RECORD OF THE PROCEEDINGS

OKANOGAN COUNTY

JULY 30, 2018

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met for its regular session on July 30, 2018, with Commissioner Jim DeTro, Chairman, Commissioner Chris Branch, Vice-Chairman; Commissioner Andy Hover, Member; and Laleńa Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

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 $7,152.02. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion seconded and carried.
Briefing Among Commissioners–Discuss Individual Weekly Meetings & Schedule
Commissioners discussed the items to be discussed on their agenda today. The After Action Report discussion scheduled for this afternoon was particularly discussed to strategize the board’s position on the wolf issue. Commissioner DeTro stated legislators Short, Kretz, and Maycumber were invited but it is uncertain if they will attend.

Motion Closed Session RCW 42.30.140–(4)(b) Union
Commissioner Hover moved to go into closed session at 9:10 a.m. for 10 minutes to discuss Union strategies on the position to be taken during the course of negotiation. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Closed session ended at 9:20 a.m. no decisions were made.

Member of the public Salley Bull attended the Oroville Rural EMS hearing.

Public Hearing – Oroville EMS Ballot Issue
Wayne Walker, Perry Huston

The audio recorder was turned on.

Wayne Walker commented that the numbers presented of Life Line projected costs will continue to go up with employee costs driving it. The ems levy should be able to provide for maintenance going forward.

Commissioner DeTro opened the hearing up.

Perry Huston explained division of labor COB operates Oroville Rural EMS. Levy is currently .25 and Tonasket is at $.40 and Oroville has the luxury of reserves in the bank and Tonasket does not. Tonasket comes up a suggestion that it will need to be increased to cover the expenses due to level of service. Keeping in mind they are not in sync and will overlap with Tonasket. With question of parity now would be time to consider

Commissioner Branch asked Wayne about the breakeven amount that included ambulance revenue and no projection with option to increase fee. They do have the ability, but one thing he pointed out was the Medicare and Medicaid discount and is the contractual write off they have no control over. Life Line contractual write off is what they call it, a fee they collect flat fee. They can raise their price but the write offs 60-70% call volume goes up when fee is raised. But private insurance at 25% would see an increase there. If Life Line raised their price by 5-7% they would only see about 1.5% of that. The other thing is if the projections included 2.5-3% call volume increase even though they don’t have a lot of historical data.

Commissioner Hover stated the amount needed to cover the county costs would need to raise the levy by $.10 Commissioners discussed the projections given by the assessor. Right now the District collects at $.25 levy per $1000 is approx. $108,000 per year. Commissioner

Director Huston commented on an option that the EMS districts operate differently than the cities operate for the same purpose as the city can operate it as a utility for billing etc… Interestingly enough one revenue option is a sales tax option not specific to EMS, as there is latitude with the laws and sharing it with the cities. This would be in the event the levy doesn’t pass the voters or something.

Commissioners discussed the minimum amount of levy needed to cover the districts expenses. Mr. Walker stated Tonasket Oroville area has a much higher portion of Medicaid population than that which is in Methow area. Commissioner Branch explained the levy question may not pass at any rate. The level of service in the rural area has gone up after all the noise, and so it is up to the voters in that area as to the level of service they want. It seems the responsible thing to do is raise it to $.50. with the facts in the numbers out there he feels we may accomplish that. Mr. Walker said even a volunteer service there is still costs to be covered and how would those be covered without the levy support. Even a volunteer services is not without costs.

Commissioner DeTro said that the Tonasket District was given every chance possible to fix the issues they had, and they could not. Some of those people were very dedicated, but without credentials, the liability was huge and the district could not take the chance. Requirements and risks have gone up. How can we justify the Methow at the max with a much higher valuation, and then have it so much less over here. It doesn’t add up but we have an equal need for services.

Mr. Walker stated Life Line does utilize fire dept. volunteers to help with some of the special calls such as cardiac arrest where two people are needed.

