JULY 24, 2018

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met for its regular session on July 24, 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.

Members of the public, George Thornton and Robert Fuchs taking notes.

Commissioners’ Staff Meeting
Dan Higbee, Stella Columbia, Joe Poulin, Perry Huston, David Gecas

Director Huston reported that a public hearing will be set to consider the recommendation that resulted from the Planning Commission meeting last night regarding Cannabis operations.

Director Huston will prepare for the WATV discussion scheduled on July 30.

Stella Columbia stated she just had some questions. She asked whether the commissioners indicated a start date for the new Fairgrounds well project. Commissioner Hover stated it would begin after fair this year. Commissioner Hover asked whether a comparison of last year’s use versus this year’s use was done as was requested. She explained she’s been swamped lately and has not been able to address some of the items the board asked for. She isn’t sure how to handle the donations or if there is a process for accepting specific donations for specific things. Someone wanted to donate time from the AmeriCorps for the use of the Quonset hut. Commissioner Hover will contact her about the donations to be accepted to determine where to store the donations etc….Why does the Jones Hall get used for Fire EOC personnel. It is due to the internet connectivity being best there. She explained it is difficult find history of things because information created by previous staff were deleted so she has to recreate the wheel. She read from her list of recommendations on establishing RV stay limits and why it is important. She stated she would be establishing visiting hours, limit number of vehicles allowed at one time, must have current tabs on vehicles, and she recommended placing tow away signs in places people are not allowed to park. The security cameras are up and running, they are recording the comings and goings on the grounds. The commissioners encouraged Ms. Columbia to continue doing what she is doing they feel she is organized and getting a good handle on things.

The camp hosts are keeping a list of license plate numbers of vehicles coming and going.

Joe Poulin updated the board on several items. He reported the sprinklers are running well on the fairgrounds in hopes of getting it greened up. He received two compressor bids for the Annex compressor replacements. The high lift will be brought in so the exhaust fan can be maintained. The new bathrooms will be kept closed until fair to reduce the number of bathrooms to be cleaned.

Roots are involved in both sets of sewer drains adjacent to the Admin building, which are causing significant back up problems with sewer coming into the building. There is a PM schedule to put root kill down the hole on a regular basis. The ornamental maple is right over top of the drain so it may need to be removed. The surplus auction status was discussed. The possible date is October 13, but that date will be set later today by the commissioners.

Carpet replacement quotes will be obtained to replace the carpet that flooded with sewer in the Juvenile.

Mr. Poulin stated an email request was sent to the board regarding promotion of maintenance employees to bump up to higher step. Commissioner Hover stated the county does not have a specific policy on how this is to be presented or approved. It is his feeling that every position advertised needs to have required qualifications and then preferred qualifications and within that, if the applicant meets the required skills they start at step one, if they have some preferred qualifications then step two, more than half the preferred qualifications start at step three etc…. He would prefer this type of evaluation be considered at time of hire rather than arbitrary steps. When responsibilities increase then the board can consider a promotion which would be a higher grade. If someone is hired at a certain grade and a promotion is considered at a higher grade it would be based on classification of work and responsibilities. The policy is being worked on, but is not in place at this time. Another compensation committee is scheduled this Friday. There is also the complication with the different union contracts that must be considered when addressing the pay scale and how many years it takes an employee to get to the top tier for that position.

Mr. Poulin explained Clean Connection is coming in to see about cleaning the VAV boxes in the jail which control the heating and cooling. All the boxes are full of dirt and debris and we do not have the vacuum power to clean them proerly. It cost around $7000 when it was done before.

David Gecas explained he reviewed the DIVCO agreement to see if it covers the Fairgrounds HVAC, and it doesn't. He also discussed the new bathrooms and remaining items to be resolved.

The building inspection agreements were discussed. He hopes to present those at once to the board for signature but those are coming in at different times. It sounds like Scott DeTro who is working with Twisp Pateros and Brewster may be the last ones. The proposed interlocal would term at the end of the year but it does have termination language that could be utilized.

Mr. Gecas also discussed the letter the commissioners received about Community Action Council and what has been done and who is doing the investigation. The commissioner believes it was the right thing to do to secure an investigator outside the agency to investigate the allegations.

Mr. Gecas discussed ongoing cases and the county’s position on those.

Motion Executive Session 42.30.110 (1)(i) Pending litigation on the road case
Commissioner Hover moved to go into executive session at 9:55 a.m. for 10 minutes inviting David Gecas and Perry Huston to discuss pending litigation regarding the road case. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

At 10:05 executive session was extended another 10 minutes.

