OCTOBER 16, 2018

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met for its regular session on October 16, 2018, with Commissioner Jim DeTro, Chairman, Commissioner Chris Branch Vice-Chairman; Commissioner Andy Hover, Member and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

Member of the public George Thornton, taking hand written notes.

Commissioners’ Staff Meeting

David Gecas, Stella Columbia, Joe Poulin, Perry Huston, Ben Rough

Debi Hilts explained it is time to review employee evaluations and set the schedule for interviews. She provided each commissioner with a packet to review. She would like to have it all ready prior to the end of the year. She asked for edits to be provided, if any are recommended.

Flu Shots were discussed. Ms. Hilts received 120 responses from those wishing to participate. She did some research and under most insurance the shot is covered but the co-pay is still required. It would be free to employees if the county paid for the shots as it has done in the past. Commissioner Branch said there is some responsibility to provide the shots so employees are more apt to get one and not get the flu. The Non-Departmental Miscellaneous Personnel services was the line used to pay for the shots last year.

Commissioner Hover would first like to see if there are extra funds. Ms. Hilts will see if that information can be provided during Finance Committee Meeting later today.

The fairgrounds New tractor needs to go to the shop because it does not start well in cold weather. An estimate from B&O Repair LLC was provided for the repair of the old Massey Ferguson gas tractor. It is a good running tractor but needs some TLC. The old Ford tractor leaks oil real bad and it may be suggested as surplus. If it were fixed it could be an auxiliary tractor on the fairgrounds. Enough insulation was found around the grounds to insulate all the walls in the Fairgrounds shop plus they found some extra wood to cover it with. Left over paint was used to paint the walls. The ceiling will be done next. North Cascades is putting in a portable heater to be able to operate a forced air heater in both the shop and Agriplex. It takes care of both those heating issues with a quick connect. Commissioners were in agreement with the heater options.

Motion Authorization to Go Forward
Commissioner Branch moved to authorize Joe Poulin to purchase the proposed heater system for the Fairgrounds. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Director Huston reminded the commissioners that resolutions recite the particulars of the purchase better than a motion . Commissioner Branch explained reasons why action minutes are a good idea. He wanted to discuss with the note takers because action minutes do not document the discussion that leads up to a decision. It could address the issue of what was decided.

Ben Rough explained at the end of the Planning Commission meeting minutes, all the action items are summarized. Commissioner Hover stated the UCSRB takes action minutes so he knows what those look like. He said it reduces the amount of information available to the public on what action the board is doing. Unless the meetings are recorded, there would be no minutes with that level of detail. Everyone spends a lot of time going over the minutes because of the detail and it has been a BIG deal for those in Okanogan Watch group. Mr. Thornton said the group tries to be as factual as possible. No one is 100% accurate. Commissioner Branch would like to speak to him further about the action minutes but the commission should be clear about what they are deciding. Mr. Thornton will follow up as he intends to discuss with his group the possibility of the county changing its format to action minutes versus the more detailed version currently being used.

Ms. Columbia stated the tables used for fairgrounds events were ordered to replace the broken ones. They won’t get here in time for the Taste of Two Valleys. She and Joe have discussed things that go on at the fairgrounds, but she would like to come up with a plan in terms of where we want to go with the grounds. Commissioner Hover stated that is something the board should discuss and memorialize. Ms. Columbia said it seems like if we want to market the grounds then we need an overall vision we can follow. Right now it is a Hodge podge of things that are left over no one else wants. Commissioner Hover said the North end should be an equestrian center for travelers with horses. The rest has to be multi-use, but the problem is people do not want to pay for it. Ms. Columbia said the wedding party was very happy with the venue and prices are very competitive. People may complain, but….Curb appeal plays into the rentability of the grounds and buildings and is very important to people as they consider the venue. Commissioner Hover said if she thinks of things that would sell the grounds better great, but he would likely only consider the costs not colors of blinds or floor. Commissioner Branch said curb appeal is good as well as signs near the road. He knows from a business standpoint there are certain things that can be done that helps generate the revenue both safety and appeal. Commissioner Hover would like all the extra costs of the fair put into a spreadsheet that shows costs above and beyond the rental fee charged.

David Gecas has information to update the board on but thought it best to relay via executive session.

Ben Rough said at the last SWAC meeting the question came up on participation via telephone during meetings. Legal research was conducted to see if it was supported. He found the commissioners passed a resolution to allow mobile phone participation under strict rules as it is not ideal. He said there was some concern about being able to verify the identity of the person on the phone. Mr. Gecas said in some circumstances it may be ideal for the particular situation. The by-laws would need to be amended to allow. Commissioner Hover did not see an issue with this. Commissioner Branch stated in some instances it would allow a quorum during inclement weather. Mr. Rough said they are an advisory board and provide recommendations to the commissioners.

