JUNE 25, 2018

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on June 25, 2018, Chairman Commissioner Jim DeTro, Commissioner Chris Branch, Commissioner Andy Hover, and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

8:45 a.m. Member of the public Robert Fuchs taking notes on his computer.

Review Commissioners Agenda and Consent Agenda
Commissioners discussed their individual weekly meetings.

Briefing Among Commissioners–Discuss Individual Weekly Meetings & Schedule
Commissioners discussed their calendar’s.

Discussion – Rural Development Programs – USDA Kirk Pearson
Mr. Pearson provided the board with USDA rural development information packet. (attached) The information included a summary of major programs with definitions of objectives and types of funding for each.

Mr. Kirk served 17 years in the legislature and senate of Natural Resource Committee and has been deeply involved in the wolf issue. He said he is trying to get more accountability to his agency. He was appointed by Trump to the president of USDA agriculture for Washington rural development.

Mr. Kirk explained the point question is how we help rural America. The state office is located in Olympia. He said it is enjoyable to visit those he serves and find out how they can serve the communities better. He is here to help. He highlighted several programs and issues that came out on the NW disparities. Expand broad band is a higher level problem in rural areas and explained how those problems start and how they can help. They work with Health Human Services. Mobile medical clinics were discussed as a way to reach remote rural communities and they work with the medical community with access. Over 100,000 employees work for Dept. of Ag.

Commissioners reviewed the materials provided and asked questions about the programs. The commissioners will provide Mr. Kirk with some information they have regarding the grizzlies and various other agricultural issues of concern.

Update Veterans Relief Board –Eric Fritts, Dale White, & Michael Stewart

Mr. Fritts provided the board with his update and discussed the information summarized there.

Mr. Fritts explained some issues with the new claims processing process at the Veterans Administration (VA). He provided a scenario where a client had sent information into VA on time for processing, but the info sat upon someone’s desk until the deadline ran out. The process is not a complete process and it is still in pilot program mode. The issue may have a docket on the board of veteran’s appeals which then moves it into a rapid decision making adjudication process. These are two programs still in beta mode before launching to everyone. They are not perfect and they still need work. Veterans may express to the board some of their concerns about the program and Mr. Fritts wanted the board to be aware of the programs.

Mr. Fritts explained a town hall meeting is scheduled in Omak on July 12 from 10-12 at Omak city hall. The meeting is held by the Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee as designed by the Governor. The meeting is to address Veteran’s concerns.

Mr. White commented that he worked for the VA for many years. He explained why programs are not fully implemented it is because the programs gain them more time for addressing claims. They find ways to delay the service by kicking back appeals on trivial issues. When he was there it was not uncommon to see appeals that are three to four years old. There are so many appeals to deal with by VA.

Mr. Fritts stated there are two line items in his budget that are 60% over. They are the housing and medical line items the BOCC reduced due to lack of use the year before. The housing program, through Community Action, has provided some housing services to veterans so Mr. Fritts veteran’s housing line was reduced. But what Mr. Fritts has found is that our veterans program is subsidizing the housing program by OCCAC for an applicant’s first month while paper work comes through. The medical line is in the red due to medical bills not getting processed through the VA program timely so our program is paying the bill. Commissioner Hover asked how the OCCAC program benefit veterans and how our program fits with that. Mr. Fritts explained some things yet to be worked out. It is his experience, when a veteran comes to his office and qualifies, they can receive assistance that day. But, at OCCAC it can take up to 30 days for a veteran to receive assistance. Rent assistance versus getting into housing are two issues. Mr. Fritts explained the limitations of our program which is a short term fix, OCCAC should be handling long term fixes. Mr. White explained the premise behind the short term help for the vet. Between the two programs the 30-60 day delay in getting veterans assisted by OCCAC is really hurting our program. Commissioner Hover thought the OCCAC Homeless program would provide more immediate assistance.

Commissioner Hover discussed sales tax and how that is collected by the state. If the voters added on a tax it may be done on a statewide basis with disbursements.

