JANUARY 2, 2018

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on January 2, 2018, Chairman Commissioner Jim DeTro, Commissioner Andy Hover, Commissioner Chris Branch, and Clerk III Melissa Thompson, present.

No Quorum until 9:00 a.m.

Commissioner Branch and Commissioner DeTro absent.

Discussion – Therapeutic Court Budget – Sales Tax Oversite Committee
Jim Novelli, Superior Court Judge Christopher Culp, District Court Judge Charles Short, Sandy Ervin

Commissioner Hover brought up the suggestion that the Okanogan Behavioral Healthcare (OBHC) billing reflect a fiscal year of November to October based on the timing that the invoices are received and budget shortfalls because of the County’s calendar year budget. Discussion was scheduled to make sure everyone understood what the beginning fund balance was. Judge Culp explained that the carryover was occurring because the allocated money wasn’t being spent and if they are not aware of carryover, then they are not reallocating or budgeting those funds. Commissioner Hover indicated that the budget showed about $280,000 in carryover. OBHC has one more invoice to submit for December which will be covered by carryover.

Director Perry Huston and Tanya Craig joined the meeting at 8:55 a.m.
Member of the public George Thornton taking hand written notes

Commissioner DeTro joined the meeting at 9:00 a.m

The Clerk of the Board Convened the Board 9:03 a.m. She explained she will call for nominations for Chairman and Vice Chairman of the board.

Organize the Board
The Clerk of the Board called the meeting to order. She explained the process for organizing the board would first be to obtain nominations for Chairman.

Nominations for Chair
Commissioner Hover nominated Commissioner DeTro to be chairman of the board, no other nominations where heard. The Clerk of the Board called for the vote.

Commissioner Hover moved to nominate Jim DeTro for Chairman, motion seconded, all were in favor. Nominations were closed motion carried.

Nominations for Vice Chair
Commissioner DeTro opened up for nominations for vice chair, Commissioner Hover nominated Commissioner Branch for vice chair. No other nominations were heard. All those in favor, motion carried. Nominations were closed and motion carried.

Motion Vice Chairman
Commissioner DeTro moved that Commissioner Chris Branch be
Vice-Chairman, Commissioner Hover seconded the motion, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioners’ Staff Meeting
Tanya Craig, Debi Hilts, David Gecas, Perry Huston

Debi Hilts provided an update on the PEB Conversion that will be effective March 1st, stating today would be the last day for enrollment. New W-4s will be going out to employees and with some tax changes this year, employees may want to make changes. Ms. Hilts would like to know if the Board would like her to provide 2017 turnover rates. Commissioner Hover and Commissioner DeTro would like this information and would like it categorized by why an employee left, if that information is available.

Ms. Hilts would like to discuss the Fairgrounds once other departments provide their updates.

David Gecas provided an update on current claims. Mr. Gecas has filed one response for a claim against the County for which the Insurance is not covering because this lawsuit is a little different than others based on what the claimant is saying. Tanya Craig indicated they worked with the Risk pool and felt it was fine for Mr. Gecas to file the notice to appear. Mr. Gecas discussed French Creek road having a new court date due to the claimant not filing in time for cross judgement.

Director Perry Huston is working on the fee schedule for the Fairgrounds and looking at options for the damage deposit. Suggests a daily rate for the Agriplex, which Commissioner Hover agrees with.

Director Huston provided an update on water applications. The Department of Ecology still has not given him the final answer on some applications. He will continue to reach out to them directly and has several current applications that he’ll be sending to DOE. Still has not heard if DOE is to decide all cases.

The continued hearing for the Lake Management District will be next week. Director Huston will be looking at the budget and assessing the maps. Commissioner Hover discussed concerns from the previous hearing. He would like Anna Lyon of Noxious Weed to join the public hearing to provide an answer as to what the benefits of spraying would be. Commissioner Hover doesn’t believe it’s fair for the public to pay into something that they don’t see a benefit for. Director Huston says that the process will need to be reviewed and likely go out for RFP. Another consideration is to work with the Noxious Weed Board. Commissioner Hover discussed the question of how many entities, both public and private, are operating the boat launches, and could there be a specific fee increase that would go toward the protection against milfoil. Director Huston believes that it all comes back to the need for a Lake Management District to manage these types of items. Discussed funds being available for a person to manage grant funds.

