MARCH 20, 2018

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on March 20, 2018, with, Commissioner Chris Branch, Commissioner Andy Hover, and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

Chairman Commissioner Jim DeTro was absent today, due to flu.

George Thornton, member of the public arrived at 9:50 a.m. to take hand written notes.

Commissioners’ Staff Meeting
Perry Huston, David Gecas, Joe Poulin, Debi Hilts

Director Huston updated the board on lead agency designation and initiating governments who lend staff support to what is being done with the plan. He has been in contact with agencies and the Yakama Nation on this subject.

There was a request for use of the horse facilities at the fairgrounds. What are the commissioners’ thoughts on renting our stalls to RVer’s with horses? Director Huston reported.

Joe Poulin explained that he has been in contact with the architect and contractor regarding the fairgrounds bathroom. An onsite meeting date with the architect and contractor is being arranged.

Commissioner Hover noted he was invited to present at the Bar association presentation on April 3. Mr. Gecas said if the commissioner is comfortable with the subject matter, then he should be okay.

Director Huston asked the board for executive session.

Executive Session RCW 42.30.110 (1)(i)
Commissioner Hover moved to go into executive session at 9:50 a.m. inviting Perry Huston, Lanie Johns, Joe Poulin, and DPA David Gecas for 5 minutes to discuss potential litigation to which the county may be a party. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

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

Finance Committee-Leah McCormack, Laurie Thomas
Laurie Thomas, Leah McCormack, Cari Hall, Perry Huston

Treasurer McCormack provided her agenda and discussed the items listed there. (attached) She explained that larger invoices would need to be held back and paid the following week due to the issue of cash on hand. The invoices will still be paid on time.

Credit card over limit and late fees were discussed because there were three occurrences this year that the responsible department head brought to the commissioners attention because they had to pay the fees personally. Treasurer McCormack stated all departments have access to their VISA accounts online. Statements may be printed prior to the statements coming in the mail in order to pay the visa bill timely. The mailed statements usually come after the first Visa run. Commissioner Hover asked if there was another option that could help ensure payments are received more timely. Treasurer McCormack said when credit cards were first implemented we could bring our payment to the local bank, but now those banks do not want to do the payment processing. Most banks issuing the cards are located on the east coast so it takes more than 3-weeks to be received and remitted by the bank. She discussed a process that could bypass the remitter machine, but because the check includes all departmental payments, the companies cannot seem to remit correctly in accordance with the information provided by the county. Commissioner Hover asked if the Treasurer could inquire about using a local bank. Ms. McCormack explained we are currently under contract with the bank handling our banking, but the agreement may be terming this year. Treasurer McCormack will check and see if the local bank can set it up to receive our payments. Auditor Thomas said it is frustrating to see the fees and doesn’t feel the tax payer should be paying for those. Auditor Thomas and Treasurer McCormack would like the county’s credit card policy to be amended to include language that covers over limit fees, as it is not specifically outlined there. Commissioner Hover said this is a reoccurring issue (three times this year), not specifically the treasurers issue, but issues none the less that have to be worked out by someone.

The fairgrounds Interfund loan payment was discussed it is due in June. A transfer might be needed first.

Bid Opening –Public Works Pickup Trucks- Ben Rough, Josh Thomson
Commissioner Branch stated the time for receiving the pick-up truck bids is past. One bid was received from Jess Auto.

Jess Auto

6-half ton extra cab pickups- Gas $194,310.48 and Diesel $222,355.56

3-half ton extended cab pickups $103,450.41

1-One ton regular cab $33,368.09

Update – Public Works – Josh Thomson & Ben Rough
Perry Huston, public member George Thornton

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

Open Positions
Mr. Rough requested to start the new Engineering Tech at step 3 or 4 instead of step 1. Commissioner Hover would like it spelled out the experience/education criteria that would help base the request on for a higher step. If they had the basic knowledge or they have all the required desired qualifications a matrix would justify the increased starting step. The commissioners ultimately have to justify it when asked. Mr. Rough believed in this situation it would be easily justified. There is also the disadvantage of not getting all five steps increases when someone starts at step 3 or 4 they would max out quicker.

Commissioner Hover would like consistency applied when making these determinations and a matrix would help with that.

A resignation was recently received, so that position will need to be filled too.

Director Huston suggested some language for the fine section of the WATV rules.

Parametrix Contract Supplements
Mr. Rough has been working with Parametrix on the contract renewals. There were no language changes. When the primary contact was signed it was for a 3 year period with the option to extend.

Public Works Cash Flow
There have been changes made in the way public works accounts for deposits and verifies receipts, etc.…. with spot audits performed of the cash drawers and petty cash drawers. Every audit done (there have been 3) have come back nearly perfect every time. Much of the communication and writing up of polices and communications with staff is going well.