Motion Oroville Rural EMS Levy 2019-2024
Commissioner Branch moved to put the question to the voters of $.50 on the ballot for November 6 election. Commissioners discussed the pros and cons of the amount and how much it would impact those property owners in the area. Property tax would increase $50 for a valuation of $100,000. Commissioners discussed the level of service expected by those in need of the service. All were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Hover discussed the coverage area of the Methow EMS District, versus the coverage area for Oroville, Tonasket, and Brewster being about the same. The Life Line’s geographic jurisdiction was summarized by Mr. Walker. The equity portion was discussed for those needing service on the Loup who aren’t covered by the district there versus someone needing service within a district who pays a levy on property tax.

Mr. Walker commented on the sales tax idea and the struggle to balance who pays for the service that not everyone would paying would utilize.

Motion Resolution 80-2018 Oroville Rural EMS District Levy
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 80-2018 which places the question of raising the levy up to $.50 per $1,000 property value of properties within the unincorporated areas of School District #410 of the Oroville Rural EMS district on the November 6 ballot. All were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner DeTro closed the public hearing and the recorder was turned off.

Discussion–Wolf Incident After Action Report–Sheriff, USFS & WDFW Legislators
Member of the Public Katie Haven videotaping the meeting.

The audio recorder was turned on as commissioners requested the meeting be recorded.

Present: County Sheriff Frank Rogers; Under Sheriff Joe Somday; Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Brown; WDFW Jim Brown; USFW, Donny Martorello; Tonasket Forest Service Ranger Matt Reidy, Jill Gardnier KOMW, Char, Gregg Kurz, Tim Ashburg, Special Agent Seattle, Brad Townsend WDFW, Salley Bull, Sheriff Rogers, Steve Brown, Howard, Darrell Asmussen, Ann Christensen, Bob Haeberle, Casey Kuchenbuch, Mike Taylor, Jay Volunger. The sign-in sheet was circulated to capture who was in attendance.

Commissioner DeTro opened the meeting up stating the purpose of the meeting was for the attending agencies and the county to come to some kind of protocol consensus in regards to rescues and/or wolves.

An incident happened in Okanogan County regarding a search and rescue/wolf incident. A woman, who might have been a biologist, was in the field when she came across a wolf rendezvous site and became frightened when she saw the wolves coming closer. She climbed a tree and called for help using her SAT phone. It was unclear whether she was actually in danger or not or whether she needed to be rescued or not, or whether this was a wildlife issue or a law enforcement issue. The agencies involved were asked by the commissioners to come to the table and discuss protocol.

Sheriff Frank Rogers explained his frustration over the way this situation was handled. This is his county and no matter what, when he gets a call, he will go. He told to stand down as it was a wildlife issue. He feels he has worked well with the guys over the years, but right now, he is very frustrated with the way things went down. He asked Chief Criminal Dep. Brown to discuss the telephone transcripts.

Chief Criminal Dep. Brown said it was Thursday July 12 when he became aware of the rescue situation. Okanogan County Search and Rescue agent, Rick Avery, was called and was told a female was in a tree surrounded by wolves, and he prepared to go to rescue. NEWICC Dispatcher Jill Jones, called our dispatch and said she spoke to F&W and they told her it was not a law enforcement issue and Okanogan County was told not to go. Deputy Josh Petker was to respond as it was still believed to be life and death issue. Chief Criminal Dep. Brown explained a back ground dialogue was overheard on the phone about not sending a helicopter as NEWICC was talking to Chief Criminal Dep. Brown.