Motion Executive Session RCW 42.30.110 (1)(g)
Commissioner Hover moved to go into executive session at 9:35 a.m. for 15 minutes inviting Tanya Craig, Debi Hilts, and Director Perry Huston to review the performance of a public employee. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioners extended the session at 9:50 am for an additional 10 minutes

Executive session ended at 10:00 a.m. no decisions were made.

Director Huston is requesting direction from the BOCC with regard to Fairground Facilities Fund 127 and management of the Fairgrounds. Commissioner Hover explained that moving the Fairground Facilities Fund to current expense would provide for a better utilization of resources, an example being that maintenance staff can maintain the fairgrounds facilities without staff having to bill fairgrounds, or rent equipment. Treasurer and Auditor’s office will need to be involved in the process. Director Huston agreed that this will create stability and better organization.

Motion Fairground Facilities Fund 127 to Current Expense and designate staff management
Commissioner Hover moved to direct staff to start the process of moving Fairground Facilities 127 to fall under current expense to allow for a better use of our current expense resources and for Director Perry Huston to continue to staff the Fairgrounds. Motion was seconded. All were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Address Fairgrounds Staffing
Commissioner Hover moved to eliminate current Fairgrounds Facilities staffing positions, Fairgrounds Manager and Clerk III, and create a new Coordinator position. Motion was seconded. All were in favor, motion carried.

Cancelled - Update Clerks Office – Charleen Groomes

Briefing Among Commissioners

Motion Employment Agreement Ben Rough
Move to approve Ben Rough’s employment agreement. Motion was seconded. All were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Branch joined the meeting at 10:35 a.m.

Commissioner Hover provided Commissioner Branch with an update of the morning meetings and organization of the Board.

Director Huston joined the meeting at 10:50 a.m. to inquire about the budget for the fee schedule. Commissioner Hover discussed the concern of some discrepancies on previous fee schedules. There needs to be consideration if the entire complex is rented to account for all the spaces.

Update Public Works – Josh Thomson, Ben Rough
Josh Thomson, Ben Rough

Mr. Rough provided Public Works agendas

Open Positions
Mr. Rough updated the board on the current open positions. They will be making a job offer for the Engineering Tech position this week and interviews are being scheduled tomorrow for the Finance Tech position.

SWAC Topics
A special meeting is scheduled next Monday. They will be reviewing a preliminary draft of the Solid Waste Plan. If there is enough time, bylaws and tipping fees will be discussed. No decisions will be made that night because there will be a meeting Feb 5th as well. Commissioner DeTro said that he’s been getting good feedback from the public on Solid Waste Manager Kent Kovalenko. Mr. Rough appreciated the feedback and reiterated that Mr. Kovalenko was a great hire.

Commissioner Branch asked about a solid waste fee increase and how that ties into the recycle program. Mr. Rough said they looked at how the fees could support the recycle program, but the entire solid waste operation is short. The recycle committee’s primary focus was to look at tipping fees and justify a proposal they’d make to SWAC of how much it would take to cover the costs. Commissioner Branch commented on the need for utilities to increase fees due to inflation costs.

2018 SW Budget
A supplemental appropriation will need to be filed for 405 & 123 reserve fund right away for 2018, due to a mix up with some bars codes. This could affect the ending fund balance. It will be forwarded to BOCC to put on the schedule and advertise.

CDL Training & Waiver
Mr. Rough is in discussions with David Gecas to see if a repayment program can be implemented. Looking at two different standards.

Snow Grooming
Started grooming trails today and should take a big portion of this week. This is occurring later than normal this season.

