JULY 2, 2018

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met for its regular session on July 2, 2018, with Chairman Commissioner Jim DeTro, Commissioner Chris Branch, Commissioner Andy Hover, and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

Review Commissioners Agenda and Consent Agenda
Commissioners reviewed the material for this week.

Briefing Among Commissioners–Discuss Individual Weekly Meetings & Schedule
Commissioners discussed individual meetings they attended.

Commissioner Hover discussed the Lake Roosevelt draw down conversation that happened amongst the NEWC counties last week.

Commissioner Hover updated the other members on the NEWC meeting in Pend Oreille County on Friday. A conference call happened there with the new US Forest Service Chief. The group had drafted a joint letter to the Chief as a follow-up to the conference call.

Commissioner DeTro discussed the Forest Service travel plan and wondered why a member of the public knew more about the plan than the commissioners. He wondered if there was some coordination needed on this plan as in the past they have ignored the need to coordinate with the county until the last minute.

Commissioners discussed correspondence they received last week from an anonymous writer regarding concerns/complaints about the Community Action Council. The letter was addressed to the Community Council, but the commissioners received a mailed copy. The commissioners discussed how to proceed with the claim. Commissioner Branch sits on the Community Action Council and had discussed receipt of the letter during the council meeting last week.

Commissioner Hover suggested the county draft a letter to OCCAC that outlines that the BOCC will wait for OCCAC to respond on how it has dealt with the situation. Commissioner Branch asked that the situation be treated confidential acknowledging that it is public information and could be available upon request. The commissioners asked Mr. Gecas to draft the letter.

Executive Session – RCW 42.30.110 (1)(g)
It was found executive session not necessary once the board discussed with Mr. Gecas.

Katie Haven, member of the public, arrived at 10:45 a.m. to take hand written notes.

Discussion-Town of Winthrop Application for RCO Funds–Rocklynn Culp,
Jeanie White, Conservancy, Perry Huston

Ms. Culp explained the Town of Winthrop is applying for RCO funding to acquire 139 acres for an open space park and are required by state statutes to “confer” with the county. RCO Grant App. #18-1855A. She provided the maps, letter, and project application report. (attached) One map showed the Town of Winthrop Comprehensive Plan annexation and growth considerations. Use of alternative terminology was used for “potential” areas of interest.

Ms. Culp provided details of the projects. She said the property is immediately adjacent to the town of Winthrop boundary. The property is intended to allow/provide an open space park that protects shrub steppe habitat and provides passive outdoor recreation and a trail network.

Ms. Culp explained some of the features of the proposed project area. Ms. White explained the property proposed use is consistent with the conservancy background. Conservancy had purchased the property in May 2018 with funds donated for a project like this. It is an opportunity fund with sales of other property helping to support the cost.

There is a portion of the property below the irrigation ditch that would likely be annexed, but probably not all the property because there is not enough existing water rights to serve the area. Commissioner Hover said what the board looks at is what is coming off the tax rolls and the impacts of losing the tax from those properties. He read from the Tax Sifter the amounts and entities impacted. Ms. Culp explained the portion below the ditch would likely be developed and in that case the tax base would increase.

Ms. White explained the conservancy originally purchased 146 acres with 138 being partly gifted to the town. Commissioner Hover discussed the benefits of only developing the portion below the ditch. Commissioner Branch asked if a letter of support was requested. Ms. Culp replied, yes. Commissioner Hover stated one would be placed on the county letterhead for commissioners’ approval.
Commissioners adjourned for lunch at 11:30 a.m.

Katie Haven, member of the public taking notes.

Update – Planning – Perry Huston
Angie Hubbard,

Commissioner Branch opened up the meeting.

Planning Dept Study Session
Director Huston has been called by DOE for shoreline master program congratulating the county on it program. He will use that opportunity to get a handle on how the decisions will be implemented. He will let the commissioners know when that is scheduled.

Director Huston explained he was contacted by State Parks enforcement officer in the Pearrygin Lake area regarding a meeting to discuss county roads proposed to be opened for WATV. The commissioners wanted a public open house style meeting, he will offer the officer some time on Engineer’s time if needed. Does the commissioners have direction? A notice about the meeting would be published.

