Record of the Proceedings

Okanogan County

August 24, 2020

Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session at 123 5th Avenue North, Okanogan, Washington on August, 24 2020, with Chairman, Commissioner Jim DeTro; Vice Chairman, Commissioner Chris Branch; Member, Commissioner Andy and LaleŮa Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

Review Commissioners Agenda and Consent Agenda
Emergency Management Maurice Goodall provided an update of the Palmer fire and showed maps of the fire as it is around 18,000 acres. There were houses lost and some outbuildings. He thought they were hunting sheds. He is working with the Red Cross who is assisting those affected. However, there is no shelter available due to COVID.

State Mobilization was done as it was very close to the district. The fire is being paid for by federal dollars. Fire camps are spaced out, wash stations, and everyone is spaced out appropriately, chow line is handled much different with proper physical distancing.

Commissioner Branch asked is the National Guard is present. Mr. Goodall stated there are two National Guard Helicopters fighting the fire they are H60ís. There is a lot of heavy aircraft stationed at the Omak airport. There was a problem with enough available fuel, but that has been addressed. The many California fires have been pulling resources too. Pulling water is being addressed cautiously, but there is a lot of water up there. It is not known yet what the cause was. It is being investigated by the agencies. Videos and photos are posted to the EM Facebook.

Executive Session RCW 42.30.110 (1)(f) Commissioners Conference Room
Commissioner Hover moved to go into executive session at 9:30 a.m. for 30 minutes inviting Risk Manager Tanya Craig to discuss RCW 42.30.110 (1)(f). Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioners exited executive session at 10:00 a.m. and went into a short recess.

Briefing Among Commissionersí Ė Discuss Individual Weekly Meetings
Commissioner Hover asked if this agenda item could be moved up to 10:30 a.m. Commissioner Branch said the water law seminar is on line this week starting Wednesday and he may be interrupted for commissioners meeting. Commissioners discussed the Planning Commission and different groups representing the water planning unit. There is diversity on the Planning Commission that represents the diversity of the county said, Commissioner Hover. They have been working on a document that is legally efficient. He felt that heís being pinned for the Comp Plan not moving forward a s quickly. Commissioner Branch said he is as responsible for the delay as anyone, as there were a lot of issues and those got turned over to the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Hover stated there are also two sub area plans that are within the comp plan that wonít be getting changed. Commissioner Branch said the comp plan should reference to that as one of the problems is that is kept referring to codes that exist. Acknowledging the sub area plans and reference to other areas that need sub area plans should put us on notice that these are separate planning efforts that should happen in future update activity.

Commissioner Branch asked if Commissioner Hover agrees on the facilitation of commissioner strategic planning being done by someone other than planning staff. Commissioner Branch said it isnít always going to be the Planning Director who facilitates and suggested Commissioner Hover for planning on next yearís focus.

Discussion-COVID Relief Funds Use Report-Commissioners & Clerk of the Board
The Clerk of the Board discussed the various COVID grants she is responsible for and this CDBG-CV is a new one. She asked the board for direction as she did not want to let anyone down being overwhelmed with a full workload. Commissioner Branch stated the governorís office is just letting the governments know about these funds.

Commissioner Branch noted we as a BOCC have things coming from all directions. We need to make sure that we maintain a certain promise about all this. If something comes through and we only have a few days to deal with it we have to realize there isnít staff to cover those responsibilities. Business retention, business regeneration, in the mode of triage as a result of the climate we are dealing with and election and that craziness. We need to make sure our staff doesnít get overwhelmed.

The City of Brewster in writing has asked to join the countyís consortium for CDBG CV1 funds. Commissioner Branch did not think the County wanted to administer the funds to the city.

Commissioners asked that we contact the cities to learn the participation level. Commissioner Branch suggested Community Action as they have the ability to determine eligibility for LMI and administers most of our CDBG activity.

The Clerk of the Board also discussed the additional applications for Coronavirus Relief funds through Economic Alliance that totals $571,000.

OCCAC Lael Duncan was reached and Commissioner Branch explained the CDBG CV-1 funds and the overview provided by Commerce. Use must occur between March 27, 2020 to June 2022. Ms. Duncan stated emergency housing may be able to utilize the funds as the food program is pretty set. She had hoped the businesses could use the funds through Economic Alliance as many are low and moderate income. The county is providing funds to EA of its Coronavirus funds for businesses.

