DECEMBER 18, 2018

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met for its regular session on December 18, 2018, with Chairman, Commissioner Jim DeTro; Vice Chair Commissioner Chris Branch; Member, Commissioner Andy Hover; and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

George Thornton, member of the public, took handwritten notes for Okanogan Watch Group.

George Thornton provided letters of interest from Ernie Rasmussen, Okanogan; and Marcus Alden, Oroville to serve TV District #1 board of directors.

Staff Meeting
David Gecas, Stella Columbia,

Attorney Gecas updated the board on cases and legal matters he is attending to. He is assisting Public Works Admin Officer Ben Rough on some delinquent policy issues he is considering for Solid Waste. There is an RCW that gives the commissioners authority over that so it will need to run through the board.

Public Works wishes to provide/rent some small space to the state auditor office, so Attorney Gecas and Public Works staff is working on the details.

Attorney Gecas mentioned he has helped with the discussion on exempt employee changes. He said the meeting helped clear some confusion up because what was discussed in the meeting minutes was a bit different than what actually happened so the meeting helped clear that up.

Stella Columbia said she invited Wenatchee Valley College employees to the county’s staff meeting as they wish to request a waiver for an event in the Agriplex January 26 to put on a roller skating derby event to include bouncy houses that will be open to students, friends and family. There would be a $3 charge which some goes to the homeless shelter and some to offset the cost of the event. Additionally the group is collecting canned food goods for the food bank. Attorney Gecas will look into how this event can be done.

Director Huston explained his concern about charging people to attend the event. Alivia Mallard explained the rules of the college and the requirement to charge for events, but the main focus is the homeless shelter. He asked if all the money collected goes to Homeless. The college cannot use all the funds collected for homeless some funds are kept to offset the cost of the event. The group will need to carry liability insurance and will need to turn in proof with contract. The spokesman stated people also sign a liability waiver. The commissioners will have an answer by Monday, December 24. Email addresses were collected for the answer.

Joe Poulin updated the board the Facility Dude program presentation planned for the Department Head meeting. He said there are only a couple people who do not like using the maintenance request form, yet they expect their request to be answered quickly. Requests are attended to more quickly when the Dude is used. The Dude creates significant efficiencies within the department.

Commissioner Hover explained his need for additional reasons and value for making the changes to the department in terms of promoting staff. Commissioner Branch said there is a need to justify the decision so when the board is questioned about it they can give the reasons and avoid a headache later. The commissioners see value in the employee attending the training but would like to consider fully funding either the training or the promotion one or the other not both. Mr. Poulin will complete the draft resolution for commissioners’ consideration.

Director Huston explained some complication within the county itself in terms of getting the CERB grants for Broadband Infrastructure. He suggested subbing it out. Director Huston talked with Janae about the CERB grant projects, she told him what they are looking for. Shovel ready projects, job creation and job retention are a couple things they are looking for. Commissioner Hover explained many schools provide parent access to their child’s school account, many require Chromebooks to be able to access the internet at home and at school in order to complete homework, submit homework, get assignments, and see grade status and are interrelated. Commissioner Branch said what has been discussed is still being looked at. The needs of the people in the area to be served, getting information out to people about things that affect them, ability to work from home using computer, and any planning grant would be need based and application should articulate the details of the need. CERB wants to fund the applications, but we cannot get there because we cannot produce the documents to get us there. Economic Development Zones are part of the bigger picture. Commissioner Hover will discuss the issues further with the group, but if we do it, it will be a county wide effort with the whole system to be considered.

George Thornton explained the difficulties in alluring good quality workforce and keeping them here. The schools and medical communities struggle to keep quality workers. Growing telemedicine is a growing product. Commissioner Hover replied it would be interesting to know who provides the internet services for the Hospitals, then find out what the limiting factors are. Mobile health units will need internet access in the rural areas of the county.

Director Huston mentioned that Mike Worden contacted him about the EMS districts.

CANCELLED Finance Committee Meeting – Treasurer Leah McCormack
Cari Hall came to this meeting instead of the finance committee because Treasurer McCormack was absent today. She asked if the board had any questions. She explained the carry over may be close to projected. The

Cari Hall explained the last items to be finalized will be in hand either this week or next. She requested a commissioner sit on her interview panel for her position and for another. She updated the board on other recruitments for vacancies.