Public Health
Mr. Rough provided an update on building maintenance. The maintenance department came in and did window coverings last week and looked at the insulation. There are currently two layers of insulation and they don’t believe adding more insulation will fix the issues. Mr. Rough indicated that they need to find a way to afford some updates in the future. Two layers of insulation in there right now. Commissioner Hover would be curious to see what the temperature reading would show in the roof space. Commissioner Branch asked if this was spurred by a complaint of office temperature. According to Mr. Rough DIVCO also came in and looked at the heat pumps. There was one that was not running and that has been fixed and appears to have made a difference. Joe Poulin and Kyle Haugen recommended plexiglass inserts for the windows. Currently, the focus has been making improvements to all the area shops. They would like to look at windows and doors in the future, but need to prioritize.

Engineer Thomson discussed the need for salt cover structures and is looking into options.

Shared Leave Cap
Mr. Rough explained that they were told by Auditor’s office that a cap on shared leave should be put in place, which exists for all other departments, but currently not  in Public Works. Due to injuries and the number of employees it seems to be used more in Public Works according to Mr. Rough. A cap will be set this month and will likely be at 500 hours. No contributions will be accepted until the current 500 reserve is used. Commissioner Hover confirmed the shared leave is contributed as annual leave and used as sick leave.

2018 Goal Setting
New scale software for solid waste – The current software is hard to use and difficult to balance at the end of the month. Mr. Kovalenko  and PW Finance Tech Ms. Coral Krueger are looking into options and one of favored options has an annual fee, but is not being purchased. The fee is similar to the cost to maintain purchased software.

Debit Readers – Readers haven’t been implemented yet due to previous cash handling issues. Majority of the use will be at transfer stations. They will be getting a bid.

Close Ellisforde Landfill – The request has been submitted to DOE, but they are requesting a monitoring well, even though tests had already taken place on one well. Mr. Rough says they will look into getting another landowners’ well tested.

Road Standards & Vacation Regulation – Looking to update road standards and look into simplifying the code for road vacation.

Commissioner Branch asked about purchasing policies. Engineer Thomson said that the policies are not very clear and the state law is a lot less restrictive then our current polices so it is something they should look into.

Maintenance & Road Conditions
Engineer Thomson provided an update on overtime, which was 10% more than what the normal overtime would be due to the recent storm. Commissioner Branch asked if this being the first real storm of the season was a factor. Engineer Thomson said that all areas had their trucks ready to go and it was more based on the timing of the day on Friday and then leading into the three day weekend.

There were two projects factored into the budget. The funds were not received in 2017, so the ending fund balance will be off from what was projected. In turn the revenue will now be in 2018.

Elmway & Mazama Levees – USACE projects
Engineer Thomson has a call into the Corps to set up a public meeting. Provided an update on the activities of Yakima and WDFW. There are several options being looked at. Engineer Thomson wants to make sure DOT has a heads up and a chance to weigh in. Commissioner Hover believes we need to have representation at some of the meetings as we would be the lead on maintaining the levees. Commissioner Branch agreed and discussed the impacts flooding could cause to the County.

Commissioner Hover discussed Gold Creek Loop Road. Engineer Thomson confirmed that the road is being deteriorated.

Conconully Sewer System – Consultant selection
Engineer Thomson provided an update on interviews, and will likely make a selection later today. The first order of business is to relocate and then start designing and reviewing a remodel of the lift station.

Consent Agenda item
Road Restrictions Resolution – The resolution gives the right to restrict loads during spring break up as needed.

SRS Status
Commissioner Hover asked what the SRS total is. According to Engineer Thomson it’s $750,000 each for both road fund and schools. Commissioner DeTro believes that a continuing resolution is the direction they are headed, but they want to bill and are getting strong bi-partisan support.

The OCOG meeting is next Monday and Engineer Thomson may not be able to go. The Interlocal agreement needs to be addressed, then bylaws, and later reviewed and signed by BOCC.

