AUGUST 1, 2017

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on August 1, 2017, Chairman Commissioner Jim DeTro, Commissioner Chris Branch, Commissioner Andy Hover, and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board present.

Commissioners convened the board at 9:00 a.m.

Commissioners’ Staff Meeting
Tanya Craig, Kim Spivey, Debi Hilts, Joe Poulin, Perry Huston, David Gecas Interim Chief Civil Deputy

Joe Poulin updated the board on the startup of energy system. The injection wells had trouble with the amount of water being injected into them. The system is prepared for 600 gallon per minute but the wells appear to have a hard time accepting that amount of water. The commissioners will not sign off until it is right. District Court is the first area to be served, so the heat and cools will be removed, but they will still be our back up should the units be needed. The push lawn mower is blowing oil out. A replacement will need to be considered for purchase next year. Both mowers are about the same age.

Debi Hilts provided the board with a sample packet of exit interview questions that include questionnaires the departing employee would fill out, another is a checklist of items returned which the department head would complete. She needed direction on whether to combine them. Commissioner Hover commented on the questionnaire being too long and try to get as much info in the shortest amount of questions. The board would like something that articulates why someone is leaving their job such as not enough pay, conflict with staff, or some other reason. Perhaps an exit evaluation would be a way to get that information. Commissioner Branch suggested a they do a self-evaluation and or an evaluation of their supervisor. Mr. Hilts did make that recommendation to update the evaluation process to include a performance plan with feedback so it is more of a positive supportive process for employees. Ms. Craig discussed implementing a more positive experience for constructive evaluations because right now the evals are focused on what the employee does wrong and doesn’t help the employee improve. Utilizing different tools to help employees improve their work were discussed.

Kim Spivey updated the board on the Fairgrounds and the preparation of the fair. Things are getting squared away. Commissioner Hover will meet with Search and Rescue to coordinate the gates.

Ms. Craig updated the board stating several resolutions were prepared for consent agenda. She further noted that the legal services budget is nearly depleted.

Commissioner Hover moved to go into executive session at 9:28 a.m. to discuss legal matters. The motion died for lack of a second due to attorney not being present.

Ms. Craig provided Legal Service costs for services provided by Rocky Jackson since 2001 it was over $700,000. She further explained the contributions to Risk Pool from 2013 to present on claims paid out of pocket. She listed those and the amounts paid per year. Our deductible is currently $10,000. We are not rising to that level of the deductible. She recommended our deductible be raised to $25,000 in return our contribution would decrease. We are not in compliance with our spending line as those costs currently come out of current expense Legal Services and she recommended a new special fund be created for legal expenses and claims. That way those left over funds could roll over and could be a savings account reserve. At some point we would accumulate enough to raise our deductible even more thereby further decreasing our contribution. The commissioners believe that is a good idea. Ms. Craig has been working with the executive director at risk pool to prepare for this.

Motion Deductible Direction
Commissioner Branch moved to raise our deductible to $25,000 and directed Ms. Craig to draft a resolution to articulate and memorialize the purpose. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

David Gecas updated the board on the Comprehensive Plan case attorney for the Yakama Nation. The stipulation to dismiss was based on the county’s agreement to open and review the plan within 60 days which started in May. He expects a call from her to go over that. Director Huston received direction on a variety of things but haven’t actually gone out. Commissioner Branch stated the board would like “official opening” to be clarified. Director Huston discussed what could be done. Commissioner Branch would like to see a schedule created and noted that he had already taken action within the 60 days by submitting draft language for the plan to Director Huston from the WRIA 49 plan that addressed water and land use. Water availability is a concern for Yakima’s and how we are dealing with it. Director Huston would like to sit down and go over a critical path. He needs to be in the right step with what the board’s expectation is. The Planning Commission does need to full membership, however there are enough members for a quorum.

Mr. Gecas further informed the board of a lawsuit filed by Okanogan Irrigation District where the county was named. A request to dismiss Okanogan County will ensue once the attorney returns from time away. He further updated the board on another lawsuit that named Perry Huston, finalization of the order dismissing Mr. Huston is expected. Director Huston updated the board on another law suit he is named in regarding marijuana operations currently under review with county zoning. Ms. Craig asked if the Task Force has been contacted about any interest they might have on illegal operations where there are plants found on unpermitted sites. Mr. Gecas further updated the board on another case regarding roads.

