JULY 23, 2018

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met for its regular session on July 23, 2018, with Commissioner Chris Branch, Vice-Chairman; Commissioner Andy Hover, Member; and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

Commissioner Jim DeTro, Chairman absent due to personal business.

Briefing Among Commissioners–Discuss Individual Weekly Meetings & Schedule
Director Huston discussed county roads with the board. There is some advantage to cleaning up some of the gates that block public access. The previous board was reluctant to adopt large lots to at least be able to record the easements.

CANCELLED Discussion – Hancock Building Lease- Justin Brown

Discussion-American Fidelity Employment Benefits-Debi Hilts, Tanya Craig
Ms. Craig introduced the Government Markets Manager for American Fidelity, Mr. Gabor Siklosi, who was invited to discuss the company’s employment benefit offerings. Ms. Craig provided the information packet. (attached)

Mr. Siklosi explained his background and history with the company. He’s been in the area developing his company benefit program and works closely with counties around the nation, working toward developing a public sector business model in the west. The company is based out of Colorado and has been in business for over 60 years and has an A+ rating since 1982. American Fidelity offers year-round support and complete benefit package that can be tailored to meet the individual employee’s needs.

Mr. Siklosi explained how his company can help employers provide the most benefit to their employees, and raise the level of value for employees. He explained American Fidelity approach to working with groups stating their go to market model is different than what is typically out there. American Fidelity normally goes out to market to help educate the public sector to overcome benefit administration challenges rather than a one size fits all. They provide a clear understanding of how the insurance works and encourages employees to participate based on family needs.

American Fidelity is different because they educate and communicate to help employees pick a plan that fits based on needs and levels of affordability. Their reps are paid a salary, not a commission only model. They do have sales quota, but they are W-2 employees, where the company can find the needs and then fill them. The company looks for a win win situation.

Commissioner Hover asked questions about the offerings listed under group benefits. American Fidelity can fill in where other insurances have gaps in coverages, depending on the individual and their needs. Commissioner Branch asked if the county considered the service, would American Fidelity help the employer develop a plan design and how would that work, what would the cost. American Fidelity helps communicate that and would help implement as well as educate the employees about their needs. There are several pieces to understanding a new plan and American Fidelity helps explain what the best options are for everyone person to person. They offer flexible spending accounts with no employer risk. It is a way to save dollars through payroll deductions.

American Fidelity is moving away from COBRA administration. Enrollment is set up ahead of time with email blasts, payroll stuffers, etc.….

Once the county’s affirmation letter is received American Fidelity begins setting up enrollment schedules then they do a clean-up day of those missed or needing reminders. They work on all this with HR so at least 90% is done, then they do a post review, then a debrief of what worked what didn’t work and what can change or not.

Mr. Sikloski thanked the board for their time.

Update – Planning – Perry Huston
Members of the public Lorah Super, Gina McCoy, Nancy Soriano, videotaping, Kit Arbuckle, Rocky Devon, and two others.

Planning Dept. Study Session
Oroville-Tonasket Irrigation District-Water Banking
Director Huston introduced the topic. It is regarding a Water Banking Program Aspect Consulting has been working on for the district. Tyson Carlson, with Aspect Consulting, explained the group is working with Oroville Tonasket Irrigation on some irrigation issues. They found a mutually beneficial opportunity they wanted to present to the board that addresses the issues. A PowerPoint presentation was shown of the situation. (attached) Mr. Carlson explained the issues and change operations process started in 2015. Mr. Carlson discussed the water right certification issued and next steps. There will be mapping and demand analysis’s will be performed and water banking development and permitting documents with public outreach occurring to the customer base and communication on how the bank will operate. The plan would be year round domestic use, where the situation up at the Canadian border with Zosel dam and Lake Osoyoos recharging the aquifer then to be released winter. The mitigation may be suitable from the Canadian border to the Columbia River. Water can also be transferred downstream.

Mr. Carlson explained water banking principles and the local need arising from the in stream flow rules and then provides seasonal closure on some tributaries. He further discussed the limitations such as the increased level of responsibility on the county to determine water availability. Water banks redistribute water right authority between seller and buyers.

Mr. Carlson discussed the consumptive use and how that is measured and when used is not returned back to the sources but what is traded. Water bank seeding can be in-kind water for water or out of kind which is habitat focused and helps with the water resource levels be more assessable for habitat.

