RECORD OF THE PROCEEDINGS

OKANOGAN COUNTY

MAY 29, 2018

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in Emergency Status for its regular session on May 29, 2018, with Chairman Commissioner Jim DeTro, Commissioner Chris Branch, Commissioner Andy Hover and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

At 8:50 am, member of the public George Thornton came to take notes.

Commissioners’ Staff Meeting
Fairgrounds Event Coordinator Stella Columbia, Perry Huston, Cari Hall Finance Manager, David Gecas

Ms. Columbia provided a staff report regarding the fairgrounds. She explained a walk-through of the Agriplex is scheduled as there were renters over the weekend for a wedding. It appears Phoenix Security did not call her before or after the event and the contract requires it. Ms. Columbia explained security was arranged by the county for the two events but once again the security did not show up either time nor did they call. She said she would follow up with the group. Director Huston explained that Ms. King also called and emailed the company, but did not receive a response either. Commissioner Hover thought another company should be solicited to provide security for events and asked Ms. Columbia to see what is available.

Ms. Columbia also mentioned something about the water tests. The county is required to test the water. Director Huston explained that Public Health has on file two water sources and each are considered separate. He suggested, for the new well, that the irrigation systems be separate from the domestic system to ensure appropriate number of public health water tests for each. There should be two tests performed during the year prior to opening the RV campground and again prior to fair. Commissioner Branch asked that the tests be kept current and that none are missed. If there are rules we are not familiar with it would be good to keep up on them. Ms. Columbia asked about the old bathroom concrete wall as it would be a good place for a painting of Okanogan County. It would be a great backdrop for photos. The commissioners thought it would be good to find a donator, before we pay for something like that. FAC member, Kathleen Maltais had discussed this with her and they have already thought of a volunteer. Mr. George Thornton said he would ask a painter he knows of who painted the painting on the Community Center in Tonasket.

Motion Voucher Vreeland Law Judgements and Lawsuits
Cari Hall explained she has the voucher certification in the amount of $203,304 to be wired to Vreeland Law PLC.

Commissioner Hover moved to approve the county voucher certification EFT #00101506012018 in the amount of $203,304 which is a payment to Vreeland Law PLC for judgements against the county. Motion was seconded; all were in favor motion carried.

Ms. Hall explained the board had previously expressed that a supplemental be considered later in the year for this expense. She thanked the commissioners for their time.

David Gecas explained he had requested samples of courthouse security agreements of other counties that have contracts with security groups so he could see what level of security is being provided by other counties. He said around half the courthouses in the state do not have courthouse security. He thought it was curious, if we were the only county receiving the letter. Commissioner Hover stated Mr. Rabidou was supposed to do some outreach to King County about their limited commissioned Marshall appointments, but the board has not heard much about that from him.

Commissioners discussed the liability due to flooding and fires the county may tasked with later on. Commissioner Branch would like to deal with the emergencies with some preparation ahead of time. Each circumstance should be looked at to determine what preparations can be made ahead of time. Commissioner DeTro explained a circumstance where the decision was made to help after Emergency Management looked at the overall waterway and noticed the residence was built in the floodway. The Army Corp was involved to help explain the water pumping area where the resident was pumping into was an area the Army Corp was pumping out of. People want to sue the county for the county not permitting houses that would be built in the floodway/floodplain and then they sue the county when they flood. It is a water event, an act of God, and is no different than someone living at the end of a very primitive road who wants to be the first one to be plowed out and the first to receive fire services when there is a fire, etc….

Commissioner Hover asked for 15 minute executive session regarding potential litigation.

Executive Session RCW 42.30.110 (1)(i)
Commissioner Hover moved to go into executive session at 9:40 a.m. for 15 minutes inviting DPA David Gecas and Perry Huston to discuss potential litigation. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Executive session was extended for another 5 minutes at 9:55 a.m.

Executive session was extended for another 10 minutes at 10:00 a.m.

Executive session ended at 10:10 a.m.

George Thornton asked what the general topic was for executive session as “potential litigation” was not specific. He believed the law required the governing body to be specific in what the potential litigation is. One minute the commissioners were discussing events  regarding fire and flood then suddenly Commissioner Hover asked for executive session to discuss “potential litigation” and it was not clear what was to be discussed. Commissioner Hover clarified that it had to do with water in the Methow and specifically with potential litigation resulting from that.

Director Huston asked the board if they needed anything for the upcoming public hearing this afternoon. He explained notices are going out to nightly rentals folks with a timeline to apply by for 2019. The comments received by the clerk were provided to the board for review.

