JUNE 11, 2018

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met for its regular session on June 11, 2018, with, Commissioner Chris Branch, Commissioner Andy Hover, and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

Chairman Commissioner Jim DeTro absent.

Member of the public Isabelle Spohn taking notes on her computer.

Review Commissioners Agenda and Consent Agenda
Commissioner Hover discussed the recent Chronicle supplemental publication of the 2018 Okanogan and Ferry County ATV Guide as the guide map contains roads which the county has not authorized by ordinance as open for WATV use. It is the county commissioners’ position that guides like this not be published without first being reviewed by Okanogan County Public Works. The county commissioners requested that in order to correct this mistake the Chronicle retract all copies of the guide and publish a front page retraction stating the guide was incorrect.

Commissioner Hover discussed BPA plans in low water year it would cost around 40 million to spill the water and is cutting funds to fish projects.

Executive Session – RCW 42.30.110 (1) (g)
Commissioner Hover moved to go into executive session at 9:35 a.m. for 20 minutes inviting Maurice Goodall to discuss and review the performance of a public employee. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Executive session ended at 9:55 a.m. no decisions were made.

Briefing Among Commissioners – Discuss Individual Weekly Meetings & Schedule
Commissioners discussed the various meetings they individually attended and what those meetings consisted of.

Motion Resolution 59-2018 Rescinding Res. 46-2018
Commissioner Hover moved to approve resolution 59-2018 rescinding resolution 46-2018 which ordered the Okanogan River closed and ordered no wake upon Lake Osoyoos. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Discussion – BPA Projects – Roy Beaty and Joe Connor
Mr. Beaty explained his role with the department. He has previously met with the board of commissioners on various BPA projects. Mr. Connor was introduced as he is the Habitat Area Lead for the Upper Columbia. Mr. Beaty provided a project list of BPA’s which he will discuss generally but he said he only has limited answers.

Bonneville is not the only entity funding projects. He provided a list of other agencies that support the program of fish and wildlife. He also provided BPA’s mitigation program and described those acts.

All funding for the listed projects is coming from rate payers.

Commissioner Hover asked what tax classification the property to be purchased is? It was not known.

Mr. Beaty explained habitat restorations in the region of the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife program.

Commissioner Hover asked about taking properties off the tax rolls. Mr. Beaty replied that the state law changed a bit to allow some to be removed. Commissioner Hover asked if BPA funds can pay property taxes. Mr. Beatty replied no they cannot. When purchases take property off the tax role we are increasing property tax rates to the rest of the tax payers within the area. If there was money allowed within the purchase agreement where the county is able to collect the tax revenue as things ramp down to reduce the “hit” to the tax payer, and then these would be more palatable. And, make sure you do well for the environment but also consider off setting those tax impacts.

Mr. Beaty stated he spent some time with Assessor Furman a couple years ago to better understand the impacts. Commissioner Hover said it would be good to understand the economics too of the property such as how much economic influx comes into an area. Mr. Beaty said that would be difficult on a restoration project.

Commissioner Hover discussed prioritization of the projects and it is looked at strictly by a biological perspective. Mr. Conner replied yes, in essence it is. There are some other things considered and they will look at other projects that can benefit as well.

Mr. Beaty said BPA did try to figure out ways to work with engineers and leadership on possible ways to fund contingencies/mitigations. The road block involved how to define who pays into it, who is to govern it, and how to disburse the funds and Mr. Beaty said those things could not be figured out by his office.

Commissioner Branch said he would like to be more involved with the discussions where concerns of BPA are discussed so the county is engaged in the process rather than it being us and them. Education is a big thing too and when everyone involved has a good understanding of the project then there is less opportunity for conflict and be partners rather than enemies. Develop a repertoire with the people on the process. Mr. Beaty said there are other avenues on the BPA website where concerns can be submitted.

Mr. Connor stated he will be replacing Mr. Beaty when he retires in the next few weeks.

Update – Planning – Perry Huston
Char Schumacher, Angie Hubbard, Dan Higbee, Craig Nelson, Conservation Dist.

