RECORD OF THE PROCEEDINGS

OKANOGAN COUNTY

JULY 18, 2017


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

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

CANCELLED Discussion Superior Court Staffing – Superior Court Judge’s Rawson, Culp & Admin Rabidou

Commissioners’ Staff Meeting
Kim Spivey, Tanya Craig, Perry Huston, Joe Poulin, Albert Lin

Ms. Spivey updated the board on the fairgrounds bathroom project. She provided the board with an A19 request for approval for the contractor draw invoice for the project.

Ms. Craig provided the board with a draft of the Fairgrounds rental agreement with the Fair Advisory Board for the 2018 fair. The agreement outlines what the expectations are for the grounds. A resolution will be needed for the prosecuting attorney and chief civil deputy for the day to day office things that need to be signed. Another resolution will be needed for an employee working out of class. Ms. Craig provided the Board with the information about comparable counties of what those counties pay their chief civil deputy and chief criminal deputy. The same data was provided to Prosecutor Sloan as they are anxious to advertise the position for chief civil deputy. The board’ consideration and approval of his request to increase that salary would be needed. It would be an increase of $22,026.19 annually including benefits. Director Huston commented that if someone is well qualified and could deal with land use issues it would save the county tenfold. Commissioner Branch asked if those funds were in the Prosecutor’s budget. Ms. Craig believed a supplemental would be needed. Commissioner Hover would like to ensure someone is hired who can take on the land use issues the county sees coming up into the future. Director Huston believes some outside council will be needed otherwise. Commissioner Hover asked for the amount paid to the outside council to date for the land use issues the county could not deal with in house. Contract negotiations, land use, and basically a jack of all trades. Ms. Craig agreed that if we do increase the wage we could attract more qualified attorneys to apply but it will depend on who applies.

Director Huston discussed that he would not be able to meet the “target number” the board is requesting Departments to try to get to. He observed that in order to meet that he would need to lay someone off. Mr. Lin explained regarding how to deal with the land issues in house how he deals with those and what he does. He has been dealing more with labor and employment issues since the new board has started. On land use some of the direction has been to handle more of that in house opposed to contract. There is an existing contract with our land use attorney but the board may address those things different. Most counties have the Chief Civil and possibly another attorney working under him who would assist in dealing with the issues. The chief civil may want to handle the land use issues him or herself because of the ongoing litigation the county is involved in. It depends on the direction the board wishes to go. Public Records takes up a lot of his time and perhaps those tasks would be assigned to a lower civil attorney. Commissioner Hover believed moving through the different issues quickly would be most desired by the Prosecutor. Mr. Lin explained there was concern about the contracted land use attorney due to him being retired. He recommended finding a chief civil who is well versed to the overall tasks and assign a lower civile deputy under him to help. Mr. Lin has been able to keep the board well versed on all the issues and available for any other assistance the board requires. Commissioner Branch stated those decisions are still made by the Prosecutor. The board does have the some input to discuss the board’s desire for in-house dealings with land use. 36.27 requires the civil deputy attend to certain duties in response to the board’s needs.

Commissioner Hover would like to know what was paid to the contracted Employment Law Attorney and the Land use Attorney. Ms. Craig explained what costs are involved with those attorneys. Ms. Craig stated she is doing many of those day to day tasks with regards to the employment issues, but she does use the civil attorney for the legal items that requires more legal input or advice. So, those costs are down because of how we handle those in-house now. Mr. Lin is more hands on, and cautioned the board as he doesn’t know how his replacement will deal with these things.

Jail L Tank ceiling repair issue was discussed. In contacting Michael Beaman, who the county previously contracted PSE for, that contract was closed but will be reopened, but he cautioned that the cost has gone up and Ms. Craig warned that no one is really interested in doing the work. Ms. Craig stated it could be a Sole Source issue because it is specialized work and there was no other contractor willing to do the work. Commissioner Hover thought in order to get the best price going out for quotes would be needed. There is currently $95,000 budgeted for the project. Mr. Huston stated one reason the project has not taken off the ground is because the county doesn’t allocate enough money for projects, he suggested diverting money to it in order to get it done. Commissioner Hover stated in January the county would have $128,000 to deal with it. The commissioners agreed the project should move forward with Mr. Beaman. Ms. Craig will move forward with reopening the contract for the architect to provide the additional bid documents needed to secure contractor bids.

