MAY 7, 2018

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on May 7, 2018, with, Chairman Commissioner Jim DeTro, Commissioner Chris Branch, Commissioner Andy Hover, and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

The Board convened at 9:00 am.

Review Commissioners Agenda, Consent Agenda
Engineer Josh Thomson, Emergency Manager Maurice Goodall, Kayla Higbee

Engineer Thomson updated the board on flood issues and dike reinforcements along the Okanogan River. Over the past 72 hours the river has been under the careful watch of the Army Corp of Engineers and they decided due to the water levels that the Elmway Dike needed some work to prevent damages to residents along the river. Mr. Goodall provided photos of the rising flood levels along the dike. He explained where the dike begins and ends and where water is likely to rise above the banks into the streets and residences. We have not seen this high of water since 1972. It is unknown how high the river will react.

Commissioners discussed protocol for emergency declarations.

Engineer Thomson also explained he will be out of the office on Friday due to personal reasons.

Maurice Goodall stated concerned citizens may call the commissioners about the levee work by the Army Corp. Sand bag deployment and sand pile locations were discussed and a location determined for the landing.

Mr. Goodall stated there is a flood meeting on May 10 from 1:30 till 3:00 in the commissioners hearing room that all interested persons can attend regarding conditions and expectations during this time.

Motion Declaration of Countywide Emergency-Flood
Commissioner Hover moved to declare a state of emergency and directed staff to create a resolution to memorialize the situation. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Letter of Condolences Haub Family
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the letter of condolences to the Haub Family. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Discussion – Fairground Bathroom Construction – Steve Varrelman
David Gecas, Joe Poulin, Contractor Steve Varrelman, Architect/Engineer Tom Bassett

Since the fairgrounds bathroom project had items on the final punch list that had not been completed as expected, and the county was calling those items out, the contractor felt it was necessary to discuss remedial solutions with the board. Joe Poulin began by saying he has been working with the contractor on the incomplete items up until now. He stated there were no change orders presented by the contractor to the board or anyone else for approval of those items that deviated from the scope of work and bid specifications that were agreed upon. He asked why those things were changed without any county approval. The contractor felt there was some latitude in the contract that allowed him to make changes without approval. Commissioner Hover asked how these items were missed in the punch list. Mr. Bassett stated he had a punch list, but Commissioner Hover stated there actually was no punch list. He would like to see one drafted up for consideration.

The group discussed each item to be rectified and what the commissioners expectation was for addressing those items now that the project has been paid for. The commissioners discussed changing out the bathroom door hinges to the ADA stalls as the doors need to swing out. The piano hinges were chosen before by the contractor and were not part of the scope and were not ADA compliant. The group discussed how to address the non ADA compliant issues and did not think removable doors would be the answer. As a solution, the commissioners want to see the ADA stall doors open outward.

There was no drinking fountain constructed. Mr. Varrelman stated he never saw the drinking fountain in the final scope and thought it was stricken out. Mr. Bassett explained there was an addendum regarding the fountain, but it was not signed off by the county and apparently the fountain was taken out prior to the bids being finalized. Commissioner Hover stated it got bid with an addendum and whether anyone signed off is actually irrelevant because Mr. Varrelman bid on a project where the items had been removed and he doesn’t believe that is the fault of the contractor. Mr. Varrelman said he could look at the difference between the costs of the gutter, hot water tank and see if those cost would pay for the drinking fountain. He just wants to make sure and check if there is a difference.

Mr. Bassett explained the county received a legally operational system even though the scope of work was not followed. There is also the fact the scope called for inline tankless water heaters but the plumber thought it would be better without those and installed a regular tank water heater instead. Commissioner Hover knows the difference in costs between inline tankless water heaters and a hot water tank, if someone is bidding in line tankless water heaters the cost will be much higher. The county paid for inline tankless hot water heaters and received something else. Mr. Bassett replied, with the design bid the contractor apparently had the latitude to decide on certain design features that were conducive to the project but still provided a legal operational system. The commissioners explained they were okay with the tank water heater because electric tankless ones are not very well built and do not work consistently well. Commissioner Branch said if that would have come through as a change order the board would have likely approved.

The commissioners also expected some staff training on how to winterize the building as they were told it was complicated to figure out. The hose bib was put in as a drain for the air compressor when the system is blown out, but the hose bib is over an outlet and will need to be changed. Pipe insulation was also required in the scope but the contractor chose not to install because the bathrooms were seasonal. The board suggested the insulation be installed as it would help with pipe perspiration. The contractor discussed the soffit materials that were used that allow the LP to be screened to keep bees out and it was $.32 more than what was in the scope. The contractor used all composite siding and the commissioners did not have a problem with that.

