JANUARY 7, 2020

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session at 123 5th Avenue North, Okanogan, Washington on January 7, 2020, with Chairman, Commissioner Jim DeTro; Vice Chairman, Commissioner Chris Branch; Member, Commissioner Andy Hover and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

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

Commissioners’ Staff Meeting
David Gecas, Kelly Ross, Leah McCormack, Cari Hall, Pam Johnson

David Gecas updated the board on several legal matters. Amendment on code section is scheduled for hearing regarding public records requests. Been researching legal matters for several departments.

Kelly Ross said she spoke to Sam Buchert because a High School Rodeo meeting was scheduled this week. He asked about cost for rental of the grounds. It is the Jr. High and High School finals that would take place Saturday and Sunday. The rental price is $1250 per day for the whole north end and they would monitor the entries and camping. Subletting by the vendor was discussed as Commissioner Hover said this package deal would allow that.

There is a quinceañera happening in the Agriplex the same weekend. Ms. Ross said Mr. Buchert said he was alright with it as they are only renting the north end.

Commissioner Hover recommended the fee schedule be amended to allow a community venue. No tractor and no water truck will be needed. He would like to figure out how staff would be able run the tractor and water truck should a vendor be willing to pay the man hours. We do not have additional staff right now for that kind of arrangement.

Auditor Hall explained there wasn’t enough budget left at the end of the year to pay the December Fairgrounds Interfund loan payment to Public Works Solid Waste Closure. The plan was to make the payment in January along with the with interest due. Auditor Hall, doesn’t want the same issue to happen in 2020 where there isn’t enough budget in the end to make the payment in December. Commissioner Hover asked what the fund 028 revenue versus expenses was in 2019. Auditor Hall said she will provide that information later. Because other fund line items went over budget there wasn’t enough bottom line budget to pay the loan payment at the end of the year. The other thing was when the budget was created the Professional Services line did not provide enough budget for the cleaning during the fair. Treasurer McCormack said a conversation happened in September about a supplemental because things looked really tight, but one was not authorized. The loan will be paid off in 2020. There are two payments, one in June and one in December. Commissioner Hover said he would prefer to just pay it off in full in 2020, which would require a budget supplemental. Treasurer McCormack agreed it would be great to pay it off in June. Ms. Johnson explained her concern that it doesn’t look good to miss a payment and then draw it out over six months as it can erode the county’s good credit and good faith. Commissioners need to decide which route to go. Commissioners agreed with Ms. Johnson’s observation. Auditor Hall’s explained her concern about what the State Auditor would say and whether the county would get a finding or a management letter for deviating from the payment plan. Commissioner Hover thought paying the missed December 2019 payment now would be best, then pay the rest of the loan off in June. Commissioner Branch noted that the issue of extending the payment schedule would likely not set well with the Solid Waste Committee. Commissioner DeTro reminded the group that the Solid Waste Committee (SWAC) is an advisory committee to the BOCC.

Ms. Hall explained we currently do not split out the audit costs among the departments and the auditors spend a lot of time at Public Works. Ms. Hall said it is really about our federal finance side and Public Works receives a lot of federal dollars. She explained how those costs could be allocated. Cost would come out of the State Examiner budget which would then be paid back by the department. The auditor uses the county’s SEFA schedule to choose which major programs they will audit and those programs is usually where the findings come from. Commissioner Branch noted that the federal funds often result in a single audit for projects.

Commissioner Hover said he’s been looking into the commissioners travel stipend. It was being based on 20,000 miles per year. For him, if he wanted a county vehicle he would need to take it home and it would be two or three days a week as he would need to travel to work in it. It would cost $1300 per month to rent a truck from ER&R fund.

Commissioner Branch asked Auditor Hall to reach out to Maurice Goodall regarding his pay increase and how that would be handled in the budget.

Joe Poulin explained 15 applicants applied for the custodian position. Many are over qualified. Interviews are scheduled. He would like to request a permanent part time custodian for the complex as one person is not enough to cover all the work.

