RECORD OF THE PROCEEDINGS

OKANOGAN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

May 1, 2017


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

Joseph Enzensperger IV member of the public taking notes arrived at 8:50 a.m.

Review Consent Agenda
The Clerk of the Board provided and discussed information regarding the OCTC Destination Marketing Organization contract section 8 Research, Measurement and Monitoring which would provide the commissioners with a baseline measurement of tourism including the applicants for LTAC funds in Okanogan County with the available lodging to support those events and activities. It appears OCTC has a good start with a list they provided in the RFQ

Briefing Among Commissioners-Go Over Individual Schedules &
Discuss Individual Meetings of the Previous Week

Commissioners updated each other on the meetings and activities they attended to last week. Commissioner Hover discussed the Grizzly Bear meeting he attended. He also attend the Salmon Conference and met Connie.
White stone lake as a Spinyray lake was discussed. Johnson Creek was discussed at that meeting with fish restoration in the creek. He feels it is worthwhile to have a conversation with the Colville’s and WDFW and the residents along the creek. He believes there is some ways that could be utilized that would help both sides, a lot of details would need to be articulated. Commissioner Branch stated that creek is along the road and makes a straight line to riverside cutoff road. There was talk about steelhead restoration in that creek but with no populations in that creek to begin with there would need to be some consideration for that. The people along that creek is against it all together as their fear is that they will lose their water rights.

Joseph member of the public noted that fish are an economic generator. Does Johnson Creek begin in Conconully, he asked? Commissioner DeTro stated that creek starts below Hess Lake and Salmon Creek comes out of Conconully.

Commissioner Branch discussed his meeting in Spokane with Eastern Washington Hospital regarding the waiver of penalty fees ($1,100 per day) for over allocated beds for Spokane County. Tenzin Denison, OBHC, attended as well.

Commissioners discussed RV rental fees for those who wish to stay longer than one day or weekend. Currently we do not have rates for weekly stays. The board does not wish the park to fall under the landlord tenant act. Commissioner Branch suggested we find out what other RV parks charge and how long a person can stay. Commissioner Hover stated he would rather leave it at a daily rate. Commissioner Branch discussed that many folks who are homeless that have RVs or trailers often want to stay for extended periods which can turn into a problem. The Fairgrounds policy doesn’t speak to a limited stay timeframe. He recommended checking out other RV campground policies.

Motion Closed Session Discussion RCW 42.30.140(4)(b)
Commissioner Branch moved to go into closed session to discuss union negotiations inviting Tanya Craig and Debi Hilts at 10:10 a.m. for half an hour. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Branch extended the session at 10:50 a.m. another 15 minutes.

Commissioners ended the closed session at 11:05 a.m.

Discussion Fairgrounds Rental Josh Freel
Mr. Freel explained a rental for a wedding the weekend of the Fourth of July which the person has worked with three people to rent the Berg Pavilion in January. She thought she was renting the whole fairgrounds and all RV camping spaces for $220. She also wanted the security requirement to be waived even though she will have alcohol at the wedding. Commissioner Branch stated there are other venues which require certain things to safeguard the venue. Commissioner Hover stated he has never been to a wedding where he was not supposed to pay for overnight camping. Mr. Freel said if she wishes to reserve RV spaces they would need to pre pay for those up front with no reimbursement for the unused spaces. The commissioners discussed the ability to take credit cards for Fairgrounds functions RV camping ect… Mr. Freel proposed first come first serve and each person could pay with check for the number of nights they need. The commissioner believe that is a good course of action.

Mr. Freel has gotten calls from people who wish to get the security waived for their event. He would like to know if the board would stick with either having it or not having it. Do not provide a waiver at all. The risk of not providing the security during an event even with insurance should be discussed with the risk manager.

Mr. Freel would like to know what we are doing with the RV park rates structure. The commissioner wish to keep it the way it is and charge a daily rate with no extended stay break. They would like to establish a length of stay policy thinking it might be two weeks, but in accordance with what other RV campgrounds do.

Discussion Noxious Weed- Anna Lyon
Ms. Lyon requested that the BOCC consider making her wage whole again. She does have funds for this request but a supplemental request would be needed to provide adequate budget to her salary line. Her Weed board moved to recommend her wage be restored to its full amount with back wages. She stated the Noxious Weed Manager wage was established at the same as the Building Official. Commissioner DeTro explained that she has taken on the wage cut without any complaints. She has stepped up to sacrificing her wage to benefit the overall. Her budget is not current expense and is separate and it does not support her budget as she collects assessments and grants. Ms. Lyon explained the assessments charged and the types of weed controls that are in place. Three more lakes were added to the aquatic program.

