SEPTEMBER 18, 2018

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met for its regular session on September 18, 2018, with Commissioner Jim DeTro, Chairman, Commissioner Chris Branch Vice-Chairman; Commissioner Andy Hover, Member and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

George Thornton, member of the public arrived at 9:00 a.m. to take notes.

Commissioners’ Staff Meeting
Stella Columbia, Perry Huston, Joe Poulin

Commissioner Hover discussed the contract with the Town of Twisp for building inspection services as Mayor. Ing-Moody wanted to know why all the changes and why the contract is only in place for one year. Director Huston once again explained cost recovery to the board. It was suggested that she discuss her concern with the commissioners all together. Commissioner Branch discussed opportunity for conflicts while “being in the business” on temporary contacts. He said we don’t charge what we could charge, so he isn’t sure what the challenge is on their end. We might need to hire extra staff if we have long term contracts. Riverside and Pateros would like that type of long-term arrangement, he said. Twisp was thought to like that idea too, but Dan Higbee would need to be consulted on that possibility. Commissioner Hover will relay the county’s overview to Mayor Ing-Moody and if she has questions she can discuss with the full board.

The Fair was discussed. The Fair budget was reviewed. Mr. Poulin asked how to handle the fair related clean up that was supposed to be done when the fair left the grounds. Commissioners would like to know where the gaps in staffing occurred above and beyond what is normally provided. Mr. Poulin’s judgement is relied on. Ms. Columbia said the fair is on site a week before and a week after the fair. Maintenance staff is still cleaning up mucking out beef barn, all shaving were scraped into the center but not removed, and it was expected that the Fair leave the grounds as they found them. The county is spending 20 or more man hours cleaning up after them. Commissioners would really like to know what it actually costs.

The commissioners would like to see more interesting things to see at the fair. Like log busting or some other interesting thing. Mr. Poulin explained it appeared to him that the fair organizers did not want to offer entertainment when the stage had music. There was no “real” pie eating contests, the art barn has almost completely dropped off. Send student art work to the fair get the schools more involved. All this should be arranged for now rather than right before the fair. Rearrange the Agriplex so there are more interesting things besides vendors, have a hunt and find in straw piles, something for kids would be fun. Dunk Tanks with county commissioners and other elected officials getting dunked. Teachers could get signed up to be dunked, too.

Motion Services Contract Faith Baptist Mission Church
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the contract between Okanogan County and Faith Mission Baptist Church for handling the 2018 Fair gates in the amount of $6,400 and authorized the chairman to sign.

Mr. Poulin asked about a wood stove in the Fairgrounds shop for winter working. Commissioner DeTro suggested a propane heater instead. The commissioners gave permission to look into purchasing the propane heater and tank. He provided the commissioners with a list of work to be completed at the fairgrounds to winterize. (attached) He explained some training he would like Kyle to attend the Maintenance Facility DUDE training in Raleigh North Carolina in May in order to learn more about how to utilize the whole program more effectively. Kyle would then be able to understand its capabilities as he is the one providing data input. The total cost for both to attend was not given. The board would like to discuss further. Mr. Poulin would like to at least get Kyle signed up as the classes do fill up quick and room availability could be reduced.

Perry Huston summarized the public hearing held yesterday and the direction of the commissioners.

Finance Committee Meeting-Auditor & Treasurer
Cari Hall, Leah McCormack, Laurie Thomas

Ms. Hall explained fund 160 may not have enough revenue to reimburse current expense for all the initial costs of Jail and Juvenile. A budget will be needed for the reimbursements. Juvenile staff spoke to Ms. Hall about the vehicle purchase. The Jail meds reimbursement will be processed soon and the Juvenile vehicle purchase will need to be handled differently as there was a transfer already in place. The fund has received a total of $183,830 as of August and it was thought at the end of the year the amount will be close to what was budgeted to be received. The Clerk of the Board explained she would be compiling all the Juvenile and Jail maintenance costs that have been processed from Current Expense and will consult with Juvenile once the costs have been identified. It was suggested by Huston that funds be transferred into Maintenance as a revenue line specific to the Juvenile costs. Ms. Hall replied it would create a nightmare for her because the funds are restricted. It is best and cleaner to set up the maintenance budget for Juvenile in fund 160 rather than allowing fund 160 revenue to be receipted to current expense.