He explained that apparently the woman had already been picked up before the county’s search and rescue got to the site, but no one would give her name. Chief Criminal Dep. Brown believed a WDFW report was created. Chief Criminal Dep. Brown said Mr. Kurz confirmed that later. When the Sheriff returned, a government vehicle was there and there were orange triangles and four wheeler tracks at the site.
The government employees exchanged cards and discussed what was in there. It was a wolf rendezvous site. Mr. Kurz then explained what that was and then cautioned Chief Criminal Dep. Brown about going in there due to dangerous terrain from blow downs and said no one ever goes in there. Chief Criminal Dep. Brown wanted to ensure there was no longer a public safety threat, because no one wanted to talk to him about it or talk about the person involved. He was told she was afraid she would be harassed and given death threats. Chief Criminal Dep. Brown said it was a failed attempt to keep the Sheriff out. There are many camp sites up there, fire pits, and the area is well used by people. So to say no one ever goes back there is not true. The Sheriff had been in there the week before and ran into 30 people. They also saw wolf scat up there. The Sheriff Deputies are not wolf killers, or wolf hunters, and he takes offense when someone tells him he will go to jail if he goes in there.

Donny Martorello thanked everyone at the table. He echoed that he wished to see our entities partner together to work through this as it is an unusual situation with several agencies converging. He shared his involvement the day of the incident. He was on the phone around 1:00 pm. DNR had just gotten word of the miss information, and the thought was that it was not the LOUP LOUP pack, but the other one.

Commissioner DeTro interrupted Donny Martorello because he was disappointed in the timeline and said Jill Jones over rode the order to send the helicopter not Sheriff Rogers, so the helicopter was actually dispatched by Jill at NEWICC.

The woman in the back ground was a wolf biologist who stated that. Gregg Kurz then gave the green light to send a helicopter and then he called Commissioner Hover.

Wolf rendezvous site definition was discussed. Wolves den in early April in the ground and at the site through early summer. Mid-summer they go to a rendezvous site with the pups and they will stash the pups at the rendezvous site and move around the territory until the pups are big enough to fend for themselves. The wolves vocalize when danger is close by in order to distract away from pups. The biologist was recommending people move away from the site as she thought it was a rendezvous site. The woman was calling for help through a SAT phone.

Commissioner DeTro stated he thought Jill overrode the order to send the Sheriff. The helicopter was dispatched by the lady at NEWICC. Mr. Martorello said he didn’t know. Commissioner DeTro is deeply disappointed with how the timeline is now being relayed. Mr. Martorello said he isn’t sure if the helicopter was in the air before or after he communicated with NEWICC. Why didn’t the agency coordinate with the Sheriff? Mr. Martorello said he didn’t know Sheriff Rogers, but the very next phone call was to commissioner Hover. Commissioner Hover said by that time the woman had already been extracted.

Matt Reidy, Tonasket Forest Service Ranger, explained a seasonal FS employee was doing stream surveys and encountered wolves on the west side of the Okanogan River. It is important to discuss the difference between federally and state listed species. Tonasket has the privilege of following two sets of rules. Commissioner DeTro asked when the woman was extracted, and the Sheriff said he is on his way and wanted to speak to the individual, why was she whisked away? And not allowed to speak to anyone. Then everyone is on the defense and won’t give the name or details of the situation. If you know the Sheriff wants to talk to her, why was she whisked away? Mr. Reidy replied his agency was unaware of the request. She was trying to settle after the incident so, he wasn’t aware of the request had he been he would have ensured it was followed. FS appreciates the Sheriff’s office search and rescue work. They had gotten approval for the helicopter from Mike Williams, and the Sheriff was going to be the lead in the search and rescue with Forest Service providing assistance. The outcome was a positive outcome. Commissioner Hover asked if the employee had a SAT phone, yes. The employee called her supervisor who then called the Tonasket Ranger District who then call North East coordination center who then called the Sheriff on enforcements. The helicopter was a DNR helicopter to use for that mission. The plan was to rescue the person utilizing the Sheriff’s office. Was the plan implemented? From Forest Service standpoint, they had a good plan and it was accomplished.

Commissioner Hover explained there was a Forest Service employee lucky enough to have a SAT phone, if it was anyone else, without a SAT phone, they would have had to find cell service in order to make the call. Either way, the helicopter was secured.

