June 26, 2017

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on June 26, 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.

Discussion Fairgrounds Irrigation Well-Josh Freel
Perry Huston

Mr. Freel updated the board on the fairgrounds irrigation well and the sand issue. He cannot get pressure into the system no matter what he tries. He checked with Okanogan Well drilling and it will cost $1,000 to send a camera into the casing to see if it collapsed, or $50,000 for a new well to be drilled. His best case is $10,000-15,000. The casing was put in around 1979 and the casing is restricted. Can it be sleeved with a 6 in casing, only if it is straight? The well appears to be collapsed around the well screen. The process for bidding informally for public works between $2,500 and $25,000 was explained, however the work must be completed by fair time as it may be an emergency issue. The commissioners would need to establish the need by resolution. Work may restricted due to the contractors not able to complete by that time. It may be difficult to find someone to complete it by fair. Mr. Freel will make some calls today and secure the camera, then go from there.

Director Huston discussed an issue with a marijuana operations. Commissioner Hover explained he has been receiving many calls that operations are causing light pollution, in a strange area, unsightly fences, and there are just many issues happening. The board discussed putting a moratorium on operations then put together an advisory committee with marijuana operations and other citizens to discuss how we address these issues. Director Huston explained another county created an advisory committee and that committee did not resolve anything. Commissioner Hover would like a public process and if it breaks down in the end so be it. Director Huston said he is being accused of being the one causing the operations all the trouble. Commissioner Branch asked what is wrong with looking at the zoning and providing that to the committee to help focus them in on exactly the issues. Look at 17A.290 with the conditions that the Hearing Examiner has to consider placing to mitigate the issues.

A resolution was considered and discussed by the board putting a 6 month moratorium in place as vested in accordance with OCC 17A.330 on the siting of any new operations to grow, produce, process cannabis and on the expansion of any existing operations to grow produce, process cannabis within the unincorporated boundaries of Okanogan County for 6 months from the adoption of the resolution or until repealed by the BOCC. The board discussed public hearing rules and processes and how the hearing rules would be applied.

The board discussed wolf issues in the state and the recent depredation and siting’s.

Motion Executive Session RCW 42.30.110 (1)(i)
Commissioner Branch moved to go into executive session at 10:15 a.m. for 15 minutes inviting Perry Huston and Attorney Albert Lin to discuss legal matters to which the county is party. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioners extended executive session at 10:30 a.m. for another 15 minutes.

Commissioners extended executive session at 10:45 a.m. for another 5 minutes.

Executive session ended at 10:50 a.m. no decisions were made. The Board directed Attorney Albert Lin to drop an order regarding the comp plan.

Review Consent Agenda
Commissioners briefly reviewed the consent agenda.

Briefing Among Commissioners Discuss Individual Weekly Meetings & Schedule

Update – Veterans Service Office –Eric Fritts

Eric Fritts, Mike Stewart

Mr. Fritts provided his quarterly update. (attached) The VA clinic in Tonasket will be closed July 1, 2017. He is trying to get veterans signed up on the Choice program for continuance of care or to go to either Wenatchee or Spokane for care. Mr. Fritts explained the difference between the different options. Choice 40 or Choice 30 plans were discussed and depends on the veteran’s needs.

Mr. Fritts discussed future work with the veteran’s homeless populations and healthcare signups. Mr. Fritts reported that program has brought into the county 1.2 million due to several 100% claims coming into the office. Mr. Stewart explained Dale White will be on a sabbatical for an unknown amount of time. He said that leaves the following members on the board Mr. Mike Stewart, Ed Thiele, and Ken Lee. Mr. Fritts stated Mr. Arnold Cleveland came through the veteran’s office for claim work and then generated interest for being part of the board. The board told him he needed tribal endorsement to serve on the board. Lottie Anderson thought he might pick up an endorsement from the tribe and that would be submitted to the Commissioners for appointment consideration.