Mr. Stewart with the DFW gets the $25 from the state to file a claim, if they create a new program they would still get that, why can’t the county tap into that to assist our veterans service program. Mr. Fritts said certified volunteers process their claims and we do not fit into that mold. We don’t get that because Mr. Fritts is paid, and not filing though DFW or an organization like that.

Mr. White said WDVA contracts with entities to provide training for that volunteer work, and they get $25 per claim. Legislators said because it is a county program they could not provide a fix it would come from the county. It seems there could be a way to re-write that state law. Another county is creating their own program and he suggested taking a look at it.

Mr. White thanked the commissioners and their staff for the assistance provided to both the vets and VSO office.

Discussion-Sheriff Dispatch Contract-Mike Worden
Joe Somday

Mr. Worden explained Fire District #11 returned their Dispatch services contract. Commissioner Hover said the city of Riverside wanted the additional breakdown of the services provided. Mr. Worden handed out the information with yellow column showing projections and new fees and it would depend on what his 2019 budget looks like. He explained how the information was derived based on number of calls within that district not including the calls from within the city. Mr. Worden explained the charges when a city opts out but still receives coverage from a district. Riverside and Conconully population is similar to Pateros. Commissioner Hover said Winthrop contracts with Fire District #6 for fire protection services. He believes the volume of calls in the city should be included in that contract.

Mr. Worden said he has had two lines of thought; cities don’t have dispatch centers, the state went to a primary dispatching unit in the county, to support that is the per capita contracts that only contemplated law enforcement. What is outside that, is the Jr. taxing districts that are not part of a city or county and so that is what this contract deals with. The new contract addresses the non-city contract portion which is not currently being paid for.

Mr. Worden explained the numbers are based on a three year history. The Budget. The cost of each call is about $27 per call and that is used to base the cost formula on.

Commissioners said that, in order for the fire commissioners to understand the new cost formula, they wanted it broken down. Mr. Worden explained the base and the way it is fixed and projected/estimated annually. Mr. Worden previously sent out to each city his dispatch budget that he submits to the commissioners as well as everyone’s volume so they see everything. Mr. Worden explained the 120 fund can support a little less than half the cost of the call takers. The E911 tax doesn’t cover all the costs.

There are four main cost components involved.

1) The computer consoles -replaced in 2015
2) Base control stations that signal to towers-at end of life with only about 2 years available for parts-parts not available after 2020.
3) $20,000 per site times 14 sites
4) Mobile radios-end of life 2019

With three main components being at the end of life, in order to tread water on radio capacity will take around $250,000. If the districts sign the contracts, it should bring in about $70,000 and that will be used to replace some of the components. Commissioner Hover said the funds could be put in as a revenue line in 120 fund? Mr. Worden said Cari Hall suggested language be written into the contract directing the funds to its defined purpose.

Mr. Worden explained the current contract does not have that language in it. Does the board wish to amend the contracts to include the language? Commissioner Hover thought a resolution would outline what the contract is to say in this regard going forward. Commissioners wanted the revenue stream to be received as separate revenue so districts can see it segregated.

Mr. Worden discussed the level of service provided with the dispatch fees. He said he would relay his “cheat sheet” to the board.

Update –Economic Alliance-Roni Holder-Deifenbach
Perry Huston

Ms. Holder Deifenbach provided her quarterly report and discussed the items listed there. One big project is the identification of infrastructure for new businesses. There are some gaps within in the PUD system. Working on types of financing through WA ST Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB). The PUD is eligible for the funding, and they will apply for the Public Works funds for substation upgrades. There is limited capacity for growth and businesses are looking at coming here, but these substations cannot handle the growth to serve. CURB was a great option but they minimum is 2 Million. PUD will be going through the Pre application through the EDA. Disaster funding was discussed, but Okanogan County was not on the 2017 funding list.

Ms. Holder Deifenbach explained that she has worked with company Chic Naturals for several years to locate the company here. They are now here and operating producing snack food made from garbanzo beans.

