RECORD OF THE PROCEEDINGS

OKANOGAN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

February 21, 2017


The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on February 21, 2017, with Commissioner Jim DeTro, Commissioner Chris Branch, and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board present.

Commissioner Andy Hover attending WDFW meeting in Winthrop with FS Mike Williams till this afternoon at 1:30 p.m.

Gina McCoy 9:03 a.m. members of the public taking notes.

Commissioners’ Staff Meeting
Albert Lin, Josh Freel, Tanya Craig, Debi Hilts, Perry Huston

Mr. Freel provided the propane estimate for the Agriplex heating. It was $2800 for the 300,000 BTU Director Huston stated the Bids received for the bathroom and grandstands will become stale if not moved ahead to construction. Mr. Freel stated Commissioner Hover had discussed with him where the leaks were coming from and it appeared the floor was leaking and a French drain would need to be installed. The water runs off the parking lot and dams up against the building and sails right into the building so a drain would help redirect the water somewhere else.

Tanya Craig updated the board on LERA training which will assist the department with Union Negotiations. The training costs were shared with both Debi and Tanya sharing a room. Commissioner Hover would like to attend so his costs were calculated separately.

Ms. Craig explained a need to schedule a meeting to go over the County Personnel Training the commissioners would like each department to participate. She provided a report of the Jail Incarceration Cost Analysis. (Attached)

The Commissioners have started to generate a meeting time and date for a county elected official meeting. Director Huston suggested a retreat that would allow more time for participation and provide a facilitator so that the discussion topics at hand could be organized and information prepared. The preparation of the meeting takes time and should be much more pointed. Commissioner Branch agreed that a retreat would be more productive. It would be worthwhile to have a periodic Department Head meeting that is well structured. Director Huston stated it would benefit all to have meeting with them often to discuss budget etc….. Lunch and proper facilitation was discussed. The Clerk suggested Director Huston help facilitate.

Ms. Hilts asked for direction on when to begin hiring for Fairgrounds staffing for Mr. Freel. Director Huston suggested the budget and needs be identified for this before anyone is hired. He will help figure it out and it must be organized so as not to go over in certain budget items. There are some major projects coming up that need to be considered. Ms. Craig discussed sitting with Mr. Freel to go over the projects and office tasks that he will need to know.

Joe Poulin stated the Handicap door for the hearing room is operational. The VG parking lot is very bad with water undermining the dirt the black top on which it sits. Director Huston stated the Planning Commission would hold a hearing to add it to the Capital Improvements Plan.

Motion RCW 42.30.110 (1) (i)
Commissioner Branch moved to go into executive session at 9:45 a.m. inviting Director Huston and Albert Lin to discuss litigation to which the county is a party. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner DeTro extended the executive session at 10:00 a.m. for another 10 minutes.

Executive Session ended at 10:10 a.m. no decisions were made.

Finance Committee Meeting – Leah McCormack
Laurie Thomas, Leah McCormack, Cari Hall, Dennis Rabidou

Treasurer McCormack provide her agenda. The cash on hand and investment balance sheets were provided. The negative cash balance for Development Disabilities was pointed out there were no questions. The Crime Victims fund 129 has a small cash on hand balance and it will be a concern if they cannot meet payroll. Commissioner Branch asked what this fund does. The fund receives a few dollars from the cities and mostly grant funded. This fund is always tight. It is uncertain exactly how the grant funds are received and it was suggested that this be discussed with Karl Sloan or his staff. Ms. McCormack explained under Capital Improvement there is only $481,719 of REET cash and investment. Commissioner Branch asked about fund 144 and Ms. McCormack responded that is where she and Assessor Furman share some of the funds that are required for their office programs. A completed investment indicated that investments are going up.

Ms. Hall explained the revenue and expense summaries. Director Huston stated it is good to keep in perspective what the fund indicators are. The summary provides an idea of what the funds health is.

The reports show comparisons between the past years and provided a snapshot of our revenue and expense during the month of January. Ms. Hall explained the reports being placed on the website for the public to see. These reports have not been published yet due to the delay in receipts. The website first page has a link called Budgets and Current Finance Reports where this information would reside once it is uploaded. Because the first of the year is so busy the reports are usually generated later the end of February or beginning of March.