Commissioner Hover asked about the farm manufacturing operations training idea. Mr. Fritts explained he has taken on an advisory role for Grow Veterans. It is an organization that teaches farming to all veterans. He explained the tiny homes are created on the properties so the tiny home they construct is the home they would be living in. If the homes built are not needed they would be sold and funds put back in the program. A Two year veteran commitment would be signed and allows the vet to be trained. The program is sustainable and many things planned to make it a viable veteran’s community.

Public Hearing –Supplemental Appropriation -Vehicle Reserve
Commissioner DeTro opened up the hearing to the public seeing no public he closed to public and opened to commissioner discussion.

Motion Resolution 89-2017 Supplemental Appropriation Vehicle Reserve Fund
Commissioner Hover moved to approve resolution 89-2017 a supplemental appropriation from Vehicle Reserve to Current Expense Contingency Reserve in the amount of $40,000. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Public Hearing –Supplemental Appropriation –Lodging Tax Revenue Fund 126
Commissioner DeTro opened up the hearing to the public seeing no public he closed to public and opened to commissioner discussion

Motion Resolution 90-2017 Supplemental Appropriation Lodging Tax Revenue Fund 126
Commissioner Hover moved to approve resolution 90-2017 a supplemental appropriation within the Lodging Tax Revenue fund 126 in the amount of $55,620. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioners called Robert Weidner to discuss a letter that was sent regarding the Grizzly Bear. There were three other counties willing to sign on to it. Mr. Weidner would like to check the legalities of another county signing on (Douglas County) that is not directly affected by the animal, and whether it would be acceptable for that county to comment. The letter our board would sign is drafted for review but a properly formatted letter will be drafted for Okanogan County to consider. Mr. Weidner explained Kathy McMorris Rogers brought a group of members together to discuss the opposition of Bishop. The group did impress upon him that a reliable expectation of harvesting wood off the national forests would be connected to SRS and they made progress with him on that. Paul Cook of CA. and Paul Gosar AZ with abutting districts, would like to offer the amendment tomorrow on the active forest management plan which will connect the SRS the way McMorris Rogers discussed with the group. The offer will be made tomorrow to add SRS on and they will accept if money has been identified by tomorrow and will be done on the floor of the house, but there is a commitment to get it authorized. Finding the money to pay for it is going to be 240 million per year going forward, it is expensive. Brady is key.

Commissioners discussed inviting Maurice Goodall and Kevin Bowling to discuss the countywide burn ban at 1:30 p.m. today.

Motion Resolution 103-2017 Marijuana Operations Moratorium
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 103-2017 a resolution imposing a moratorium on the siting of new cannabis growing, producing, processing, and/or retail operations and for the expansion of existing cannabis growing, producing, processing, or retail operations as vested in accordance with OCC 17A.330 within the unincorporated boundaries of Okanogan County for 6 months from date of adoption or until repealed and in consideration of creating a committee and setting a public hearing for July 25, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. Commissioners discussed the different zoning within the county and how the moratorium might affect each differently. Commissioners discussed how they would come up with the side committee. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion to Adjourn
Commissioner Branch moved to adjourn at 4:00 p.m. today. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Update-Planning - Perry Huston
Planner Angie Hubbard, Maurice Goodall EM, Kevin Bowling Fire Chief,
Life Line Jeff Lang and Wayne Walker, Gina McCoy member of the public taking notes on her computer.

Mr. Bowling explained that the Fire Chief’s committee recommended the county authorize county wide burn restrictions. Commissioner Hover asked about the county’s provisions for small back yard fires on private property that are contained within a fire pit and whether Mr. Bowling was opposed to it. Mr. Bowling stated propane type pits are fine, and some state approved fire pits are allowed. Commissioner DeTro explained there are certain businesses like outfitters and guides that both have camp fire needs for their western traditions. He said the county did provide for those in the past for approved pits. Mr. Bowling commented that as long as the chief in those districts is notified when there is to be a designated fire pit, then he would not a problem with allowing it. Commissioner Branch read the draft resolution which exempts approved fire pits with a diameter of 3 feet contained in a steel ring no less than 8 inches in height. Mr. Bowling believes as long as the district chief is notified of the open burning he did not feel there would be a problem with that type of exemption.