Joe Poulin explained the easement is in hand for the electrical and water line across the Bailey property for our Energy Project. The Clerk of the Board explained Ameresco will be billed for the document recording fee.

Motion Easement Electrical and Water Line
Commissioner Hover moved to authorize the chairman to sign the easement agreement for Electrical and Water Line with Bailey for the courthouse energy system. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Mr. Poulin stated the Bat Cave HVAC system will be replaced in the near future now that the Board has approved the quote from DIVCO. It is a four ton unit.

Director Huston explained a call for projects memo to gather the Capital Improvement plan projects was drafted. It has come out of statute which lays out the information that informs the board on budget decisions.

Once comment period runs its course through the Planning Commission it will passed on to the commissioners for review and additional consideration and approval. The purpose is so there is a review and consistency applied for proposed projects. The book says it is to be sent out at least 5 months so the PC meeting would be in September sometime.

Mr. Lin thanked the board for their assistance. The board stated if he needed a reference at any time please know the board would give a good one. They exchanged appreciation for his assistance during his time with the county. Mr. Lin stated he would be in contact with Ms. Craig.

Finance Committee Meeting – Leah McCormack
Treasurer McCormack provided the agenda packet which includes the finance reports with the revenue statement and balance sheet summary and the expenditure status report for June that Cari Hall compiled

The committee discussed that all departments should be watching their budgets closely every month. There really should not be a need for budget supplementals this early in the year.

Commissioner Branch explained that it was his observation that certain offices are mandated to do certain things the county must fund. There are issues that must be resolved so that everyone gets what is needed for their mandated requirements.

Treasurer McCormack explained Grant County is allowing Amazon shipping so that opens up a whole new revenue stream for that county. It is because of the airport and access to resources that makes it viable. Commissioner Branch replied that we are competing with those resources are not available here such as internet service access and interstate highways.

Treasurer McCormack reported on the current expense revenue. She is hesitant to pay any more on the loan right now. The amortization schedule was provided. She doesn’t believe we are doing badly and might recommend paying it down further later, but it depends on the 2018 budget and how the commissioners budget that.

She pointed out the cash on hand balances on several special funds. The Clerk of the Board explained the LTAC fund 126 is high due to 2017 contracts not being paid out yet. She stated invoices come in at the end of the year. Some of those contracts won’t be totally paid out if there is not the required match. There is also the plan to use the fund for a Tourism Master Plan which could cost upwards to $100,000.

The Title III fund was also discussed. The Clerk of the Board explained the she had not requested proposals last year for use of the funds, because the state was going to have the counties send those funds back if the funds were not reauthorized by SRS. She will be requesting proposals this year for 2019 contracts. There are only a couple things that fund can be used for such as Fire Wise Programs and Search and Rescue on Forest Service land.

Treasurer McCormack explained county assistance funds and what those are for. The group discussed the various funds and their uses.

Ms. Hall explained some feedback she received after the budget call letter and commissioners’ memo was sent out. Commissioner Hover asked her to tell those concerned to contact him for explanation. There are some departments with allocations under what their salary needs are. The reality is the target numbers are within the revenue we project. If we keep robbing from our road fund our roads will get much worse. There is no sense being 2 million over and going in and cutting that much just to balance. We should start out within our means.

Treasurer McCormack explained the revenues are looking good. She further explained delinquencies revenue but there is not separate revenue line for it. Fund 311.10 includes current year and that fund is not broken out per year.

Expenditure reports were provided. Treasurer McCormack explained the departmental use of the term “budget neutral” and explained there would need to be a revenue source to use there and in a recent discussion there wasn’t budget for a budget neutral request. Commissioner Hover would like the department to come back in to discuss this further. He would like to know if the original budget worksheet is available prior to budget trimming in 2016 for 2017 budget. Cost reimbursement grants were explained and how the department is responsible for invoicing for the reimbursements. We will never have departmental revenue match their expenditure side because so many departments rely on current expense revenue to make up the difference between expense needs and revenue. All of current expense must be considered when departments think about the budget.

