FEBRUARY 6, 2018

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on February 6, 2018, with Commissioner Chris Branch, Commissioner Andy Hover, and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

Chairman Commissioner Jim DeTro was absent due to personal reasons.

George Thornton member of the public taking hand written notes arrived at 9:00 a.m.

There was no quorum this morning. Commissioner Hover attended the Community Foundation of NCW meeting in 9 S. Wenatchee Ave., Wenatchee until about 1:30 p.m.

Commissioner Branch was present.

CANCELLED Commissioners’ Staff Meeting
CANCELLED Update –Human Resources/Risk Management
CANCELLED Update – Communications/Dispatch –Mike Worden

Update – Public Works – Josh Thomson & Ben Rough

Engineer Thomson updated the board on several items listed on his agenda.

WATV Route Signing
He explained he spoke to DOT about WATV signs min 18x24 inch sign with standard 4 inch letter height on them. The sign was informational and finally concluded we cannot do that as it is regulatory. He spoke to Director Huston about what to do if we do no use signs as previously discussed. The funds may be available as that is the direction and intent of the state. We have all GIS information, we have shape files, KMZ file that is useable to the public, can be provided to the ATV clubs. Commissioner Branch said there is a process. Director Huston explained outreach to interested folks should be done, then come up with a plan and go from there. If we need to amend the code, we will need to reword or remove the condition.

Gravel Crushing Project
Engineer Thomson provided an update on the project.

Secretary of State Grant –Document Preservation
Engineer Thomson provided an update on the grant application consideration.

Engineer Thomson discussed the several items on the consent agenda. He spoke to the issue of cleaning out the guards and who would be doing that. He is meeting with the Forest Service to discuss further those guards across Forest Service roads that need to be cleaned out. The thought was that Forest Service would reimburse us to clean them out for them. This arrangement was applied in the past and we received reimbursement, but without anything in writing.

Ben Rough provided his agenda.

Open Position Status
Engineer Tech position is still open.

A summary was provided that outlines the lease arrangement between Noxious Weed and WSU. (attached) There are some minor issues to be addressed before those offices can move. March would be the desired moving month. More meetings are needed to figure out square footage, rates, how utility costs are divided etc…. Everyone is being kept in the loop. Carrie Port support enforcement asked to be involved in order to back fill the offices in the courthouse once they are vacated.

Solid Waste Update
The audit of the recycle program is going well.
The tipping fee discussion has not generated a recommendation yet.

Snow Grooming Update
Mr. Rough updated commissioner Branch on the district boundaries and snow park road maintenance.

Citizen Comment Period
Member of the public, Katie Haven, videotaping her comment.
Ms. Haven began by stating the note takers started about two years ago, but the group is dissolving so there is a core group of note takers who decided they were committed knowing what is going on in the county. There is only five of left in the group. They decided to form a new group called Okanogan County Watch, they are nonpartisan, won't advocate for any issue but will put the info out there. They will continue to take and publish the notes for people to make their own opinion. There are various advisory committees and no one central place to see the list of those sitting on committees on the website. The group want's their website to be the place to go. Some groups have their own websites like the water shed council and public health, this group wants to be published like those groups. She knows there are some obscured groups such as the snow mobile advisory group . The group want's their website to be the place people can go and get the information. Some people were interested in the Fair Advisory Committee but there is no information online about who sits on that board. The other thing is that people want to see video of the meetings, thats why she is taping it today to try out video streaming. The group probably won't be able to tape all meetings but they would like to tape those meetings of greater interest. She asked if the commissioner had an issue with her videotaping. Commissioenr Branch said no. The group will take a topic and follow it through. Commissioner Branch replied the forest collaborative meeting is coming up later today. The video will be live streamed to interested parties, three people, to see what it looks like and if it works, this is a trial. Commissioner Branch said it should be announced at every meeting that it is being taped.

Commissioner Hover arrived at 2:00 p.m. from his earlier meeting with Governor’s office.

Discussion – Hirst Decision Updates – Treavor Hutton – Ecology Resources Dept.
Perry Huston, Char Schumacher, Ben Rough, Craig Nelson, Dan Higbee

Members of the public Katie Haven, videotaping the meeting and George Thornton taking notes.

Mr. Hutton explained he was here to receive our comments on the new legislation SB6091. Okanogan County, more than most, has a bigger regulatory issue to figure out. The headquarters did send out a letter to the county. (attached) They are still figuring out the provisions in the law. They wanted to share what they did know and understand follow up may be needed.

Mr. Hutton explained primarily there are two big sections of the county the Methow and Okanogan basins. The Methow basin was deemed to have an explicit rule in place so WRIA 48 business as usual working consistent with the rule. They have been providing technical assistance to use. Commissioner Hover said it seems the existing wells are grandfathered in? The Hirst basins the clause applies and in this case only WRIA 49. A well drilled outside a tributary would simply come under the 2cfs allocation. Yes, Mr. Hutton replied, but with monitoring.