Chief Criminal Deputy Brown, said he wished Jill Jones was here because she was the one who did all the communicating. The first helicopter request was from NEWICC to Troutman and that was denied three times. It sounded, to him, like that officer Troutman was taking the position based on the biologist on the phone. The offer was given to WDFW and they said no rotors. He read from the transcript between NEWICC and WDFW. Erin Schmidt is the DNR lead on all risk team issues and who answers to Commissioner of Public Lands.

Mr. Reidy discussed the management between west side and east side of the Okanogan River. Donny Martorello said wolves are colonizing and listed under state law. They are in recovery mode. Commissioner DeTro provided handouts showing the map called Part of the Insanity. (attached)

Mr. Kurz gave the go ahead for rotors, but it was likely only after someone else gave the initial okay. Sheriff Rogers said, from his end, it was 45 minutes before anyone made a decision. There are helicopters attending fires all over etc….somewhere something got dropped and it wasn’t on his end. Mr. Reidy said as the talk about the after action based on the action what would be changed. The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing, stated Commissioner Hover. The outcome was great, but how can the situation be addressed sooner. It took an hour to get the helicopter. What happens when someone doesn’t have a SAT phone to call out a rescue? Sheriff Rogers said it started out as a search and rescue, then it wasn’t. In the past, agencies worked it out together, he said if anyone calls for help the Sheriff goes. If guys had met them there and explained the issue right from the start, then he would have listened. There is a lack of trust, and now back to square one. Commissioner DeTro stated the lack of trust was broken by the agencies in front of him. They are biased towards the wolves that the first thing out of their mouths is, “it wasn’t the wolf”. The after action review can be resolved if coordination is carried out, but the problem that comes out of that is the cattlemen are coming off the permitted leases with less and less cattle. Nothing has changed except the wolves. When agencies are in denial, then denial is where the trust breaks down because they are willing to protect the wolves at all cost. The Sheriff is tasked with human safety. It wasn’t until they got death threats that their eyes were opened to this stuff happening. He is frustrated too. He previously spoke to someone on the game commission who is also frustrated with agencies not giving the full truth. Mr. Reidy added a piece regarding the permittee and the first time information was passed along to FS. Communication does go both ways, if there are losses FS needs to know in order to verify. They do take it seriously. He said sharing the information in a timely fashion is critical. If there is a loss out there, we must all be on the same page. It is hard for him to take action if they do not know of the depredations. When Commissioner DeTro talked to cattlemen producers, they say they do not want to be treated like everyone else is being treated (meaning death threats to their family). Mr. Reidy stated he is communicating with the producers about the need to communicate the issues when they happen. He is trying to get the word out so we don’t run into the same circumstances.

Commissioner Hover said he wants the Sheriff to be the first person you call. These wolves act differently than any other animal. People in the county using the trails have no idea they are at a rendezvous site, that there are wolves involved. We need to have some communication here to let people know the animals are territorial, whatever the signage might be, would allow people to know the dangers of a particular area. Mr. Kurz said many employees have gone over the information out there on wolf behavior and assembled something that can be available at the kiosks. He is trying to find a better way to get the information out there. Commissioner Branch said it might be an isolated place in a sensitive area, and people might not even know the wolves are there, and it might not be conducive to F&W to let people know about it. In this case, it is clear to him people are out there and should know the danger. Mr. Reidy said it is common for employees to have a SAT phone when working by themselves.

To be worked out: 1) Critical communication protocol, 2) public safety with the bigger issue being wolf policy. Everyone in the room will need to be a participant. Commissioner DeTro explained the very act of what happened habitualized, and the next encounter will be different. He asked why and what motivated Mr. Kurz to say the Sheriff should not go in there. Mr. Kurz said he would “appreciate it if the Sheriff wouldn’t go in there”. The wolves’ behavior seemed odd to him, and they were pressed to see if they would react the same way. The wolves paralleled the people for some time, then they headed off without being aggressive. Mr. Kurz said the wolves were just trying to escort the woman away from the rendezvous site.