Director Huston explained going out for bid for the Fairgrounds Bathroom project after all the evaluations to identify the most cost effective project. The Dept. of Ag grant has been spent all the Capital Improvement funds would be needed to complete the project. The Agriplex Bond that will go away was bundled with the other VG building project and that will be done in December. Based on His calculations these funds could be bonded to finish the grandstands and there would need to be an evaluation of the Capital Improvement REET receipts to ensure those revenues would be sufficient. It is just an option to consider. The .09 Infrastructure fund may not be a better option. Debt capacity is not an issue but we do need to back it with. Capital Improvement funds also pay for the QECB bond for the energy project. Commissioner Branch stated the capital facilities projects should be listed. Director Huston discussed the evaluation of ALPHA perspective of the juvenile facility and others that will follow. This is an assessment and report of the maintenance needs for the facilities should be completed soon. That would be needed prior to going out to ballot for the facilities. There are other capital facility needs of the complex that should be identified. The Capital Facilities plan should steer these decisions. The plan should be more comprehensive. Commissioner Branch stated this should also be discussed during our Department Head meeting. Grant dollars should be explored to identify what funds that could be used and what dollars our Capital Improvement funds could match.

Auditor Thomas explained that four miscellaneous funds went over in 2016 and ultimately it is up to the department heads to manage. Commissioner DeTro suggested an memo go out to the department heads to remind them of their responsibility and that it could go against their bond. Ms. Hall stated the allocated budget went over, but the funds had ending fund balances, and EDEN doesn’t include those amounts and there is an email from EDEN of this glitch. The cash perspective there was cash. It may be an audit issue. An email was sent out to the department heads from Laurie Thomas. There are complaints being received by departments complaining they cannot pay a bill, but the process should happen well before the bill is even generated. They should be looking at the funds prior to ordering or expending the funds. Hopefully with the line level budget it will force department heads to pay closer attention. It is not the job of the Finance Committee to point out the problems but we all need to be fiscally responsible.

Ms. McCormack will be looking at the expenditures and revenues and would like to repay back $1,000,000 of the Public Works fund loan with the interest if we can. The property tax statements going out soon there have already been many payments received.

Annual reports that are generated are required. We rely heavily on departments to get the Grant Accountability worksheets turned in on time. There have been many that do not provide the reports on time. Ms. Hall explained in 2015 the rules were changed and instead of reporting from a revenue point of view it now reports on the expense concept and is a huge change from what they are used to. The two most important schedules is the state award and federal schedules. If we get findings on our SEFA’s it could affect future grant funding awards.

CANCELLED Update Central Services

Bid Opening – Conconully Road RAP Project – Public Works
Engineer Josh Thomson, Ben Rough, Amanda Moody, Jon Wyss

Commissioner DeTro announced that the time for receiving RAP project bids is now here.

Two bids were received.

Central Washington Asphalts
Bid bond, declaration etc… attached

Total base bid $757,065.20

Pipkin INC DBA Pipkin Construction
Bid bond, declaration etc… attached

Total Base Bid $819,879.00

Engineer estimate was about $610,000

Update Public Works- Josh Thomson/Ben Rough
Gina McCoy and Jon Wyss members of the public.

Engineer Thomson provided his agenda

Maintenance and road conditions were discussed. There have not been many big problems.

Current Projects
B-3 most piles have been driven and Thursday the water came up and filled them up. They will need to be pumped dry before the concrete can be poured in. The water will need to come down and no more for the project to be completed.

The OCOG Planner consultant agreement will be on the consent agenda for next week.

Road Log reconciliations and road vacations were discussed. There were no actions or discussions on this.

The ATV roads summary was discussed on what roads are open and which are not. Engineer Thomson stated there were some items the commissioner wished to address due to the RCW being re written. The signing of ORV routes is no longer there but there are other portions of the code that do need to be corrected. Mr. Rough stated it is time to set that topic aside and have a separate meeting just for that. That would provide some time to proper assessment for repeal and decide what will be included in the SEPA process. The whole issue should be discussed as a whole and suggested after March 3, cue to the ATV club suggestion. Mr. Rough is uncertain whether the commissioners would hear the SEPA appeal and hoped to receive some direction from the Planning Director. He will follow up with him on that. A process was outlined WATV & ORV Outline was submitted.