Executive session ended at 10:15 a.m. no decisions were made.

Update – Human Resources/Risk Management
Debi Hilts Tanya Craig

Ms. Craig reported that Criminal justice billings are going out soon.

Commissioner Branch would like to go over the manual.

Ms. Hilts sent an email spreadsheet to the board showing the 2019 projections for employee salaries which she added the new WA St paid family medical leave section to. The premiums would be coming out of the 2019 budget. Premium cost breakdown was discussed. (attached) Our premium calculations were first around $300,000 but it was dropped after some additional research, to around $24,000. It will be treated like unemployment. Qualifying event the employer will file paperwork and is done through the state. We have to do the approval letter similar to the federal family medical leave.

Commissioner Hover explained the request from maintenance to move an employee up a step from 1 to 3, and the board said no. But, we need to have clear policy about our applications and having minimum qualifications and preferred qualification so a judgement call can be made as to where they come in at in the steps. The only way to receive an increase during the year, they would move up on the salary chart, or working out of class all the time, or you are doing excellent work and there is an opening. The board needs to understand promotions and how those are given. Is there a posting requirement for the opening so everyone can apply or can it be that someone is working out of class be promoted. Ms. Craig replied that a grade adjustment would be used. It is a sticky situation when the employee is working out of class and doing jobs out of the job description they were hired. A job analysis would be needed to help justify the higher grade.

Discussion Update- Northwest Vital Records- Joe Lentz
Rocky Robbins, Perry Huston

Mr. Lentz explained that he would like to get everyone on the same page. A program per department for scanning can be created and they can help with that. Each dept. will have an idea of what their need is. Departments could get this off the ground if the commissioners supply the funding for this. Commissioner Hover stated if things go well with Planning there will be a track record and it works for them, then other departments can join later. Mr. Lentz explained how the county can plan for the future, they assist with indexing,

Director Huston explained his department is working to archive the Planning files and that process can be used for other departments as to what they can expect should they wish to move forward with their records storage. Initial digital storage is up to one year, then it is wiped. But the department is provided the electronic file for storage. We have to keep the digital files. Mr. Lentz explained other digital storage options they can provide.

Commissioner Branch asked what qualifications Northwest Vital Records employees have. Mr. Lentz explained they have been in the business for over 50 years. They started out as Northwest Micro film which evolved over the years into Northwest Vital Records. Mr. Lentz stated the employees are trained on HIPPA laws and his manager is certified for all types document handling and is very familiar with the needs of the industry. Wide format color scanning is also available for plats and those digital files made available.

Director Huston stated right now many times the practitioners are able to grab the paper files out of the box, but with this new system they cannot just wander in and get the document, it will take longer in some cases. The big savings will be evident during public records request searches. Commissioner Hover said it will take baby steps as to when everyone will be funded for this. Director Huston suggested a demonstration be done during a Dept. Head meeting to walk us through step by step. Commissioners thanked Mr. Lentz for the update.

Update – Public Works – Admin Ben Rough
Ben Rough provided his agenda and discussed the items listed there.

Open Position Status
Mr. Rough explained he was pleased with the applicant pool. There weren’t’ that many applications but those applicants did have good qualifications. Public Works did select someone from that pool.

Mr. Rough the status of the other open positions.

Mr. Rough reported that Sue Christopher requested her contract be extended two month because she is working on a project that is not complete yet. She has been providing the Solid Waste manager with assistance. If the contract were extended it would need to be budget neutral. He spoke to Human Resources about the situation and they explained to him the cost/impacts to both the county and the employee, if the contract goes over 6-months. The project she is working on is organizing the files as that did not get accomplished prior to her retirement. This is the second year she has been under contract for this work and is paid an hourly rate for actual work performed. Mr. Rough said he is waiting to hear back from the contractor once she has had a chance to consider the impacts if the contract goes over the allowed 6 months.

NCI Internet Service
CS is in the process of working with NCI as NCI serves the majority of the Public Works shops and transfer station and costs around $400 per month. They reviewed the fee schedule and believe the fees will be reduced by around half. NCI is amending their fee schedule and some areas will be affected in a positive way, however there is an option to upgrade service to 10 mg from 3-7 which will cost slightly more, but overall the total fees will be less. Radios and some software will need to be upgraded where necessary.

Solid Waste Management Plan Process Update
The process according to Parametrix was discussed. The apple maggot quarantine process and Solid Waste Management plan.