Mr. Poulin explained the first aid kits should meet a specific schedule in order to keep all the supplies up to date. Fill up the first aid kits using Oxarc because they already do the fire extinguishers annually, then they can also check the kits for expiration and replace as needed. The cost for this will be calculated and provided.

Information and a quote for a centrifugal sand separator was provided that would be used on the irrigation system at the fairgrounds. Mr. Poulin said when we go to the underground system the system will need a sand filter. We do get sand in the system. The commissioners felt the quote was too high. Commissioner Hover agreed that the system needs an irrigation sand filter but he said there are other lower cost systems to explore under $500. Commissioner Branch asked Joe Poulin what made him choose the example he presented and who replied that it was what Washington Tractor offered as an option. Commissioner Hover offered an example he found on the internet and it was decided that Joe Poulin would check into other options.

Dan Higbee said it sounds like interviews are happening at cities, but he assumes the county will continue to cover the building service’s needs. Tonasket was hoping for mid-February. He has money in his budget for a vehicle, and would like approval to purchase.

He has two trucks at 180,000-200,000 miles on them. Commissioner Hover asked him to discuss with the county treasurer beforehand to ensure we do not create a cash issue. It could be three or four months before the invoice needs to be paid. He will do that.

Update Human Resources / Risk Management - Tanya Craig
Ms. Craig explained LOA’s were received regarding union employee groups. A conditional offer letter for Fairgrounds Coordinator position needs to be approved.

The Colville Tribes recently reached out to her for Search and Rescue services as there was a missing person they needed help locating. An agreement is being reviewed by the Business Council.

Ms. Craig asked for direction on the county’s vehicle use policy for those who use county vehicles. The employee would need to claim the fringe benefit so they are taxed on it. Vehicles are used by both emergency first responders and by others who are not first responders. Personal use must be claimed and taxes paid when use is by non-first responders. Emergency Services includes the cost of their vehicle in payroll noting the benefit.

Motion Staff Direction
Commissioner Hover moved to direct Tanya Craig to email all county vehicle users to remind them of the fringe benefit and taxes involved that are the responsibility of the user to pay. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner DeTro noted that there was no agenda for the Department Head Meeting today. He asked what the board wished to discuss. Commissioner Branch suggested each department give a report on their activity, and how the budget process went for them.

The county’s new website vendor options were evaluated. All the offerings were based on costs and services. Commissioner Hover would like to identify which vendor to approve. Commissioner Branch would like to discuss with Human Resources some ideas he has. The company recommended by Central Services provides unlimited data so the county would not need to upgrade its servers to house the information. The program is very user friendly with drag ang drop functions.

Ms. Craig said that Halme Builders have the contracts in hand, once it is returned fully executed then the project may begin.

Motion Methow Valley EMS District
Commissioner Branch moved to adjourn as the BOCC and reconvene as the Methow Valley EMS District. Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner DeTro moved to approve the Voucher certification and authorize the Methow Valley EMS District vouchers to be paid in the amount of $57,550.16. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Branch moved to adjourn as the Methow Valley EMS District and Reconvene as the Oroville Rural EMS District. Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Oroville Rural EMS District
Commissioner Branch moved to adjourn as the BOCC and reconvene as the Oroville Rural EMS District. Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Branch moved to approve the Voucher certification and authorize the Oroville Rural EMS District vouchers to be paid in the amount of $9860. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Branch moved to adjourn as the Oroville Rural EMS District and Reconvene as the BOCC Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Appointment Letter Methow Communications District-Paul Budrow
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the appointment letter of Paul Budrow to the Methow Communications District Board of Directors. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioners discussed the comment letter that was sent to us by Ferry County regarding DFW land acquisitions. It appeared the letter was only signed by Pend Oreille commissioners but at the top, the letter included Okanogan County. Okanogan County did not actually wish to sign onto that letter, but preferred to write its own regarding land acquisitions. Commissioner Hover asked the Clerk of the Board to draft a letter to the Director of DFW regarding the letter Pend Oreille County signed in order to clear up.