Yakama Nation comments are going out this week.

Commissioner DeTro explained he would be out of the office from 12-2:00 today as he would be attending the flood tour with Congressman Newhouse.

Commissioner Branch, serving as the commissioner board member of Community Action Council eported that he participated in a two day strategic planning session with the Community Action Council last week. He said it led to the formation of a new mission statement. At the session he raised the issue of trust coming out of the Housing Coalition regarding the distribution of affordable housing funds? Staff is in a quandary over the communication issues coming from with the Coalition. It has to come out within the coalition instead of straight to the Commissioners. The commissioners then have an issue. As a follow up to complaints Commissioner Branch suggested that Commissioner Hover sit down with Community Action staff and go through their books to understand how the revenue is used and to have a conversation go over all the issues. It is more than money it is the overall program. It is a coalition collaborative. Accountability over programing, accountability over money. It was agreed that it does need discussion.

Update – Assessor – Scott Furman
The Assessor had previously updated the board on possible office staffing changes.

Update – Human Resources / Risk Management – Tanya Craig and/or Debi Hilts
Ms. Hilts provided her HR update. The first in house testing is scheduled this week with several other staff offering their services to help out during their time off. There will be four to test. Two are current county employees. She provided that back ground checks were conducted for the camp hosts and came back good.

Motion Camp Host Document Creation
Commissioner Hover moved to direct staff to create the appropriate documents for consideration to use the applicants for the camp host position at the fairgrounds. Motion was seconded.

Ms. Hilts explained five claims were received and she expects five regarding a rainstorm that reconstituted the chip seal chemicals and were uncured then 60 people were attending a golf tournament. There were signs about the road, but due to a rain storm it was not able to set. The highest quote is $2,500 and there are five with five more expected. There are others and could be up to 60. She thought claims would range from $500-$2,500.

Ms. Craig explained she obtained quotes for the Jail trailer. (attached)

North 40 gave the most descriptive spec information for the 16 foot at $3,600 and 20 foot is $5,500. The Jail thought the smaller trailer would be sufficient. They also offered a discount.

Okanogan Truck and tractor do not sell these trailers. Ellensburg quote was more than the one from North 40 and doesn’t have the junction box. Washington Tractor offered a 20 foot trailer for $5,494 with the order taking one month.

Commissioner Hover would like the Jail to choose the trailer that is right for them and pay for it out of their budget. A supplemental might be needed later on.

Three proposals for the county website design were received. Three of the four companies would like to do a demonstration which could be several hours. The board would like a quick over view of the programs.

The AFSME Union executive, Tom Cash, will send her information on medical insurance for county employees. Join a coalition with 13 other municipalities like WA Risk Pool in a pooling system. Commissioner Hover said it would be really nice to be able to include our spouses at a reasonable cost. He feels he can help us. The group has a prescription pool that is about a billion dollars. She discussed options she will look into. Commissioner Hover said we would have to know exactly what the coverages will be. He will provide that to us.

Update – Public Works – Josh Thomson & Ben Rough

Mr. Rough explained his outreach for the apple maggot issues.

Mr. Rough explained the waste collections within the Apple Maggot quarantine areas and how the waste is to be handled. There are several options to consider. We can keep all the waste in the Methow Valley and that would require another landfill. Another option is to separate the woody debris from the regular garbage and food waste, but the problem is that we then have to collect three different kinds of wastes. This is problematic. We could cook it all. Mr. Rough said after consulting with Dept. of Ecology and Dept. of Agriculture they suggested they run a test on their dime to see if steam treatment could resolve our issue. Commissioner Hover had an idea and said when the forest service does a forest treatment and pre-commercial thinning, they have to hire a contractor on their dime to do the pre commercial thin, small diameter woods. He found a company that makes chip burners that burns at 1100 degrees for indirect or direct heat. Anytime DNR goes into pre commercial thins we could now have a place they could bring that to. It could generate economic benefits rather than just taking it to the landfill. It can generate heat and power which can power itself. It is worth looking into. He asked that Roni Holder-Deifenbach with Economic Alliance.

He recommended an extension request be submitted to allow us time to figure it out and build it. Dept. of Agriculture previously offered the steam treatment as an option but then did not refer us to another county where this treatment was occurring. Another option was to discuss the issue with the orchardists and explain it to be self-regulated. It has to work or people won’t abide. Okanogan County has over 23,000 acres of tree fruit with many orchardists being hit for more of this or more of that and pretty soon agriculture won’t be a viable way of living anymore.