Ms. Holder Deifenbach explained the process for prioritization will be different. In the past any type of application would be considered, so now they are going back to that prioritization process. She provided the board with the timeline. By October when EDD starts their process our projects will be vetted and could be sent to the next step. A plan on how to get the word out was discussed.

Director Huston explained the Comp Plan in going back to an earlier iteration there was a section on Economic Development, but it got stripped out. In the plan where ag and timber is discussed there is no definitive policy on business recruitment etc…. statement in there. The plan doesn’t support those types of business and there is not a designated place for them to go. Commissioner Hover thought it would be good to have something in there that lends some language in support of economic development. Commissioner Branch said there is a large array of businesses that we could generally state in a simple way. It is like a wood permit from DNR with a list of conditions on it.

Ms. Holder Deifenbach explained she had been working with EM Goodall on those impacted by the flood. Many folks affected did not have insurance. Years ago folks in the floodplain were required to have flood insurance if they were paying a mortgage but once a property is paid for many did away with the insurance leaving people unable to pay for the damage cause by the recent flooding.

Update – Planning – Perry Huston
Gina McCoy, Jim Soriano, Salley Bull, Bill Forhan

Motion Tonasket Ems District
Commissioner Hover moved to adjourn as the BOCC and reconvene as the Tonasket EMS District. Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Hover moved to approve the Voucher certification and authorize the Tonasket EMS District vouchers to be paid in the amount of $21,700 for the month of May. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Hover explained the dispatching fees charged by the county. Director Huston relayed that the contract with Life Line is contracted says that Life Line pays those costs. Commissioners thought it would be good to discuss the fees with Aero Methow, Life Line and Fire District #15 who are contracted to provide EMS services. The commissioners would like to discuss the dispatching fees with the service providers. The commissioners asked the Clerk of the Board to invite Aero Methow, Life Line and Fire District #15 to a meeting to discuss the fees.

Commissioner Hover moved to adjourn as the Tonasket EMS and Reconvene as the BOCC Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Planning Dept. Study Session
Director Huston said the Planning Dept. had been borrowing a laptop for the Comprehensive Plan discussion, but it was determined the department actually needs one with an HDMI plug-in. The commissioners indicated the purchase of a new laptop was approved in the amount of around $800-$1000.

The Voluntary Stewardship Program was discussed. The program document will go to the Conservation Commission for adoption once the critical element is completed and the work group has completed their drafting and review. The Commissioners review process has not yet begun. The county has 90 days to do complete their technical review and give feed back to the work group on changes or edits.

Director Huston informed the board the Shoreline Master Program was adopted by DOE.

Planning Commission meets tonight on cannabis operations. Commissioner Hover said written and oral testimony would be taken by the Planning Commission, but he asked if the comments already received have been incorporated into the document the Planning Commission considers? Director Huston explained the process and at what point additional comments would be taken by the county commission. Commissioner Hover said there is no time limit for indoor lighting to be on and if the structure has glass then the lights light up everything. In a rural area, those kind of lights being on constantly could be an issue.

Director Huston explained registration is being readied and gathered for the next step. City of Omak does not have a problem with moving the ball down the field. Commissioner Branch did some outreach to determine how many enrolled planning unit members are still in place. Some listed water right holders are still being verified. Commissioners reviewed the list of water right holders and those Planning Unit members in order to figure out how big it should be. Commissioner Hover thought an advertisement that covers WRIA 49 would be a good way to let those organizations know of slots available or pose the question of which group they belong to, then vet them, and see where the chips fall. Commissioner Branch thought an ad would be sufficient.

DOE will work with the government and planning unit to review existing watershed plans to identify the potential impacts of exempt well impacts.

We need to reform the planning unit and identify the lead agency. Ideal is water for water same place same time etc…. then working down the hierarchy from there net ecological benefit. But DOE said there are other things that can be used for mitigations, bank restoration, salmon recovery, but some are not universally acceptable. A draft ad and draft letter will be done for commission review.

Well Tracking Grant
The county is working with Dept. of Ecology on this.