Chief Criminal Deputy Brown asked Mr. Kurz why he said what he said. He explained, during the incident, he heard Mr. Kurz threaten him with a fine and jail time if he went in there etc.…. Mr. Kurz said it was not his intent to threaten the deputy, his intent was to provide Chief Criminal Brown with the information about the wolves and provide him with some knowledge about the situation. The woman was saved regardless of the nuances. Commissioner Hover asked if the same process work used in this incident would work for mom and pop and their grandkids while on the trail? We need to make sure people are safe.

Commissioner Branch wondered if the missing communication can be improved upon, how does that work between State and Federal agencies and the Sheriff to inform the general public before an incident occurs. The victim also has a story to tell. This incident has made everyone step back and consider how better way to react prior to a threat.

Commissioner DeTro explained the craters of the moon wolf incident in Southern Idaho where two women and their dogs were killed by wolves and that Judge sealed the record. Commissioner DeTro doesn’t want the same thing to happen here. Commissioner Hover said as wolf biologists know wolf behavior best, but the general public doesn’t know what to do. That is the part where education and trust come into play. Mr. Martorello explained the information available to counties regarding the wolf collar data so that the county is aware. On the proactive side, raising awareness of the kinds of things people can expect from wolves and creating a higher awareness of the behavior and showing the territory wolves where live in so people have some self-awareness. Mr. Martorello said the black-out data is available to the county during the denning period. A lot of the education is built on relationships with people and he is hearing the message there is a need to develop the relationship between us to discuss our needs and move forward on all the things needing to be coordinated upon.

Brad Thompson, Fish and Wildlife Services, said there is definitely some endangered species work to be improved upon. He shared some thoughts that provided additional insight. He is terribly sorry this happened. He apologized and owned up to the things that need to improve. He recognized if the situation is to be successful it is dependent on the partnerships among them. The mission starts with working with each other, and he doesn’t think they did their best in this instance. He apologized to the Sheriff’s office and said there is time when working with the other to use the information available and do the best you can when there is a perceived human safety issue then figure out later if there truly was. He believed that his agency did that. There were other things that do need to be improved. He is committed to working with the state. There is collectively a way to inform the public better and they are willing to do that. He hoped going forward he would like to see a willingness to contribute by all agencies.

Commissioner Hover said the agencies have officer’s boots on the ground and communication of the protocol must happen between them moving forward. Sheriff Rogers said there is a lot of hierarchy that happens when people are just doing their job.

Mr. Martorello said this incident will get attached to every other incident, so the spirit we have here today, know that this touches every other piece of wolf information in the state.

Jill Gardiner of KOMW wished to ask some questions of the board. She asked if the legislators can do anything. Commissioner DeTro said even when federal agencies are involved the Sheriff if the law. She asked about collar data and if it is available to the Colville Tribe. Commissioner DeTro said he isn’t sure but could find out. There are blackout periods where the collar data isn’t available. Should the legislature investigate this situation and the untruths being told? Will they be able to fix it?

Update – Planning – Perry Huston
Planning Dept. Study Session

1) Wolf Management
Director Huston asked the board what follow up would the commissioners like. A follow-up letter could recognize that both agencies (USF&W, WDFW, and Forest Service) recognize the Sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer. Commissioner Branch said it would mean the most to him if the board first discussed the specific areas of concern and identify those points it wished to make in the letter. Commissioner Hover iterated the letter be about what was discussed here today. Director Huston said yes, but unless there is a renegade we should discuss the lack of policy.