Kit Arbuckle, Nancy Soriano filming the meeting

Planning Dept. Study Session

a. OCC 17A.400
The commissioners wished to review the draft of OCC 17A.400 in light of some of the legal arguments made by FutureWise. David Gecas was present to help with the discussion. The comments center on the authority we site in the ordinance. The FutureWise Letter was presented via projector. The commissioners reviewed the draft language and discussed the changes made there.

Commissioners discussed additional changes suggested by FutureWise. Mr. Gecas explained his position and interpretation of study areas. He referred to the language regarding WRIA 49. He feels they are alone in some of their interpretation of ESSB 6091. The point was to create a water availability study area and a mechanism.

Commissioner Hover would like, Attorney Mark, to look into OCC 17A.400 water overlay section F 2-year review, because of concern there is no trigger point for continuation, if there was that would satisfy him. Create a balanced document.

Additional review was requested by the commissioners.

b. WRIA 49
Director Huston provided WRIA 49 update. It appears Planning staff will need to be registered, assuming the county assumes the role of lead entity. Commissioner Hover asked if initiating governments come to a consensus as to who the lead entity is? Director Huston noted that a letter be drafted regarding to DOE in terms of them being comfortable with the county being lead entity and planning unit membership to see about the appointment process.

Craig Nelson explained he understands the question to the DOE in terms of lead entity and planning unit membership. The commissioners really want to get this going. A list of names of people that were interested and listed the positions to be filled. He showed the positions that were added after the last work session with the board. Director Huston asked about land owners at large, senior water right holder, is there a desire that the land owner is also a water right holder? How big of a group does the board want, but keep in mind sooner or later there may be so many on the committee that the work gets lost.

If the board is comfortable with the process great if not the board should discuss the membership and appointment process. Vetting process should also be discussed. Mr. Nelson provided some suggestions. Director Huston will send the letter of coordination under his signature. He will sit down with Mr. Nelson and go over the mechanics. He is also waiting for the initiating government’s responses.

Director explained the grant timeline and what is needed yet for the scope of work and deliverables. He will create what we want to do with it and send that along to DOE and commissioners. Should be able to come up with a contract for access to the Eagles System. A temp Planner I would be hired to accomplish the work in 13 months. The grant would cover those costs. There isn’t much money for studies though. Ecology had done outreach to the tribes in the state to ask them for a list of WRIA’s they might be interested in including. Outstanding issues were discussed such as who should invite recognized tribes to the table and DOE has taken responsibility for that outreach to those interested in the WRIAs. Mr. Nelson explained that the guidance document draft won’t be finalized until the end of year. The one that comes out this week is a draft as they are still working on a final. The WRIAs under 2019 deadline are looking for the meaning of the mitigations and the draft guidelines are supposed to be close to what will be finalized.

c. Exempt well tracking program

d. Comprehensive Plan
Plan priorities were discussed. Commissioners would like a list of things being worked on and its status i.e. airport overlays, critical areas, 17A.290 before Planning Commission, WATV cropping up etc….

Administrative Officer Study Session
e. WATV Routes
Director Huston discussed the WATV proposal the board is working on has need of a date for further discussion or open house to engage more people.

The outreach for the agencies that has been done gave a date of either the June 25 at 1:30 during Planning Update time or June 26 at 11:00 a.m. during Public Works time. But Mr. Brown is the only confirmation and he has confirmed June 26.

The board heard that the Omak Chronicle published a map for the public and it contained incorrect roads and the board is trying to stymie that.

Director Huston will tract down whether something was published or not and do that research It would seem that anything published should be researched. Jim Brown email chain that was sent to Commissioners spoke to an awareness there may be miss information. The commissioners directed Perry Huston to find out. Once he finds out an email should go to Teresa Myers with the Chronicle to request retraction of the information. Engineer Thomson explained in the past the Chronicle has worked with him Public Works to ensure the information is accurate prior to publishing.

Engineer Thomson explained the work to be completed was the critical areas work and how to show those areas on the map. The county is also required to have a list of roads open to WATV use on the Public Works website and the engineer double checked those lists to ensure accuracy.