Mr. Rough stated there is a pickup to be considered for the Fairgrounds. There are only so many spare pickups in the department to shift when repairs are needed. An assessment is still being done for two 1998 pickups that could be purchased by the Fairgrounds. The prices would be based on past sales of similar trucks. These have been replaced but not surplussed.

Mr. Rough updated the board on office equipment needs. There is an agreement on the consent agenda for Kelly Imaging he discussed. The uses of this printer was discussed. Commissioner Branch asked how it compares to the printer in the Planning office. Mr. Rough stated this is 36 in and theirs is bigger.

Mr. Rough discussed the Parametrix contract for Solid Waste Engineer and Environmental Consulting services. He discussed the Water and Gas monitoring and reporting services that would be provided. They will also help with the solid waste comprehensive plan, which was included in the last contract so that will need to be added for the 2017 year. This contract is for the next three years and additional tasks will be relayed in supplements.

Mr. Rough discussed the Maintenance Coordinator position. The position was discussed last year and feel it is time to bring it up again. That position was historically filled Bob Parten but when he was promoted to PW Director that position was not refilled. That position ensure many things for efficiency tracking all material usages, CAMS, personnel, etc… Since the tasks fall on the maintenance managers it seems to be wearing them out. It is his suggestion that the position be filled. Succession planning is another task and creating a training program and coordinate equipment usages, and they are proposing the position be filled. They would like to bring back the information for commissioners’ consideration. Commissioner Branch stated he is always looking for improvement of delivery of services. A salary chart was provided. There are roughly 80 employed by Okanogan County Public Works.

Mr. Rough discussed the Solid Waste department employee needs and Household Hazardous Waste as a topic for next week.

Holiday Closures were discussed for Solid Waste employees. It has been controversial in the past since the land fill is open on Saturdays. The employees would prefer to have the Saturday off. The tipping fees revenue on Saturdays are pretty minimal. He stated there is only one place for the garbage to go so if it doesn’t show up on Saturday it will show up later as they are only place it can go. Commissioner Branch stated it would be important to advertise the change well. He believes if people travel a ways to get there and then it is closed, can be a problem. So if it is well advertised then it would not be that much of an inconvenience. Perhaps a Facebook page would also help get the word out.

Mr. Rough discussed the Snow Grooming Program and explained there was a resignation for Temp Snow Groomer Operator. This was a messy resignation and there were claims of misuse of funds and that information was forwarded to State Parks by the employee. Mr. Rough explained the main thing is that everything was verified as inaccurate. A meeting was held with State Parks to explain the situation and they were satisfied with the explanation. They did not wish to audit our books, but the State Auditor may wish to follow up later. The commissioners asked who the Groomers immediate supervisor was and Ben Rough stated it was him. Had there been a Program Coordinator he would have been monitoring the groomers and reporting back to Mr. Rough. The Program Coordinator tracks everything but would not make decisions. Mr. Rough stated it is also one of the funds that did go over in 2016 that the County Auditor mentioned this morning.

The ER&R manager, Jerry Paul, had requested increases for two employees that came on with a lot of experience. Would the board like to have that discussion? The commissioners stated yes, let’s discuss. The suggested progression work sheet was provided. Both came in with over 30 years’ experience and Jerry Paul has been promoting how valuable they are. Mr. Rough discussed if there was a special case here this would be it as they are over qualified. He provided a wage comparison for mechanics. The lists do not tell the story of the benefit package that it is much better than most. The road crew and mechanic has full coverage for their dependents for just over $100 per month. That is not reflected in the hourly rates. Increases beyond the steps they are right now he supports it, but consideration should be part of the picture. There would be other employees who would raise the question as to why. It would be good for succession planning as one is looking for another job and is a reality. Commissioner Branch asked if they were heavy equipment mechanics, yes, and one is a welder too. Commissioner DeTro stated the board would consider.

Mr. Rough stated the public works phones are out of commission right now and noted that Central Services is looking into upgrades to the Shoretell system. There are no numbers yet, but will be a topic to discuss in the near future. What kind of investment should be considered if the county decides to sell the building? Commissioner Branch mentioned that the Capital Facilities plan list should be generated.