Mr. Rough explained we were given until August 11 to be in compliance, but we may be out of compliance unless we request an extension of the quarantine area and be able to phase in certain aspects of it, we cannot complete by August 11. The permit has been turned into Dept. of Ag. As of right now they are not able to approve it because they don’t know how we will separate it. It is unknown if the permit to transport will be approved at all. Commissioner Hover would like to do everything we can do right up front. Commissioner DeTro asked if a cover over the bins could be retrofitted. Commissioner Hover thought a letter to the editor to everyone in the Methow Valley to relay our challenge, he thinks it would generate some ideas. He would like Marcy Stamper to be contacted and this issue discussed in order to gather ideas for how to handle this predicament. There will be good ideas and there will be bad ones too.

Mr. Rough explained the CDL program was approved and the MOU is signed, and the employee agreement drafted which outlines the employee payment to public works within four years. Public Works would like Josh Thomson to authorize those as they do have personal information and would be a public record, just held in public works. The agreement would be the same for each employee.

Commissioner Hover moved to allow the county engineer to be the signing authority for the CDL program. Commissioner Branch said if there is a standard agreement the county established then why does the County Engineer have to sign it every time? Aren’t there policies that employees sign as an acknowledgement?

Mr. Rough explained that in the near future the Solid Waste disposal fee schedule will be consolidated with the Public Works fees schedule and it will include all the fees. Right now the fees are not in one place.

Director Huston explained specific assignments are needed for the WATV route discussions. The map was generated by Public Works and should generate some dates to begin sitting down to look at it. Commissioners would first like to review it, then invite the interested parties. Director Huston will generate those notices.

Engineer Thomson provided his maintenance and road update.
The roads listed still all have some issues to resolve. There was 204 overtime hours used last week.

CCT uses an access road by our Brewster shop where about 2-3 vehicles per day and park their boat. The tribe was asked to improve the access to where the boat is parked. He would like the Limited use agreement approved before signing anything with DOT.

Conconully Sewer lift station project starts tomorrow.

Depending on WATV routes he has a meeting next week earlier on Tuesday or Monday would fit best with his scheduled.

WATV Routes
Engineer Thomson brought the map up on the projector. Similar color scheme was used on this map as what was used before and the meaning of each colored road was reviewed.

The map showed Omak and Okanogan areas. Engineer Thomson showed the commissioners routes on the reservation that were already approved by them. The access to the fairgrounds is not completed. Commissioner DeTro would like to include the tribe in the conversation. There are many he knows of that would like to be able to access. Commissioner Hover said in the past there wasn’t much traffic on Rodeo Trail drive, but with CPS and other companies moving in along that route it is seeing more traffic. He would like to see a traffic count on the road. The board looked at the Tribal Trails gas station and thought there was a way to connect to Rodeo Trail drive. There was also discussion regarding rail access from Rodeo Trail. Commissioner Branch noted that there likely be some angst in lowering the speed limit to 35 mph.

Roads in and near Malott were reviewed for inclusion. Old 97 is the highest speed road the county is responsible for. Commissioner Branch will contact the CCT. Director Huston was directed to contact the other agencies such as those involved stakeholders.

Engineer Thomson will be gone next week. Commissioner Branch was delegated to Canvas the Primary election on August 15 in the auditor’s office. Commissioner Hover said he would fill in for him.

Commissioner DeTro attending the flood tour with Congressman Newhouse.

Salley Bull, member of the public, listening.

Bid Opening – Fairgrounds Well Drilling Project
Commissioner Branch stated the time for receiving bids is here. He asked for responses. The Clerk of the Board stated no bids were received for the Fairgrounds well drilling project even though she published the notices. The commissioners asked what their options were going forward. Director Huston stated the board could extend the bid opening date in order to give more time for responses. . Commissioner Hover asked the Clerk of the Board to republish the notice with a new date in June then contact each well driller on the small works roster to inform them equally about the project. Commissioner Hover will provide some details to the Clerk in case there are questions.

Director Huston stated an out of area company that had contacted Joe Poulin but he wasn’t sure if all the needed information was relayed.

Motion Extend Bid Opening Date Fairgrounds Well Drilling Project
Commissioner Hover moved to extend the period to receive bids for the well drilling project and directed the Clerk of the Board to revise the bid notice and republish and individually contact well drillers on the small works roster of the extension. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Citizens Comment Period
Salley Bull asked about the county bid process as she was charged with managing a project in Oroville. She asked how we get responses and how the county answers the prevailing wage requirement. The commissioners explained the various rules for county process.