Treasurer McCormack asked what the budget process looks like for the board. Does the board wish to meet with departments first. Commissioner Hover thought for the initial budget meetings with departments the board would ask questions to understand what the needs of the department are. Then take another look later in the year to see what the county can afford then give a final allocation to the department to place where needed. Commissioner Branch commented on the combining of BARS lines for like items. Commissioners would like the changes highlighted somehow in the working spreadsheets.

Ms. McCormack discussed the TV District #1 letter regarding the districts inability to work out an affordable resolve with the Tribe on their equipment requests. She received an $8,000 check in the mail for both TV #1 and #2 and so she would like to be at the meeting the board has with the district to discuss how the check would be handled. She explained mortgage companies are adding the TV assessment expense to customers mortgage escrow account and Ms. McCormack has been getting calls from customers of Wells Fargo. She will likely send the check back to the bank once she discusses the issue with them. She is concerned about the financial situation of TV #1. The district indicated they could run until June.

Treasurer McCormack discussed the finance reports she submitted with her agenda. Commissioner Hover discussed revenue that would go into current expense reserve and where those funds can be a cushion for other funds.

The Treasurer stated she is taking over the Revolving fund reconciliations because it has been such a mess. Auditor Thomas stated there are many problems still to be worked through in terms of the fair processes. The bulk of the expenses in September are not reflected in the facilities budget because the information provided is only till the end of August. A supplemental may be needed.

Auditor Thomas explained the state provided some funds for the prepaid ballots but with 50% turn out we have spent half of the $10,000 of state money and what is left won’t cover the primary postage costs, so the commissioners thought drawing up a bill to the state would help. The allocation was based on election turnout of 36%. It is a grant and if the state decides not to allocate we will be left holding the bag stated Ms. Hall. Director Huston thought invoicing the state for the boxes and the prepaid postage be billed.

Update – Public Works – Josh Thomson & Ben Rough

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

Open Position
Mr. Rough provided an update on recruitments and new hires for the various positions in Public Works. He discussed the temporary employee schedule for wintertime. Those will come on around Thanksgiving. What he is doing is within the scope of the budget and what has been done in the past. He explained how many temps are assigned to each area.

Commissioners discussed the Solid Waste tipping fees data of the Colville Confederated Tribe and the different options to be considered regarding the Tribe’s request to be excluded from the tipping fee.

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

Citizens Comment Period
No citizen provided comment during this time.

Discussion –Title III Proposals & Fund Obligation
Kirsten Smith of Conservation District

Ms. Smith introduced her assistant. She further explained the Districts proposal for Title III funds and the highlights. The application was submitted on time in the amount of $105,000.

Commissioner Hover asked what could be reduced on the Conservation District proposal as there is only $105,000 to be obligated. Mr. Smith stated the cost share portion is really important and asked that that part of the proposal not be reduced.

The commissioners discussed providing funds for both the County Wildfire Protection Plan update of Emergency Management as well as the Conservation District for Fire Wise program.

Update –Human Resources/Risk Management
Tanya Craig

Ms. Craig updated the board on the law enforcement training that occurred last week. She said there was good turnout for it. The Risk Pool offered the training for verbal swat. She explained what it entailed. Agencies present were Tribal police, Omak PD and jail and sheriff’s office, WDFW, and State Patrol. They were really happy the county provided the training and would like to participate in the further.

There are several lawsuits she is working on lately. The courthouse and roads union negotiations are scheduled this week.

Ms. Craig and Commissioner Branch has reached out with the cities about the criminal justice billings.

Motion Resolution 94-2018 Extending Help in Assessors Office
Commissioner Hover moved to approve resolution 94-2018 extending help in the assessor’s office. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Public Hearing-Tunk Basin Water Availability
Angie Hubbard, Perry Huston, member of the public George Thornton

The audio recorder was turned on.