Update – Clerks Office – Charleen Grooms
Clerk Groomes said there are 196 boxes that have been scanned with 163 left to do. Commissioner Hover said we need to make sure the obligated funds get reallocated for 2020 because the funds were allocated in 2019 but not spent and may not. Whatever the left over was that much money is put into that budget. A budget supplemental will be necessary to provide budget for the costs. Clerk Groomes will work with the Auditor’s office on it.

Motion Union LOA’s
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the Letters of Agreement between Okanogan County and Teamsters Local Union for Professional Technical/Clerical Unit, Courthouse Unit, and Juvenile Detention Unit. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Update - Public Works – Engineer Josh Thompson

Maintenance & Road Conditions
Engineer Thomson explained an accident happened on a Mineral Hill road over the New Year holiday.

Engineer Thomson explained 8 of 9 windows have been installed at the Public Works Building. The others will be replaced in the future.

Commissioner Hover discussed Public Works not paying any portion of the EDEN costs that they have been paying, but instead will pay for their portion of the audit costs. All other funds will also be required to pay their portion of the audit costs with specific billing out of the real actual audit hours

Appeal for LUPA ended last week with no appeal. The title company will move forward with the document. Several items will move forward on the survey portion of the scope. Commissioner Hover reminded some self-imposed mitigations of the pit, but those did not get into the document, the county intend to abide by those mitigations regardless. He would like him to work with the COB to create a resolution outlining the way it happened and impose of self-mitigation measures with the resolution requiring a public hearing before any County Board can consider rescinding it. Commissioner Branch discussed adoption of the document that holds the most weight whether it is an ordinance or resolution. The resolution would go into the Public Works pit file. Commissioners just want to make sure the mitigation measures the county discussed are memorialized. Commissioner Hover mentioned the public commenter last week who wished to be notified of the resolution to memorialize the mitigation measures of the county. George Thornton suggested a press release, which he said he would influence.

Engineer Thomson discussed a dam that is not well reinforced near Frost Lake. Providing a re-enforcement feasibility study was discussed for the dam.

Statler Bridge Replacement
Doesn’t look like it will be reopened before February so another notice will be needed.

Found that no Apple Maggot operations manual exists yet for these requirements. The cost could be around $14,000.

Purchasing Policy
Purchasing policy has been reviewed by David Gecas. Do we wish to put pre-formatted contracts on the common drive that departments can use on their own? Commissioner Branch discussed reasons for having a contract template available for departments to use. He explained reasons for providing a standardized form that is typically used for most things because then we know our desired provisions are included which is a time saver for the department. Engineer Thomson said the standardized forms would not have the DPA signature line because it is already standardized. He will add some language for the contract review by the attorney.

Place holder type contracts for public work projects that are under $40,000 was discussed and how those could be handled. Commissioners would like to reach out to other counties to learn how they address those types of contracts and whether employees are authorized to sign.

Commissioner Hover left early to travel to Lacey to attend the Wolf Advisory Meeting.

WASCE meeting with DOT
Engineer Thomson will attend the meeting. It is scheduled for April 1.

Motion Approve Letter DFW Land Purchases Ferry County Commissioner Exner
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the letter to Ferry County Commissioner Exner regarding Okanogan County DFW land acquisitions. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Letter CERB –Dept of Commerce
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the letter to Dept of Commerce regarding the CERB cash match the county budgeted. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Resolution 1-2020 Functional Family Therapy Position Reclass
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 1-2020 reclassifying the position of Functional Family Therapy Coordinator. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Resolution 2-2020 Interfund Loan Sheriff Vehicles
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 2-2020 approving an Interfund loan from the Solid Waste Closure Fund for purchase of Sheriff’s Patrol vehicles in the amount of $276,180. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Citizens Comment Period - Call-in 422-7100

George Thornton, member of the public on behalf of a citizen spoke about a meeting scheduled in the commissioners’ conference room with Nicole Kuchenbuch with Congressman Newhouse. The Clerk explained she was told it is a listening session for citizens to discuss topics of interest that would be relayed to Congressman Newhouse by Ms. Kuchenbuch.