Continued Public Hearing – OCC 17A.400 – Planning
Commissioner Branch explained we will begin the extended public hearing for the overlays proposed in OCC 17A.400. He opened the hearing to staff.

Director Huston stated in looking at the comments received to date and for the sake of the record, what would this code section do if adopted. Not designating any study area, were the board to adopt this water study area and boundaries follow the huff map boundaries it would prohibit him from taking in sub division applications and therefore no one is vested in terms of the vesting laws in the state of Washington. He read from the proposed code on water availability overlays study area draft section C. on Subdivisions. He left the code fairly broad and not actually using permit exempt wells.

There was discussion about timelines and how long the process will go on. Revisions were discussed with an expiration date established after two years. It was to prevent vesting. A study area would show up amending the specific section and where the list of areas to be studied would be noted. It would have to be renewed by legislative action via ordinance.

Commissioner Hover explained, in reading the comments, they are looking at surface waters and all diversions must have a water right issued by Ecology. In this scenario type question, he comes to planning to build a house and the water source is a pump in the Methow River and he wants to split the land and use the surface water as its source, how do we deal with that here? Director Huston would accept the application because they do not propose to use an exempt well. They could get preliminary approval but would have to convert the water source to domestic use. DOE would process either with the Water Conservancy Board involved or not. Commissioner Hover wants to ensure the document covers those types of issues.

Commissioner Branch discussed the FutureWise comment regarding the 2-year review period. Commissioner Hover said if we go through the trouble of designating this then we should study the area first. Language should be added that says if an area is designated that a study must take place. You cannot just hold people ransom and then delve into our thought process to deliver years down the road. Director Huston said the act of designating would contain some structure and would initiate the study issues, processes employed to resolve issues etc….. Commissioner Hover said it is too much of a leap of faith and would like to know how it is created and then what it looks like.

Director Huston went to the Adoption Criteria section. Commissioner Hover asked that the word “may” be replaced with “shall” in the first sentence of the section. Commissioners discussed different word versions of the section because it was thought it could be worded more simply.

Isabelle Spohn asked a question about the hearing processes. Commissioner Hover asked her to save her question for when she is called upon.

Commissioner Branch then closed staff and opened up for public comment. He called on those who wished to comment.

Isabelle Spohn, Methow Valley, asked how the preliminary approval of surface water is being granted. Does that mean the applicant would be vested? Director Huston said preliminary approval could be on a plat application and the first defining step once preliminary conditions were met, then the applicant would continue by demonstrating adequate water. Ms. Spohn explained right now developer she knows has received preliminary approval for their development and he is already advertising the lots, the county is enlarging the road and the developer doesn’t even have a water right. Director Huston can speak to that. She said it is important to adopt an overlay to help make the distinction. The current situation is such that one acre lots are approved. Her comment is out of date because the comments were only from two others. Existing studies that have brought to light concerns that when the new wells go in they will affect agriculture water. She agrees with the Commissioners’ questions but it is important to get good legal advice on this and not make mistakes. Threats of litigation should not be used to persuade. She suggested the board adopt the code soon and made suggestions to delete “in place at time of adoption” as they want the new ordinance wording to cover this. She would like to see in-stream flows addressed but also focus on other areas that flow into the Okanogan River. The vesting issue is a big problem in the Methow drainage because part of it was a surface water right.

HC Burkholder testified at the last hearing so he asked to testify last. He testified that it is important for any decision to have a sound basis for the decision. He is concerned about placing a moratorium on certain activities in order to study them. The moratorium should come after the study. He likes the idea that in order to study the area that we would need a factual basis requiring it and that there is some existing reason to believe there is insufficient water. He did not like the idea about vesting that took place on the existing and that somehow that can be changed by just changing the zoning. If someone is vested as it exists today, the law should not be changed to affect that status. Mr. Burkholder commented that this is yet another mechanism where development is curtailed and he believes a legal review is wise, because he could challenge this code on his own as it stands. He further asked, how we can keep from having a study area all over the county? Establishing the first study area is arbitrary. The criteria should be tightened up with decisions having a basis of fact and logic that justifies the decisions being made.