Mr. Haller explained HB6091 and said once it plays out, it will end up with a lot of additional water banking tools. It provided a window while it is figured out. We have half our county in the one WRIA and the other half in another WRIA. The county would be selling and regulating something it has never done before. There is some time and some funding to help us get there. He described his vision and explained the mitigation program implementation and the need that it be seeded by a water right. He further discussed suitability requirements under the program and the amount of water that goes into the account. The process was provided in the PowerPoint document. The first part of the process has been completed by OTID so there only remains the last two items the county would process i.e. county code adoption and then the outreach and training. A partnership with OTID would solve many problems identified in Okanogan County. Plus there are supplemental mitigation strategies that can be employed.

The next steps were discussed. The proposal would include an MOU letter of intent signaling the county’s intent. An interlocal agreement would follow which would outline further the details of the partnership.

Commissioner Hover asked what the benefits are for a private company coming into the county to do this, what are the benefits of the county versus a private company doing this. Mr. Haller explained the types of water banks and the laws that allow for other interests to consider. Commissioner Hover believes water moving out of the county should be closely monitored. Director Huston stated a water bank coupled with development regulations where the development regulation would follow.

Mr. Carlson stated the county would create a mitigation program, and that gets us off and running because OTID has completed many of the preliminary steps already. The county does have the ability to shape its own water bank. The county code would outline the water use monitoring procedures, standards, fees, criteria, and also would place some boundaries on the asset we acquire and describes how we decide how it is doled out to the public.

The number of wells considered for this area was around 500 wells. Director Huston asked the commissioners where we go from here and asked for staff direction on the kind of arrangement contemplated. Commissioner Hover stated it will be important to understand whether it is all in, buy out, or buy as you go? It is certified and if not are they working to get it certified. Mr. Carlson replied that it is a fairly low dollar expectation and would not fall on the county’s budget or the district’s. Commissioner Branch asked if the money available affects the water resource program funds. Mr. Haller stated the money goes to assist on planning efforts and to solutions. The group thanked the board for their time and looked forward to hearing back from the county on the proposal.

Hard Cider Plat-review resolution
Char Schumacher, Senior Planner, explained what the documents before the board were. The resolution adopts the Plat, hearings examiner decision, findings of fact and conclusions of law, and the development agreement of the Hard Cider Plat. Commissioner Branch asked the proponent to step forward to discuss the plat. Mr. Devon came forward and provided some history of the plat. Commissioners reviewed the information.

Motion Resolution 79-2018 Hard Cider Estates Plat 2018-1
Commissioner Hover moved to approve resolution 79-2018 Hard Cider Estates Long Plat 2018-1, development agreement, decision of the hearings examiner, findings of fact, and conclusions of law as attached to the resolution. Commissioner Branch seconded the motion and opened up for commissioner discussion. Commissioner Branch asked the proponent whether there has been considerable coordination with the other entities involved. He said yes. All were in favor, motion carried.

OCC 17A.400-update
Larry Gilman, Chief Appraiser

Director Huston asked what additional information was needed to move ahead with the code update. Commissioner Hover asked what was recommended to be changed. Director Huston explained what was changed.

Next Monday there may be a shortened planning update due to USF&W discussing the after action report on the wolf issue at 1:30 p.m. The commissioners discussed setting time parameters for the meeting. 1:30 -3:00

Commissioners set a Comprehensive Plan work session for August 1 from 9-5.

Well Tracking System-update
The application is being worked on and should be completed this week for approval. The announcement is being drafted but Connie Iten will need to review before publishing. The temporary position for this program was discussed. The position would go away once the money runs dry.

Larry Gilman explained software that could be used to allow well tracking. Director Huston stated there was some desirable features on it but right now the well logs there is ongoing tracking for those and not all the information will fit in there. Commissioner Hover asked that that information be available to compare with the data at some point like in the next two or three weeks.

WRIA 49-Watershed plan revisions update
The list is polished up with 34 potential representatives. The ad for the other positions will be submitted soon. The application for boards and committees will be reviewed and amended for this use.

Code Enforcement-update
Set aside Thursday’s may be set aside for code enforcements. He does check on the other complaints that need to be checked on. He explained it meshes with the planning commission field trip as part of their marijuana regulation research. Commissioner Hover asked when the county is going to make it code infractions. We lack the clear path to actually do it. He is working on the code enforcement section, but everyone should gather to discuss. The missing piece is who has the time to write the citations, but the prosecutor’s office or Sheriff’s office could, but everyone should be in the room to determine who would do that.

Mr. Rocky Devon explained it really helps when he can work as an advisor with those violators without the ticket writer being there. He tries to get his client to fix things first. They will talk to him if they know he won’t write them a ticket.

Planning Dept. Administrative Session
Lake Management District-update ballot issued
The Lake Management district ballots have gone out in the mail. Phone calls are being received so folks are beginning to get ballots.