Mr. Thornton also commented on the Tribe’s requirement the TV District has an insurance policy for the facility on tribal lands, and the TV District wants a guarantee or to be assured by the tribe that quick access will be given to the site. Also, KSPS will need assurance that they can access the site equipment for district needs. Mr. Thornton will need to express these concerns with the tribe. Commissioner Branch asked how involved the BIA is in these matters. Mr. Thornton replied they are always in the back ground.

Department Head Quarterly Meeting
Commissioner Branch asked that each department give a brief update on how the budget process worked for their department and note any other noteworthy items.

Assessor Larry Gilman gave his update. He said there were no problems with the budget process, but as a new Assessor he didn’t have much past experience to base it on. The real estate market is going up and so is values.

WSU Extension, Kayla Wells-Moses said the budget process went well for her department. The Extension program will survive another year with many of the same programs being offered in 2020.

Auditor Cari Hall said she is new also with 2019 being her first year as auditor. She dealt with the 13 new laws that were put into place that affect her office. There will be two special elections in 2020. The budgeting process this year went really smooth in terms of receiving the budget documentation from departments. The Budget was passed early in December so EDEN gremlins could be sorted out before the new year.

Commissioner DeTro said Ms. Hall is a problem solver, she brings problems to the board but always has a solution by the time she finishes relaying the problem.

Treasurer McCormack explained collection of the new communication sales tax will start April 1 for distribution to the county in June.

Building Official Dan Higbee provided his update stating the budget process went smoothly for him as well. He is hopeful the cities will secure building service staffing in the near future. It will relieve his department when they do. The building department is now within their own fund #423. He will ensure he does not run out of money as his department is supposed to be self-supporting now.

Central Services, Karen Beatty gave her update. The budget process went smoothly for her as well but she was only watching. New staff are learning quickly and being trained to fill the niche when Mr. Rowe retires. She is looking forward to filling the fourth position so we are ready when current staff retires.

Communications Chief Mike Worden gave his communications department update. The Communications sales tax will be around $900,000 even though it is a partial year collection, with $1.4 expected in subsequent years. He is excited about this year. The budget process went really well for him. Dispatch advisory board will be created for a more inclusive model. The program is being reorganized for more inclusiveness by the cities recognizing what the needs are to be addressed. Commissioner thanked Mr. Worden for the hard work he has put into the infrastructure of the county.

Coroner, Dave Rodriguez gave his update. The budget process went well. He had his first full year of operating the county morgue and saved the county a lot of money. We have more options now. About a 15% Increase in number of cases he dealt with in 2019. Commissioners thanked him for his creativity and work.

Commissioner DeTro said from the commissioners’ point of view the budget process work very well thanks to Commissioner Hover. Since he has come on board, we no longer sign the budget resolution December 31. Thanks to Auditor Hall and Commissioner Hover the budget discussions and process went perfectly. Commissioner Branch said another thing being worked on was a new county website.

Public Health, Lauri Jones of discussed four cases of Hepatitis A were identified in the county. She reminded us about prevention measures we should all be doing to prevent contracting this disease and encouraged people to wash their hands often. The virus can live on surfaces a long time. She discussed with Tanya Craig what the county’s disinfection protocol is in the courts when someone may look ill. Are there disinfectant wipes available do custodians wipe everything down. Those who have been identified with it have been contacted. Notices have been provided to the healthcare facilities with public notices going out. Grocery stores should be providing wipes for the carts, if they don’t have the wipes get ahold of the manager. She suggested departments use Clorox disinfectant wipes to wipe down their spaces. Hep A you can be yellow for a couple months before feeling badly. It is a concern.

Emergency Manager Maurice Goodall said the budget went well for him. Overall fires and flooding were minimal. He discussed the ID cards process wrapping up and working through some small issues. The notification system was discussed to incorporate notifications to departments. Be aware of cyber and physical attacks. Tina DeLap is his new assistant.