The floors were discussed as they did not appear to be painted and sealed as required. The contractor explained the paint and sealer cannot be seen on the floor. He said he applied sealer primer and two coats of paint. Mr. Poulin said it did not look sealed.

Backflow preventers on the bathroom sinks were discussed as a necessary item to be addressed. Commissioner Hover stated those should have been on the scope, and he knows the cost is very inexpensive. Commissioner Branch asked if the contractor had met plumbing code for the project? Mr. Varrelman replied, yes. He said “Chad” had called the building department on that.

Gutters were noted in the scope of work to be installed on the steel roof, but were not, even though the county paid for those. The contractor noted that winter snow may pull them off in future years if they do get installed. The commissioners believe gutters on a steel roof would not be a good use of funds, but they would like to see the bid and a refund. Mr. Varrelman said he feels it was awash due to how long it took to get paid.

The scope included hot air hand dryers rather than paper towel dispensers. The board discussed those were on the spec sheets and bid out. No one knew of the decision to change scope from the electric blowers to paper towel dispensers. The conduit was put into the walls so wire can be pulled through if the county wants to put them in later. A reimbursement can be done for the difference.

Mr. Varrelman explained he did not receive any direction on the project. Mr. Bassett replied he missed items during his walk through, but did not have someone there to contact. He said he did contact Perry Huston for some things; but he never did meet Josh Freel. Mr. Varrelman said he has no problem reimbursing the county for the wrong items.

The commissioners discussed that if the items discussed today are fixed and there is consideration of installing the drinking fountain then that would be sufficient. The board does want all the changes listed out and what was done instead, so the board can make a final decision. Commissioner DeTro wants to ensure everything is clear for a final resolve later on.

The contractor replied he would put together the list of changes and submit those for consideration.

Briefing Among Commissioners – Discuss Individual Meetings & Schedules
Commissioner DeTro explained he would not be attending meetings later today due to a personal appointment.

Review – County Annual Report – Finance Committee
Laurie Thomas, Pam Johnson, Cari Hall, Leah McCormack

The group was scheduled to go over the annual report together before it is submitted.
Ms. Hall provided some background information on the BARS portion of the report. She explained there are always differences from year to year that must be looked at carefully. She discussed what was different this year compared to last and how she will address those differences. She takes extra time to do the report in order to avoid reporting errors. She double checks each line item. The biggest change in the reporting is in regard to the Jr. Taxing districts. She explained how she will handle those changes for the depositing and receipting of funds for Jr. Taxing districts. The BARS codes that are used by the districts are not to be questioned by county staff.

There is also a new optional schedule 06 for the treasurer’s office which is a summary of bank reconciliations, registered warrants and outstanding warrants which are combined to balance the bank statements, investments, and cash on hand. It should make it easier for the State Auditor to audit. The schedule is supposed to tie into other schedules, but right now it is unclear how, as no clear instructions were provided on how it all ties together. This year the report was optional, but the treasurer completed it anyhow so the State Auditor can look at it and address any errors with the treasurer, before it is mandatory next year. Ms. Hall assured the commissioners we would not get a finding if the report was not done right. There is also some other training provided in June and staff will attend.

Ms. Hall explained the notes at the end of the annual report offer a good narrative and really is the meat of the report. There are still impacts due to the 2014/2015 fires being noted. Besides schedule 06, the group is comfortable with everything it is reporting on and feels the annual report can be submitted well ahead of time which gives her extra time to correct anything that might need to be corrected.

Commissioner Hover would like to see the revenue report too that shows the status of funds by percentages. The report will be submitted once completed. Ms. Hall replied that once everything balances she will provide the report to the board soon thereafter. The commissioners thanked the group for going over the report with them.
A transfer will be needed from Criminal Justice to Current Expense to reimburse for costs footed until funds began to be realized from the tax.

Commissioner Hover asked about the use of the state bid when purchasing vehicles. Is it possible to make payments on vehicles? Laurie Thomas stated to her knowledge it has never been done. Commissioner Hover mentioned the need to purchase a tractor for use on the Fairgrounds but that it would be more economical for the fairgrounds to make monthly payments rather than making a lump sum payment for equipment. Is there a rule against purchasing on contract like that? Treasurer McCormack said she would check out low interest loans from the Treasurer’s office and whether there are certain terms or rules. Commissioner Hover said the county is part of the US Communities purchasing cooperative program. It was thought that because the county is self-insured that it may not be able to purchase equipment in this manner.

