JUNE 23, 2020

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session at 123 5th Avenue North, Okanogan, Washington on June 23, 2020, with Vice Chairman, Commissioner Chris Branch; Member, Commissioner Andy Hover and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

Chairman, Commissioner Jim DeTro absent due to personal business.

The pledge was recited.

Commissioners’ Staff Meeting
Naomie Peasley, David Gecas, Joe Poulin, Kyle Haugen, Pete Palmer

Commissioner Branch stated the Governor’s Order having to do with board meetings, is still in effect which says municipalities are not to hold physical meetings.

David Gecas, Chief Civil Deputy provided his update and discussed confidential matters he is working on, and comments received from FutureWise regarding Ordinance 2020-3 water study areas in Tunk Valley, but that is about it. He stated our Risk Pool Attorney will discuss ordinance 2020-4.

Mr. Haugen asked if a decision was made about the fairgrounds south end. Commissioner Hover said he just looked at the area, and asked what it would cost to truck the ecology blocks to the fairgrounds. The quotes were obtained for the blocks but quotes did not include cost to haul them. Bids were gathered from concrete businesses, the lowest quote was located the furthest away so cost to haul should be considered in the total cost. Quotes should include hauling. Commissioner Branch asked if quotes were obtained from Osoyoos. Commissioner He did not realize there was a concrete company in Osoyoos, but prefers quotes be obtained from companies within Okanogan County. However, he noted that one of the quotes was from Chelan County.

Ms. Peasley stated the superior court project was discussed.

Commissioner Hover stated he obtained bids for the sound barrier baffles. Prices to install were obtained, 26 companies were contacted, one bid has been received, and more are expected. She is trying to get bids but most are busy. Superior Court is having an open house from 9-12 for people to see what is being done. The commissioners believe both the Agriplex and another building will be needed for the whole process.

A budget adjustment is being drafted for the internet costs which will be moved from the fairgrounds assistant bars line. $3,000 installation, additional $105 per month after that and will speed up the fairgrounds internet. Commissioner Branch asked if the internet system would be sole source. Is approval needed to move the internet project forward? Ms. Peasley said she obtained permission last week from the board to go forward. Wireless is already available to campers and it is working.

FAC meeting on June 29. Updated timeline from Public Health on what it looks like for phase IV. Subcommittee meeting tonight to discuss options if phase IV is not achieved.

Joe Poulin updated the board on courthouse maintenance. He’s was over on the fairgrounds spraying for weeds last week. Working on gathering the Capital Assets and small and attractive inventories. There are many items for the fairgrounds that will need to be listed.

Ms. Palmer let the board know that the Planning Commission meeting was successful. She and Angie will be working to compile all the info into the next draft. The next meeting the four alternatives will be reviewed and discussed. Commissioner Hover asked if a technical writer review it as well as our attorney. He did not have anyone in mind for that task. Commissioner Branch thought about the cost and necessity. If it were a regulation then maybe. He thought it would better if Commissioner Hover read it. Commissioner Hover clarified that he thought grammar and document formatting would be important. Commissioner Branch stated a technical writer should have knowledge in order to provide clarity. Both Commissioners agreed that it go through legal review rather that technical writer review. Land use attorneys will be contacted. Ms. Palmer said there are several weeks needed before the document will be ready for legal review, so there is time to secure someone for that purpose.

Commissioner Branch discussed the need for the county commissioners to remain consistent in meeting with the public remotely. Commissioner Hover stated the hearing room is large enough to accommodate folks safely. He interpreted that county business could be conducted by the commissioners for those items that are essential and routine. Commissioners reviewed the Governor’s Proclamations. Commissioner Branch was receiving comments from individuals interested in physically attending meetings, but knew that the Governor’s restrictions on physical meetings was still in place until July 1, 2020.

Update-Human Resources/Risk Management-Tanya Craig
Ms. Craig provided her update. She stated there would be seven vacancies in the jail for correction officer. HR has been working with Chief Correction deputy as there are some conditional offers that are pending, and if they go through there would be two vacancies. There seems to be a bigger candidate pool this time due to many losing jobs elsewhere. She is also gearing up for negotiations soon. Commissioner Branch asked if the impact was due to not enough corrections officers was offset by reduced numbers in the jail. Ms. Craig replied there is not an employee to inmate ratio to consider, so the staff was still needed. Was there overtime during the time period when there was reduced numbers?

Ms. Craig said she discussed with county deputy Treasurer on the county’s revenue forcast. A message to DOR has been sent to try and get a better idea of when things will get back to some sort of normal. Commissioner Hover asked if Okanogan County is in line with the state in terms of revenue. Many small businesses were not open and were severely impacted, but the big stores have been busier than usual due to other businesses were closed. Many who were home were doing home projects.

Notice from the state on the Defense Improvements Grant that is now 30 pages long is now online and ready to complete. It is online this year. Commissioner Hover asked that Therapeutic Courts receive the necessary information needed in order to increase the portion for defense. Commissioners would like that budget bumped for next year and for the justification documentation be provided to the STOC. It is important to bring it home that the county provides funding for therapeutic courts, for OBHC programs through partnerships and coordination among those involved.

Commissioner Branch asked Ms. Craig how the county requests special council from Risk Pool as the county has a need for legal review of the comments on the comp plan to make comparisons between the documents. Mark Johnson has been involved with the county land use rules and is familiar.