Motion Resolution 104-2017 County Wide Burn Ban
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 104-2017 providing a county wide burn ban effective July 1, 2017. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Adjourn as BOCC
Commissioner Branch moved to adjourn as the BOCC and reconvene as the Tonasket EMS District. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Director Huston explained the drafted contract with Life Line, Mr. Lang and Mr. Walker, regarding Tonasket EMS District. (attached) Director Huston explained what it accomplishes. The contract provides for transfer of the district assets, with the value depreciated, to Life Line plus the levy that is collected. A new site for the service building is needed. Director Huston discussed a possible increase in the levy to provide for infrastructure. We are transferring all assets of the district to Life Line so we will no longer be in the position of keeping inventory, and this is in concurrence with the State Auditor. Director Huston asked the board if they had any service level questions or other comments or changes they would like to see in the contract. Mr. Lang explained this agreement is borderline and has much to do with Life Line being a for profit company. The real focus is how to address the concerns of capitalization. Commissioner Hover discussed the tax payer dollars being put into the building. Mr. Lang replied there is no sense putting money into a building no one believes serves the community well as is. They are willing to give it a go with what they have. Commissioner Hover wants it out in the open and known to everyone what the outcome will be and also be viable for Life Line. He wants to know what would go on in a worst case scenario. Mr. Walker stated no one can predict what will happen, but it is something that is built into the contract that there be a way to look at transfer of title back to Tonasket EMS to provide a sense of security to the tax payers. They are jumping into this as though it were for the long term. Commissioner DeTro said the last thing he wants is to set Life Line up for failure and he wants everything out in the open too. Commissioner Branch stated the building was the old Tonasket Fire Hall and it was not adequate then nor was it anyone’s desire to remodel it. The building and the land stays with the district. The repairs, utilities, and maintenance of the building would be the responsibility of Life Line.

Director Huston discussed Plan B taking into account of all the challenges, there could be a possibility of using the existing land and some of the building. Mr. Lang believed that it might be cheaper to find another lot for a new building. However, parts of the existing building could be used such as the back wall for retaining wall and building up against it. The current lot is large enough.

Director Huston discussed other options for the building. Mr. Lang said the cleanest thing is that either the county own everything or Life Line owns everything. Life Line has a schematic for a new 40X60 building. Mr. Walker discussed the coordination between the two districts of Tonasket and Oroville EMS so there are good responses to calls. Having two facilities causes a lot of redundancies with crews and other cost duplications. Mr. Walker does have some ideas. He further discussed the need for door to door care and other services that don’t qualify for ambulance services. Elderly people especially need assistance getting into their residence from the hospital or to and from their regular doctor appointment or dentist. There is also a need for mobile dialysis services in order for some folks to stay in their homes, otherwise they would have to move to a care facility. Wheel chair transport services are provided by Life Line in Wenatchee for a fee for service. It is a transportation need that Life Line sees here too. The potential is there and worthy of consideration. Mr. Lang and Mr. Walker thanked the board for their consideration and exited the meeting.

Motion Reconvene as BOCC
Commissioner Branch moved to adjourn as the Tonasket EMS District and reconvene as the BOCC. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Director Huston discussed designation areas study for the water issue. The draft language is proposed and the board has not adopted it in the interim controls. He further discussed the water issue rules.

Review Meeting Minutes
Commissioners reviewed the consent agenda items. The Clerk of the Board alerted the board of Public Works request to approve resolution 105-2017 which would surplus two dump trucks and authorize those trucks for trade in on like vehicles.

During the remaining time, Director Huston discussed the Shoreline Master Plan. Angie Hubbard presented the draft of the program via projector. Vegetation management area definitions were discussed. The board discussed their approach on the use of terms. The independent requirements for high-water mark and floodways were pondered. The board further went through definitions and discussed those of most interest.

Commissioners adjourned at 4:00 p.m.