Credit Card limits
Because of the over limit fee last week, the department would like to increase the credit limit of the cards. Mr. Rough spoke to the Treasurer and she told them the commissioners would need to authorize. The spending would not increase because of the increased limit. Engineer Thomson explained the lag time in payments takes about 4-weeks but purchases are needed before the payment is processed so essentially if the limit was increased they could avoid over limits while waiting for payment.

Commissioner Hover explained the Treasurer is going to check into some options that might help the situation which may allow us to establish a revolving fund. The commissioners will also require each department to print their statements via online rather than waiting for them in the mail.

SW Emergency Petty Cash
Mr. Rough explained smaller bills are needed for the drawer. Another petty cash fund could be created, or redefine the petty cash they already have and turn the emergency petty cash as multipurpose. A resolution will be created to do this.

Paul Parmley was contacted on status of the MOU status. It is still on his boss’s desk.

Engineer Thomson provide his agenda and discussed the items listed there.

Engineer Thomson gave his maintenance and road conditions report. He noted repairs to be done to Rattlesnake ridge area.

Bridge sufficiency rating was discussed as was funding available at rating of 50 or 40. He looked at the bridge rating and many are well below 20 with 7 under a sufficiency rating of 40. That will need to be brought up.

Levee Meetings
There is a meeting with the city on Friday to figure out roles and identify what easements need to be in place. The Army Corp will design the levee for long term viability.

Elmer City and Front Street were discussed. There is a small chunk within unincorporated boundaries of the county that the Elmer City would like to annex for municipal purposes. Commissioners Branch and Hover did not have a problem if they did the annexation councilmatic.

Gravel Crushing
Gravel crushing project on Baily pit has just started. They are finding rock down several feet then sand. Six test holes were previously dug prior to obtaining the pit, and all were good rock. It will cost around $30,000-40,000 to complete the crushing over there.

CRAB Reporting
CRAB reports are due April 1 and some require board approval and signature. Engineer Thomson described the reports to the board and noted those would be submitted for consent agenda.

Commissioners adjourned for lunch at 12:00 noon.

Citizen Comment Period
Roni Holder-Diefenbach, Ernie Rasmussen

Roni Holder Deifenbach was invited to discuss with the board Opportunity zone designations. She explained what it is for and how the tribe also has a set of tracts. There are 8 eligible community tracts here that can apply for funding. An official letter is needed for the competitive funding process. A letter is required to be submitted with the application. The ADO decides the set aside opportunity zones. Each community is requesting a support letter from the county for their application.

There are separate applications but the one EA submits is for the set aside. The competitive application requires five questions be answered with each one requiring about 250-500 words. That application along with community support letter is then rated based on responses to the questions.

Commissioner Hover explained he did not see a reason why the board would not support something like this. Commissioner Branch supports the decision of the executives and he supports the community applications. There will likely be a gleaning of the applications with the best being considered for funding.

Motion Set Aside Support Community Opportunity Zones
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the support letter supporting Brewster and Pateros for the set aside for Low-income Community Opportunity Zone for Okanogan County. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Competitive Application Community Opportunity Zones
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the county’s support letters for application for competitive funding for the Low-income Community Opportunity Zones in the following cities: Oroville, Tonasket, Omak, Riverside, Conconully, Twisp, and Okanogan. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Competitive Application Community Opportunity Zones –CCT
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the letter of support for Colville Business Council of the Colville Confederated Tribes application of Low-Income Community (LIC) Tracts 53019940000 and 53047940100 as their entries into the competitive process for Opportunity Zone designation. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Executive Session RCW 42.30.110 (1)(i)
Commissioner Hover moved to go into executive session at 2:00 p.m. for 30 minutes inviting Tanya Craig and Tiffany Jones to discuss the qualifications of an applicant for public employment. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Branch exited the session at 2:30 pm to extend 5 minutes.

Commissioner Branch exited the session at 2:35 pm to extend 10 minutes.

Executive Session ended at 2:45 pm no decisions were made.

Update Human Resources/Risk Management- Debi Hilts, Tanya Craig
Tanya Craig asked the board to go into closed session.

Motion Closed Session RCW 42.30.140(4)(a)
Commissioner Hover moved to go into closed session at 3:05 for 15 minutes to discuss with Tanya Craig contract negotiations. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried. .

The board exited closed session at 3:20 p.m. no decisions were made.

Update –WSU Extension Admin Team-Kayla Wells-Moses and Team
Michael Gaffney, Acting Director of WSU Extension, Todd Murray, Director of Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Program Unit; Monte Andrews, President of Cattlemen’s Association; Dan McCarthy Horticulture Association

Mr. Gaffney explained there are 39 counties in Washington and WSU has 39 goals. Commissioner Hover explained extension has a long history here due to the agricultural products it is producing. The producers depend on the extension office expertise when they have questions. We have not had a good agent for over 24 years, commented Mr. Andrews. The Commissioners are trying to figure out where to go from here because the directive was given by WSU that if we have an agent we had to pay for the 4H too. His explained the county wants to have a healthy 4H program, but the fund was labeled as a hybrid and appeared not support that direction. There are many kids here that enjoy 4H and in turn contribute greatly by staying away from drugs and other bad behaviors.