Mr. Rough explained his thoughts on Department Head meetings. Commissioner Branch explained that more of a retreat kind of meeting with a very organized agenda would be more constructive and effective. He supports having regular meetings such as that.

Commissioners adjourned for lunch at 12:15 p.m.

Commissioner reconvened at 1:30 p.m.

Allan Fahnstock member of the public taking notes.

Discussion & Forest Service Supervisor Meet and Greet – Matt Reidy Mike Williams etc..
Director of Planning Perry Huston

The room was full of Cattlemen and members of the public. The meeting was recorded both by the public and audio recorded by the Clerk of the Board. A sign in sheet was circulated and information was provided by the Nichole Kuchenbuch and Rob Haeberle to the Clerk of the Board.

Commissioner DeTro welcomed everyone. He stated there were three items the Forest Ranger wanted to discuss today than they would discuss the grazing permits. Kit Arbuckle Republican Caucus Chair, Farm Bureau President Nichole Kuchenbuch, Scott Vejraska PUD commissioner Scott Nielson, CAPOW, Jessie McCarthy.

Forest Supervisor Mike Williams discussed the Smoke Jumper Base miss information that he would like to square away. The base is in need of refurbishment and is a real challenge. A national review of the base was performed and they looked at the conditions of the base. The review generated a recommendation and now they are at a point where the facilities will need to be maintained. A request would need to be put together and he believes the cost would be several millions of dollars. But, first an evaluation would be needed. Because of the level of investment other locations would be considered such as Wenatchee and Yakima. The team does need to compare costs of similar facilities and locations. There is no date when that will be done, but he will share that information once he sees it. Commissioner DeTro stated he was a smoke jumper and this base has value to the county and is the birth place of smoke jumpers. Commissioner DeTro sits on the national association of counties and public lands steering committee over the last seven years and every year he brings the issue up. He is more than unhappy how this has come out and without any knowledge to the commissioners. He called Randy Philips and he knew nothing about it. He is not happy at all about the situation. Commissioner Hover stated he will keep political pressure up until the base is completely safe. Commissioner Hover asked if the FAA has requested the building be moved, they were put on notice said Mr. Williams. Commissioner Hover will keep the pressure on to ensure it stays put. Commissioner Branch asked about the airport assurances and whether there was required to be an obstacle free zone. The request has not been made.

Mr. Williams reported on the Outfitter packers, and said it has moved ahead with a completed SDEIS and right now they are gathering comments. He visited with the outfitters and back country horsemen and both are interested in the outcome. A proposed decision will be made by June and if that happens a final EIS and that starts a 45 day comment period where any one can object, then it goes to regional forester who would try to resolve the objection which starts another 45 day period. He is eager to issue the 10 year permit to the outfitters but right now they will continue with the annual permits. Commissioner Hover replied that the outfitters were content with option 4 of the DEIS, but then a SDEIS came out with changes. He hopes Forest Service will look at the why the draft SEIS came out. Commissioner DeTro stated he could tell, Becky Heath received a call and opened it back up for a needs assessment and has been four years since that. Mr. Williams replied that he didn’t know much of the history but thought it had to do with the regional office and efficiency issues of that area. The supplemental was then put together to go through the needs assessment. Commissioner DeTro stated the documentation on the original turned down a categorical exemption but went with another that impacted three times what the outfitters impact would have been and it unfair. Commissioner Branch asked about the information Commissioner DeTro discussed, any clarifications. Mr. Williams doesn’t know the answer and knows there were differences and not why the outfits received a different outcome.

