MARCH 13, 2018

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on March 13, 2018, with Chairman Commissioner Jim DeTro, Commissioner Chris Branch, Commissioner Andy Hover, and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

George Thornton, member of the public arrived at 8:55 am to take hand written notes.

Commissioners’ Staff Meeting
David Gecas, Tanya Craig, Perry Huston

Mr. Gecas updated the board on items he is working on. He discussed further research he is conducting on jurisdiction issues.

Commissioners discussed public records requests and learned from Mr. Gecas how to handle them if they should receive a request.

Ms. Craig provided her update. She is working on the contract with Douglas County for Veterans Service Officer training. The scope of work is the last item needed prior to final review by all parties. Ms. Craig explained there has been a lot of litigation in the state about use of drones and Risk Pool is recommending the county adopt a policy for employee use of drones. The Sheriff’s office owns a drone. Emergency Management has used one too, but that drone is not owned by the county. The Emergency Manager has been properly trained and certified to use one.

Commissioner Hover asked about the fairgrounds camping contracts with old fee information. Ms. Craig replied that camping agreements are being sent out to previous campers by the FAC for fair. Commissioner Hover asked that all old contracts be gathered up to avoid using the contracts with the old fee information.

Commissioners asked staff to move forward with the fairgrounds well project. Commissioners considered applying for the WSDA Fairs Grants.

Ms. Craig explained some Civil Service issues. The regular recruitment process is not providing a sufficient hiring pool. Ms. Craig asked if Human Resources can create a Facebook page that would provide information about recruitments and open positions to those who are more comfortable using Facebook over advertisements. Commissioners are okay with the idea but suggested one for the county rather than just HR. She further explained the previous commissioners had her create a public group Facebook page. Commissioner Hover prefers consolidated one page and not spread out with several. He suggested a general Facebook page be created to push public information out. Ms. Craig said the group was created to avoid having to answer the publics comments as you can turn off the commenting on a group and you cannot on a page. Commissioner Hover stated maybe she should just create an HR page. Mr. Gecas explained it is easier to tell people who submit a public records request for that information that we just don’t have a page at all.

Ms. Craig submitted the Risk Management Annual Report for 2017. (attached) She explained injury claims increased by 57% and workers ‘compensation costs increased by 91%, it seems high due to the number of claims recieved.

A meeting with PW will happen to discuss mitigating claims. Most claims were due to truck drivers, and the experience will drive our premium up.

Liability claims report was discussed.

Joe Poulin asked about the ATS agreement. Its on the consent agenda.

Mr. Poulin explained he has no idea what the specific costs will be for the Fairground needs and what that cost projection looks like. Commissioner Hover would like a summary of employees and number of extra hours projected, so the board has some back up documentation to add someone to the department. The additional cost to current expense this coming year will be about $120,000, for labor and maintenance, but the additional maintenance worker will help make the department more efficient for everyone no matter where assigned. Commissioners want to make sure all work performed is documented to show the specific tasks performed by the individual workers and where the activity occurred. The Facility Dude program allows worker tracking like this. Commissioner Hover asked if Mr. Poulin was certified to spray for mosquitos. No, he can only spray for weeds. It was suggested that he obtain that certification so fairgrounds can be sprayed for mosquitos. Bat boxes were also suggested as a way to control mosquitos.

Mr. Poulin asked if fairground camping would be opened April 1. A new employee can help get the ball rolling on preparing the grounds for that. Someone is needed right now if things are going to be ready. Advertisement for the position should happen very soon. Commissioner Hover would like documented, all revenue that offsets Current Expense so there is a bright line showing any effect to Current Expense.

A camp host was discussed. The commissioners would like that to be posted for this year. Ms. Hilts will post both the new maintenance position and the camp host position.

Update – Human Resources / Risk Management – Tanya Craig and/or Debi Hilts
Ms. Hilts provided the board with her update. She discussed the Fairgrounds Event Coordinator position posting. (attached)

Ms. Hilts asked when commissioners would next be on Open Line as she thought it would helpif they discuss the Event Coordinator position. Commissioner Branch explained some topics he previously discussed on Open Line.

Ms.Hilts will attend the Career Fair on March 20 that is put on by Work Source and will bring with her all the recruitment information for the various open positions.

