JUNE 15, 2020

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session at 123 5th Avenue North, Okanogan, Washington on June 15, 2020, with Chairman, Commissioner Jim DeTro; Vice Chairman, Commissioner Chris Branch; Member, Commissioner Andy Hover and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

Commissioner DeTro was absent today due to helping a veteran and will be absent tomorrow due to a meeting with the Forest Service Rangers about grazing allotments within his district.

Commissioner Hover explained reconciliation work on Title III. Because the $32,500 was not used by Emergency Management, we are not overspent on title III funds but we are over allocated. He believes we can de-obligate the funds. He recommended the $32,500 be de-obligated from the CWHP then another proposal may be submitted for 2021. There have not been contracts between the county commissioners and Search and Rescue or Emergency Management. Future contracts would be from November 1 through Oct 31. We would obligate only funds that have carried over January 1st and whatever revenue we have so we would know that by the September 30th date and we would never obligate beyond what we actually have. A policy that only allows obligation of money we have should be drafted and a resolution drafted to de-obligate the Emergency Management funds of $32,500.

Commissioner Hover moved to direct the Clerk of the Board to modify our Title III fund policy in a manner that provides more efficiency to the county to be discussed at a future date, to align the contracts with the county budget to be more straightforward so that they are effective November 1 through October 31. 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 $207,781.60 and Payroll vouchers in the amount of $992,145.93. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion seconded and carried.

Motion Public Health Voucher
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the Public Health Vouchers including regular vouchers in the amount of $4,289.82 and payroll vouchers in the amount of $37,463.22. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion – Special Run 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 special run payroll voucher in the amount of $5,681.96. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion seconded and carried.

Discussion Noxious Weed Staffing-Anna Lyon
Ms. Lyon provided an update of the Noxious Weed Dept. They are fully staffed. She would like to make a permanent full time position to open up internally. Janet Nelson and Anna Lyon retired at the end of the year and provide Larry with the staff needed by the time senior management leaves. Would like approval to do that, noxious weed board is great with it and feel the smoother the transition the better overall. Additional grant carryover, would allow less impact, of about $6,000 for medical and dental, other than that there is enough budget and carryover for the expense. She is not pushing to get a raise in her salary and she would rather move on to something else, so Larry would need to take that up when he becomes manager. Her last day is expected around December 31 and a letter would be sent to memorialize. Commissioner Hover asked that she work with HR on the request details the Board can consider.

Ms. Lyon stated the budget is worked out and a supplemental is in the works to allocate the grant money and carryover. Another round of contracts and grants will be received. Title II funding has been settled and finalized for Hoary Alyssum control, Dept. of Ecology, Bureau of Reclamation, Parks & Recreation, and BLM. With the field season approaching and COVID-19, everyone is on edge and very sensitive to site visits. They are proceeding with some of the same issues in the Methow and in Malott where another search and control effort would be done. Much of the spread is through hay fields and equipment. Hoary Alyssum was described. Most of it is in the NE corner of the county from BC and Ferry County in hay equipment. Pushing for growers to control the weed and is what the law is. She cannot get a commercial applicator in to spray, so they are looking at civil infractions as a way to enforce it.

Ms. Lyon stated her department is continuing with its field season with the caveat that civil infractions will be issued for enforcements. She wants to ensure the safety of her staff when contacting people in the field and this enforcement will be an alternative.

Ms. Lyon explained what departmental limitations are being made of her department and what COVID-19 guidelines are being practiced with the customers.

Discussion Superior Court Clerk Staffing-Charleen Groomes
Susan Speiker

Clerk Groomes explained a soon to be vacated position in her office of someone who previously worked for Public Health who would like to go back. She explained he gave his two weeks’ notice, and right now his last day is July 1 or 2 and will be on vacation through July 6. She said since all positions are classified the same, Legal Process II. She would like Tim Hargraves to train a new person before he leaves to go back to Public Health. Right now her budget is at 45% used, and she may have the room to pay out the extra for training. Commissioner Hover stated it has been done before in other departments. He asked that it be worked out with HR, has something worked out for timeline and process, and how we are going to arrange the budget to accommodate two people being paid out of one BARS. Commissioners understand what is to done.

Susan Speiker stated her department is having to go through this process every six or so months because new hires often find better paying jobs elsewhere. She said they move on because the wage is so low for these positions.

Commissioner Hover moved that the Clerk work with HR on the details of the process that would allow two employees to be paid out of the same BARS for training purposes. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner DeTro returned at 1:30 p.m.

Update-Planning Director Pete Palmer
Director “Pete” Stephanie Palmer

Director Palmer provided her agenda and discussed the items listed there.

SaTekhWa Park Winthrop
She followed up on the prior discussion about surplussing the property. Commissioners decided at that time to look at it and discuss with Winthrop to ensure the exchange is proper. The county received the property as a donation was used as a match. Now the Town of Winthrop expressed interest in the exchange for their park.

Discussion included location in relationship to town boundary. Commissioner Branch said he had recently visited the location and spoke to someone who lives near there, noting that Park Village addressing system doesn’t acknowledge those streets that may be private. It would help with look up if GIS could acknowledge. Commissioner Hover said he is fine if the Planning Dept. drafts a resolution, and schedule a hearing. It is a chunk of land that the county doesn’t need to own. He would like to see a letter from the town of Winthrop.

Opening up the Planning office with a notice to the public and encouraging people to call and make an appointment. A sneeze guard will be installed, and when physically meeting with customers wearing a mask.

