NOVEMBER 6, 2018

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met for its regular session on November 6, 2018, with Chairman, Commissioner Jim DeTro; Vice Chair Commissioner Chris Branch; and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

Commissioner Hover was absent today due to attending to personal business.

George Thornton, member of the public, taking notes for Okanogan Watch Group.

Commissioners’ Staff Meeting
David Gecas, Stella Columbia, Perry Huston

David Gecas updated the board on legal matters he is involved in. He explained the public records requests he is responding to. Mr. Gecas inquired about the scoping notice. Director Huston replied it has been published in the newspaper of record which started the 45 day comment period. Mr. Gecas stated an executive session would be needed later today to update the board on legal matters.

Stella Columbia updated the board on the fairgrounds well drilling project which started this week by Hubbards Well Drilling Company. This weekend is the last event scheduled for a while. The Wenatchee Valley College requested use of the Agriplex in January for a roller skating event focusing on homelessness. The decision has not been made yet by the college for the use. The Wine and Cheese event went well with the decorations being the highlight. The disco ball was a real hit.

The Planning Department Administrative Secretary position received many applicants so interviews will begin for that position soon.

An agreement was drafted between the County and Okanogan County Conservation District. It will be presented for commissioners’ signature in the near future. The permit and deed was discussed with regard to the TV District #1 site on Pickens Mt. Mr. Gecas discussed the statutes giving authority to TV District #1. With only two members of the five member board there isn’t enough members to give authority for the transfer of the property to the county.

The Clerk of the Board updated the board on matters that need further direction from the board. Forest Service requested use of the Virginia Grainger parking lot.

Joe Poulin updated the board on surplussed metal desks that will be disposed of that were not sold at auction. MS. Columbia stated instead of disposing of a few of the desks, she proposed using them in the commercial building as a flat surface for projects etc…. The irrigation system will be winterized. B&B will likely be called in for the service. She will work with Mr. Poulin regarding the security cameras.

Update –Human Resources & Risk Management
Tanya Craig, Debi Hilts

Ms. Craig updated the board on Risk Management issues. She stated she has been receiving comments on the county’s insurance comparison from employees but today is the last day to comment so she can compile them for dissemination. She explained an accident happened when a Sheriff Deputy backed into another vehicle.

Commissioner Branch asked about the status of the person who fell into the landfill trash bin. Ms. Craig relayed the status of the situation. Commissioner Branch explained some of the dangers that staff should be aware of. If addressed regularly by staff, may prevent another from falling in.

Ms. Hilts reminded the board of annual evaluations that need to be turned in. Commissioner Branch stated he is still working on them. Open enrollment has begun. She has spent some time with departments providing Q & A. Ms. Craig will sit in during the Planning Administrative Secretary position interviews on November 15.

A request from the Forest Service to be able to park 2-4 FS vehicles in the Virginia Parking lot was relayed to Ms. Craig. There is the snow plowing issue with piling snow on the Western and Southern edge of the parking lot as well as the liability issue of leaving the Forest Service and personal vehicles on the lot. An MOU would be drafted to lay out the specific agreement and liability risks.

The Risk Pool will be onsite to perform appraisals of those county owned buildings worth more than $100,000.

Public Hearing- Supplemental Appropriation-Homeless Housing Fund 142
Commissioner DeTro opened up the hearing to staff, seeing no staff to testify he closed staff and opened up to citizen comment, seeing no one wished to comment he closed public comment and opened up to commissioner discussion.

Motion Resolution 119-2018 Supplemental Appropriation-Homeless Housing Fund 142
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 119-2018 a supplemental appropriation within fund 142 in the amount of $2750 to provide sufficient budget for remaining expenditures. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Public Hearing-Supplemental Appropriation-Various Funds
Commissioner DeTro opened up the hearing to staff, seeing no staff to testify he closed staff and opened up to citizen comment, seeing no one wished to comment he closed public comment and opened up to commissioner discussion.

Commissioner Branch discussed the source of revenue and what the funds will support.

Motion Resolution 120-2018 Supplemental Appropriation-Various Funds
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 120-2018 with in Current Expense in the amount of $240,790 which will be used for various purposes. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Public Hearing Dual Use Roads to Snowmobiles-JoAnn Stansbury
Josh Thomson, JoAnn Stansbury

Commissioner DeTro opened up the hearing to staff. Joanne Stansbury provided her staff report on the proposal to allow certain listed roads to dual use for snowmobile use. She explained the public notice process and where the postings were done. No comments have been received.
Commissioner DeTro closed staff and opened up to citizen comment, seeing no one wished to comment he closed public comment and opened up to commissioner discussion.

Josh Thomson stated the resolution is normally adopted annually, but the wording of this resolution allows it to be in place until it changes.