Commissioners adjourned for the luncheon at 10:35 a.m. at the Will Keller Church Homeless Shelter.

Luncheon–Will Keller County Homeless Shelter–Okanogan
Commissioners attended the luncheon at the Will Keller Church, 504 4th Ave S Okanogan.

Citizens Comment Period
George Thornton, representing TV District #1 updated the commissioner about the district. Commissioner Hover stated the board is in favor of keeping the TV District in tact that actually serves the district. The other two director feel strongly about the ownership of the Pickens site. They understand the district may become a shell only passing through the resources to a sub-contractor. He doesn’t feel Pickens is fully worked out yet and should be discussed further. The second item is there is a level of concern over being taken advantage of and is probably something that can be worked out. Serving the public is a huge concern. There is also potential opportunity to expand the services.

The District had the position there was a second FCC broadcast license but perhaps it was picked up by KSPS for Chelan. They are looking for documentation and back records to confirm. Commissioner Hover said Mike Worden might be a good resource to help figure out the history and pieces. If the county owned the site we could put some funds into the infrastructure there, TV would keep the revenue from their deal, and the county could keep the revenue for its deal separate from the district.

Mr. Thornton said the two requesting appointment Ernie Rasmussen and Marcus Allen attended the last TV District meeting.

Commissioner Hover left at 2:05 p.m. to attend union negotiations.

Update Public Works-Engineer Thomson, Admin Officer Rough

Admin Officer Ben Rough provided his agenda and discussed the items listed there.

Mr. Rough discussed SWAC appointment letters and letters of interest. Joaquin was contacted and the appointment SWAC process described. He was told a formal letter from the tribe would be needed to consider appointment. Mr. Rough explained the SWAC by-laws state the SWAC appointments are to be three year terms. Right now the terms are not three year terms. In order to create staggering of the appointments members would need to be reappointed to the three year term, but SWAC Brady would be two year. Commissioner Branch is in favor of considering the staggering needed to come into compliance with the three year terms.

SWAC Expenses
SWAC expenses were discussed. Mr. Rough said travel costs for SWAC, mileage for SWAC business which is different from meeting costs, under SWAC business mileage, registrations, etc…. but he wants to know from the Board which costs should be updated in the by-laws and would be reimbursed. Commissioner Branch discussed staff support costs and asked if those were established in the by-laws.

Apple maggot update
Not much green waste has been received, only half a bin. There has been no need to transport right now. It will pick up in the spring. Education is going to be necessary to help people know what to do with it.

Leachate Pond update
This has been the best result ever seen. He updated the board on the levels of each leachate pond. This time last year we had to pump it out of the really full ponds. The evaporation and hauling of leachate last year made a lot of progress in reducing the pond which was a surprise since there was so much smoke.

Solid Waste Conditional Use Permit
Mr. Rough discussed the Solid Waste Conditional Use Permit. He stated it was good to hear how others handle it. The tipping fees, discovery of hauling to and from another county, tribe knows we are working on the issues. No one has heard anything recently on the tipping fees. The next meeting will be after the first, and Commissioner Branch said he has yet to learn the date.

Public Works Engineer Josh Thomson provided his agenda and discussed the items listed there.

Computer Network
Mr. Rough stated NCI and Central Services is working on internet for the public works building. Tenants will need to pay their portion of the costs. Does the board want to consider how WSU extension office would pay their portion and how the commissioners would like to address that since the county pays WSU rent per the agreement.

Maintenance & Road Conditions
Snow and the Sinlahekin Rd Culvert were the bulk of the overtime.

A cattle guard removal was discussed. Maintenance of a cattle guard on Hardy Road was discussed to solve the issue Albert Wilson brought up.

Engineer Thomson asked how the board wished to handle his office closing at 2:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Motion Public Works Closing Early December 24, 2018
Commissioner Branch moved to allow the Public Works Department to close at 2:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve, employees can use their leave if they wish to leave early. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Engineer Thomson explained the Similkameen trail should be inspected again after last year’s issue. The PUD has asked that that bridge be added to the inspection schedule. The collection of .5% motor fuel tax goes into the Paths & Trails fund which is then transferred to the road fund for compensate grooming shoulders on the transportation trails.