Commissioner Branch asked how the Lake Osoyoos plan to create their aquatic weed district. It is in the planning stages with a lot of support from those on the lake. It was thought that the BOCC will be in the approval chain. There are cost sharing programs which has the support of many different entities that her office is involved with. There isn’t funding for prevention, but it would take the legislature providing it in their budget. Primarily she looks for the grants, but if another entity contacts her to partner up on one she also considers those too.

Commissioner Branch stated Zebra mussel is not being dealt with by anyone, but we should be involved with it on the state level and recommended that Ms. Lyon involve herself with that when she goes to the invasive species meetings.

Motion Noxious Weed Board Salary Recommendation Anna Lyon-Staff Direction
Commissioner Branch moved to direct staff, Anna Lyon, to put together the Noxious Weed Board meeting minutes with their salary recommendation, and work with HR to draft an amendment to her Employee Contract

Discussion Forest Service Ranger Mission Project-Mike Liu
Planning Staff Perry Huston, Char Schumacher; Forest Service staff Shannon O’Brien & Ms. ??

Nora Sheridan member of the public taking notes.

Mr. Liu introduced himself stating he was here to provide information about the Mission project. He asked if the board wished to interact with the Methow Ranger district in a different way to please let him know. He provided some information on the plan. He listed the process. 1) 5-year TM, 2) Pre-NEPA 3) EMDS Model, Landscape Rx, Proposed Action, 4) NEPA Scoping, 5) Alternative development & Effects Analysis, 6) Draft EA comment period, 7) Final EA Draft Decision Starts objection period, 8) Final Decision Implementation.

Commissioner Hover asked when the ranger district normally comes in to discuss projects. He stated normally at the EMDS and before the NEPA to discuss the proposed action. The commissioners have stressed their desire to have that discussion before going out to the public and scoping. Forest Service usually notifies the Commissioners of the project and if no response they continue forward with next steps.

Ms. ?? met in July with Phil Christy and discussed those comments received. She provided them so the board knows what they considered for the Mission Project. Ms. ?? went over the map on the table of the area of the project. She discussed what the project scope would be for harvesting and treatment and thinning to reduced risk of fire and insects. Several units included commercial timber with a desire. There were other tiny projects with open meadow wet lands and treatment includes hand saws and loppers to keep the meadow open. Commissioner Hover asked fi there was an economic analysis done. How much revenue is generated due to timber sales. Yes the commercial part will generate some but there is also the cost analysis. Mr. Liu stated there are service contracts for culverts which are generated due to this project. Commissioner Hover asked about project areas. Ms. Stated of the 50,000 acres with 10,000 of those proposed for thinning with 2,000 acres of that for commercial thinning. One third is in the wilderness Lake Chelan Sawtooth wilderness. The proposed has two alternative with one doing nothing and it becomes more important to look at. Two action alternative with proposed thinning with identical thinning proposals. Libby and Buttermilk

The aquatic piece was for soil restoration where compaction occurred. Proposals was to go into with a special attachment on excavator which breaks up compaction without tilling it under. It was found to be successful treatment in other areas. Commissioner Hover asked if there were roads that run up to those areas, yes but the treatment doesn’t include those areas. It is actually the bottom of the drainages and primarily entered into for logging in the 60’s with different attention to soils at that time. Some areas represented perennial streams without woody debris which is needed. The proposal is the fall a select number of trees into the stream channel to provide the needed woody material for habitat. Beaver introduction was not part of this scenario because they are already there. There were six sights in Libby creek there will be thinning and posts and woven wooded barriers to help the beaver come in. The other part of the thinning project objective is to promote the growth of deciduous trees which will promote beaver. There are several culverts blocking fish passages and many others that are undersized. Scientist from WSU came and identified the culverts as being too small. There are sites near steam crossings and proposed silt and sand it was suggested that a hardened dip ford be constructed that would survive better during wet seasons called Rock armoring.

Member of the public Isabelle Spohn taking notes arrived at 1:55 p.m.