Nightly Rentals License-notice published, applications mailed
Applications have been mailed to nightly rental businesses and calls are coming in as a result so those are being received too. All completed applications have to be in by October 1, then the licenses will be processed after that.

Business Licenses-Code updates
Director Huston asked the board about their interest in the creating a business licensing requirement in Okanogan County. He also stated the assessor had expressed concern about tax payers not paying their personal property tax. Commissioner Branch asked if there is a history of people not paying their personal property taxes. It may be difficult to look and see what category of businesses does not pay their personal property taxes.

Commissioner Hover stated nightly rentals must provide a certain level of safety to its guests and a business license would show guests he rental complies. Commissioner Branch would like to speak to those who are affected by this proposal and from that point he would like to not provide any more rules. There is also some businesses out there that do not have a license from the state.

Commissioner Hover stated Wednesday, August 1 would be a good day for a Comp Plan work session. He would like to articulate some points today for that discussion. Which areas are left to do? Director Huston replied what still needs to be done such as consistency within the plan. Make sure to go back to comments and ask where we are with those and decide which ones to address. A broad overview would be helpful. Still need population projections, charts and tables, and rural designation language, with most of the other sections being okay. Need to tidy up the maps with resource designations. Under rural is the buildable lands analysis. Demonstrate that we have designated suitable lands. The group discussed what to tie it to, level of service, needs, or something else. It is important where designated flood plains are, if you cannot develop those lots without going through a permit process why not make the rule that you must have X amount of land outside of the flood plain. It will be costly to serve otherwise. Director Huston discussed review of the city expansion areas for big deal killers and not all will be definitive and some assumptions may be needed.

Commissioner Branch asked if Commissioner Hover believes we will run out of developable property within 20 years. He replied no, but there are things to be considered in terms of the growth of the county and the cost to provide the services we provide.

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 regular vouchers in the amount of $1,276,637.74. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion seconded and carried.

Motion Public Health Voucher
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the Public Health Vouchers in the amount of $7,154.40. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Update- Public Works Engineer- Josh Thomson
Engineer Thomson and Commissioner Hover briefly discussed previous road vacations the county considered.

Engineer Thomson provided his agenda and discussed the items listed there

Maintenance and Road Conditions
HPA for Windy creek temporary culvert replacement. The design will depend on whether the creek is fish bearing.

217 overtime hours from last week with all but 5 hours used for chip seal.

ER&R Purchase for 2019
ER&R purchases on equipment would be ordered now and would impact next year’s budget. Another roll-off trucks is needed as the Kenworth has been used beyond its current life. There is additional money paid by solid waste there is enough money to purchase the truck at around $200,000.

There is also the striping truck that will need to be replaced and would like to order it now so it is operational come spring. That piece of equipment will cost around $500,000. He explained what it would cost for a contractor to just stripe versus purchasing our own striping truck. It would cost us around $100 per mile for the striping but that doesn’t include the other costs of flaggers and other needs. The flatbed truck that also runs with the operation may need to be replaced if commissioners do not approve the purchase of a new striping truck. If the board does approve then the new truck would be able to handle a whole day’s supply so the flatbed truck would actually not be needed.

McClure Radio Site
Engineer Thomson explained a contractor accidently tore into our grounding service. A meeting at the site will be needed to hear what happened and learn who is responsible.

FEMA Projects Close-out
Engineer Thomson is trying to get these closed out. There is $150,000 on the 2014 and somewhere above $300,000 this year.

MVID Barkly Ditch project
Engineer Thomson said he would like to draft a letter regarding the Davis Creek road project. The project proponents are designing the culvert and it appears to be an undersized culvert along the field side, but its size would hold only the average flows, not the heavy flows like we are seeing. Engineer Thomson will continue to address the situation and relay his concerns to the proponent. Member of the public, Lorah Super, stated the Conservation district may already have an MOU with the county for provision of technical assistance, the proponent might be referred to Conservation District for technical assistance so the issues can be addressed in a better fashion and relieve the county of liability.

Coordination w/Yakama Nation fish projects
Engineer Thomson said he is coordinating w/Yakama Nation to meet with them regarding their fish projects to get the process started.

Peter Dan slide repair
The road is closed today which started the 30 day process for repairing the slide.

Hwy 7, Tonasket Bridge
Paving this section has begun.

Next week he intends to submit a purchase request authorization for six snow plow purchases, with purchase expense budgeted.

Review Meeting Minutes
Commissioners reviewed their meeting minutes.

The board adjourned at 5:00 pm.