CANCELLED Update Human Resources/Risk Management - Debi Hilts, Tanya Craig
Ms. Hilts cancelled the meeting via email today due to other business that needed to be attended to.

Approve Consent Agenda
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the consent agenda items 2-8 excluding item #1. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.
1. Commissioners Proceedings December 10 and 11, 2018
2. Appointment Letter – SWAC – Darby McNeil
3. Reappointment Letter – SWAC – Stan Carter
4. Bib Award – Public Works - Supply of Motor Fuel – CO-Energy
5. Bib Award – Public Works - Supply of Motor Fuel – Coleman Oil
6. Bib Award – Public Works - Supply of Motor Fuel – Whitley Fuel
7. Bid Award – Public Works – Supply of Lubricants – CO-Energy
8. CDBG Public Services Grant Request #3-Community Action Council

Motion 2019 Lobbyist Contract Robert Weidner
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the 2019 lobbyist agreement with the Evergreen Forest County Group, Robert Weidner, for his lobby services in the amount of $7500. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Resolution 148-2018 Creation of Systems Administrator Position
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 148-2018 which creates a Systems Administrator position in the non-bargaining pay scale and reclassifies Steve Rowe to the Systems Administrator position effective January 1, 2019. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Resolution 149-2018 Reclassifying Network Analyst
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 149-2018 reclassifying the position of Network Analyst from grade 27 to grade 36. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Resolution 150-2018 Reclassifying Senior Communications Technician
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 150-2018 reclassifying Senior Communications Technician from grade 27 to grade 36 effective January 1, 2019. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Resolution 151-2018 Reclassifying Systems Administrator to Exempt
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 151-2018 reclassifying Systems Administrator to exempt employee status. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Appointment Letter-Fair Advisory Committee Position #10 Williams
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the appointment letter of Kirsten Williams to position #10 on the Fair Advisory Committee. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion-Agreement Prosecutor’s & District Court AFSME Union
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the agreement by and between Okanogan County Prosecutor’s Office, District Court, and American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees AFL-CIO beginning January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2020. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion CDBG Housing Rehabilitation Request # 18 OCCAC
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the OCCAC CDBG Housing Rehab request #18 and authorized the chairman to sign. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried

Motion Resolution 153-2018 Requiring Employees to Back $12.50 per Pay Period
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 153-2018 requiring employees within certain union groups to pay back the county $12.50 per pay period for the preceding 9 months because the agreed upon medical cap amount was not adjusted to be paid accordingly by the employees through payroll deductions. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried

Discussion – Youth Homelessness – Caitlin Cordell, Adrienne Moore, Room One
Leann and Alana were also present. Sr. Clerk Kelly Ross for Lanie Johns, Clerk of the Board.

Ms. Moore distributed an executive summary of findings and a recommendation for a Proposed Okanogan County Youth Homelessness Action Plan.

Ms. Moore stated Room One is into the third year of a five year grant.

Commissioner Branch asked if you’re under 18 do you have to get into trouble before there is help. Where do they send them after getting into trouble? Ms. Caitlin stated Washington State has the highest rate of juveniles in detention with crimes related to homeless. Leonne said the older they are the harder it is to get them to stay put.

There are zero beds for kids under the age of 18 in Okanogan County. When all of the data is added up there are 92 homeless minors per year, with 50-100 kids needing help a year.

Ethnic groups are more likely to be homeless. Men will go to a shelter where women go to a friend or family member. Many are living in an unsafe place or couch surfing.

Ms. Cordell said there is a lot of financial support from the state. They meet monthly with The Collation and Kittitas, Adams and Grant counties.
Okanogan County could stop homelessness with everything we are doing. There is over 23 million dollars available through HUD and we could get some of the money. We could get it year after year as long as we are showing progress. This issue is nationwide not just Okanogan County.

Ms. Moore said they have a donation to help build a shelter. A study will be done to see where the best fit for a shelter is. She said they will need support from the county. Commissioner Branch supports the effort, but the money is not there. We need a long term plan and the money to carry it out.

The board adjourned at 4:21 p.m.