the grounds, take pictures which will be provided to our Risk Pool and try to establish a cost to take care of the issues. It would be negligent on the county’s part if we allowed someone to use the facility in this way. Due to strengthening our Risk Management program so we are now addressing some of the risk issues. We cannot allow use of the track knowing there could be safety issues.

Mr. Zabreznick stated if the track was in shape he would rent it to hold races there from all over. Muckleshoot was discussed. He knows of 300 horses need training but there isn’t enough room at other tracks and he said the extra horses could have come here to train. There are many horses in the county that could use the track. If a track is put into the Casino our track would be shut down. Commissioner Branch stated he discussed the potential economic development with CCT Community Development Committee and stated of the tribe wished to do something like that on their own he would support that. Mr. Zabreznick asked why wouldn’t the county wish to provide a location for kids at the fair and ensure that tradition carries on. What happened since 1996 when the barns and exhibits cases were full? What happened between then and now. Commissioner DeTro stated the steer barn is full Okanogan County had 40 steers and other counties had less than five. Mr. Zabreznick would like to know when the walk through is on Friday and Commissioner Hover has his number.

Mr. Freel discussed the Berg Trust and the Lumbering Employees Trust resolutions and the funds held. Resolution 54-2004 was previously provided to Albert Lin to help determine how to proceed with use of those funds to replace the fairgrounds arena or replace a section of the race track.

Mr. Freel stated if we got a good chunk of the work done funds could be secured every year for continued upgrades. The RV park revenues could also be put away for park upgrades.

Commissioner Branch discussed the successfulness of TOTA and Route 97 due to efforts with establishing a database of people with interests and noted that tourism promotion through their program relationship holds promise in the success of the RV park. Mr. Freel explained he was contacted to establish a way to capture where people are coming from and how many pay for overnight lodging. Commissioner Branch stated it is the kind of information the county provides to JLARC for tourism. The Route 97 corridor was discussed as Canadians are using this for their tourism route and emphasis is made through one of the largest RV shows on the west coast in LA.

Mr. Freel asked the board if the county has sprayed for mosquitos. Commissioner Branch stated the cities have a fogging project for Okanogan and Omak. Commissioner DeTro stated the fogging equipment does work and concentrates the fog next to the ground instead of dissipating in the air. Commissioner Branch suggested that Mr. Freel contact the City of Okanogan Public Works Director for more information.

Mr. Freel stated the Okanogan County Well drilling looked at the well and they do not believe it is sand it is the steel eroding on the deepest well (400 foot well) There are sand screens on the variable speed pumps. The debris settles in the filter and it is black and the filter casing is orange. We have to be careful not to run the well dry.

Mr. Freel discussed staffing for fairgrounds needs and how the staff doesn’t have time to provide for the fair.

Fairgrounds fund 127 and Fair fund 112 were discussed and the inefficiencies having the funds separate creates and the possible resolve. Commissioner Branch agreed but suggested that there still be internal separation within a single account to fairly allocate costs to maintenance and capital improvements.

Motion CDBG Grant Fire #15 Request
Commissioner Branch moved to approve CDBG Grant General Purpose Grant request for the period of March 2017 in the amount of $192,714.85 of Fire District #15. Motion was seconded all were in favor motion carried.The Clerk of the Board explained she would be going onsite to monitor the Fire District 15 Ambulance/Fire Hall project Thursday, April 20, 2017 so she won’t be in the office for most of the morning that day.

Motion Resolution 69-2017 Budget Adjustment Current Expense
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 69-2017 a budget adjustment within current expense Commissioners and Auditor’s budgets in the total amount of $400. Motion was seconded all were in favor motion carried.

Motion Resolution 70-2017 Sales Tax Ballot Issue Juvenile Detention/Jail
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 70-2017 regarding ballot issue for the vote of the people to increase sales tax for the Juvenile Detention and Jail facilities. Motion was seconded all were in favor motion carried.

Approve Consent Agenda
Commissioner Branch moved to approved approve the consent agenda items 2-12, excluding item 1, Motion was seconded all were in favor motion carried.

1. Approve Minutes- April, 11 & 12, 2017
2. Agreement-Powerline Construction –Joel and Sarah Kretz
3. Contract Amendment WAMIL 911 E16-2017 – Sheriff Dispatch
4. Call for Bids Ellisforde Transfer Station Steel Deck Truck Scale-Public Works
5. Supplemental Contract – Solid Waste Engineer & Environmental Consultant Services-Parametrix
6. Contract-2017 Soil Stabilizer- Roadwise Inc.
7. Contract-LTAC Funds Marketing 17-LTAC 013 Methow Trails MVSTA
8. Contract-LTAC Funds Capital Improvements 17-LTAC 014 Methow Trails MVSTA
9. Contract-LTAC Funds Marketing 17-LTAC 034 Twisp Works
10. Appointment Letter- Television District #1-Michael (Al) Maden
11. Appointment Letter-Water Conservancy Board – Charles Brushwood
12. Resolution 66-2017 Budget Adjustment Misc and Current Exp Funds 196,132,127,109,124, & 001.023

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