Motion Executive Session RCW 42.30.110 (1)(i)
Commissioner Hover moved to go into executive session at 9:55 a.m. for 10 minutes inviting David Gecas to discuss matters relating to agency litigation or potential litigation to which the county may be a party. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Executive session ended at 10:05 a.m. no decisions were made.

A new law passed via HB2057 regarding abandoned and foreclosure properties and the law requires counties to respond to inquires. But  the law does allow a response such as, it creates undue hardship to provide the information, but we would still have to respond within 10-15 days.

Finance Committee Meeting – Leah McCormack
Cari Hall, Perry Huston, George Thornton

Treasurer McCormack provided her agenda and discussed the items listed there.

The group discussed supplemental appropriations and funds that can be used. There is unallocated funds around $500,000 in current expense and there is county assistance funds that are not allocated either. Jail and Dispatch overtime costs were discussed. A supplemental from Dispatch was discussed. Ms. Hall will send that to the Clerk of the Board for advertising. The Clerk of the Board mentioned the Homeless Housing fund is short about $1200 budget for remaining contracts, so a supplemental is needed.

Treasurer McCormack went over the cash on hand spreadsheet. She suggested waiting until December to make the loan payment because of cash flow. The payoff is less than $500,000. It has come to her attention, that when fund 122 406 created she isn’t sure where those figures came from for the startup nothing is being done with those two funds. She needs the commissioners to check on those as she understands nothing is being collected. 122 has no activity and 406 he wondered if those funds could be dissolved it is around $260,000 and would that go back to current expense if it was generated by current expense.

Investments were discussed and what constitutes residual funds not needed for immediate use. The Solid Waste Closure fund was discussed as the cash on hand balance is over 10 million. The tipping fees were discussed. There is a spreadsheet at Ecology that tells how much is to be reserved for closure. We might inquire of Parametrix and Ecology what that rule says. This has been an issue with other counties, stated Treasurer McCormack. She will provide the commissioners with information regarding the GO bond.

Motion Flu Shots
Commissioner Hover moved to authorize the provision of flu shots to employees for the 2018 flu season via Public Health that will be paid for by the county. Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Update – Public Works
Engineer Josh Thomson, Admin Officer Ben Rough, George Thornton, public

Josh Thomson provided his agenda and discussed the information listed there.

Engineer Thomson provided update on road and maintenance conditions and what is being addressed before the snow flies.

Annual Construction Program
Must be adopted before the county budget is adopted and he will see if the Statler Bridge repairs get funded prior to submitting the program for approval. He expects it to be funded.

Still monitoring the Statler bridge weekly.

Peter Dan
Still working on this repair. Engineer Thomson explained some settling on the bank occurred but was repaired and springs coming from the bank are still a concern. There are several springs above the second bench and water is seeping out creating bank instability which was the problem in the first place. Solutions are being considered that will help hold the soil behind the slope. A plan has been worked out. Other than that the project is going well.

Hwy 7 Tonasket Bridge South Project
Engineer Thomson stated this project is on tract.

Bridge Inspections
Bridge decks need to be sealed. There is some epoxy sealant that should be used.

Black Canyon snow park was discussed. Usually, Forest Service provides funds to the county to plow the road to the snow park, but they informed the county they do not have funds for this this season. Mr. Rough said there are residents who live on the snow park road and they depend on the county to plow the road so they can get in and out. If the Forest Service does provide the funds the county cannot plow to the snow park road. Mr. Rough wondered if a notice should be sent to the residents letting them know. Should we contact the Forest Service office to ask them to notify the residents about the lack of funds to plow the road? Yes, the commissioners would like him to contact Forest Service about this.

Pits for road materials
Engineer Thomson explained the funds needed for purchasing pits for road materials. Commissioner DeTro wished to ensure the county considered its needs and prepare to finance if potential pit land becomes available. There are

The Secretary of State Document preservation and scanning grant has allowed Public Works to digitize over 43,000 documents.

Motion Taste of Two Valley’s Security Waiver
Commissioner Hover moved to waive the security requirement of the Taste of Two Valleys event happening October 2018 as the group provided sufficient information and plan to provide their own security for the event. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

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

Mr. Rough updated the board on recruitments and open status positions. He explained some back fill needed for the M1 truck driver. The commissioners said fill it.

The finance division “new” position was discussed. It really is an issue he will personally going to help out and he is fully capable to help with the work load. Can Solid Waste and Public Works position be split between the two? Mr. Rough said the Solid Waste and Public Works are two separate union groups. He proposed creating a clerical/finance position within Solid Waste. An assistant to Kent Kovalenko with an expanded finance role and assist in the main office during vacation and fill in. It might be better to focus on a position in Solid Waste rather than finance manager in the main office. There hasn’t been office staff in Solid Waste because the Public Works administration office has taken on a lot of that. This position would solve the issue of lack of support staff for Solid Waste as well as provide the finance office some relief. Engineer Thomson explained the need to be able to reconcile the cash drawer in Solid Waste and separation of duties to ensure proper cash handling practices are used.