Member of the public Katie Haven arrived to take notes at 10:50 a.m.

Another Member of the public joined at 11:10 a.m. and sat next to Katie Haven.

Update Public Works – Josh Thompson/Ben Rough
Agendas were provided for the meeting. Public Works requested executive session to discuss the performance a public employee.

Motion Executive Session RCW 42.30.110 (1)(g)
Commissioner Branch moved to go into executive session at 11:15 a.m. inviting Ben Rough and Josh Thomson to discuss the performance of a public employee for 10 minutes. Motion was seconded all were in favor motion carried.
Executive session ended at 11:25 a.m. no decision was made.

Commissioner Hover asked about Finley Canyon road as he received some calls about the status of that primitive road. Engineer Thomson stated because of how wet it was earlier this year it has been harder to attend to all the damaged roads and keep up on the regular maintenance schedule. Many do not understand the priorities.

Ben Rough updated the board on the agenda items. There was a meeting about permit requirement for solid waste lagoon. It doesn’t fall under the CUP. The expansion was discussed as well during that meeting and what level of review would be needed. The current CUP has that information.

The recycle grant and reimbursable amendment moved funds or shifted for another recycle purpose. The state told him that nothing has been authorized at the state level yet so reimbursements would not be issued before that. The reimbursables will still be tracked for when it is approved those will be submitted.

Ben Rough stated he met last week with the HR Director on pay increases. Her question was that we not create an unfair issue and asked for everyone to be considered. There discussed the resolution for out of class pay.

Engineer Thomson updated the board on his agenda items. (attached)

LED lighting would save the county money. The Public works will move that project along to change out to LED lighting. Phone quotes will be solicited from the small works roster and the project will proceed.

Liberty Woodlands Sewer contract was signed yesterday. The supplemental for the work will be held on the 31st to provide the additional repair budget.

SRS status was discussed. Commissioner DeTro stated the state is in extended session to address. Engineer Thomson explained the projects he hopes to accomplish that are contingent on SRS funds being authorized and whether the commissioners approve a road levy shift.

The future pit needs for the county were discussed. Commissioner DeTro discussed pit and water needs for the county. The commissioners agree Engineer Thomson should consider pits sites that are for sale that have both water and rock in North County. Commissioners discussed the permit requirements for the sites being considered. Engineer Thomson will gather information of the possibilities.

Commissioners adjourned for lunch at 12:00 noon.

Katie Haven, member of the public, here at 1:30 p.m.

Citizens Comment Period
Commissioner Hover asked that everyone speaking  sign in for the record.

Paula Mackrow Twisp and Carlton Ms. Mackrow explained a letter was emailed and thanked Commissioner Hover for addressing the logs which have accumulated. On Texas Creek people don’t complain much. She hopes it is taken to heart the concern by residents on that road who have gone into debt protecting the reason they moved there. She said over 1000 people have signed a petition to make what they want a political process so they can be involved. Waiting until this fall is a real long time to wait for the log pile to disappear. Commissioner Hover stated it will cost the county a lot of money to remove it and with all the other road issues the county had to address priorities. He thought maybe the county could burn the pile, but will have to see if conditions are conducive for that. Ms. Macrow stated there is a lot of ATV traffic through there and many park there. The logs were put right into the turnaround lane. A right of way agreement may be necessary and the county may need to ensure liability is covered. Ms. Macrow hopes the county contacts the land owner for that. There could be around 10 land owners she said. Lorah Super commented that those may already be in place for right of way access by the county.

Lorah Super commented on the Texas Creek tree pile and sensed if there was more coordination between Public Works and Conservation District the problem could have been avoided. If the process to include Texas Creek was initiated that would have been great. She wasn’t privy to the information exchange or she would have helped the matter along. Public Works is difficult to work with. The conservation district turned back money so it could have been included. Commissioner Hover asked if that type of information is passed along to the board they could address the coordination better with the agencies. Ms. Super stated often it happens in a vacuum. Commissioner Branch commented on the transportation plan and that items must be listed in that in order to be funded. He encouraged her to contact the board when coordination is falling down somewhere because the board is always aware when it happens. This is another reason.