Commissioner Hover explained a scenario on in-continuity. Mr. Hutton replied the Wolf Creek memo could be relied upon for that. Commissioner Hover explained what form and process we would employ that would provide the subject property owner the necessary information to determine. Mr. Hutton stated in 48 a rule explicitly states how to address the restrictions, and is not the case in WRIA 49 and uncertainty. A process must be created to help tie the well log to the parcel. Mr. Hutton believes the county will be allowed to be flexible in how it addresses this as long as it is consistent with the provisions and rules set out and a comprehensive data base that includes the relevant information.

Can the county tap into the $3 million dollars for the software needed. Mr. Hutton replied they are still prioritizing how the funds will be used. It is good to document all the places with affects. The funding portion is to be worked out and line item requests from the counties will be considered. Commissioner Hover asked if the funds are granted or what process will be used to receive the funds. Mr. Hutton stated it would be both through grant cycles of applications but not sure what that looks like at this point.

The position paper was discussed in terms of the consumptive use and quantity to be measured. If the watershed group wants to go into consumptive or non-consumptive uses the base lines should be considered. DOE encourages people to monitor their wells by taking water level measurements. As the county, it will be up to us whether or not to amend Title 20, but he sees the law as giving us the flexibility and authority to rely wholly on the legislation put forth.

Commissioner Branch asked if a senior water right holder contacts us about impairment. DOE cannot preemptively act without the proof of impairment. Commissioner Hover explained we still have some of the same issues we had before Hirst. Mr. Hutton said those issues are being reviewed by their attorney and they will look at those questions. Singe versus domestic use is critically important but largely untested. That information will be shared once they get it. He sees some evolution of watershed planning and believes some definition on that will be forthcoming.

Commissioner Hover discussed the need to bring together all the plans, studies, and data that will be used by the county to discuss with the watershed councils and different planning groups.

The Yakama Nation has issues with the rules in terms of water usage. In 48 do we need to report and notify the interested parties? Mr. Hutton said it goes a long way to keep those parties informed. It is hoped lines of communication are opened to the different groups and it provides a level of transparency. Commissioner Branch discussed the Watershed Planning Act and asked Craig Nelson of the Conservation District his thoughts on dusting off the WRIA 49 Watershed Plan.

Director Huston stated the applications received are from those who are not quite ready to start but they do want an indication of what they can do if they do not already have a well. Mr. Hutton said it is difficult when only part of a plan is implemented. The water availability piece is a big part of the process but it may have a short shelf life.

Commissioner Hover stated in light of the time, he encouraged questions to be asked from folks in the audience. Director Huston explained the county discussed repealing title 20, does the board wish to schedule a public hearing to talk about that? Commissioner Hover said yes, but it doesn’t have to be a public hearing.

Commissioner Branch asked if anyone had questions. No one commented. The group thanked the board for the information and their time.

Discussion – North Central Forest Collaborative Processes – Pete Teigen
Pete Teigen, Bob Anderson, Matt Scott Vaughen Bro, Lorah Super and Ms. Kreimer

The group introduced themselves. Mr. Teigen provided the member document and project operating protocols for the board’s reference. The rep on the back is outdated.

Ms. Kreimer explained UCSRB was asked to start a dialogue in the region with partners in 2012. They were then asked to lead a collaborative for Forest Health and that started in June 2013. She was hired to facilitate the collaborative.

Commissioner Branch explained everyone gets a chance to provide input and work through the issues. It is his thought that treatment be included in the plan and his goal is that by the time those get out the multitude of issues will be resolved. Mr. Anderson replied that head butting is not the way to get things done, but collaborative is working. They work out issues before it becomes a legal issue. They use the red, green, yellow card process to identify the issues that can be worked out.

The collaborative has a work plan the group work’s through. Ms. Super said that the collaborative has asked the Forest Service how the collaborative can help them work through their issues and accelerate the process. The collaborative then helps them work through the issues.
Commissioner Branch would like to see the collaborative on the ground in the forest. He discussed the decommissioning of roads and how that can be perceived by some as a negative and by others as a positive. Mr. Teigen replied it would be a good thing to understand those issues. He further discussed new technologies that bring groups together which help build relationships and trust between the groups.

Mr. Scott discussed the forest products that are taking place mostly due to the collaborative. He is seeing more timber harvested now than in previous years. He explained a timber sale that required access easement over DNR road that prevented the harvest, so a letter was written and sent to Pena. When there are these issues it is incentive to build more roads, and that is not the solution.

Mr. Teigen explained, resource capacity and staffing capacity on the forest are a couple barriers that were worked out by select staff support. They developed surveys and talked with the districts and those were the issues. They have not gone away. It is an area that received some funds in order to help alleviate those issues. The collaborative has been adaptive to the needs, putting pressure in the right places and keeping the pressure on the state and feds. They have developed good relationships with district rangers as they realize the benefits the collaborative brings.