CDL Training
Mr. Rough explained some employees are beginning to utilize the CDL program. He explained his recommendation to amend the policy and provide a 5% training reimbursement.

Apple Maggot Update
MR. Rough updated the board on this issue. He is hoping the Dept. of Ag spearheads the final order. The heat treatment testing was done as a test and it was successful. It would be around $60,000 but individual components costs may not have been included. Right now the green waste is taken to gravel pit and burned. The options are still being considered. Some additional figures will be gathered to see if something more is needed.

Engineer Thomson updated the board on the sale of surplus. Overall it appears the sale was successful.

Commissioner Hover stated the county’s wish to purchase a small dump truck for the fairgrounds. Engineer Thomson stated the ER&R could rent one to the fairgrounds if one is needed only a couple times a year. He thought if one was surplussed in the next year or so that it be separated on the list.

Commissioner Hover will not be returning for the afternoon meetings as he will be attending the Killer Whale task force meeting in Olympia.

CANCELLED Citizens Comment Period

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

Discussion Potential Budget Supplemental
Auditor Thomas requested a brief discussion on the cost of retirees payouts at the end of the year. There is a possibility those costs will need a special voucher run to pay out by December 31, when normally it would accrue into January, but Ms. Hall explained we must actually process prior to January within 2018 fiscal year. The personnel policy should be amended to provide for these challenges. Commissioners should consult with the Risk Manager on those changes and on the policy status.

A budget supplemental should be worked out to identify the costs involved with the payouts and where the revenue would come from.

Budget Work Session – Assessor – Scott Furman
Scott Furman, Dee Wood, Larry Gilman George Thornton

The assessor’s budget was projected for presentation. Assessor Furman informed the board of some changes due to staff promotions. Mr. Gilman explained there are classes required for the appraiser accreditations. The budget reflects the increased costs for travel and training. Assessor Furman explained what annual software costs are expected in 2019 as he added 3% to the software maintenance line to account for increased cost. It was thought a new field device would be required that has the software loaded. The iPads the department currently have should support the additions to the software. Treasurer McCormack suggested fund 144 REET/REVAL fund could help pay for costs. The Treasurer stated treasurer pays for their hardware/software maintenance. The fund is restricted though so only certain expenses can be paid from the fund. There is some money building up there, the treasurer noted. If the REET funds can reduce the burden on Current Expense then we should look at that, stated Auditor Thomas. Treasurer McCormack stated it is a 250/250 split.

Ms. Hall will ensure the proper budget is entered for the training Dee will provide in 2019 for her successor. Treasurer McCormack thought the department vehicle repair line could be reduced since they purchased a newer rigs. Mr. Gilman said one vehicle still goes to the shop regularly as it was not replaced.

Discussion – TV District #1 Viability – Lisa Olson, Kevin Chevalier
Kevin Chevalier, Victoria Velategui, Bill Black, Pam Johnson, Nichole Moore.

The district members informed the county commissioners that the three main TV networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) licenses will not be renewed and those are the most attractive features the District offers. Even if the district could afford new infrastructure, it would be unlikely the district could afford the license fees for renewal. Shaw doesn’t provide satellite feed as they used to, so that is not an option. Originally Shaw provided the feed through Spokane but now the fee requires a whole new infrastructure and the feed is out of Calgary with no local channels transmitted.

To date the district has spent over $15,000  negotiating with the Tribe on the Omak site issues per the Tribes request, but the Tribes changes the bar every time without resolve. Chairman Chevalier explained he personnally hauled garbage off the site to accommodate the Tribe's request and now they require the building be inspected and everything brought up to current building code. The building and the tower would not pass inspection without extensive work. The Tribe also wants half the revenue the site generates. There is also the of support in terms of technicians or anyone even willing to devote time to help out. Mr. Chevalier has been dealing with medical challenges and has been out of county for the past several months and now he is moving soon. He has tried to gather support in terms of membership, but it has been difficult as no one is stepping up to serve. Commissioner Branch stated the most critical thing and most difficult to resolve is that the main product (ABC, CBS, and NBC) is going away. Plus there is a real money challenge due to minimal payments of the membership assessment.

Mr. Chevalier explained the district has equipment on each of the sites, they are Fox, Pickens, Olive, and Omak Mountain. They only have one license left. The equipment is helping to serve Chelan too. KSPS acquired a license to provide KSPS to Chelan and they are using our fee to do that. The district has received no compensation for that service. Chelan County TV board claimed the previous Okanogan County TV board took that on for free but there is no corresponding paperwork in the file to support the arrangement. KSPS should have the paperwork but they are not producing it. Can our TV district provide services to Chelan without compensation?