Commissioner DeTro asked what the requirements are for coordination of the Forest Service Travel management plan with the county. Director Huston relayed that the EIS did not close the roads, it adopted the methodology that all roads be closed unless opened by certain action. Commissioner Hover thought a letter to them on the progress of the Travel Management Plan. Does the board wish to include Forest Management Plan? Yes, there were seven significant issues identified, but with no connectivity between the two plans. Commissioners discussed the points they would like included in the letter to Mike Williams. He will draft for commissioners review. Commissioner Branch would like the two issues articulated as separate letters.

Director Huston provided draft maps that tie into permit well tracking in each of the reaches. There may need to be additional review in the reach to determine water that is connected to the Columbia. With information DOE has provided, planning staff can begin to fine tune that in the lower Methow reach. Commissioner Hover explained a previous conversation with DOE about the reach.

We do not have real feedback from Ms. Voelkers on the last notices he created.
Director Huston explained Jay O’Brien had no problem with the county being the lead entity and contracting with the Conservation District; however, he offered certain desirable conditions regarding make-up of the Watershed Committee.

Director Huston would like to come up with at least the list of organizations to solicit as well as a list of names to be solicited. Gravitating towards environmental interests. Commissioners discussed breaking out the different interests between groups of people, and wondered of the interests of the unnamed groups. He suggested the board narrow down the number of people to be chosen. He comes back to folks seeing this as something they must be involved with. The mission by statute is much more refined.

The water banking meeting was rescheduled to July 23 from July 9.

Code Enforcement
Director Huston explained some issues popped up and he issued a work stop order on the recycle operations. He has been in contact with the operator on the issues to be remedied. One of the things to be fixed is that the fence.

Director Huston explained the issues with a weekly inspection on the progress. So far the operator is cooperative. Noting that this enforcement work has been going on for a long time. Commissioner Branch thought pictures of five different fences that would comply might be helpful to demonstrate options for compliance to the property owner.

Nightly rental letters will go out this week for the annual license process.

Comprehensive Plan
Commissioners reviewed the draft map showing NRCS codes on against the ag parcels. Commissioner Branch gave some background on the map (1992) that he reviewed with a committee on Ag lands back in 1992. Some of the issues then are the same issues now with regards to water and water rights. Recently, agriculture lands have been put into conservation with some conserving farm grounds. The board continued to discuss the map and regulations that would not have to be imposed and still comply with the planning enabling act. There are portions of GMA that must be brought into the planning enabling act so what do we need to do to comply. Commissioner Branch explained the reason for designating Agricultural Lands of Long Term Commercial Significance in compliance with the GMA. The soils map approach may be considered the Best Available Science to designate to achieve compliance as best we can. We are not required at this time to regulate and how we do that would be another subject to address if we were to exceed 50K population.

Ms. Hubbard provided the board with the soil data as shown on the NRCS website. The mineral lands and mining designations were discussed. The county didn’t really designate those. Commissioner Branch recalled the methodology utilized in the early 90’s which identified levels of “potential” mineral development.

Planning Administrative Study Session

Resolution Regarding Fairgrounds Well
Commissioners reviewed the resolution regarding the well drilling project bid award. The “per foot” quote would be utilized with a limit of not to exceed. A change order would be required from the driller if the project cost exceeded the quote. Commissioner Branch asked about the county’s bid process used for this project. Director Huston explained the difference between a Public Work and other types of projects. He would like the Director to articulate the differences side by side and how each process works in accordance with the various purchases. A flow chart of our process would be helpful and something constructive to getting what we need in place and so accurate policies can be created in accordance with law.

Director Huston explained one problem we’ve had in the past where the project specifications had not been front loaded. He further discussed the level of detail needed for the Public Works processes compared to the well specifications. Bottom line is our policy does not match the state’s policy on bidding procedures and laws. The commissioners discussed the differences finally stating our policy should be adopted consistent with the State policy and drafting a flow chart accordingly. The Clerk of the Board reminded that the State Auditor audits our processes according to our policies and our policy is not consistent with the state’s. Commissioners wished to consider the resolution further in terms of process.

Response to Audit Questions
Commissioners reviewed and discussed their response to the State Auditor regarding the county’s 2017 financial activities/anticipated changes.

Motion State Auditor Response Letter
Commissioner Branch moved to authorize the letter to the State Auditor regarding the questions they posed about the county financial changes. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Joint Letter NEWC USFS Christiansen
Commissioner Branch moved to approve Okanogan County signing onto the joint letter of the NEWC and the Tri County Forest Group to the USFS Chief Christiansen to simply reaching out and state the efforts to work productively with the Forest Service. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Review Meeting Minutes

The board adjourned at 5:00 pm.