Additional Alternatives were discussed regarding roads and proposed changes there were some proposed to be decommissioned some roads that are currently open which are proposed to be closed. A map showing those were reviewed. There are some small segments. Some closed roads are proposed to be opened 4.4 miles. Buttermilk bridge had been closed due to unsafe conditions, the proposal includes rebuilding the bridge therefore allowing the road to be reopened. That alternative went out to public comment. Some came back with a request to do more aquatic restorations. They went back and addressed that. The road values were reevaluated and rated and then discussed each road segment to come up with alternative two. Mr. Liu stated they looked at environmental risks including areas for high potential to wash out, trailhead, fire access, but where there was a low lead those tend to be the ones to be decommissioned.

The difference between the alternatives and was the overriding priority was the aquatic with a balance of risk and benefit. There were more roads to be decommissioned in one of the alternatives and those were reviewed and discussed where those areas were proposed. There are some roads open for ATV use by permittees that are considered closed . Total number of miles proposed to be closed was approximately 38 miles.

Ms. ?? discussed the different alternatives and mixes of alternatives stating she analyzed the many differences and created proposals. She discussed the effects in the EA.

Mr. Liu stated many past projects had action or no action, but this project there was a very vocal group involved to be more aggressive. Alternative three addresses that issue. Commissioner Branch asked if there were changes to alternative two and was there an effort to provide more aquatic restoration. They knew that a blend of the alternatives could be selected by the decision maker. Mike Williams is the decision maker. This is an amendment to their 1980 Forest Plan.
The table format was provided to the board of the alternatives discussed in a nutshell.

Comments from the public were handed out. Ms. ?? discussed what their concerns were and the perceptions of what was being proposed. Commissioner Hover asked how many were received. Around 80 letters with some letters having many different comments on many things. 420 comments but many were lumped into one topic or letter. WUI was discussed as Commissioner DeTro asked about those boundaries. Those were agreed upon with public input. Those areas were discussed in both Libby Creek and Buttermilk areas.

Commissioner Hover stated comments can come from people nationwide because this is a national forest, but Mr. Liu stated most have come from this state. Most of the comments were local.

The commercial thinning highly considers the economics of getting the timber whether by helicopter of by cable. There are costs to haul the timber away and because of the haul distances it isn’t very economically viable for some commercial treatments.

Comments provided of the prior board of commissioners to Forest Service were discussed. The Forest Service responded to the more specific comments. Item five was discussed specifically to keep the Smith Canyon open to get to Alder Creek. It isn’t even a road but there appears to be a path/trail overgrown and is not characterized as an egress ingress road and doesn’t provide safe access. Commissioner Hover asked what the definition of decommissioning a road. Hydrologic function of the road, pull culverts allowing water to flow naturally over the landscape. In other areas they might do recontouring and is based on where it sits relative to a stream. Objective is to hydrologically restore it.

First here a goal to reduce a certain number of miles. Mr. Liu stated they do not have the maintenance dollars to maintain roads, so they are identifying the most important roads for a safe and efficient road system that meets their management and fire route access needs. Private funds can be used for either decommissioning or for maintenance.

Mr. Liu state stated there were other comments of the previous board they were not able to get to. He asked for questions and feedback of the board. They feel they have addressed the concerns discussed today. Commissioner DeTro stated the district commissioner is always looked to. Commissioner Hover stated the more management the better as the county receives revenue due to the timber sales and our budgets are being helped by that. He doesn’t like decommissioning roads but the decision needs to be based on good science with the focus of managing the forest. He doesn’t like alternative three, but alternative two is a little better. Overall it is a big project and doing anything to add revenue to the county manage the forest and maintain access to the forest for elderly disabled people to get to the forest as if people cannot get to the forest we won’t have anyone to care for it.

Commissioner Branch explained access is important but so is protection of aquatic resources. He said sometimes roads have to be decommissioned. He was glad to see bridges being restored. He felt that Alternative two was good and he was satisfied with that. He asked about their reference to spotted owl occurrences. Forest Service replied that the spotted owl habitat does exist in those two areas but with no known nests.

Commissioner DeTro stated he agrees with alternative two. He sits on the wildfire committee and that general consensus was the bills being heard had larger emphasis on forest health. Commissioner DeTro expressed some concern about closing horse trails. Horse people may find alternative routes to get where they need to go. Commissioner Hover explained that some areas are not safe for parking with horse trailers and that should be considered. Commissioner DeTro stated there are areas of South pass and near horse camp will get more pressure if other areas are closed.

Update-Planning-Perry Huston to Follow

Shoreline Master Program
Director Huston discussed the meeting with the Shoreline Master Program. We need to set aside for a study session but need Leonard Jordan comments on our program. Director Huston urged the commissioners to look at the comments and determine what DOE changes we can discuss later for adoption.