Gina McCoy, member of the public joined the meeting at 1:20 p.m. and took notes on her computer. Lorah Super, member of the public, joined the meeting and took hand written notes. Connie Iten, DOE, joined the meeting and took hand written notes.

Motion Resolution 43-2018 Declaration of Emergency Due to Flood
Commissioner Hover moved to approve resolution 43-2018 declaring a state of emergency due to flooding within Okanogan County. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Update Planning – Perry Huston
Director Huston was absent today.

Planning Dept. Study Session
Char Schumacher, Angie Hubbard

Ms. Schumacher asked the board if they had reviewed the letter Director Huston drafted regarding the Grizzly Bear. The commissioners had reviewed it and offered some changes.

Commissioners Branch and Hover further discussed their position on the proposed Grizzly Bear reintroduction. Commissioner Hover thought it would cost more to mitigate the impacts of the Grizzly Bear. Our Comprehensive Plan has requirements for coordination with state agencies and would like to find some language to better tie those two together. Commissioner Branch would like to use within the letter the language in the Comp Plan regarding coordination.

Gina McCoy stated she is videotaping the meeting and asked commissioners to speak up.

SMP Map Review
Motion List of Riverine Creeks & Rivers
Commissioner Hover moved to include all rivers and creeks listed on the Riverine listing rural and only portions previously identified as Riverine and amended maps and will now be conservancy and directed that to be sent to Dept. of Ecology. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Comprehensive Plan Map Review
Ms. Hubbard explained the next items to be discussed are the state and grazing allotment layers. She showed the map via projector. She went through the key which showed the different land covers i.e. barren, shrub step etc…..Commissioner Hover asked whether crop land was in the layer. Ms. Hubbard replied that the layer showed the different types of soils classified in the NRCS Farmlands map. She showed grazing allotments. She explained the federal lands were broken up between Forest Service, BLM, and US and State Forest Service.

Commissioner Hover asked Commissioner Branch why he felt all lands should be designated. If people think we are putting a label on land, they may think we will regulate it, but he understands the point of confusion. Ms. Hubbard explained we have designated range lands and soils of crop land with long term significance, the board would need to be involved to approve those. What Commissioner Branch suggested is to identify in the coordination section the county’s dependency on the lands for economic reasons and then make the point without being so involved. If someone comes to him and says we have been designating the lands, and if we fall under the GMA, then the thought is that we will now regulate people in whichever designation they are under. He feels the county should anticipate falling under GMA, he wants to keep the coordination in its own section so we can identify what the issues are and discuss those, plus our economy depends on the designations. We should state that out right, why we feel entities should coordinate with us. Commissioner Hover disagreed because the state and feds can purchase lands and as they purchase more and more conservation easements and if we do not designate those farmlands, all that property would have been taken out of private agriculture use and put under the state. Then when we look at what we need for expansion the amount of developable lands is greatly reduced. If we are regulated under GMA and the state and federal governments are allowed to keep purchasing property for conservation easements that we would otherwise use to grow products that benefit our economy…..? Commissioner Branch replied many entities are expanding lands regardless of the land designations. He doesn’t believe that we are going to do the designation and make the case we are serving the needs of the industry and he said it is nebulous. Commissioner Branch explained one reason for designating the lands would be because at some point we will be regulated according to GMA and he would rather make more direct statements within that section. It turns into a predictive thing what will happen as a result of our actions and with the designations of the forest lands etc.…. to keep those lands in place with longer term significance. He discussed development on the Westside and the high cost to serve those areas. The viability of agriculture is hampered by many things such as technology. To him the better thing is to protect it rather than find ways to sell it off.

Commissioner Hover boiled it down to they have a choice to make either designate everything in the county or designate only private lands and include a section regarding coordination. The designation material references are located under the GMA, stated Ms. Hubbard. Commissioner Branch discussed language that meets the intent of the law or Act. Commissioner Hover read from 36.70A.030 to help guide the classification of lands.

Administrative Officer Study Session
Rocky King, Administrative Secretary

Tonasket EMS
Motion Tonasket EMS
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 Tonasket EMS Voucher for April in the amount of $21,700. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Rocky King explained the annual report for the district being completed and will be submitted for the District. She said she worked with Cari Hall for some of the information. Where she could she used some of last year’s report information for this year’s report. Ms. King went through the report with the commissioners via projector. The commissioners were satisfied with the report and with Ms. King submitting it.