Mr. Williams gave an update on the Travel Management Plan, They continue to consult with WDFW and NOAA fisheries and hope it won’t take much longer. The draft EA went out for comment and over 900 comments were receive. The final assessment is near. The Pack and Saddle EIS process is a similar process for this and a proposed decision on Travel Plan with a 45 day resolution period and finished in the Fall 2017 or looking at a 2018 plan. Commissioner DeTro strongly objected before about the roads being closed and do an individual evaluation of roads being reopened up. The roads should be left open then evaluation roads to close. Once the roads are closed it would take decades to reopen them example is the forest plan that should be evaluated every 10 years is now in the 14th year and the same goes with the Pack and Saddle outfitters. The Kinross mine also took so long they had to withdraw because they were nor farther ahead in five year then when they began. This is a DRAFT EIS on exploration rights. That is a 10.2 million dollar tax base that is now going away from the county and the blames fall directly on the Tonasket Ranger District. That is the reason he objects to the Travel Plan. Don’t close the roads then evaluate, leave them open then evaluate to close. Commissioner Hover explained the National Forest Land is each a part of the life that goes on around here. When Forest Services goes out with scoping it would be nice if the county government was brought into the conversation at that point instead of allowing us to comment like the general public. Mr. Williams stated that was exactly what he did at his previous job, but doesn’t know they failed here. We are where we are today and he is interested in how to pursue in to the future. Whatever questions the board has on National Forest Lands he is interested in hearing about it. It has been going on a long time and eager to finish this up. Commissioner Hover stated meetings he attended this morning shows how interested people are to keeping the roads open in order to get to the trails, a collaborative group to help the Forest Service based on the lower funding. Mr. Williams thanked everyone for their comments. Commissioner Branch stated one main thing is that a conversation should be had to hear objections to approaches and whether proposed road closures be considered. He doesn’t understand the proposal and it seems odd. Is it about 100 roads or what? Mr. Williams stated there are many roads that were examined and in all alternatives maintenance would continue. He would like to sit down and discuss alternatives and would bring along experts to that conversations. Commissioner Branch stated the approach taken is very important.

Director Huston provided a summary of the 2005 management rule that creates a process. It was misinterpreted that it closed roads. The approach is different. The Forest Service is to evaluate the road. There have been a number of proposals out and something that is Rule closed nothing it only changed the approach. Whatever was open in 2005 is still open. Commissioner DeTro stated the approach is vital. He asked if the final consultation ESA consider Grizzly Bear? Not sure but people are discussing this. Commissioner DeTro stated the grizzly situation is a concern. How is the EIS that was adopted by reference in the Forest Plan valid if the Forest Service Plan is not yet adopted? Mr. Williams said he isn’t sure. The Grizzly Bear is not involved with the analysis and doesn’t know much about that.