Commissioner DeTro opened the hearing up asking for staff report. Director Huston provided his staff report. (attached) Director Huston stated this hearing is to take public testimony on an ordinance that was adopted August 28, 2018. He read the effect of the action as it was shown on the screen. He stated the objectives of the study. This hearing is a procedural requirement.

The options were discussed. They were:
1. Leave the interim controls in place
2. Leave the interim controls in place but adopt additional findings supplementing those identified in ordinance 2018-13.
3. Direct Staff to prepare an ordinance amending/repealing the interim control

The study area was shown on the screen. Upper Tunk, Lower Tunk, and Tamarack Spring basins in WRIA #49 as water availability study areas. The objectives identified and subject to additional refinement, were read from the PowerPoint. A graph was shown of the Tonasket Days below base flow data. In terms of the directive to revise our watershed plan we do need to take it into account. The various flow data of the areas were reviewed.

Nancy Soriano Tunk Valley resident senior water right holder provided her comment. The map shows well how much land is parceled up. All the divided land shows the potential water use. There are around 300 wells and already seeing the impacts to senior water. One particular was to a stock water source. There are over 100 stock water right holders, but any well that is dug since 1994. She dug in 1992 a well on Liter Mountain and dug over 300 feet down and they get a lot of water until this year. This may or may not be evidence of impact but many wells and parceled properties could be developed and was thought impacts would be very evident. Ms. Soriano stated since the 300 wells have been dug it was found there was not enough water to irrigate. She believes there is not enough water to serve all the parcels in the Tunk Valley. The area is super dry. Surface water rights have been curtailed in the past. Since then DOE understands there is continuity of surface water and why the sub basins are so dry. Even though it rains 13-16 inches per year only 2% of that is actually absorbed the rest runs off into the river during spring because the ground is frozen. The impact of 300 wells taking out water and only 2% is being recharged. During the draught all the homesteaders left the valley. This is specifically something a hydrologist understands and recommended. She wants to save and protect the grazing land we have.

George Thornton commented based on a concern about developing a process in WRIA 49. What kind of precedent are the commissioners establishing? Are there other sub basins or specific nonconnected areas and those pose different questions because they are dependent on their own private watershed therefore should take special consideration. He is concerned about establishing this generally or just specific to the Tunk Valley.

Commissioner DeTro closed public testimony and opened up to the board. Commissioner DeTro asked if what George was talking about called vernal pools? Yes. Commissioner DeTro discussed the aspect term in fire or slope-exposure and he could see the stark difference between the aspect that is west and the aspect on the east. Tunk creek lends to aspect of afternoon and evening sun, it is like night and day. He agrees with everyone there are so many anomalies in Okanogan County you only have to go to the Lime belt to see. He discussed the past Tonasket Homestead development proposal was abandoned because there wasn’t enough water. Historical data serves well and show historical water recessions.

Motion Interim Controls
Commissioner Branch moved to leave the interim controls in place. Director Huston asked if the commissioners would consider adopting additional findings? Commissioner DeTro pointed to the empty room with only two folks testifying and no other input from the public recommending specific changes. He was merely posing the question. Commissioner Branch explained the water shed plan did have some findings in it and thought one finding to add would be the 2009 plan that addressed Tunk Valley. Commissioner Hover read from the two findings in ordinance 2018-13 and said he doesn’t know if there are other findings at this time that the board could adopt other than those. Unless there are other findings to adopt that would provide the detail, then he believes this is adequate. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

The audio recorder was turned off.

Commissioner Hover went on a field trip to Tunk Valley with Ms. Soriano to get a firsthand idea of the topography of the valley and discuss the lands that have senior water rights with reduced water availability.

Approve Consent Agenda
Commissioner moved to approve the consent agenda items 2-3 removing item 1. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried. The board needed additional time to review their proceedings.

1. Commissioners Proceedings September 10 & 11, 2018
2. Purchase Authorization-2018/2019 Winter Deicer-Public Works
3. Resolution 93-2018 Cancellation of Outstanding Warrants-Treasurer

The board adjourned at 5:00 p.m.