Ms. Hilts asked the board for input on the Event Coordinator training and what the board envisioned. When will an office temp be hired for the fairgrounds? Commissioners wish to hold off on that hire. Civil Service testing is on Sunday for Corrections, Law Enforcement, and Dispatch. The agility test will occur at the school. Public Safety Testing said it would be no problem to remove corrections in June and create another test for corrections if we do not get any applicants this time. Both examine lists will need to be utilized. She can proctor the tests going forward. Director Huston’s employment contract is expiring in April. The agreement was provided previously for review.

CANCELLED Update – Auditor – Laurie Thomas
Auditor Thomas called to cancel the meeting due to personal reasons.

Approve Consent Agenda
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the consent agenda items listed below striking out #1, #3 & #4. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

1. Commissioners Proceedings March 5 & 6, 2018
2. Reappointment – Planning Commission – Dave Schultz
3. Appointment – Television Reception District #1 – Heather Findlay
4. Appointment – Television Reception District #1 – Victoria Velategui
5. Contract – 2018 Direct Services – Homeless Housing – Community Action Council - $30,000
6. Contract – 2018 Professional Services – Homeless Housing – Community Action Council - $40,000
7. Contract – 2018 Direct Services – Homeless Housing – Oroville Housing Authority - $26,965
8. Reimbursement - CDBG Public Services Grant – Request #6 – Community Action Council
9. Reimbursement- – CDBG Housing Rehabilitation Grant – Request #9 – Community Action Council
10. Agreement – County Dispatch Interlocal Services – Okanogan Behavioral Health Care
11. Agreement – DCC Controls Support for County Jail - ATS
12. Lease Agreement - Public Works Excavator Equipment – Sawyer & Sawyer Inc
13. Lease Agreement – Public Works Dozer Equipment – Sawyer & Sawyer Inc
14. Employment Agreement – Deputy Prosecuting Attorney – Jason Slaybaugh
15. Resolution 27-2018 – Adopting revised fee schedule for the County Sheriff’s Office
16. Resolution 28-2018 – Authorizing rates for the Conconully Lakes Sewer System – Public Works

Commissioner Hover discussed what process should be utilized for soliciting membership on boards when someone’s term is up. In 2019, he would like to start a  fair policy process when there is an open position on a board. Commissioner Branch discussed alternates serving when there is not otherwise a quorum and how that has worked for other boards and committees. It was suggested that it be discussed with Attorney Gecas.

Update – Public Works – Josh Thomson & Ben Rough

Josh Thompson provided his agenda and discussed the items listed there.

Maintenance & Road Conditions
Overtime use was discussed and why it was necessary. Due to weather this year it appears at the end of January the department overtime usage was higher than last year.

There is a spot on Old 97 @ Rattlesnake Point where an area is slumped with guard rails showing. Rip Rap rock will be on site Monday to excavate and place the rocks.

Commissioner Hover discussed he previously spoke to City of Okanogan Public Works director Shawn Davison and he was in favor of looking at the Rodeo trail drive road issues. Engineer Thompson explained what funds can be used for the project.

Commissioners believe the county should absorb the cost of signs to be placed on the road for the “adopt a county road” program. The program mirrors the state program and 10-12 years ago it was funded. Many of the groups no longer maintain the roads where the signs are and funds are no longer available for the signs. There is some liability to the county due to the “adopt a road program.” Signs, tracking & reporting Volunteer worker hours, paying L&I, and ensuring compliance with rules in RCW would cost more for the county to process than what the county has funds for.

The current program will continue, but no new segments/signs will be approved moving forward due to the cost. However, citizens can clean up the roads on their own without having adopted a road first.

The meaning behind the color of the new WATV/ORV signs were discussed. A draft is being created for the website and should be completed later this week.

Levee meeting is tonight at the fish hatchery tonight at 6:00 p.m.

Peter Dan Road slide area
Engineer Thompson explained the tribe is underway with their cultural study. Right now is the time frame for applying for construction funding.

The Hwy 7 preconstruction meeting will happen in May for construction in June.

All the grant applications for the various projects have been submitted. Now we wait to hear of an award.

Ben Rough provided his agenda and discussed the items listed there.

Credit Card purchases
Public Works was informed that the department head is responsible for paying late fees and over limit fees that occur. What is the commissioners’ process for addressing late fees and over limit fees? Mr. Rough explained the process used for paying the credit card bills as it takes about a week and half to cut a check, be sent in the mail to the company, and sometimes a late fee is generated. The over limit fee occurred when a payment was not received before a charge was made. He thought the card was under limit when the charge was made but it wasn’t. He feels the current process appears to indicate some negligence or wrong doing by the department head since they are  required to pay the fee incurred. Commissioner Hover still wants the department head to be responsible once the process is streamlined. Mr. Rough doesn’t feel the over limit fee was due to irresponsibility. Commissioner Hover would like to have a conversation with the Auditor and Treasurer about available options for addressing this. Engineer Thomson stated if staff makes a mistake then essentially the department head is held responsible for the mistake. Mr. Rough explained his department will monitor the credit card accounts online to better ensure neither situation happens again.