Mr. Reidy introduced himself and stated he had five items he wished to update the board about. All five are items that he has already discussed with the board early and often and provided opportunity for the board to give comments. He understands the commissioners wish to provide feedback at the early stages of the issues. One is an update on what is going on with the grazing. He recently sent out 25 letters to permitees of noncompliance. There were three areas that exceeded utilization of areas in part or in whole of the allotment. The past summer they have gone out and done monitoring to identify exceedances in the measurement standards. The pasture was shown to have exceeded congregation of livestock. There were other parts of the utilization that showed the areas monitored crossed the allotment and had exceeded allottment. There were two problems. How do they find solutions to resolve the hot spots on that one pasture and not exceed utilization standards of that allotment. They vary by allotment. For example, a single pasture with no rotation is done it is 0-40% utilization. Only the thing that accounts as forage is calculated, not sage brush. Commissioner Hover asked if four 10 acre plots are used but only one is over grazed how is that utilization viewed. The Ranger stated the key areas are picked and those are used for the whole representation either that pasture or the allotment as a whole. The 2017 annual instruction meetings in those areas they had noticed that over use happened and asked how to find a solution. They will work together to resolve and finding a solution in part or in whole on how those were over utilized. Commissioner Hover asked about the New Range Manager and what his credentials were. Mr. Reidy replied the Range Manger has been here less than 6 months and he would rather not discuss. Commissioner Hover stated many permitees have been grazing for up to 30 years in these parts and asked what has been done to help them understand the changes in philosophy. Commissioner Hover asked instead of writing a formal letter that goes into the file they could have instead helped people understand the grazing philosophy and provided help that way. Mr. Reidy stated they meet every year with the permittees and go over the components of what that season has for grazing. The utilization standards are part of the permittee information provided them. It is not a brand new concept. That is something that is covered every year. How can people be better educated on self-monitoring. They could invite every permittee to meet on the graze land and show them self-monitoring in their areas. They must understand utilization and every year they do that. Commissioner DeTro stated by the rules they use required Forest Service to give the permittee a 72 hour notice. Mr. Reidy stated they finished collecting the information in the fall and tabulated it into GIS and then he sat down with staff and looked at the final information and at that point in time they decided to craft letters and got on the phone with people, left message with Commissioner DeTro and started discussing the issues they saw. Then they sent the notices. Some solutions were successful and some were not. They were not implemented correctly or were but what everyone thought would happen didn’t. Commissioner Hover asked whether all 25 permittees that received a letter were provided time with the range manger. Mr. Reidy stated no, but they didn’t realize until after the monitoring results were. As part of the solutions piece is to schedule time with them now at the end of the season and be part of that post season monitoring. He knows how busy people are and some may or may not be able attend. Commissioner Hover asked how they knew FS was even on the range? Mr. Reidy asked them when collecting the information to GIS where the info was gathered from there they can sit down with a map to show specifically where the hot spots are. Mr. Reidy stated no they are scheduling the meeting right now for 2017. If there is a problem in a certain area he wants to take a look and find a solution for that area, not all the answers will be clear. Commissioner Branch about the sequence of events. Mr. Reidy explained a first letter goes out, then have the solutions addressed the issues, there is a follow up to that letter of non-compliance. Then in 2017 they institute the measures and a letter memorializes and becomes part of how the issues are addressed and resolved. Commissioner Branch asked about the tone of the letter. A letter was provided to Commissioners by several people. Commissioner DeTro appreciates the email and the letter, but the Commissioners did invoke coordination and coordination is written in to law. They often jump right into collaboration and skip coordination. For example when the situation changes the guy with the most at stake doesn’t get to speak, as a result they walk away with less of their livelihood as when they walked in. He has been contacting the permittees and read from the letter they received. (attached) Commissioner DeTro doesn’t want this to turn into coercion. Commissioner Hover doesn’t either and cannot believe this is happening. He just saw a violation that showed cattle tracks in an exclusion zone and Forest Service may not know the difference between cow tracks, Moose tracks or an Elk tracks. He doesn’t understand how someone can be written up on a violation without that Official person knowing the exact scientific information about what has happened to that land and not providing it to the permittee. Commissioner Branch also agrees. He thought that information and communication would have helped. He cannot spend much time over what was done right and what wasn’t done right but understands they know what they are doing. Maybe they don’t fully understand it all and suggested communication and cooperation as it appears to be very important. He would appreciate a Ranger coming and discussing with him first the compliance issue and waring that a letter would be generated. He doesn’t know what happened exactly but it must have roused someone up. Commissioner Hover requested that all 25 letters be rescinded and move forward with a more positive direction about the range because everything that was discussed sounds good, but it appeared it was all skipped. That is a real straight edge and asked consideration to rescind the letters and the cattlemen and grazers understand that if the letters are rescinded there should be cooperation done and understanding what FS is looking at versus what they see. There are 41 allotments with multiple quarantine on them.

Mr. Reidy discussed the Light restoration about the objection hearing period which ends March 9 and the folks with standing have the opportunity for objection. Mr. Williams will make a final decision on that project and that is the timeline. Phase one funding for fuse reduction work in Tonasket and Winthrop. Tonasket received funding for that in addition to other funding.

Commissioner DeTro stated in conclusion he wanted Mr., Reidy and Mr. Williams to know their constituents Cathy McMorris Rogers knows what is going on in addition to others. Jessica McCarthy Congressmen Newhouse stated she was very disappointed this meeting was needed. This issue was taken to Chief Tidwell and thought this would not have to happen. Clarification was requested of him. After some of these questions were asked today they are willing to take it where it needs to go for the forests to continue to be able to be grazed. Ms. Kuchenbuch spoke on behalf of the Farm Bureau and asked for specific answers to the questions posed today. The first answer they would like is for #7. Normally February is when the meeting happen and the letter is a basis to make changes on the grazing practices and should not be used to make the plan. Commissioners agreed. Commissioner DeTro asked for a commitment to have the questions answered to clear the ambiguity and actual concern that these people have for their livelihood. He also asked that these letters be removed from every effective permit, can a letter go into the file stipule that they were not based on science and would not go against the revoking fo the permit. Mr. Williams replied that he still has work to do this. He thanked the board. He invited the permittee along on the monitoring trips and would certainly offered the invitation. He likes to see them out with the range specialists. The permittees are the stewards that help them accomplish things internally. It is procedurally thing they’ve used for many years. FS stated it time to talk, and if the letter did go out without a conversation, he does have a problem with that and would like to discuss he has written many letters like this. Jessica McCarthy asked how many in the room had received a letter like this over the last 30-40 years and no one raised their hands. Dale Ausmusen stated the letters were way over reacting. They have many resources and funding and it is the public land council he can speak for. The group thanked the commissioners for their time. The group left by 3:20 p.m.