Comp Plan

Planning Administrative Study Session
WATV Routes (3:00)
Tonasket Ranger Matt Reidy provided the Board with the Forest Service update. He relayed that the weather last night had caused some campers to be trapped. The FS is trying to cut their way into the forest to reach the campers. He discussed the difficulties involved. He stated the final SEIS for the Outfitter Guides is completed. The assessment needs were in the FEIS with highest use being used plus added 25% to that. The party size (12-18 +stock) barren core areas where camping at are the big take home points. The formal decision will be provided to the board. Commissioner Hover stated there was also concern about being able to bring support people and why should those be counted if they pack out beforehand. State Aviation is part of the scenario as they have to update the airport master plan so knowing what FS is going to do for infrastructure planning unit is important to master plan. Mr. Reidy will check on it as he doesn’t know what the level of detail is.

Mr. Reidy explained he did review the WATV maps. There was a power outage that affected his district computers, but it appears it is okay. He said the WATV maps looked good.

State DNR Recreation Ms. Wright said the map looks good. The tie-ins looked fine.

Commissioner Hover discussed the Indian Dan Canyon area and asked if there were concerns with the tie-in loop there. Director Huston reminded the board of the public hearing on July 9 at which time the board will consider penalties for WATV. Engineer Josh Thomson explained the status of the signs and what is still being worked on in terms of public information. Commissioner Branch suggested LTAC funding for the WATV recreational signs. The Clerk of the Board reminded the board of the purpose the funds can be used is marketing and promotion. Engineer Thomson explained the 18x24 signs and what was compliant. The WATV sign symbol has not been created yet as it would be used Nationwide. WATV signage discussion will be ongoing. Commissioner Branch thought it might be good to sign roads that are closed rather than marking the open roads. Ms. Wright from the DNR explained signs she has seen with a line through a picture of an ATV.

Ranger Reidy explained another issue regarding Snowmobile routes and infrastructure issues that he would like to discuss with the commissioners in the near future. He has some ideas about how to address the concerns.

Champerty Shores
Director Huston discussed the Champerty Shores interest in creating a utility assessment to pay for the sewer and the only realistic way to capitalize the project. The reason he brought it up is because we would need to get on the ball and put things into place as there is a lot of leg work involved. Commissioner DeTro said it is contingent on an easement. Director Huston said that is another discussion without a fine point. He discussed the options. Commissioner Branch discussed the possibility of the City of Oroville processing the billings as a utility or utility improvement. Commissioners believe a conversation with the city should be scheduled. Director Huston is willing to negotiate the point and relay the commissioners wish to discuss the finer points as a board. Commissioner Branch made suggestions. The Treasurer has been informed in case the decision involves her office.

Lake Management District #1
Assessor Furman had voiced concern about ballot deadline. It was not certain whether the August 1 deadline also was this deadline because the statute does say. A formal opinion was requested by the state. There is no local issue, statutorily we can do the work in plenty of time to do the collections. It may be theoretically possible to get it done by August 1. If everything falls into place in time, and we have to meet the deadline then there could be time to meet the deadline. Commissioners Branch suggested they move ahead as though everything will be ready for the Aug. 1 date.

Discussion –Methow Rapids Expansion Project Coordination-DNR Brett Walker
Mr. Walker explained the projects listed on the letter sent to the county on April 27, 2018. Commissioner Hover asked why DNR is involved. They get habitat credit. It was explained how that works and who is involved.

DNR pays the Open Space classification rate for DNR lands. There is the timber program and this is the natural areas program, two separate programs. The purpose of the projects is to protect approximately 585 acres within the Methow Rapids Natural Area. Have some type of educational interpretive kiosk for school kids to learn from. That kind of outreach is very important to the program.

The commissioners discussed various DNR and county roads and access to campgrounds.

Motion Mazama Trail Agreement Amendment #1
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the agreement amendment #1 for Mazama trail between WSDOT and the county and authorized the chairman to sign. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Teamsters Local Union #760-Public Works Administration
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the letter of agreement amending the Teamsters Local Union #760 agreement for Okanogan County Public Works Administration Collective Bargaining and authorized the chairman to sign. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

The board adjourned at 5:00 pm.