OCC 20 Update
In Streams flow rules
Director Huston stated no provisions for commercial activity. This has come due to cannabis growers and many are using the exempt permit wells. OCC 17A.290 requires a lawful water source for cannabis operations. The code vests when there is work on the ground with no bright line. Where they are proposing to expand we need to identify how we address the instream flow rules and commercial uses is not in either, so any expansion would need a water right or irrigation right. Permit exempt wells cannot be approved for commercial uses. Commissioner Hover would like to make sure we are consistent with everything they do in if they had an allotment at a certain time but only used half the allocation and now they wish to expand to use the additional half for the expanded grow. He wants to make sure that the inconsistency is dealt with consistently. Director Huston explained how the county dealt with the Campbell Gwen regarding allocations and we never had one for commercial application. It never came up. Commissioner DeTro said the envelope will be pushed to the max and if we allow vesting they should not be vested to be able to expand under the original vesting. Director Huston stated some CUP’s do allow some expansion like for gravel pits. Any new uses are being considered under the instream flow rules. There are some applications coming down the pipe which are generating some complaints. Commissioner Branch discussed vesting legal pre-existing. Director Huston stated for those he has allowed some level of expansion under the same use. This issue is not only for marijuana operations but also for other types of new commercial uses. He is looking for whether or not he is miss reading the code 17A.290. The board believes he is reading it correctly.

Marijuana operations in terms of vesting is one thing and CUP for that purpose can be applied for in all areas of the county. The concern is that those should be designated areas only not within unincorporated towns, or places where there are neighborhoods. Commissioner Hover asked if growing marijuana is an agriculture. Director Huston stated Department of agriculture doesn’t categorize it under agriculture. Commissioner Hover asked if it is commercial should it not be able to be grown in those zones. For industrial uses there could be more restrictions. Director Huston suggestion was that anytime a zone is treated all the same there could be controversy such as Neighborhood commercial areas. This could be slated for another day. He did receive a number of additional code enforcement calls today. Commissioner Branch stated it really depends on those who live in those areas and some folks do care about what is in their neighborhood and should they be able to come together and decide what kinds of uses are in their neighborhood. Molson Overlay and Barnholt Loop for example has a mix of zones that are unique to their neighborhoods. A broad mix of zones that could be tailored to areas.

OCC 16-Supdivision
Director Huston discussed the process for application for the different land divisions. The preliminary approval lists all the conditions that must be met prior to final approval.

The Long Plats are approved by Hearing Examiner with the final Mylar being approved by the Commissioners and require SEPA and Public Hearing. We are required to have a short plat process for four lots or less, less than 20 acres. Planned Development has a subdivision component even though it does change zones and require SEPA and Public hearing. Binding site plans are administratively approved. We have tightened up the binding site plans due to contrasts with state law. Large Lot segregations require SEPA when more than 20 acres and more than four lots. Exempt segregations of more than 20 acres but less than five lots. No SEPA and No Public Hearing.

Commissioners discussed existing lots already created and how to address exempt wells for those. Temporarily close a basin until the issue resolved. Director Huston stated maps identify particular drainages for particular areas with well counts and laying the assessors overly to that. He said we could tell which are developed and identify where the wells are on the parcels would be more difficult. That information could be generated. There is a lot of interest generated on the subdivision proposal on Johnson creek and water availability applications. Commissioner Hover said over here is more pertinent then over there as they are two very different areas. Director Huston stated the rules are very different.

Director Huston stated we should have a plan B. Mitigation at the county level. Recommend picking up the discussion under a feasibility action and see what can be put together. A memo will be created for commissioner review. Commissioner Hover replied that we should be able to quantify those things such as micro storage, banking and those are the mitigation tools we should discuss. He thinks it will be a good idea since folks can use that way to store, sell or lease an allocation they are not using.

Commissioner Hover left at about 4:50 to attend a meeting with Solid Waste personnel.

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 $5,000 and Payroll vouchers in the amount of $1,. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion seconded and carried.
Motion Construction Agreement for Fairgrounds Bathroom Project –BTO Con.
Commissioner Hover moved to authorize the chairman to sign the construction agreement with BTO Construction as the low bidder for the Fairgrounds Bathroom construction. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Director Huston updated the board that both Tonasket and Oroville EMS districts are seeing reduced numbers of ambulance service needs. It has created somewhat of a concern for Life Line. The agreement with Life Line is still being drafted/refined for approvals.

Review Meeting Minutes
Commissioners reviewed the meeting minutes.

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