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

Commissioner Branch discussed the county’s need for amended organizational chart. He said Ms. Craig had made one up that the commissioners looked at previously. He suggested the board review the chart again in case any changes need to be budgeted for. Commissioner Branch further discussed the lack of the Public Works transportation element as there designated staff that deals with the transportation side of things, besides Engineer Thomson. He said the planning element is actually under public works department. He further discussed determining the validity of roads versus going after dollars to address planning objectives. Most are connected with forest road systems. The staff person could chase down grants that could be used for those. Commissioner Hover felt an addition senior planner for the Planning and Development office would be more helpful because county is working on more land use issues right now and not transportation issues. Commissioner Branch agreed but noted that a Transportation Planner would depend on roads income and there may be additional work (e.g., permitting) that they could do. Planning is dependent on current expense income.

Commissioner Hover discussed drafting a letter to Forest Service Mike Williams and Jim Peña to request a well-balanced ranger that is in favor of multi-use. It was thought that Methow Ranger Mike Liu did an excellent job and they would like someone like that with broad views of topics conducive to our ranger district, who can support the outfitters, biking, hiking, and skiing uses that happen on Forest Service lands. The Trails Collaborative is also writing a letter and will share it with Commissioner Hover once it is drafted.

Discussion – Use of Fairgrounds for Roller Hockey – Keith Kistler & John Arterburn

A power point presentation was given by John Arterburn. He discussed the points.

John Arterburn explained he is part of a local community hockey team that needs a summertime roller hockey space to practice on. He requested the commissioners consider their use of the Fairgrounds Arts & Crafts building for the roller hockey rink. The local group plays co-ed ice hockey in the wintertime and has played in several tournaments in the state and has even won a couple times. They do not have anywhere to play when the ice goes away and would like a facility close by. The reason the board should consider allowing the use of the grounds for this is because it is the fourth highest sport played. He explained when the group first started they were allowed to play in the school gym. However, the school no longer allows the hockey team to play there. The group is willing to do some work themselves in addition to some monetary charge. The group said originally they made presentation before the Fair Advisory Committee who then recommended the group meet with the commissioners.

The group needs an enclosed facility that is open to them once per week for a couple hours. They do not have a ton of money to pay, however, and asked the board to consider a waiver. There are two buildings that could work such as the Arts and Crafts Building which is the best and the Agriplex building as second best. The Arts and Crafts building would provide the necessary space, it is rarely used by others, it has good floors, few windows, and has fairly high ceilings. The fair committee suggested items usually stored in that building be removed to prevent damages. Mr. Arterburn explained the cons which is kitchen area, lattice wing walls, and cinder blocks along the wall edge.

Mr. Arterburn further explained the Agriplex was actually too large and they would need to build boards to contain ball, it has too many windows, and use of it could conflict with other users. The group would invest in the purchase of the boards, which could become the property of the county.

The group is looking at this as a phase approach to initially provide a place for exercise, cultivate a local hockey culture, and set up and maintain a safe place to play weekly with the main focus on adults even though everyone is welcome. They would like to eventually expand to youth activities, improve facilities, and hold exhibitions for interested groups. The phase III would include an outdoor arena with long term goal to get a facility like this at Eastside Park.

Commissioner Hover asked what “little cost” means. The group is open to the idea of paying some fees to use the facility. They are willing to put some sweat equity into it as well to keep the fee down. They haven’t really talked about what they could afford. Commissioner Hover stated being a public entity the county has a set fee schedule for use of the individual buildings on a daily rate, but an hourly use rate has not been established. The board is interested in getting the facility back to what it once was but the county can no longer let the facilities be used without charging a sufficient fee. The current fee schedule was provided to the group. The commissioners explained their constraints about gifting of public funds. If the event meets our fee schedule waiver, and the event serves county wide important then the board would consider that request. Everyone is always coming to them about reducing the fee yet costs to maintain the facility go up. The group understands the position of the commissioners.

The commissioners will consider adding an hourly rate to the fairground facility fee schedule.

Liability insurance was also discussed and it was suggested that the group speak to Ms. Craig about the requirements.

Commissioner discussed the need to incorporate these types of uses into the fee schedule and allow uses that contribute to the community and youth. Commissioner Hover discussed the Berg Trust fund and that it is reserved for a building that serves the community. Mr. Kistler explained the group did try to create an ice hockey rink at Eastside Park and was told the city insurance that covers the park uses would also cover the group. Mr. Arterburn explained there is already a lot of interest in an ice rink and the activities it would involve. The group offered to help with the plans and identification of grants through RCO or other agencies. The commissioner thanked the group for their request and stated the board would consider adding an hourly rate to the fee schedule.

Review Meeting Minutes

The board adjourned at 4:50 pm.