Open Position Status
The open positions still needing to be filled were discussed.
The interview process will be reviewed. Positions have not been posted yet due to hourly wage basis needing to be reviewed. The cost of living that everyone else received was not applied to that position salary. Mr. Rough suggested, to make up for the difference, he thought starting them at a higher step would allow a wage attractive enough to those who would apply.

Board of Health Meeting – 1234 S. 2nd Ave, Okanogan, WA
Commissioners attended the Board of Health.

Motion Resolution 31-2018 Authorizing Event Coordinator Position Fairgrounds
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 31-2018 authorizing the Event Coordinator position and authorizing it to be filled. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried. .

Motion Agreement Homeless Housing Funds-Room One
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the Homeless Housing agreement with Room One in the amount of $10,000. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried. .

Motion Agreement Marketing & Promo -Lodging Tax Funds-Winthrop Ice Rink
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the agreement for marketing and promotion utilizing the Lodging tax funds in the amount of $1,694. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Agreement Capital Expenses -Lodging Tax Funds-Winthrop Ice Rink
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the agreement with Winthrop Ice Skating Rink for lodging tax revenue for Capital Expenditures in the amount of $4,481. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried

Bid Award – County Legal Newspaper – 2018/2019
Commissioners discussed the bids for legal newspaper that were received from the Chronicle and Gazette Tribune/Methow Valley newspaper on time. The commissioners discussed circulation and costs numbers of each bid. It appears the Gazette Tribune/Methow Valley newspaper provides the lowest overall cost to publish based on wider column inch versus Omak Chronicle column inch, which is narrower.

Motion Bid Award County Legal Newspaper
Commissioner Branch moved to award the bid to the Gazette Tribune/Methow Valley Newspaper for the 2018/2019 contract and directed the Clerk of the Board to prepare the contract for approval prior to April 1, 2018. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Ms. Connie Iten, Fish & Wildlife, arrived at 3:00 pm to take handwritten notes.

Continued Discussion Comp Plan
Commissioners invited Director Perry Huston and staff back to continue the Comp Plan discussion.

Director Huston took points from the commissioners’ perspective as was discussed yesterday and incorporated the ideas into new alternatives. Director Huston explained the existing conditions and discussed the new alternatives were based on the commissioners’ discussion. He said in years past we had an economic development section in the draft, but it has been removed since then. Director Huston explained what that language might be if resurrected.

Commissioners reviewed a sample vision statement. Ms. Iten stated she did not feel the statement did not address how the county should look. Director Huston thought parts of it could be incorporated with other language. Commissioner Branch explained what he is looking for includes a sustainable economy with goals and objectives that might have a justification statements afterward. Commissioner Hover stated he is looking for a broader statement that includes all the factors.

Citizen Comment Period
Commissioners asked for citizens comments. Ms. Iten, recommended the commissioners not get too deep into the weeds of the comp plan. Mr. Thornton explained some items that appear would cause conflict. He said that embracing other ways to provide a sustainable future should be included in the vision.

The group reviewed chapter 12 Public Health & Safety section.

Director Huston explained an invitation was sent inviting certain people to his study session with the commissioners on April 2 to further discuss the Watershed Planning Unit.

Discussion – Agriplex Rent Waiver Request – OBHC Jim Novelli
Mr. Novelli provided the commissioners with a request letter requesting to use the Agriplex for national Recovery Month. He requested the commissioners to waive the rental fee for an event that serves the infirm. The event is scheduled for Saturday, September 22, 2018. The event is to raise awareness that recovery is possible for behavioral health issues and substance abuse issues. Commissioner Branch expressed that certain costs are associated with an event and suggested those be paid for at least.

The other commissioners felt comfortable to waive the whole fee.

Motion Fee Waiver Agriplex
Commissioner Hover moved to waive the fee associated with rental of the Agriplex for the event on September 22, 2018 due to the group serving the poor and infirm. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried

Commissioners discussed the North Central Washington Smoke Jumper base strategies that will be brought up at the prep meeting scheduled for Friday, March 16. The prep meeting is at TwispWorks in Twisp.

The board adjourned at 5:00 p.m.