Apple Maggot Status
Mr. Rough explained his thoughts on the hearing with Dept. of Ag last week. Mr. Rough relayed some concern from the Conservancy about the situation that had been expressed. He explained a request for extension was denied, but they did say the fines would be not charged up to $5000. He would like to reach out to the Director of Ag to discuss an extension. Commissioner Branch agreed that conversation happen because smaller businesses will be greatly impacted by the costs.

SW Budget
A meeting on the solid waste tipping fees is scheduled today at 3:00.

Interlocal Agreements
The interlocal agreements with Town of Twisp and Douglas County are in hand. Mr. Rough explained the difference between these two interlocal agreements and the others that had been approved previously. One thing not in these agreements is the entities ability to comment on changing fees.

Motion Interlocal Agreement Douglas County
Commissioner Hover moved approve the Interlocal Agreement between the Douglas County and Okanogan County regarding transfer station at Bridgeport Bar. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Mr. Rough explained a scheduling conflict next week during his regular update. If the board wished he could be scheduled at another time, but he won’t be available during his regular update time.

Commissioner Branch explained CCT Neeka Somday had contacted him about continued discussion on tipping fees and SWAC memberships. Should Mr. Rough delay any kind of decision on SWAC membership until after this has been sorted out. Commissioner Branch said he promotes the idea of adding CCT members to SWAC whether or not the SWAC agreed or not.

The Clerk of the Board explained draft letters that were submitted for commissioners’ consideration regarding a letter of support for Room One’s application to Anchor Community the other is to WSLCB regarding enforcement of those not paying their personal property taxes. Commissioner Branch explained to Commissioner Hover the meeting with the Assessor last week regarding this matter. There is a process of WSLCB’s for the county to object to the renewal of certain cannabis licenses. This is the mechanism the state provides for addressing those who do not comply with the laws.

Motion Support Letter
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the letter of support for Room One’s application to become an Anchor Community. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioners adjourned for lunch at 11:55 a.m. to reconvene at 1:30 p.m.

Citizen Comment Period
No citizen appeared to comment.

Review Solid Waste Disposal Fees-Public Works
Several Colville Tribal Council members attended. A sign-in sheet and handouts were circulated to those in attendance.

Ben Rough explained this time was set aside to go over the proposed solid waste disposal fees. (attached)

Kent Kovalenko explained the handout which showed the municipal solid waste tipping fee per ton for the year 2017 that counties charged. He further discussed the revenue that would offset expenses. The new rates are proposed for 2019 which are necessary to operate the system at the current level of service. This allows time for working with the cities and county partnerships to determine the long term solutions to hopefully keep fee increases to a minimum but will also allow for minor improvements to the solid waste system.

Mr. Kovalenko explained the fee increases and the justification for the increase. He also explained the needed improvements.

Commissioner Branch discussed some additional cost considerations in terms of economy of scale. Closure costs are included with the tipping fee. Consideration of whether to pay other counties to take the waste versus us expanding beyond 2035. Viable options will be researched. Mr. Rough stated there will always be transfer stations, but the landfill will eventually be closed. The cost and where we end up, no one knows right now, but we are at a point where we are backwards on the expense.

Evaluate the best way to take on the Apple Maggot, and that cost is not part of this proposal. Everything in the packet was completely 100% from the SWAC recommendation, but the apple maggot was not addressed due to Public Works not being aware of the meeting in time to do some preliminary research.

Mr. Rough stated the proposed disposal fees schedule is recommended to begin January 1, 2019. Mr. Kovalenko stated no matter when we start applying the fee, the start date does allow the haulers time to send notifications, publish in paper, and giving a longer lead time is more customer friendly.

Commissioner Branch directed a question to Norma Sanchez as he had some questions the math identified tipping fees of other counties but that info doesn’t show population. Her question was how we address this at the tribal level. Many of the items discussed today identified the costs of the transfer costs incurred. They identified that the tribe pays for all the people they serve. Their issue is illegal dumping on reservation, that needs to be addressed and a voice a part of the SWAC. The tribe incurs all the costs associated with waste disposal and wanted to be excluded from the fee schedule and the additional fees on top of the expense the tribe is already paying for was not considered. They did not wish to be included in the tipping fees. Can the tribe submit their budget and can those tipping fees be used for their solid waste expenses. She would like the board to consider this as it will increase the tribe’s costs and those won’t be covered by anyone but the tribe. The tipping fee will increase their utility cost. Commissioner Branch asked if there is a way to conduct an analysis. He has not seen what it would look like in terms of contribution. If we were to maintain the tipping fee for CCT, what would that look like? Mr. Rough stated they have looked at the tonnage brought in by CCT to see what type of numbers were generated. This has been an issue in the past. What came out of the analysis was approximately 35,000 tons of waste was rec, and CCT was in the 2500 tons which was about 6% of the total tonnage. The increase to the tribe would be around $25,000.