Motion Resolution 117-2018 Dual Use Roads to Snowmobiles
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 117-2018 approving dual use roads to snowmobiles from November 1 through April 1 annually. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Update-Public Works-Josh Thomson, Ben Rough

Engineer Josh Thomson provided his agenda and discussed the items listed there. (attached)

Highway 20 may stay open longer due to expected snow accumulation being later in the year.

Road Fund Budget and Level of Service
Right now with levy shift and Statler bridge he has 3.7 beginning fund balance going 410,000 in the wrong direction leaving less funds to consider pit purchases. It brings up the question of what we will do in the future to cut costs. Chip seal projects could be reduced but it really should be on a 6-8 year rotation. Snow plowing services accumulate costs due to over time, decreasing that would be changing our level of service. Expectations have been made based on our level of service. If we reduce the level of service, we will get calls. He asked for commissioners’ opinion on whether to follow the policy which states plowing occurs after 4 inches of snow accumulation

Commissioner DeTro explained the PUD Privilege tax will change soon due to being part of the Wells Pool percentage. He believes we could expect to see another million in revenue phased in for current expense. If we can hold the line there is light at the end of the tunnel that will provide some relief where the county won’t need to do the road levy shift.

Public Works Admin Building Maintenance
Engineer Thomson explained he would wait until the windows get replaced before providing other maintenance to the building. Commissioner DeTro asked if the building qualified for the PUD incentive program. Mr. Rough explained we would only qualify for insulation incentive.

Pits for Road Materials was discussed.
WATV Routes
Engineer Thomson is working with Perry Huston on this item. Commissioner DeTro explained the list of roads the Tribe would consider for WATV use.

The Public Works items, listed on the consent agenda, were discussed. Engineer Thomson explained on-call services and how those are secured.

Engineer Thomson explained he was asked to sit on a panel at the WSAC conference this week.

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

Open position status for M2 truck drivers for Area 2 and winter temps was discussed. There were a fair number of applications received.

Solid Waste Operator Mechanic position was discussed. He was requested to fill in a position temporarily while the permanent employee is away. A resolution can be drafted to memorialize the temporary situation. This will be an additional cost because the permanent employee is still being paid and the temporary person would also be paid while filling in. He would be very upfront with whoever is hired to fill the position. The budget impact should not require a supplemental appropriation. It does create an additional position during that time.

This would be an additional temporary mechanic for solid waste division for the winter season. Commissioner Branch would prefer the situation be authorized via resolution. Mr. Rough stated he would draft one for today or next week.

Finance Division Assistance
Fine point on this determined the exact duties of the position. Back up to finance for vacations busy times primarily focused on payroll, accounts payable, and solid waste cash handling and cash flow in addition to administrative tasks for the Solid Waste manager. He said the position would be similar to a clerk III position.

The public works fee schedule is on the consent agenda. He explained the fees and changes and what was new in this schedule versus the last one. Implementation date would be March 1, 2019, but Kent Kovalenko requested 90 days’ notice for notification. March 1 is well after the 90 days and will allow those affected to be notified. .

Mr. Rough explained some complaints coming from the Public Health employees about the building being cold and not maintained well. The department does have plans to address the concerns.

Citizens Comment Period
Chris Fischer, WDFW

Mr. Fisher explained the requirements from the buyout and they paid entities to address issues of instream dams. Tribe is a sub-contractor of Bonneville in order to meet their obligation.

The tribe has been working on restoration actions in the tributaries of the Okanogan River. If the mainstream of the river is too warm it can be lethal to the fish but the fish can use the tributaries to cool down. He was informed and it has been discussed. The pit tags information was provided to the commissioners showing pit tag codes. (attached) it is down loadable information. The info is used for special distribution. Not all fish are tagged. There was a concern that they had done something to access Johnson Creek and that isn’t true. In 2013 the fish were already there before they did anything in 2016. The 2014 map showed detections as red dots. When the state looks at this they look at culverts that can pass a six inch fish. Fish can project themselves quite a height and distance. The fish were detected before the obstruction was removed. Mr. Fisher provided another map showing the detections He has never released hatchery fish in Johnson Creek. Never Never Never. They have had a fish in Loup Loup creek spent 10 days there then went up Omak Creek then went into Johnson Creek. They had no idea how wanderlust the steelhead fish are. They are ideo parady spawn and come back a second or third time. The highway 97 culvert is the main impediment. In the past there was concern about removing barriers. He has heard of the concern. They have a conveyance system for water with no cost to them, and they appear very content. He said contact the board members of Okanogan irrigation district. A project is happening on North Fork of Salmon Creek for a 70cfs pipe to deliver more water for irrigators. There is an estimated 340 acre feet that could be available to them with normal snow pack and everyone wins in that situation. Commissioner DeTro asked if he was aware of the dam in jeopardy, there is a concern about that. The Bureau has not made a decision on that. He described a win win situation regarding the dam and ideas he relayed that he thought would work.