Public Hearing Supplemental Appropriation Infrastructure Fund 117
This hearing was not needed so was cancelled.

Public Hearing Supplemental Appropriation Capital Improvement Fund 134
Commissioner DeTro opened up the hearing asking for public comment. Seeing no one he closed public comment and opened up to commissioner discussion.

Motion Resolution 32-2017 Supplemental Appropriation Capital Improvement
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 32-2017 a supplemental appropriation within the Capital Improvement fund 134 in the amount of $9,000. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Resolution 33-2017 Elections Part time Staffing
Commissioner Hover moved to approve resolution 33-2017 regarding Elections Part time Staff wages. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion - Voucher Approval - Commissioners
Vouchers certified and audited by the Auditing Officer as required by RCW 42.24.080 and those expense reimbursement claims certified as required by RCW 42.24.090 have been recorded on a list, and made available to the Board. As of this date, the Board did vote, by unanimous vote, to approve the CE vouchers in the amount of $830,604.07 and Payroll vouchers in the amount of $873,218.79. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion seconded and carried.
Discussion – Public Safety, Communications, and the Unified Communications Project
Mike Worden Chief Communications Deputy Sheriff Rogers,
Allan Fahnestock member of the public taking notes.

Mr. Worden provided his back ground and handed out some information regarding our basic limited capacity system that is antiquated. The North and South end of county has one channel for emergencies. There is not sufficient space to operate in during emergencies. There are 14 repeaters that went out of production in 2011 and out of commission 2018. Each site would cost around $15,000 to ensure it operates. That would maintain our current functionality it would not bring us forward. Commissioner Hover asked what the expected life span of the equipment would be. Mr. Worden stated it used to run around 20-30 years and because it is now computer based the life span is more like 10 years. The maintenance program for that is critical to keep the computer system running. Undersheriff Somday reiterated that it just isn’t normal for your personnel computer or your cell phone to be good over 10 years. Those get upgraded regularly. Commissioner Hover described a scenario when using the channel to communicate. Mr. Worden stated Ambulance Services could be different talk paths, EMS and Law are on the same channel, but central has its own fire frequency with the caveat is that it is the same as Fire District 3 and 6 have communications strings. In this areas Fire #3 8 9 and 7 but also have caveats. The worst case scenario includes Fire 14 and Fire 15. Mr. Worden explained why and how departments try to get around the issues. There are each issues and limitations that have impacts on the neighboring area.

The data Mr. Worden provided some exhibits which showed number of 911 volume calls which had the most calls shown in 2014 and 2015 with a projection showing 2021 which would reach the 2014 volume. He discussed the Incidents Dispatched exhibit C for each month and each hour of the day during that month. The 2014 time frame is shown as the breaking point and he compared it to 2016 and we didn’t even have a fire in 2016. It is not clear why the numbers have exploded, with all agencies being very high. The graph showed incredible volume. When he has three dispatchers handling those amounts of calls, he is concerned. Commissioner Hover asked what the calls are for, could it be a cat stuck in the tree or some other type of event. Mr. Worden explained he could get 10 calls on one dispatchable event, but the graph shows only the dispatchable events.

He has four work stations that dispatch and make calls, he has no room to add more dispatchers but he does have a need during high volume call hours. He does have a need to handle more calls. There is not enough room in the space he has now to add anyone. There is not physical space to bring anyone into the county during an emergency. Mr. Worden stated the need for capacity with 52 agencies in the county itself he named them which have radio needs based on surveying them that is 1300 radios. He stated there might be three talk paths to some areas, and they don’t all talk to each other. There are no vendors in the county that can supply support. The Closest one is Wenatchee and they do not come quickly when there is a radio problem. What do we do? The 20 million dollar idea, what are we doing now? The 2.5 million from Commerce and Military Dept. is being used on McClure and now have that concreate building and tower done. Then moving on to Pitcher Mt where another concrete building and tower will be built, then Bode on the County line near Ferry County with that connection being our back up location.