Commissioner Hover suggested the Planning Dept. create an overlay showing the layer with the open roads as color hatched to show clearly where the critical areas are. Commissioners discussed signage and how many signs should be placed in the critical area areas. Commissioner Branch explained his position; it is illegal to drive an ATV off the road, the map may only serve a function under certain circumstances.

Director Huston will work with the Clerk of the Board to schedule a public hearing.

He stated he could lay the critical areas map over the WATV road map to show where the critical areas are to learn where best to mark the areas.

Engineer Thomson explained addendum’s that were previously signed by the engineer that now the board signs. There is a master agreement signed by the board and this request is only regarding addenda. Commissioner Hover stated he would like to see them anyway.

Director Huston discussed his need for either another Planner II or another Senior Planner position to be authorized. He explained what his current staff positions are doing and how they do bump up against an out of class situations. There are currently six bodies and a map guy, but when he started here there were eleven bodies.

Director Huston and the commissioners went through the county’s response letter to the Yakama Nation regarding the tribe’s policy issues. Each policy was reviewed and a response generated. Commissioner Hover would like some research done on what the tribe is referencing. David Gecas will review the letter prior to it being sent.

Director Huston noted that the board has the Lake Management District public hearing and the County Assessor wanted to ensure the ballot issue be submitted to him by August 1. If the board is ready to finalize the hearing on July 10 would provide enough time to do so. Commissioner Hover asked if this has to be on the ballot this year as there are many other things the board is tasked with this year. At the hearing the board will set the boundaries of the district and determine the proposed properties are benefited by being included in the district and if the board finds some properties not to be benefitted those properties could be removed and excluded. It is physically possible to have this issue on the Aug ballot then it would go to 2019.

Discussion – Conservation Easements – Methow Conservancy, Jason Paulsen
Two others with Mr. Paulsen

Mr. Paulsen provided copies to the board of the Twisp Uplands Conservation Easements and corresponding maps showing the proposed easements. (attachments) He went through the several projects and discussed what kinds of protections the easement provides. They are private lands and will remain in private ownership. The easement will allow some development. These projects are contingent on funding.

A letter from the Methow Conservancy was previously received regarding the proposals. The projects get scored and a list is transmitted by RCO to legislature then is becomes part of the capital budget process and if successfully passed in April then funding amounts will be known and finally contracts put into place. Work with the land owner would not begin for another year.

Commissioner Branch asked about the property uses and whether the easement is seen to improve the wildlife habituating it. Mr. Paulsen asked the commissioners if they were supportive of the projects that letter of support would be welcome. Additionally he said he would like to know whether or not the commissioners intend to send an opposite letter. The commissioners did not believe a letter such as that would be necessary.

The Clerk of the Board was directed to draft a letter of support to submit to Mr. Paulsen.

Motion Resolution 58-2018 Waiving landfill fees
Commissioner Hover moved to approve resolution 58-2018 regarding waiving Landfill fees to help the tribe with clean up on the Salmon Creek property located at 94A Salmon Creek road. Motion was seconded, the vote died for lack of second. The board discussed including language that all household waste be presorted from the regular waste being delivered.

Commissioner Hover moved to approve resolution 58-2018, as revised, motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Letter of Engagement
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the State Auditor letter of engagement for the county’s 2017 audit and authorized the Vice Chairman to sign. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

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 $224,352.02 and Payroll vouchers in the amount of $1,022,386.20. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion seconded and carried.

Motion Public Health Voucher
Commissioner moved to approve the Public Health Vouchers in the amount of $52,764.20 Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Appointment Letters LEOFF
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the reappointment of Kreg Sloan to the Law Enforcement Fire Fighters Disability Board. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Appointment Letters LEOFF
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the reappointment of Kevin Bowling to the Law Enforcement Fire Fighters Disability Board. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Teamsters Local Union #780
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the letter of agreement between the Teamsters Local Union Amendment B regarding the Juvenile Union Agreement. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Review Meeting Minutes

The board adjourned at 5:00 pm.