Melanie Rowland, representing MVCC, commented on the key points already made in the submitted comment. The code revision is a really good thing and very much in the public interest and MVCC commends the board for taking it on. She was very glad to see Commissioner Hover refer to the comment letter of MVCC because it enforces the comments made by Future wise. Three things noted by them was 1) there is no time line for designating the water availability study area and urged the commissioners to establish one quickly because the study areas will change as more and more people apply. She asked when the findings of the study will be made and hoped it would be ASAP. 2) If zoning were to change, the ordinance would lock into place certain rules before the new ordinance was actually in place. 3) Designate specific study areas ASAP and requested the board do the whole lower portion of the Methow area. There is good information about inadequate water available in areas of lower Methow reach, there is no question about that. The information is in MVCC letter. Ecology has found, in that area, that water is no longer available and there is evidence there could be serious problems so we do need enough time to gather the evidence in order to make good decisions.

She discussed the Methow rule. The Methow rule allocates the 2cfs reserve for single use domestic, therefore it doesn’t support group uses. She thanked the board for addressing the water issues and stated, if we create a study area then we should actually study it.

Nancy Soriano Tunk Valley, handed out the excerpts supporting her comment. She said she has submitted comments to the county over the last 20 years regarding water in the Tunk Mt. area and the insufficiencies of our code, where development and water is concerned. She asked how does it happen that development was approved for one acre lots, when water appeared to be inadequate to support lots of that size? There are more parcels than water and she has documented the impacts to her senior water rights and of those at the headwaters of the Tunk Valley. She read from Mr. Sweger’s comment about his water right and his inability to irrigate. The proposed code allows a more specific analysis of the water in areas, so she is in favor of this. She handed in her comment for the record. (attached)

Commissioner Branch explained this isn’t a vesting issue, the main thing is whether the information is sufficient enough to make a decision. If the board determines the information we are looking at doesn’t answer the question of there being sufficient water, then what. If decisions to subdivide property are being made, then we should do something to provide the predictability of sufficient water. He feels strongly that at least this process gives them the ability to take a look at the situation so decisions made aren’t arbitrary and we try an avoid making arbitrary decisions. Cursory looks at basins said this is the situation of gaining and loosing reaches and did not sufficiently provide enough information to determine. Commissioner Hover stated there were come

Commissioner Hover moved to finalize a draft ordinance to transmit to the county’s land use attorney for legal review. Motion died for lack of seconded.

Director Huston explained the point of locking an applicant into something. He suggested a period be added in the Conditional uses section 17A.400.040. He made some other suggestions. Rules in place at time of application, and some vested under conditions as preliminary approval but have no legal lots to sell convey title until the subdivision is sold. They cannot change the conditions of approval. Commissioner Branch stated the premise behind those lots was to be able to sell them in order to pay for the conditions.

Motion Staff Direction 17A.400 Draft Review
Commissioner Hover moved to direct staff to send the recent draft of OCC 17A.400 to the land use attorney based on the comments received. Before the document goes to legal review the board would like to review it first and there were other comments sighting laws and technical details that should be discussed further by the board.

Commissioner Hover moved to amend his motion to have the director prepare a draft ordinance for commissioner review who will then transmit the document to the land use attorney for legal review. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried. Director Huston will discuss specific issues with in the comments during his next study session.

Commissioner DeTro returned from the flood tour at about 3:20 p.m.

Public Hearing – Supplemental Appropriation – Noxious Weed
Commissioner DeTro opened up the public hearing noting no public in attendance. He closed public comment and opened up to staff. The Clerk of the Board explained the supplemental was to allocate unspent 2017 funds

Motion Resolution 55-2018 Supplemental Appropriation Noxious Weed
Commissioner Hover moved to approve resolution 55-2018 a supplemental appropriation within the Noxious Weed fund in the amount of $183,596. 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 $745,593.02. 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 $10,716.41 Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Approve Consent Agenda
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the consent agenda items 1-7 as presented. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.
1. Commissioners Proceedings May 21 & 22, 2018
2. Lodging Tax Advisory Committee – Policy and Procedures
3. Appointment – Oroville – Tonasket Irrigation District – Rob Wilson
4. Grant Agreement #K2480 – Fairgrounds Arena and Track – WA Department of Agriculture
5. Cattleguard Renewals – Loebe, CGF#07-08, Oberg, CGF#21-73
6. Resolution 49-2018 Authorizing Debit/Credit Card Reader User Fees Charged by Public Works
7. Resolution 54-2018 Current Expense Budget Transfer – WSU Rent & Utilities


The board adjourned at 4:50 pm.