Director Huston outlined a review schedule of the water section of the Comp Plan in order to publish the appropriate notices. Commissioner Branch provided the section he had submitted to Huston earlier to the other commissioners for their review.

The Clerk of the Board handed out her Agenda. She went through the listed items stating that she provided corresponding information to the board to review. The infrastructure fund history was provided by Commissioner Branch as he previously was on the Economic Alliance board infrastructure fund committee. Commissioner DeTro discussed the PWTF loan history and how the state had plans to sweep the fund. Commissioner Branch discussed his proposed option that would allow connection fees for the sewer to be paid over time through utility billings. The City would have to be a cooperator in this regard. Director Huston discussed his involvement in an attempt to create a sewer district.

Commissioner Hover discussed utilization of other funds that would be relieved if the Sales Tax for the Juvenile facilities passes. He thought funds could be used to address courthouse projects that have not received funding.

The Clerk of the Board discussed receiving the request from Census Bureau to reconcile the addresses prior to the 2020 census. Usually Planning Department GIS addressing does this, but it does cost the county in staff time. Does the board wish to assist the Census Bureau? No commissioner direction was given

10:25 a.m. member of the public arrived to take handwritten notes and put a recorder on the table. .

Update – Human Resources / Risk Management – Tanya Craig and/or Debi Hilts
The commissioners used this time for Infrastructure fund discussion.

Update – Sheriff’s Office
The Sheriff’s office requested this meeting to be cancelled.

Update – Public Works – Josh Thomson and/or Ben Rough
Josh Thomson

Engineer Thomson provided his agenda.

Maintenance and road conditions
Engineer Thomson updated the board on the status of the following roads: Peter Dan Road, S. Fork Beaver creek Road, Volstead Creek –USFS road.

Engineer Thomson discussed current chip seal projects and when those would be completed.

Future Pits
Engineer Thomson discussed future pit sites. The county would need to act quickly to obtain pits in areas where needed before the prices go up.

GRAB GIS and steering committee

2040 Regional Transportation Plan
Engineer Thomson discussed Commissioner Branch’s proposal to adopt the recently completed Regional Transportation Plan. Commissioner Branch offered some of the benefits incorporated the plan into the Comprehensive Plan as the Transportation element. Engineer Thomson will initiate a draft resolution for consideration.

Secure Rural Schools Status
Commissioner Hover explained some forest service roads are affecting county roads. Engineer Thomson replied that reimbursable work agreements or MOU’s can be put into place for a reimbursement and payment process.
Commissioners adjourned for lunch at 11:40 a.m. due to a power outage in the city of Okanogan.

Discussion-Colville TAS Application
Seattle EPA attendees; Council Ted Yackulic and Mia Tritt, Okanogan County staff: Director of Planning Perry Huston, Senior Planner Char Schumacher

Cami Grandinetti, Office of Water and Watershed was not able to be contacted via telephone conference call due to an earlier power outage that affected the county phone system.

Jean Olson, member of the public recording and taking notes on her computer.

Mr. Yackulic explained they were here on the invitation of the County Commissioners to discuss the Colville TAS application. Implement water quality standards. They have established the beneficial use standards of waters within the reservation and does include a portion of both Columbia and Okanogan Rivers. The application criteria considers whether the tribe is federally recognized, that is has a governing body that carries out substantial duties such as judicial duties, does the water quality program that the government expects to implement includes water that is owned by the member or held in trust or is within the boundaries of the reservation. Those are the four criteria. Commissioner Hover noted that there are waters that flow into the reservation like the Sand Poil and asked how it affects their regulation on those rivers flowing in. It doesn’t change for those. This isn’t a delegation of permitting authority. EPA would issue those permits and the state would issue outside the reservation. If the state was considering a permit upstream the state would need to evaluate water quality on water traveling into the reservation. Commissioner Hover asked if that standard is higher than?? There are federally implemented standards that are applicable to waters in the reservations. Commissioner Hover asked if the water on the border or higher up be permitted under higher standards for flow of effluent and does it have a higher threshold to meet? Mr. Yackulic stated the tribe has not implemented its water quality standards yet, but the state does have water quality certifications on water quality up stream. It depends on the dilution, what TAS does is give them the authority to develop their own standards. The tribe could have higher standards than the state. EPA would have to approve those standards. EPA is a bit different and statutes for clean water include express language that decisions made under the clean water act are not subject to the other acts. EPA understands their publication process wasn’t widely circulated and perhaps it should have used the paper within the area.