The Tribe cannot be compared to other enterprises. They are around $1 million short every year. The majority of their costs is the tipping fee and hauling costs. They are working on trying to reduce the costs, but there is only so much that can be done. In reality, they will see more illegal dumping on the reservation due to the county increasing its tipping fees.

Mr. Rough said if the county considered not including CCT in the proposed fee schedule then the other entities and system users would make up the difference. He is sympathetic to the tribes concern, however there is a real issue is that our revenue and expenditures are upside down. This would get us by in order to do the evaluation, but the tribe is another user. Commissioner Branch provided a graphic to help articulate his question. The tribe hauls their own transfer station at Disautel and Nespelem the county hauls from its transfer stations and incurs a cost. The county doesn’t incur a cost hauling from Disautel and Nespelem. So, should that be considered? Commissioner Hover explained another scenario using PUD as an example. The Tribe incurs the cost for hauling to Disautel and Nespelem and are offsetting the county’s costs for those sites. She believes the direction Commissioner Branch was going is correct. Commissioner Branch replied he would like some consideration and analysis of the situation because he doesn’t get it. They are only using the Central Landfill to dump because they are hauling their own from their transfer stations to the Central Landfill and feel there should be some consideration of that. Commissioner Branch stated at this point we have the potential to adopt a resolution approving the fee schedule. He would like to pick this up another day as he feels saturated with all the information and needs time to think about it.
Commissioner Hover suggested using the costs from the Twisp Transfer Station route to compare. Commissioner Branch asked for other comments.

Casey Burchard of Waste Wise stated no cost would be the best news, however he recognizes the land fill has not raised its fees in over 20 years. He agrees an analysis should be done to ensure the increase covers the costs for a while. He also suggested the minimum charge for the self-hauler should match the service rate or within that range.

The tribe doesn’t get subsidies they take care of the county portion from Coulee Dam Elmer city, Nespelem etc…..the tribe picks up all the costs for those cities. Commissioner Branch commented that even another person was appointed to SWAC who would have a voice, but that vote by itself would not be the deciding factor and not necessarily.

There is a fee the tribe charges does not cover the cost to haul to central landfill. The tribe does not charge their customers to haul to central landfill.

Janet Nicholson stated Patrick would be available to work on the analysis. Commissioner Hover reiterated that the Twisp transfer station costs could be used to hypothetically determine what it might cost to operation both Nespelem and Disautel stations.

The Tribe invited the commissioners to their SWAC meeting.

Continued Public Hearing Declaring County Property Surplus – Laleña Johns
Commissioner Branch opened up the hearing to staff report. The clerk of the board explained why she recommended October 13 for the auction date.

Motion Resolution 73-2018 Declaring County Property Surplus
Commissioner Hover moved to approve resolution 75-2018 declaring listed county owned property surplus and directing a county surplus auction on October 13 to occur on the county Fairgrounds. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Approve Consent Agenda
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the consent agenda items 1-10 excluding the Commissioners’ proceedings of July 17, 2018. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

1. Commissioners Proceedings July 9 & 10, 2018 July 16 & 17, 2018
2. Liquor License Application Notice-Chesaw Mercantile -Bonnie Scott
3. Special Occasion Liquor License Notice-Sept. 2, 2018 Tonasket Comancheros Rodeo Grounds-Montanye
4. Ratify Comment Letter-Proposed Rule Making WAC 16-470-Apple Maggot Quarantine Area
5. Purchase/Lease Agreement Mahindra Finance USA LLC-Fairgrounds Tractor
6. Interlocal Agreement –Solid Waste-Town of Twisp
7. Reimbursable Contract -911/Military Dept. E19-030
8. Service Proposal-Optiguard Door Protection System –D19804 Courthouse Elevator
9. Resolution 77-2018 Reclassifying Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
10. Resolution 78-2018 Amending Res. 62-2018 Mahindra Tractor Schedule

Motion Removal of Item #7 of the Consent Agenda
Commissioner Hover moved to remove item #7, the Dispatch 911 Military Dept. Contract E19-030 because the Chairman is not here and the contract authorization form only authorizes the Chairman’s signature. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

The board adjourned at 5:05 pm.