Recreation Plan Update
Director Palmer explained a committee will be reconstituted of those who previously sat on the committee and anyone new that has an interest. The PUD would like to have a meeting but would like their attorney to be present. Initially Pete thought it would be a meeting with staff but now with attorneys being involved she thought a new direction from the board might be best. The communication started out with staff, but when dates were proposed, they explained they wanted their attorney present and also if commissioners were involved then they too would like their commissioners involved. Commissioner Branch asked if there was an initial process where staff were involved outside the meeting with attorneys and elected officials. Commissioner Branch said if a starter meeting without Mr. Murray would be best initially.

Commissioner Hover said he thought Okanogan County bought the SaTeekhWa Park property for $86,000 after looking at the Assessor’s website and so he would like the county to at least receive that much from it. Commissioner Branch would like that purchase verified. John Sunderlund would be able to provide some additional details for this property as he was involved during that time. There was discussion regarding the need to surplus the property.

Ms. Palmer said Methow Trails submitted a large packet of information regarding the county putting in two vault toilets that would benefit those using the trail at a cost of $21,620 plus engineering $26,762 and Methow trail wants the county to pay for it up front then we would get reimbursed later. The county had discussed before. DeSalvo wants the county to complete, but the info needed is info they have.

There are a series of forms USDA is requiring, so have requested those be filled out first then submitted to the county by James DeSalvo. Commissioner Branch said essentially it would be a pass through in a sense. Commissioner Hover said we would need a budget supplemental. We just want a guarantee they will reimburse the county.

Commissioner Branch noted he was moving back to the previous conversation regarding SaTeekhWa Park and read the RCW 36.33.060 for transfers of property for park and recreation purposes. The use of the property would stay the same suggesting that it may not be necessary to surplus the property and not recover costs.

Aspect Contract
Do we require a document that has everyone’s signature on the same document? No, as long as everyone signs, all signatures can be obtained on separate pages.

Motion Aspect Consulting Contract
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the agreement between Aspect and the county for $60,000 and authorized the Chairman to sign. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Eastlake Shores Long Plat was thought to have been submitted for signature. The Clerk of the Board had discussed prior Develop Agreements and how those were approved via resolution or ordinance depending on if code was changed or not.

The Planning Department Envoy SUV has engine problems after the engine was replaced, noting that there seemed to be something wrong in the front end and the brakes are bad. It is used 1-2 per week. Commissioner Hover said the vehicle should not be used and that it be looked over. He said that when he hears front end and brakes his very concerned about safety.

Commerce Grant Application for $20,000 that is due this Friday and would help include a portion of the comp plan that would address climate change. A member of Winthrop is willing to help draft the grant application. Before that Ms. Palmer relayed some information from Commerce about the adoption of our Critical Areas Ordinance. The update was submitted for a 60 day comment to Commerce and findings of fact were adopted but no indication that board of commissioners’ official adopted it. Right now there is a DOE grant allocated to Public Health but requires compliance with GMA, so one way to motivate us is to let DOE know that we have not yet adopted our Critical Areas Ordinance. She is looking for direction on the CAO and direction on the grant submission this Friday. Commissioner Branch asked for her to follow up on the DOE grant to see if that was related to the Grant/Loan that the county submitted through the Public Health portal to EAGL, which cause some confusion with Ecology as to who the applicant was. He had a conversation with Ecology and the grant/loan application was transferred to the Housing Authority which is within the City of Oroville jurisdiction and therefore falls under their critical areas ordinance which he found was still in compliance at the time. He indicated that he also would follow up.

Commissioner Hover would like to figure out if there are people out there who would help write it and hire it out. We do not have the capacity to draft the application by this Friday. Commissioner Branch pointed out that a contract to that would take even longer. It was acknowledged that the timeframe was too short to apply.

Discussion Provisions for Delegating Signing Authority-Prosecutor Noma
Christa Levine, Tanya Craig

Mr. Noma is here to request a resolution that would grant his administrative assistant to sign more than just timesheets. He needs her to be able to sign grants and reimbursement requests. Commissioner Hover said applying for grants is different than signing for reimbursement. The signature would be needed to submit reimbursements not to apply for them.

Commissioner Hover asked if there were other departments granted this level of authority. No, staff doesn’t sign those. The prior prosecutor was signing those as did the prior Chief prosecuting attorney. The prior staff in the position was authorized to sign timesheets and voucher edit lists.

Administrative assistants don’t normally sign for another elected official usually the deputy or chief does. Chief Deputies in other elected official offices are appropriate persons to sign on behalf of the elected official.

The prior draft resolution submitted included additional signatory authorities that we have not historically been granted to office assistants. WE have no established policy for this. The policy is set by our practices. Commissioner Branch asked what the Auditor had to say about it? That would be important information about where she stands on this.

The reason for the administrative assistant to sign was given. Prosecutor Noma said the prior assistant appeared to have the same authority he is asking for. He stated that he had spoken to the Auditor about this and was provided some information from that office. He is trying to figure out a way to provide authority so he can get his mission done. Commissioners want consistency. Commissioner Branch said the commissioners were unaware of what was happening before in the office. He will reach out to receive the information from the auditor as to any concerns she might have with the arrangement.

Commissioners discussed an executive session to discuss with legal counsel land use matters at around 2:00 p.m. tomorrow and asked the Clerk of the Board to make the arrangement with David Gecas and Pete Palmer.

The Board adjourned at 2:45 p.m.