Mr. Yackulic asked if the county had any contact with the tribe on regulatory issues. Yes, there is an interlocal agreement. Commissioner Branch discussed their wish to update those standards. Mr. Yackulic replied there is a willingness to have dialogue with local communities and believes that is something folks would be open to moving forward. Commissioner Branch noted that Ecology is responsible for regulation of the river water quality as the Tribes wish to attain that authority for Reservation waters. The county’s biggest concern is the coordination among the different agencies. Non-point pollution sources were discussed, water quality conditions ddt, temperature, standards set for drinking water, arsenic, and other naturally occurring soil contaminants. Commissioner Branch suggested that if wondering about the motivation for the Tribes to attain water quality authority equal to the state one should consider that the Tribes area fishing culture and to sustain fish, lean cool running water is a primary objective and fish that are health to eat are important. He also understands the objective to assert sovereignty in that area of clean water is important to the tribes.

Commissioner Hover believes there is a lot of interaction that should take place between the two agencies. He wants to make sure we have the right to keep farming and keep our economic viability while also trying to meet the water quality. Mr. Yackulic asked if there is any agriculture within the reservation. Commissioner DeTro replied that Gebbers does with a crop sharing on this land and using tribal land and tribal water. Mr. Yackulic explained that could be used for comparison for water quality. State has fish consumption quality data to use for comparison too. Ms. Tritt explained the process the tribe uses for establishing the standards and everyone reviews it, it will then go out to public comment and at that time it would be a good opportunity for the county to comment. The comments are taken into consideration by EPA. Not all the standards are approved by EPA. Commissioner Hover asked if EPA has ever disqualified because the standards are too high. Ms. Tritt replied when there is insufficient science, the standards could be disqualified, but they haven’t disqualified them because they are just too high. Water quality standards criteria to placing a rating on the water. The existing uses, uses they would like to obtain, and 1967 and all existing uses would be geared to be protected. Assigning a classification system to the waters, but WA has moved away from grouping their uses together according to grouping water.

The board thanked both for the information and exchanged cards. The meeting was completed at 2:10 p.m.

Commissioners discussed, with Director Huston how they wish to proceed. The issue is not so much the standards, but EPA will approve no matter how it is treated. The key point is the county be involved and engage on what the water standards should be. Commissioner Branch pointed out that on state level “Water Quality Modifications” are issued for project related temporary impairments an area where that authority may kick in for the Tribes. When it does the feds are involved anyway.

Member of the public Lorah Super,

Citizens Comment Period Forest Service Diamond Creek Fire Update
Emergency Manager Maurice Goodall, Michael Liu, Erin Uloth Forest Service and Incident Team members Sarah Saraloos, & Dwight Robanske

The Forest Service Forest Ranger Michael Liu came in to report on the Diamond Creek Fire currently burning in the County. The Forest Service reported how public information is being provided and their expectation that there would not be a drop in communication during team transitions. There was action yesterday with helicopter bucket drops on several areas of the fire. They have not brought in the 1000 firefighters yet. There are four proposals to be considered for an option moving forward and that option will be revealed tomorrow. Mr. Liu updated the board on how the Forest Service will attack the fire on the various fronts and how weather will play a role in how it is addressed. Due to the Canadian smoke coming is the heavy helicopters cannot be used. Commissioner Hover asked about planes and what that trigger point is to utilize those. Mr. Liu said that is what they will discuss with Mike Williams tomorrow. To use retardant they need ground troops on the ground to work the retardant into the ground once dropped.

Ms. Saraloos explained what will be shown at the meeting tomorrow and the answers on what they will do will be an organized plan to move forward. Commissioner Hover explained what questions he will receive.

Motion Executive Session
Commissioner Hover moved to go into executive session at 3:00 p.m. for 15 minutes inviting Orrick Attorneys, Tanya Craig, and Previous County Commissioner Ray Campbell to discuss litigation matters to which the county is a party. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioners extended executive session at 3:15 p.m. for another 10 minutes.

Executive session ended at 3:30 p.m. no decisions were made.