Mr. Worden explained additional work being done to improve the towers we have but must do the work on snowmobiles. A snow cat would reduce the work load on the two people. Commissioner Hover asked about the snow cat Parks services has when that is surplussed. Mr. Worden would like to use the grant money to purchase one that is economical not one that needs a bunch of work and has a bunch of hours. It is difficult to work with others schedules and waiting is a challenge when dealing with others priorities. This equipment would also help with search and rescue, with three calls just this year. Joe Somday explained he would not be comfortable leasing good equipment out.

DOT is a huge partner for the McClure site with a lot of investments. In the end they will own the majority of the equipment and will maintain it and we get to use it for free. Commissioner DeTro asked if anyone wish to speak for citizen comment period.

Mr. Worden stated because IT is so important he would put both IT and the Dispatch center together and that would be ideal. Criminal Justice funding is based on populations.
Director Huston stated a good model has been started and funding exploration has been visited with all the different pieces and actual tangible benefits if traction is right. Commissioner Hover asked if any of the sites could facilitate additional internet communications. Mr. Worden didn’t think so from the internet perspective. Mr. Worden explained his hope to purchase pieces that would direct internet communications rerouted to another fire hall. The microwave allows him to be able to communicate through that. Exhibit D shows the microwave 2007 and 2017 which allows much better communications. There are not fees to use the microwave due to partnership with WSDOT. He would like to build something on top of it to make it better. Commissioner Branch asked about the PUD being very interested in this. Mr. Worden stated they would like someone to improve their situation in many coverage areas. Ferry County would allow us to be regional and that would attract more attention. Mr. Worden’s idea that a system the Fire Teams could plug into would be ideal. Commissioner DeTro stated it didn’t help when DNR changed their common frequency and didn’t let people know.

Commissioner Hover asked what a realistic idea would be. Mr. Worden explained Fire and EMS have growing needs and there is a disconnect between what the current subscribers are wanting. The contract also says how grievances are handled, with no coordinated efforts there is also a need for them to pay their share for what they want. Commissioner Branch thought the Council of Governments would handle these types of discussions, with everyone having a seat at the table, broadens the scope and allows active communications of these needs. The commissioners suggested Mr. Worden participate there.

He needs physical space which is about 5-6 million alone and discussed the Highland drive property, building into the hillside to enlarge the VG areas. How do we start breaking it all down to all the needed elements? Commissioner Branch explained the Capital Improvement plan can lay out the needs and potential funding sources and prioritize the projects and would be the budget tool to move forward with it. Mr. Worden stated that would also allow other agencies to plan. There is a need for a Construction plan and governance plan are missing. How does that meeting happen with success between the Council of Governments (COG). Mr. Worden has reached out to the 7th and 12th district for an extension of the funds beyond June 30, 2017. How do we accomplish moving forward with the COG. Commissioners discussed having the COG meetings here. Commissioner Hover stated if information was presented to the Mayors and begin pitching the ideas to them. Mr. Worden has discussed the ideas with some of the Mayors here and in South County but his challenge has been with the North county mayors. The commissioners would like the Clerk to inform Mr. Worden when she receives notice of the next OGOG meeting so he can be put on the agenda.

Commissioners would like a letter drafted to Forest Service Mike Williams to memorialize the discussion earlier today. Director Huston will draft one for future review.

Citizens Comment Period

Approve Consent Agenda
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the consent agenda items minus No. 1 as presented, motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

1. Commissioners Proceedings January 3 & 31, 2017, February 7, 13, & 14, 2017
2. Go to Bid Approval-Liquid Asphalt 2017
3. Lease Agreement Printer-Kelley Imaging Systems-Public Works
4. Change Order Guardrail Repair – Frank Gurney Inc
5. Cattleguard Renewals:Cattleguard No. 04-02 &124-73
6. Consulting Agreement- Solid Wast Engineering & Environment Services –Public Works
7. Agreement- Engineer Inspection Services Tonasket Public Works
8. Resolution 31-2017 Countywide 2017 Chip Seal