Engineer Thomson inquired about vehicles going into ER&R. Commissioner Hover explained they were looking at doing that with sheriff vehicles, but not prepared to do so at this point and would likely discuss with public works. Engineer Thomson explained that it creates consistency in vehicle costs and you can see by vehicle which has the most expense. The whole fleet couldn’t be moved over at one time. Commissioner Hover recommended starting a replacement fund for a new vehicle when one is purchased. Engineer Thomson explained the process is mandated by the state in RCW, such that each fund or class of vehicles need to cover their own costs. He discussed various ways it can be monitored and how fuel and maintenance costs are incorporated and budgeted into the cost. The board asked Engineer Thomson to look into their fuel contract and see if other departments can share the agreed amount.

The board adjourned for lunch at 12:00pm
Commissioner DeTro absent for the rest of the afternoon

Citizen Comment Period
Member of the public, George Thornton asked the board if the county knows the level of activity in terms of enforcement by Border Control. Commissioner Branch said that he doesn’t know but usually a request can be made in writing to Border Patrol. Mr. Thornton said that his concern is being aware of how this disrupts orchards and employment, but a good percentage of what he knows falls under rumor so he’d like to know some concrete information. He’s curious because it’s not the county’s responsibility, but the county has repercussions. Commissioner Branch agrees it’s a good inquiry as there is potential for cost.

Commissioner Hover updated Commissioner Branch on a call received by Bob Weidner, who is looking to push forward with SRS in the next two weeks and will call next week.

Commissioner DeTro called to relay a message to Commissioner Hover and Commissioner Branch. He spoke with Vicky Davis, who is part of Jones Upper Pine Creek. She had an unconfirmed wolf kill a cow this morning and notified the authority. Commissioner Hover discussed his view that the plan didn’t have ability to be dynamic or have variation. The dividing line of protected or threatened should become adaptable.

Mr. Thornton discussed grazing issues from his work in Yellowstone and wolves helping to rectify the grazing issues. Also brought up something he saw about Karelian Bear dogs being used by the state for bears and wondered if they could be used for wolves as well. Mr. Thornton mentioned that there was to be a meeting at the Community Cultural Center in Tonasket this coming Friday and the Game Department would be speaking, likely having wolf discussions.

Cancelled - Tentative – Discussion – Fair Advisory Committee

Director Huston re-joined at 2:25 pm and explained that he just emailed the BOCC a revised fee schedule for the fairgrounds. He mentioned a few changes that were made based on previous discussions. Director Huston would like the Auditor and BOCC to review for future changes or approval. The schedule will be further discussed next Monday after review. Commissioners discussed the concern of varying prep work needed depending on the facility being rented and how that tied into the fee schedule. Also discussed the potential to have a rate for additional staff, and a description of the buildings within the schedule. Commissioner Hover would like the Commissioners to take a trip over to the Fairgrounds together with the fee schedule to see what issues could arise and would likely block out time for a work session on a Monday or Tuesday.

Commissioner Hover mentioned an email sent to the Commissioners by the Assessor stating that the real estate excise tax is the best it’s been since 2008.

Commissioner Hover went to PUD at lunch and talked to a conservation person. They are not able to pull meter bases due to the infrastructure of the Fairgrounds. The PUD representative will show usage and discuss if a generator set up will work.

Meet & Greet – WSU Extension Office - Interim Director Kayla Wells
Kayla Wells, Interim Director; Jim Kropf, WSU; Libby McDonald, 4-H; Kristina King-Dellabalma–Treasurer of Leaders Council

Introductions were made and a staff printout was provided.

Mr. Kropf discussed plans now that Ann Fagerlie has retired. Kayla Wells, who lives locally is filling the County Director position on an interim basis and is working on job descriptions and leading the search committee to get a position hired. Due to WSU’s budget and state funds, they will not be able to hire a director this year, but plan on hiring a 4-H Coordinator. Ms. Wells is an existing regional employee of WSU and therefore, her salary will not be paid by the county. Ms. Wells will be working out of Nespelem, but physically at the county extension office on Tuesdays. Commissioner Branch asked what the family living program is, which is what Ms. Wells manages. Ms. Wells said that she’s been involved in food safety and preservation, fitness, finance, nutrition, parenting, etc. Essentially seeking positive results for both youth and adults.