Citizen Comment
Lorah Super, Jack Stanton

Jack Stanton explained he has lived up Twisp River for 40 years and he ran a biological study on rivers. He explained how he can determine the characteristics of the rivers and what he found with rivers with expansive flood plains which are the ones that are most productive for salmon. He further explained the pump uses on the river and exchanges of river water provides key habitat to salmon. He has developed a remote sensing tool on rivers with size and developed an algorithm to determine amount of water. He also created a study of the organisms living in the ground but won’t go into that. How can the tool be used for shoreline protections? He showed the board a printout that shows the Methow river and flood plains on the main tributary and stems of the river. He discussed where the standing water would be found. The algorithm used is a quick bird image multispectral image that can show the slope and garaged areas within some boundaries. He provided another printout that showed details of water moving in the channel and in the ground to give the commissioners a better understanding of how the river works. The constrictions provide a natural dam. All flood plains have wall based channels. The thought is that the tool can be applied to the river shoreline so the commissioners can better understand those characteristics along the river as the board considers it Shoreline Master Program. This information will help as developing along the rivers happen. Commissioner Hover said one problem is the city, as their developments happen within the flood plain.

Discussion – Juvenile Dept. Matters – Dennis Rabidou
Sabrena Smith

Mr. Rabidou asked if he could reschedule this meeting as there was not much time and he has another meeting. He stated the board needs to fix what needs to be fixed in terms of the $51,000 grant funded position or the funds must be sent back to the state. It wasn’t fixed during budget negotiations for 2017. The funds need to be spent properly. You cannot supplant the funds, and it must be fixed so they are not supplanting the funds. The CD position has to be above in order to keep the funding. Commissioner Hover asked another meeting be scheduled.

The board will need to open the positon up to be filled. Ms. Smith stated they will be bringing in about 44575 more because they could bill extra.

Ms. Smith asked if the position could be advertised for the new revenue that would be grant funded for two years for the positon. If the grant funding goes away the position might go away or cut some other position. A resolution would need to be created for that job position. There are two positions and no hit to the current expense line. One open position and one new position. She will work with Cari on the budget part to ensure the line item that will go into the negative. As long as Cari is on the same page the board won’t have an issue considering the resolution.

Update – Coroner – Dave Rodriguez
Mr. Rodriguez reported on activity this year. Caseloads have been higher than the previous two years. His budget is right on, percentage wise. He is sticking to his line item budget and tries not to be a thorn. He does have a need regarding caseloads that has to do with more that require investigation. He was contacted by State of Washington for Okanogan County to participate in violent crime statistics evaluation. He will go ahead and join that. They sent an MOU which may require the Board to sign. It doesn’t have to do with funding it is for data.

Mr. Rodriguez explained there is an area in his budget that does require a discussion. The county does not have a morgue so he relies on the funeral homes (3) that are around the county to hold and pick up the person. He further discussed the process used and how the situation is handled by the funeral home and the costs they charge. He does get into charges when the person is shipped away. When someone is to have an autopsy he requests the funeral home to transport there and back. Each funeral home has a different way to bill which is very inconsistent. He wants to standardize the amount a funeral home may bill for to transport and the RCW allows a reasonable cost to be paid.

Mr. Rodriguez explained that a cooler and a vehicle would also reduce the funeral costs. But he isn’t asking for that right now, but it would address the evidence and avoid the funeral costs.

Approve Consent Agenda
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the consent agenda items 1-15 as presented, motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.
1. Agenda Bill – VSP Contract No. K1820 Biennium 2017-2019
2. Agenda Bill – Town of Winthrop/County Reimbursable Agreement
3. Agenda Bill – Employment Agreement – Public Works Solid Waste Division-Christopher
4. Appointment – Board of Equalization – Bull
5. Resolution 121-2017 Authorize Repayment of the North Cascades Bank Inmate Account Fund
6. Resolution 122-2017 Rescinding Resolution 65-2017 - Previous Emergency Declaration for hazardous conditions
7. Resolution 123 Granting Signing Authority to Director of Planning
8. Resolution 124 Rescinding Previous Resolution Granting New Signing Authority to Clerk of the Board
9. Resolution 125 Granting Signing Authority to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Administrative Assistant
10. Resolution 126 Granting Signing Authority to the Human Resources Coordinator
11. Resolution 127 Signing Authority to Interim Okanogan County Chief Civil Deputy
12. Resolution 128 Granting Signing Authority to Acting Okanogan County Prosecuting Attorney
13. Resolution 129 Granting New Signing Authority to Human Resources Director/Risk Manager
14. Resolution 131- 2017 Chief Civil Deputy Reclassification
15. Resolution 132-2017 Appointing Interim Chief Civil Deputy- Gecas

Motion June 24, 2017 Meeting Minutes
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the Board’s meeting minutes of June 24, 2017. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioners adjourned for the day at 5:20 p.m.