Funds were sent back by OCCAC as it was too difficult to get those out. Almost $450,000 was sent back due to requirements for land lords that complicated getting the funds out. They are trying to assist rather than work over the landlords. The funds are almost too onerous for the cities to bother with. Lael is in favor of taking it but would like to run it by leadership team. A public service announcement could be used for timeís sake.

Discussion-Budget Preparation, Hearing Dates, & Procedure-Clerk of the Board
The Clerk asked which date the commissioners wished to consider for th Budget Hearing the first week in October or the first week in December. Commissioner Hover stated we have been using the alternative date in December and would like to use that date again this year. Commissioner Branch was in favor of using the alternative date as well.

Adjourned at 12:20 p.m. until 1:30 p.m.

Commissioner DeTro returned at 1:30 p.m. from the Palmer Fire meeting. He updated the other commissioners on the situation. He explained the county EM department coordinate with the commissioners but the FMAG is a whole other criterion. It has improved but it still isnít quite there yet. Come up with the criteria for alert system, something for the staging, there is a solution. This discussion is about the employment of local private contractors over outsiders. Commissioner Hover said once those guys were on, coming up on their rotation they wouldnít rotate in again and they would use others. Commissioner DeTro talked with them about mop up, get the expensive guys gone. Commissioners do not want to hamstring their ability

Update-Planning Director Pete Palmer
Director Palmer explained a resolution was created that authorizes a designee to sign the Methow Trails toilet grant documents.

Planning staff is using their personal vehicles to do their planning work. Commissioner Hover suggested she contact Jerry Paul, Public Works Fleet manager and Engineer Josh Thomson to see what kind of state contract a vehicle could be purchased from and the cost for one vehicle.

The Similkameen Trail Use Report was provided. The County Recreation Plan was discussed. A SEPA comment period would be needed and then the Planning Commission would review and then provide recommendation. If no changes from the reviewed document then it would go to public hearing before the commissioners. Right now, it is a stand-alone plan and referenced in the Comp Plan. It could be incorporated if the board so directs. Commissioner Branch said it could be an element of the plan as part of the context of the plan as an attachment it would referenced and separate.

The Pros and Cons were discussed of both it being an element and/or an attachment. Commissioner Branch said it didnít matter. Director Palmer said if incorporated into an element it could be condensed and as an attachment they could put the whole plan in there. Commissioner Branch said it should be a stand-alone document and doesnít want to complicate the comp plan that is currently being worked on. He likes consistency, since we are deeply into and have an EIS on the comp plan, he doesnít want to complicate that. It could also hold up the adoption of the Recreation Plan as there are many relying on its updated version to be adopted. Commissioner Hover recommended getting the SEPA notice out. We would need an RFP for maintenance contract to use LTAC dollars for the contract for trails owned by the county. If the county is spending money on the Methow Trails for trail improvements then the Similkameen trail is certainly just as qualified. Director Palmer said use of RCO funds are based on the plan, so it is important for those applying for those grant funds to have it updated.

SEPA on the zoning map will be published too.

The comp plan is in its final stages. It has doubled its size when all comments from the different agencies, lawsuits dissections were incorporated into the plan. Tonight, that draft will be presented to the Planning Commission and they will look at the meat of the plan to ensure it meets their satisfaction. Supplemental to the EIS will be considered. Then will look for some legal interpretation to hammer that out. Planning Commission will be asked to look for ideas for alternatives and hopefully September early October put that out again. There is one thing, staff is so short so interruptions are frequent in the office. Director Palmer proposed taking a couple days off site for her and Planner Hubbard to get it finalized without interruptions.

Director Palmer stated eight laptops were set up for the WRIA 49 meeting and they chose to go to another location due to having to wear masks.

Motion Resolution 105-2020 Authorizations for Designee
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 105-2020 authorizing the BOCC Chairman as designee to sign the Methow Vaulted toilet grant documents. Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner DeTro signed the County letter to the State Auditorís office of the General Representations of the county.