Mr. Fisher feels like the tribe or him has been vilified untrustworthy etc.… everywhere he steps he tries hard to make things whole. The stream irrigation intakes that were not in compliance there were 143 and now they are all screened and in compliance. Commissioner DeTro mentioned the Salmon Creek dump that was cleaned up and he expressed thankfulness for the cleanup. Commissioner DeTro asked if Mr. Fisher was aware of the land owners concern about the fish. Nonnative species in the creek are German Brown, where Summer Steelhead is native, what happened to Salmon Creek? they authorized a different bag limit. It is a liberal bag limit. It did get restrictive as to what could be used to catch them they didn’t want snags. Similar regulations would occur on Johnson Creek. The tribe has not been in control of what happens to the German Brown.

Commissioner Branch said there is also the implication the tribe was trespassing. Mr. Fisher said to his knowledge they always contacted the landowner to ask for permission. In 1998 Mr. Fisher said he was in the creek but it was unknown who actually owned the streambed at that time. He said if anyone has questions or would like to discuss further he is open to it.

Motion Executive Session
Commissioner Branch moved to go into executive session at 2:05 p.m. for 20 minutes inviting Chief Civil Deputy David Gecas and Perry Huston to discuss legal matters to which the county may be a party. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Director Huston relayed his research of the TV District #1 conveyance of property on Picken’s Mt. He said a permit was put through for Cell One. There did not appear to be conditions or challenges regarding the property. David Gecas explained what his found in statute regarding the dissolving of the district. The property reverts to the county when the district is dissolved. The lease agreements for use of the site would need to be revamped. Director Huston explained his interpretation of the statute. Mr. Thornton commented that the county provide for continued maintenance of the site should it be reverted to the county and used to generate revenue when the dissolves the district. The Clerk of the Board has already requested from the District Secretary and remaining board members all contracts and agreements, all paperwork yet to be finalized or filed, payroll status, and any other items that are needed in order to wrap up the dissolution.

Motion Resolution 121-2019 Authorizing a Temporary Position
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 121-2018 authorizing one additional temporary operator mechanic in Public Works Solid Waste Division. Motion was seconded all were in favor motion carried.

CANCELLED Budget Work Session Commissioners’ & Misc Funds

Budget Work Session –District Court
Leah McCormack, Cari Hall, Judge Grimm, Judge Short, Darla Schreckengost

The District Court 2019 budget 001.011 was reviewed and line items discussed. Jury and Witness fee expenses were discussed. It was a line item several instances where the court was unhappy when jurors were called in and the parties for various reasons were not able come on the court specified date yet jurors came in and had to be paid. The two reasons the budget is different is because of salaries and benefits and the jury & witness fee expenses.

The Penalty Traffic Infraction revenue line was discussed. Ms. Schreckengost explained the line was reduced because expected revenue was thought to be less. Judge Short stated reduced revenue lines were due to state laws or bills that changed and are considered unfunded mandates. Public defense costs were one of the top three issues being presented during legislative session. It was uncertain whether the LFO Reimbursement would be realized. It was meant to offset some of the other revenue reductions but it was being recalculated by the state.

Judge Short explained his request for salary increase of the court admin. Internal and external review regarding the court administrator position and it the external review of comparable counties showed the average wage is $5314. The internal comparisons based on chief officials includes chief deputy clerk in the clerk’s office. He believed the fairness was based on the requirements of the position. The $5040 is what the chief deputy positions earn and what is being requested for the court administrator. Currently the administrator position earns $4312 plus benefits. The overall annual impact for both benefits and salary would be $10,500, Ms. Hall stated.

Judge Grimm stated she oversees a staff of over 9 people, oversite responsibilities.

The Probation budget 111 was reviewed. Ms. Hall recommended there be more carryover than $598 going into January. It was recommended that number be adjusted. That is the money used until regular revenue comes in.

Approve Consent Agenda
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the consent agenda items 1-8. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.
1. Commissioners Proceedings October 30 & 31, 2018
2. Contract-18-LTAC-022 Tonasket Chamber of Commerce $2055
3. Agreement-Survey Services-Cameron Lake Road-Erlansen & Associates
4. Appointment Letter-Civil Service Commission-Celeste Pugsley
5. Resolution 114-2018 Fairgrounds Rental Fee Schedule
6. Resolution 115-2018 Additional Noxious Weed Field Inspector for Training
7. Resolution 116-2018 Public Works Fee Schedule
8. Resolution 118-2018 Public Works Organizational Chart

The board adjourned at 5:00 p.m.