Nichole Kuchenbuch Farm Bureau president said the woman biologist in the back ground telling them not to go was Helen and who you work with for the Collar data. She (Helen) made a judgement call. Ms. Kuchenbuch talked to Dan Christensen who is the supervisor of both and it was not his call. She asked the question was it because whoever orders the helicopter has to pay for it. WDFW is not going to pay for it. If we are trying to be proactive what are the protocols in place for the discussion. Did Matt Marsh know or did her employer put her in danger if her boss did not tell her she would be so close to a den site. As a cattlemen who runs cattle near the site would it not be good to let that producer know of the danger? Commissioner Hover stated Donny Martorello told him it was Helen. He doesn’t care what the biologists think, it is about what is going on in the person’s head who is calling for help. At what point is there a threat and at what point is there going to be help. What is weird is that it was a DNR helicopter helping a Forest Service employee. Ms. Kuchenbuch stated she brings her children into the woods two or three times a week and she doesn’t want to come across a den she has no idea existed.

2) OCC 17A.400
Director Huston explained the board previously went out for legal review of the plan as a result of comments from FutureWise. Mr. Gecas may have shared that review with the board. FutureWise specifically commented on the recitals in the ordinance, and made suggested amendments to the code section itself. Commissioner Hover would like to take the advice of the attorney to leave the term “may” in the section for Special Provisions A. Adoption Criteria. In the Ordinance recitals, Director Huston reminded everyone that it isn’t as black and white as was suggested. He can simplify to the key points that directs the county to determine the legal and physical availability of water.

In section E. 2-year review, the attorney looked at it and did not have issue.

3) OCC 17A.290 & OCC 17A.220 Cannabis Operations/District Use Chart
Director Huston discussed the recommendations from the Planning Commission. Commissioner Hover stated there is no light usage code. There are indoor grow operations that turn their lights on at 2:00 a.m. and grow year round. That light pollution is not addressed in the code and is not part of the recommendation regarding lights. Director Huston explained there is some down shielding language. Comments had been received regarding this issue. Dark sky protection is different than the annoyance of a grower turning their lights on in the middle of the night thereby illuminating the neighbor’s property and house. Commissioner Branch discussed where that might fall under the code. Those kinds of nuisances could be everywhere.

Director Huston explained the hearing is set before the commissioner August 27 to consider the recommendation of the Planning Commission. He said the board could accept the Planning Commission recommendation and adopt it as is or the board could hold a public hearing to receive comments on their changes. Commissioner Branch explained his previous employer held two public hearings and that gave the public additional opportunity to comment.

Commissioner Hover explained a scenario where he would not wish to usurp the Planning Commission recommendation and make too many significant changes without providing the document back to them where they would review and incorporate into their recommendation those changes prior to the county commissioners adopting the document. Director Huston explained what the board can expect in terms of process.

4) Well tracking system
The DRAFT Well Tracking system Grant application for financial assistance was submitted for commissioner’s preview. Director Huston apologized as it did not include the grant approval form. Commissioner Branch asked if the form was adopted via resolution or by some other means. Before the board approves the DRAFT they would like to see the grant preapproval form attached.
The notice that is out is for Planner I position was posted to be filled and in his budget. The Grant position will also be a Planner I position but that will be temporary for the duration of the grant money.

Commissioner Branch discussed representatives on the water committee request to be notated as Columbiana and follow the same protocol as others followed. A letter will be needed describing the organization. There was a general position noted, and he suggested changing environmental group and list Columbiana as an organization.

Comp Plan work session meeting will be held Wednesday.

Planning Dept. Administrative Session
1) Methow Trails
Commissioner Hover explained the history of the property swap that in order to finish up the RCO grant they told the Methow Trails they needed title insurance for the property. They actually don’t need anything from the county. Ms. Craig will be writing a letter regarding the situation.

2) Business Licenses
Director Huston discussed the conditions imposed on land owner business activities and the business being in compliance with those. An annual review may be believed to be part of a more global discussion about regulating businesses.

Commissioner Branch explained his concern about sending the WSLCB letter regarding marijuana operator who had either not yet submitted their 2019 personal property items list or who had not yet paid their property tax. We have the mechanism for addressing certain issues.

Director Huston discussed a code enforcement issue he is working on and will relay the specifics at another time.

Public Meeting – Discuss Latest WATV Proposal – Perry Huston
Sign in sheet was circulated.