The District also provides space and electricity for local radio broadcasting. The Tribe also requires half the revenue the Omak site would generate. The district also needs a vehicle as the district members have been using their personal vehicles and the roads are tearing them up.

Ms. Velategui is the newest TV board member and she said Twisp and Winthrop will not lose their broadcasting. She sees  possibilities that will take money. For many constituents, increasing the cost of the service is not the answer. All the people served by the district should receive a letter explaining what the issues are. She thought the district would not need to disolve if it enlisted the help of those who are using the service. It will take a lot of energy, audacity and some imagination to attract the technical knowhow and the money. Ms. Velategui said John Andrist has made it work for some of his services. TV District #2 (Methow Communications District) has a tower with a path to Spokane. There is a chance Omak Mountain could receive a signal with a new tower. Commissioner Branch stated there are many other services providing TV that utilize other technologies and wondered if the TV district is a dying service. There are so many options for TV out there. The District was created when there weren’t many options. There are only two counties providing TV services through a TV district in the state.

Mr. Chevalier said the first thing explored was the merging of TV #1 with TV #2, but TV #2 was not interested. Commissioner DeTro asked if there was a signal feed from Tunk Mt. to Spokane, that way the district could avoid the issues with the Omak Mt. site. This idea might be explored further. The District is no longer a general service provider, they are actually subsidizing those that cannot afford other television services. Ms. Velategui asked how the county provides information to low income who cannot afford newer technologies. There are still AM FM radio signals that blanket the county and those would not be discontinued if the district disolved.

Commissioner Branch explained there is a study happening on what it would take to provide broadband to the public in the Methow Valley. It is like a pilot project. There is no timeline yet, but the investigation is going forward to look at where service can be provided, the minimum level of data, and who gets to access it and for how much money. The next phase would be to have an engineer look at what it will take monetarily and what the service area would be, and then looking at cost to the people.

Treasurer McCormack commented that she has worked for the county for 32 years and this TV district has been difficult to manage through the years. What is the timeline for disolving the district. A tentative date for a letter out to each of the businesses announcing the challenges and what needs to happen in order to keep them. Mr. Chevalier stated he did not see any options and thought dissolving the district by December would be best.

A letter to the commissioners about dissolving the district is needed with the understanding that all the ducks are in a row before using the districts funds to remove the equipment from the various sites. The commissioners could then schedule a public hearing. Treasurer McCormack said once the district is disolved all assets become the responsibility of the county. Mr. Chevalier said Pickens does generate revenue as the district owns the site and it generates around $25,000 revenue annually.

Commissioner Branch stated there is some research yet to be done to make sure we understand what the options really are. Look at what processes need to take place to dissolve the district because the loss of those stations is critical.

The commissioners would need to determine the district was no longer viable, then the assets of the district would be the responsibility of the county. How the personal property is dealt with would be the commissioners’ responsibility too.

The date of the letter to the commissioner is important to consider. Treasurer Data Processor, Nichole Moore, asked how the customers would be notified of the district dissolving. A public hearing notice would be published in the county's newspaper of record and radio announcements would get the word out.

Commissioner DeTro said the county's chief civil deputy will need to help determine the next step in accordance with the RCW 36.95.020. A hearing will set in the near future once the district letter is received. Treasurer McCormack thanked the group for their work keeping the district viable  and she said she was sorry to hear the district is having this conversation. The commissioners thanked the group for their hard work trying to keep the district intact, but understood the issue could not be resolved.

Kevin Chevalier and Michael Madden both submitted letters of resignation stating they would endure 30 days more in order to wrap things up. The group disbanded after thanking everyone.

Approve Consent Agenda
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the consent agenda items excluding item #1. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

1. Commissioners Proceedings October 8, 9, 2018
2. Operational Agreement - North Central Washington Narcotics
3. Agreement-Lenel Software Upgrades-Aronson Security Group
4. Agreement-Lenel System Renewal-Aronson Security Group
5. Application Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) Grant – D19-003 Emergency Management
6. Application Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) Grant-D19-004- Emergency Management
7. Contract –2019 Infrastructure .09 Funding - Economic Alliance
8. Contract – OK Professional Fair Services – Horse Judge
9. Contract – OK Professional Fair Services - Photography
10. Resolution 106-2018 – Global Entrepreneurship Week

Motion Letter of Support MVBCH & Methow Ranger District Grant Application
Commissioner Branch moved to authorize the letter of support a RCO NOVA grant application to complete Phase II work on the North Summit Horse Campground project. 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 $1,035,096.95. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion seconded and carried.

Motion Public Health Voucher
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the Public Health Vouchers in the amount of $108.15 Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

The board adjourned at 4:40 p.m.