Risk Manager/Human Resource Director, Tanya Craig discussed the proposed county website options and the recommendation made by Central Services. Eric Fritts reviewed and recommended REVISE based on price and offerings. Several of their sample websites were shown to the group. Users would only be able to access and manipulate their own department’s section without having to call Central Services. Ms. Craig said it will be a very simple and user friendly with drag and drop ease. Right now each office should be editing their current webpage to do away with information that is no longer used. The conversion will take roughly about two months to complete. Worksheets might be helpful to lay out the different layers each department may have. Electronic fillable forms would also be part of the program package and the forms appear to have more options than Seamless Docs like saving a started document that can be finished later.
Commissioner Hover said the County has offered the Planning Director position to an applicant, we are just waiting for the paperwork to be returned.

Maintenance Supervisor, Joe Poulin said the budget process went well for him, but he is always asking for more money. He feels a lot was accomplished at the fairgrounds this year. He is hopeful the community will use it for their events. There are issues with units on top of the courthouse that were put there in the 1970’s. He said we are looking at hooking into the geothermal system for the Annex heating and cooling expansion. The custodian position is currently vacant but interviews are scheduled.

Noxious Weed Manager, Anna Lyon said over all the budget process went well and she appreciates the whole group being involved.

Angela Hubbard said she learned a lot about the budget this year. All things considered things are going well.

Teagan Levine said by the time she started the budget was already pretty much done. She looks forward to being more involved this year.

Josh Thomson said the budget process was great this year and it felt like a team effort and not just commissioners. He thanked the board. Public Works was on the front page of the news a couple times. Overlay on Omak Eastside Riverside road is planned. The Statler bridge replacement is running behind schedule with completion now expected in February.

Sheriff Toney Hawley said being part of the budget process seemed to work well for him and working together on it was appreciated. He can always use more money but the main asks were addressed. Undersheriff Aaron Culp thanked the Treasurer and Auditor for their assistance in dealing with the Sheriff’s young administrative staff. It has been a challenge to understand how existing budgets were used. Toney Hawley said patrol staffing levels are better now than last year with one deputy short in the Sheriff Patrol and corrections and communications down about five.

Treasurer Leah McCormack discussed that 22 County Treasurers across the state had an average collection rate of 95%-99%, with Okanogan County being at 96.1% collection rate. The collection rate for taxes has been no less than 95% since she has worked for the county. (36 years) It was a tough year for her department, but she really appreciated the budget being adopted early. She appreciated the hard work Commissioner Hover put into it. She said the general fund provides for 24 departments, plus it gives money to public health, mental health, veterans, and various other areas.

There are many new faces that will be involved in the budget process this year. She discussed providing training that she felt all departments would enjoy for BARS and budgeting, grant management and various other things. Enough people will need to express an interest.

Commissioner DeTro stated Kinross lost their appeal which could affect Ferry County in a bad way. He said Ferry County is in trouble. If things don’t look up for Ferry County it would become part of either Stevens or Okanogan County. He wanted to make the department heads aware that this could happen. Assessor Gilman explained how the previous Okanogan County Assessor handled Kinross over a ten year period by spreading out property values so we wouldn’t experience the huge loss like Ferry County did.

Discussion – Annual Approval of Appendix A of the MOA-WSU Extension, Kayla Wells-Moses
Ms. Wells-Moses provided the MOA appendix A which is approved annually after the budget is approved. It provides the University Extension the funding in support of the coordinator. A change in the form was discussed as the form now identifies the funds as either Federal Funds or Non-Federal Funds.

Motion 2020 MOA Appendix A-WSU Extension
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the 2020 MOA Appendix A in the amount of $40,942 and authorized the chairman to sign. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Conditional Offer Letter
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the conditional offer letter to Naomie Peasley for the Fairgrounds Coordinator position. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Approve Commissioners’ Proceedings – December 30 and 31, 2019
Commissioners decided to wait to approve the meeting minutes.

Approve Consent Agenda
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the consent agenda items 1-6, as presented. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.
1. Appointment – Steve Kieffer – Noxious Weed Control Board
2. Re-appointment - Jan Asmussen - Noxious Weed Control Board
3. Employment Agreement between Okanogan County and Anna Lyon
4. Employment Agreement between Okanogan County and Maurice Goodall
5. Participation Agreement - United Employees Benefit Trust
6. Maintenance Agreement – Midwest Card & ID Solutions – Salamander Badging System

The board adjourned at 5:00 p.m.