The move to public works from the courthouse will entail current expense providing for rent for WSU extension in accordance with the 1987 MOU. More money is required to go into the rent if the move is to Public Works. Mr. Gaffney explained overarching goal is to attend to the partnerships. It is an immediate county problem, just as they should have been discussion things like that previously. They are here to talk about the goals as they ought to be and to demonstrate they still wish to participate in the valuable partnerships created, and maintain or enhance WSU presence and admittedly this has not been the case and it affects the partnership .

Mr. Gaffney further explained the county has their attention and with 3/5th of WSU leadership here today, the hope is to move towards those goals. Commissioner Hover asked how the WSU program will be formed with funds being short at WSU. Mr. Gaffney stated there is funding in place and they are working identifying other changes they can make to the program. Every change whether sought or not provides an opportunity to do it better. A survey though Eric Johnson’s office will be forthcoming and he has asked for extension to follow up with their county commissioners. There are other constituents providing input on opportunities and matching those up with the funding available. He doesn’t want to be in a position with poor cash flow in a time when there is need to implement the goals. He appreciated the opportunity to hear what more can be done here. Commissioner Branch explained the county should prioritize our needs so that WSU knows what we need in order to meet the need.

Commissioner Hover discussed the Okanogan County Extension moving to Public Works. Are we maximizing the amount WSU can give Okanogan County for extension. Mr. Gaffney replied yes. There are some things happening at WSU that may allow him to access the funds. He was trying to get a handle on what that would look like but certainly he would have an answer by July 1 when their new budget begins.

WSU is looking at other ways to leverage capacity such as looking at regional resources and making them more available. He suspects there is more opportunity there. There is some flexibility to meet the needs as they arise. Mr. Andrews explained an issue the cattlemen are experiencing right now. He has been trying to provide some educational opportunities to the cattlemen and performed some training for them but afterward he received comments from WSU staff on the training he had provided.

Dan McCarthy would like to see the tree fruit industry partnership with Chelan County extension and he is very pleased with the support received.

Commissioner Hover explained that on one end of the issues people are satisfied and on the other end people are not. Having the resources available is important, the internet isn’t always correct. Mr. Gaffney replied the challenge is coordination, communication and incentives.

Commissioner Hover stated any funds the county allocates to WSU is taking away funds that would otherwise support county staff or functions.

Kayla Wells Moses explained she will have an update at the regional and statewide meeting. If WSU gets a ½ time 4H person so they will committee to a regional specialist who would then provide support to the 4H coordinator. Ms. Wells-Moses asked if the funds provided for the 4H also included a portion for Master Gardener. A coordinator is required here in order for WSU to train people for Master Gardner here. Commissioner Branch explained many are no longer covering urban tree health. If no new interest is realized it affects the program.

The language will be amended on Appendix A to reflect the contribution and will be resubmitted. The salaries associated with the Appendix A is billed monthly to the county rather than one invoice for lump sum.

Mr. Andrews commented that way back in the past when the original MOU was approved the Feds were contributing funds towards Extension.

WSU covers a portion of the salary and benefits of Kayla Wells-Moses. Mr. Todd Murray explained the regional directors are paid entirely by WSU. Operation budgets are provided to the regional specialists which can be used to offset some of the other costs, but those funds were cut at WSU so may not be available for special training now travel costs.

Mr. Gaffney is actively seeking knowledge from those involved with the extension program

Approve Consent Agenda
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the consent agenda items 1-2. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

1. Approve Commissioners Meeting Minutes of March 5 & 6, 12 & 13, 2018
2. Agreement -Homeless Housing Funds-Housing Authority of Okanogan County $15,935

3. Cattle Guard Franchise Renewals: Rowton, CGF #25-98 Tugaw,-CGF# 88-73, Bullfrog Land Co.CGF# 10-74, Bullfrog Land Co, CGF# 11-74, Gebbers, CGF# 31-98,Cass Gebbers, CGF# 35-73, Cass Gebbers, CGF# N-215, Fox, CGF# 4-97, (note: approved March 6.)

Motion Public Health Voucher
Commissioner moved to approve the Public Health Vouchers in the amount of $172.92. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

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

Commissioner Branch moved to approve the management letter for the Methow EMS District audit covering the period of January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2016. Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

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

Motion Oroville Rural EMS District
Commissioner Branch moved to adjourn as the BOCC and reconvene as the Oroville Rural EMS District. Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Hover moved to approve the Oroville Rural EMS District vouchers in the amount of $9,680. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

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

The board adjourned at 5:00 p.m.