Commissioner Hover mentioned that the benefit of an extension agent is someone who can direct you to how or where to find the answer to questions, given the fact we can access information on our phones. What is the long term goal? Mr. Kropf says be a catalyst in the county to request grants and find resources to bring into the county or hire and train coordinators for the county who can answer those questions. Commissioner Branch compared this to RC&D programs and would hope the representative is someone who knows a lot about rural living. Commissioner Hover would like to know the qualities that they are looking for in a 4-H Coordinator given that 4-H covers several areas. According to Mr. Kropf the description for the position will likely be open ended to meet the needs of the county, but generally speaking they need applicable experience, people skills, organized, possibly have an educator background to do a bit of everything. Both the Director and Coordinator positions will be fulltime exempt positions without overtime.

Mr. Kropf explained that the goal was to take the existing salary budget that was allocated for the county Director position and use that to pay a 4-H Coordinator position. Director Huston inquired about the contract and asked if they are proposing an amendment. Mr. Kropf explained that a new contract is generated annually. Commissioner Hover asked about the line items in the budget and confirmed that the county pays WSU rather than paying the employees directly. Mr. Kropf stated that the intent is for the two line items in the budget to be combined to pay one person. Ms. Wells will check with Cari Hall when she meets with her next week to discuss the multiple lines and professional services in the budget.

Commissioners discussed the need to look at the agreements closely to understand how the changing of the programs are reflected in the budget and the agreement. Also discussed the value of 4-H for youth programs.

Cancelled - Discussion – Chief Criminal Deputy Position – Prosecutor Branden Platter

Discussion – Various Budgets

Leah McCormack, Laurie Thomas, Cari Hall, Tanya Craig, Lisa Shreckengost, Joe Somday

Leah McCormack said that the carryover will be close to 1.7 million but the interfund loan still needs to be paid back. Ms. McCormack wouldn’t recommend paying the loan back until we get past April as there are some budgets that may need an increase.

Laurie Thomas discussed election costs. The election software price would drop just under $200,000 if counties joined together and put out an RFP. The current system has a few years, but may want to build a reserve so we are not hit with the large cost all at once. The new law is requiring updated ballot boxes, but by showing the county has a plan and working toward proper compliance, then they will give counties more time. Ms. Thomas proposes purchasing half of the boxes this year, which will cost $9,000. Commissioner Hover pointed out that the budget was put together in order to be conservative with spending.

Ms. Hall discussed Fund 160 and recommended that she creates lines under jail and a line under juvenile for bills to be applied to until June. Commissioner Hover explained that the goal is to have all maintenance under one maintenance budget and the line items that were previously under specific buildings should now be the same lines under Maintenance 009. A meeting is scheduled for next week to discuss specific costs and resolve any issues as invoicing is transferred over. Ms. Hall can open up bars codes and work on a supplemental as needed.

Ms. McCormack cautions that spending in January and February still needs to be minimal even though carryover looks good. Commissioner Hover reiterated, Ms. Shreckengost coordinate with Joe Poulin and Lanie Johns to determine what non-maintenance expenses need to go back into the Jail budget. The next priority is the ballot boxes. Commissioner Hover would like Ms. Thomas, Ms. Hall, and Ms. McCormack to put together a plan on the best utilization of the money, cash flow and generating interest, and present at their next finance meeting.

Motion Approve Consent Agenda
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the consent agenda items 1-4 as presented. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.
1. Commissioners Proceedings December 26th & 27th, 2017
2. Agreement Collective Bargaining - 2018-2020 – Okanogan County Sheriff Employee Association
3. Appointment Letter-Board of Directors TV #1 Heather Findlay
4. Resolution 001-2018 Approve 2018 Speed and Load Restrictions of Certain Roads

The board adjourned at 4:45 p.m.