Mr. Teigen explained the Wenatchee pilot project will be getting a decision over the next couple years and then Mt. Hull restoration project will get some traction. Twisp is a really important landscape for members on the collaborative. Things are happening and the trend is going in a positive direction.

Commissioner Hover thinks it is good to have a county commissioner on the collaborative, but personally it is important to him to address safety.

Ms. Kreimer explained what specifically the collaborative can do to represent the commissioners issues? Commissioner Hover wants to ensure buy in from county commissioners because the forest is a natural resource and it needs to be actively managed.

Discussion Credit Card Use
Laurie Thomas, Cari Hall, Leah McCormack

Ms. Thomas explained a matter that came up which needs clarification by the board. A credit card went over limit and incurred a $35 over limit fee. The department head is responsible for ensuring the card limit is not exceeded. The department head is responsible for any late charges. The county has resolutions in place about credit card use. This happened with a Superior Court credit card. Commissioner Hover thought it should be paid by the department head. The issue is the policy addresses late fees not over limit fees specifically. The issue was discussed with department. The policy doesn’t specifically say the department head is responsible to pay over limit fees. Commissioner Hover believes the department should pay the $39. Commissioner Branch asked if there is something in writing the department head would sign acknowledging the use policy. When this has happened to other departments, those department heads did pay the fee.

Commissioner Hover is not ready to approve the meeting minutes today.

Approve Consent Agenda
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the consent agenda items 2-7, excluding item #1 for further review. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

1. Commissioners Proceedings January 29th 30th, 2018
2. A-19 Approval – Fairgrounds Bathroom Project – BTO Construction
3. Cattleguard Franchise Renewals – Timm CGF# 1-97, Cross Bar Ranch CGF# 78-73, Jones CGF# 6-89, Hirst CGF# 43-98, Hirst CGF# 44-98, Double R Ranch CGF# 03-03, Double R Ranch CGF# N-220, Double R Ranch CGF# 02-03, Double R Ranch CGF# 18-98, Double R Ranch CGF# 03-03, Nelson CGF# 42-98, Oberg Bros. Herefords CGF# 48-73, Oberg Bros. Herefords CGF# 49-73, Oberg Bros. Herefords CGF# 50-73, Oberg Bros. Herefords CGF# 48-73, Boesel CGF# 11-13, Poulin CGF# 6-73, Spear Ranch CGF# 62-73, Spear Ranch CGF# N-207, Spear Ranch CGF# 2-91, Double J Ranch CGF# 05-13, Havillah Farms CGF# 51-73, Crossman CGF# 70-73, Cox CGF# 4-92, Cox CGF# 3-97
4. Agreement – Edelweiss Lift Station Consulting Services – Century West Engineering – Public Works
5. Acknowledgement of Receipt – Treasurer’s Report – List of Refunds Made to Taxpayers during 2017
6. Resolution 12-2018 – Countywide Guardrail Upgrades for 2018
7. Resolution 13-2018 – Countywide Roadside Hazzard Removal for 2018

Discussion – WSU Extension Office Staffing – Kayla Wells

Cari Hall, Perry Huston

Ms. Wells explained the staffing issue she would like the commissioners to consider. The office manager Lynda Hotchkiss handed in her resignation and will be leaving at the end of March. She is working with HR to get the position posted. The issue is that person waived medical benefits. It would increase the cost of the positon by $8,000 because the person we hire most likely won’t waive the benefits.

Commissioner Hover thought the needed funds could come from contingency, for the amount budgeted for Extension Agent and 4H Educator. The new bars line is in the budget , but the commissioners are not comfortable with adding a line and making changes without the board knowing the details. Ms. Wells chose the label for the position as the positon may need to be Master Gardner Coordinator too and would basically be any type of educator. Commissioner Hover explained this is an opportunity to form a position to cover multiple functions. Ms. Wells said she would not want to go away from 4H. Commissioner Hover explained he has a hard time making up a new bars code without first being part of that discussion. The agreement (MOU) is a boiler plate without any detail. Director Huston said the MOU is the vehicle where the level of services is to be articulated. He further explained the cost allocation for in kind exchange has dramatically changed regarding the move to Public Works. Ms. Hall explained the secretary position does more than just secretary functions and perhaps that question should be asked. Ms. Hall said she can work within the board’s time frame. He would like to see WSU pick up some of the bill for the move. Ms. Hall said the county really only pays about 80% of the cost of the educator, what about the other 20%? Ms. Wells will email the Agreement and information regarding the details of the position as well as the suggested. Commissioner Hover supports the position, but does need the information to move ahead.

A response letter from James Pena was received regarding the Smoke Jumper Base. Commissioners directed that a meeting be scheduled that all parties can attend.

The board adjourned at 5:00 p.m.