The area Director Huston introduced the subject to be discussed. Engineer Thomson explained the proposed WATV map shows roads proposed to be opened. The pink roads are eligible to be opened by the commissioners have decided not to. There were only a few roads on the reservation close to the cities of Omak and Okanogan proposed to be opened.

Engineer Thomson read RCW 46.09.360 (2) which states for the purposes of the section that “off-road vehicles” does not include wheeled all-terrain vehicles. The dual license had an option for smaller counties to close. The group discussed the differences between ORV and WATV. Director Huston provided an email from Ted Jackson which describes the difference between the two codes. (attached) Ed Surrette explained the difference between ORV tags versus the WATV tags.

The commissioners discussed the Danker Cutoff Road as it is partly 35 mph and partly 40 mph and connects to Salmon Creek Road. Go by the definition instead of by the type of tires to make a determination about. Commissioner Branch said if the board gets stuck on that road it will take that much longer. The speed limit would need to be changed to 35 mph if WATV’s are allowed and that will take a public hearing. It was changed to proposed to be opened.

The commissioners’ intent is not to close the roads but rather to open them. They have been working on it for a long time. A member of the public stated RS2477 type roads cannot be closed by any agency.

Has the county done a feasibility study since this started to analyze the economic benefit since the ORV/WATV has been allowed? They would like roads to be opened that lead to a town one way and go out another way. It has benefitted the town in so many ways, and is not just the hotels and gas stations, they give money to the whole community and is a bigger part of the pie than what people realize.

Commissioner DeTro explained some counties have considered placing a tax on the cyclists that ride through the county who do not purchase anything but bottled water and have caterers brought in to feed them.

Larry Gilman thanked the commissioners for considering opening up more roads for WATV use. Conconully is now packed with recreationists, before roads were opened the town was really struggling.

In Ferry County on the east side of Curlew Lake they have a variable speed limit. The road is posted at 50 mph unless then it is less. Commissioner DeTro stated Ferry County fall’s under the no more than 15,000 population rule and they were able to do that. We have tried it and could not. Director Huston replied that a public record must be built into the record so whatever can be provided in terms of facts then please submit for the record when the county schedules the public hearing. Accident rates, violations, economic impacts, etc… and get it into the county commissioners to consider. The statistical data just isn’t available stated Ed Surrette. He said the commissioners have the data available to them they just need to ask the agency for it. Director Huston said each individual could comment on the number of accidents they’ve seen and submit that.

Lumm Rd is shown in pink but don’t make sense to open it is a very small segment that leads nowhere.

Lorah Super suggested that Paradise Hill be added to be opened as it leads to the forest service and if the FS considers opening their road wouldn’t it make sense for the county to open their road prior to the FS decision.

Malott East Side road is on the reservation and a portion is 50 mph. The county would need to reach out to the Tribal council and ask.

Paradise hill road to Hanford cut off road was also proposed to be opened and would solve connectivity issues.

Commissioners directed staff to arrange a discussion with the Colville Confederated Tribal council to discuss the requests the county received to open county roads on the reservation for WATV uses.

The commissioners stated they wished to hear from people about the proposed, a conversation needs to happen.

Mike said, to address complaints regarding too many WATV’s on the roads, he suggested that if the number of roads opened to WATV was increased and WATV roads spread out across the county then people can go to different areas instead of congested to one area and there will be more problems.

Director Huston explained the process for SEPA and when a public hearing for this area is held. Larry Gilman suggested the AG provide an opinion on the situation to avoid issues later on when they disagree.

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 $5,368.86. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion seconded and carried.

Motion Letter Re-Appointment LTAC Arnie Marchand
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the appointment letter of Arnie Marchand to the LTAC position #6 representing Borderlands as a receiver. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Sheriff’s Employee Association Memorandum of Understanding
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the Sheriff’s Employee Association Memorandum of Understanding regarding temporary implementation of 12-hour schedules for dispatch employees and authorized the chairman to sign. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

The board adjourned at 7:30 pm.