Public comment on all the signatures that have been gathered for the commissioners to address the countywide issue that many care about it is a safety issue and public access issue. She encouraged the board to go out on the ground and look at the different areas. She and many other are so concerned about being trapped in the event of fire, she wants to ensure the commissioners do not vacate county roads that would provide that access. Clearing debris from the roads would also ensure access.

Update Building
Dan Higbee, Perry Huston

Dan Higbee provide his building department application trends. (attached)

Mr. Higbee provided a cost recovery spreadsheet showing that trend over the years. He believes he is on track to meet the projected revenue budgeted at 64% received right now. The expenditures is right on at about 50%.

Director Huston provided the board with the land use attorney costs over the last four years.

Commissioner Hover asked if Mr. Higbee got the budget memo with the “target number” and asked if he was working on that. Mr. Higbee said yes. The cost recovery and working of the 1994 fees and based on 2005 valuations. The other counties were checked a few years ago and we are currently under them and certainly under the cities. The fees are supposed to be recovered to pay for the expense. Current expense pays for the difference. Director Huston commented that we can recover the cost but not anymore. He runs at about 90% in his budget. Mr. Higbee stated the general person who wants to build here a 1500 sq. foot home for $15,000 is going to pay the same fees as someone who is building the same size home in Methow but paying 1 million. We would have to prove it is more expensive to review a million dollar house than the $150,000 house. Mr. Higbee explained how the fee is applied and the basis for it for residential.

Director Huston discussed his wish to review the actual cost for the processes. If we make the decision to subsidize fee department from current expense there should be a really good reason to do that beside people not wanting to pay high fees.

Mr. Higbee takes for granted that not everyone knows how the building department works for permitting and such. Commissioner Hover asked about the process for site analysis. They come into building first because they usually are building something but then they have to go to Planning.

Motion Public Works Building Telephone Upgrades
Commissioner Hover moved to move forward with the Shoretell upgrades for Public Works and Public Health. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Discussion/Work Session - Shoreline Master Program
Perry Huston, Angie Hubbard, members of the public Lorah Super and Katie Haven taking notes.

Ms. Hubbard projected the ArcView map of the different areas being discussed. Commissioners worked through the process for building a house along the shoreline and how critical habitat works into the scenario. Director Huston walked the board through the process and explained who would be involved and how issues are mitigated.

Commissioners reviewed the sections of the Master Program and discussed the charts for the different land uses along the shoreline.

Appeals section was discussed.

Director Huston explained the restoration plan doesn’t have a time line, but areas are identified for shoreline restoration and projects are listed even though they are dated. Are the board comfortable with the habitat restoration plan or should there be a prioritized list critical path for designations for restoration. Ms. Hubbard provided that there is general language for areas with higher potential for restoration driven by the scoring. Any project proposal would trigger review of shoreline mitigation, houses would not get caught up in that only those that trigger SEPA for restoration plan.

Motion Public Health Voucher
Commissioner moved to approve the Public Health Vouchers in the amount of $31,001.76 Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. 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 regular vouchers in the amount of $399,260.24 and Payroll vouchers in the amount of $892,152.77. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion seconded and carried.

Approve Consent Agenda
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the consent agenda items 1-8 except for item #4. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.
1. Commissioners Proceedings July 10 & 11, 2017
2. Appointment Letter- Veterans Board – Arnold Cleveland
3. Appointment Letter-Alta Vista Irrigation- Rob Payne
4. Appointment Letter – Planning Commission- Mark Miller
5. Grant Amendment No. 2 Solid Waste DOE
6. Reimbursement Contract- Carlton Complex Fire - DRA E18-009 – Dispatch
7. Resolution 118-2017 Solid Waste Working out of Class Utt
8. Resolution 119-2017 Sole Source Jail Door Alarm Upgrades

Commissioners adjourned for the day at 5:15 p.m.