The Clerk of the Board discussed the CDBG Commerce Grant for the Oroville Sewer Project. The final environmental review documents are completed. There was a problem with the original review as HUD forms were used instead of the required Commerce forms, so the review had to redone on the proper forms. The following are the remaining documents to be approved for the review. She also explained the Grant contract between the county and Commerce is ready for signature.

Bid Opening-2020 Landfill Crush-Public Works
Shasta Stidman, Kent Kovalenko, Bidder???

Commissioner Branch stated the time for receiving bids for the Landfill Crush projects is here. Two bids were received.

Commissioner Branch opened and read from the bid to see if all boxes were checked

Versatile Industries Ione, WA
Lump sum $509,599.00 based on quantity with sales tax being verified by Public Works. The specs are different so sales tax isn’t added into the bid, stated Engineer Thomson.

Commissioner Branch opened and read from the bid to see if all boxes were checked.

Seibert Cottonwood ID
Lump sum $352,846.00
The bids will be reviewed by Public Works and a recommendation will be formed for later approval.

Engineer estimate was $383,500.

Update-Public Works – Engineer Josh Thomson
Kent Kovalenko

Characterization study
The last characterization study was done in 2012 for the landfill. This will be done in August. It will give us an idea of what is going into the garbage. It will take about two days to complete the sort. The information will be skewed due to COVID-19 and with some businesses not generating garbage. Mr. Kovalenko explained the conversation about timing and the best time to conduct such as sort and not skew the information.

Air quality grant review with a kick off in April, but with COVID it will be in October. Ecology pays for the green waste chipping costs that will save customers. This is for the Methow area within the Apple Maggot quarantine area. Commissioner Hover asked how much of the material will be chipped, about 30 tons and will be used as medium for steam container then mix with green waste to make it more arid so it penetrates more evenly. That will be used for landfill cover. If someone can take the green waste over there, as someone uses them to fill in the tire tracks of pivots. Kent said a secondary use would save the costs of hauling. It isn’t yard waste, the problem is that we are not testing it, and not sure if seeds are being destroyed, not testing for salt, fecal, or other stuff to say it is a clean product. Ideally it would be great if people could take it and use it on their garden, but with no testing, there could be negative impacts to those who use it. It is uncertain whether the steam process would destroy any pesticides in the waste.

Employee Status
Will be fully staffed.

Internet Speed at the Central Landfill
Mr. Kovalenko stated the internet speed is so bad now with COVID, that information isn’t even being uploaded to the server. He had two emails that took way too long, so he has to go to main public works office to email. He said he got ahold of NCI to bring fiber to the landfill then he found out they could upgrade. So, they will be up today to do that. It would cost $22,000+ to bring fiber to the landfill. He isn’t pushing more than 500 people through there, but lack of internet quality when you need it does impact business. Commissioner Hover thought if Communications and Central Landfill both had a need that would addressed by providing fiber to the land fill then he is for exploring that. Engineer Thomson thought Mr. Worden was looking at tying into the nearest fiber location which is at public works to bring the fiber to the Sheriff’s Range. Mr. Kovalenko said the scale has cloud-based software and with the internet being less than normal it isn’t working well.

Maintenance and Road Conditions
Gearing up for chip seal in July

Truck #16 Surplus Request to Sign title
The title for the truck should be signed today so the buyer

Motion Authorize Signature on Title for Public Works Truck #16
Commissioner Hover moved to authorize the vice-chair Commissioner Chris Branch to sign the title certificate for the Ford F150 pickup #16 VIN which was previously surplussed by the board to be sold at online public sale auction which ends this week. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Road Projects
These are funded road projects

Statler Bridge Replacement project
Open, but contract remains open till reseeded.

Omak-Riverside Eastside Rd
Finished paving yesterday and will stripe and be finished. Rough going across bridge.

County Wide Guardrail Safety Project
Federally funded project for next spring.

Old 97 Driskell to Verestar
Reconstruction project RAP and STP funds with no match for construction phase as long as obligated by April

Park City Loop Rd Bridge B-4
The unique things is we do not have any match for these projects

Speed Limit and Striping Study
This is federally funded safety project and will look at roads for the guidelines as to which to focus on and which to delay and will be based on classification. Speed limits on different classifications of roads will be reviewed. There is money to strip 40 miles and about 30-40 signs so will be looking at segments for that.

Salmon Cr Rd Drainage
Less than a mile from the bridge and looking at a 30 foot structure and where the water comes over the roadway.

Cameron Lake Rd
Waiting to meet with Tribes on this project. We would need to acquire land to relocate the road on. How many allotees are there? He met with them over a year ago to initially talk about the plan but now more details are needed. This is RAP funded in 2023.

Old 97 MP 4.15-5.35
Additional RAP funding was applied for various portions of Old 97 but won’t know until next year.

The items listed on the consent agenda were discussed and questions asked.

A supplemental appropriation was submitted for Liberty Woodlands Sewer. A public hearing will be scheduled accordingly.

Commissioner Hover asked whether we manage the different sewers in the county. If the county had some funds in a general water and sewer fund to move the homes and systems away from the road. Some cabins are close and some nearer the road, said Engineer Thomson. Commissioner Hover thought what was meant was to move only the sewer systems and not the cabins. Engineer Thomson thought there were about 30 tanks involved.

Engineer Thomson explained Cascade Fisheries is doing a lot of work in Okanogan County and have asked about office space that they could rent for four desks. They are not a government agency, so he is working through David Gecas to see how leasing to them could happen. It was thought the ad process would need to be fair for everyone and advertised. There is also the COVID-19 rules to be complied with. Engineer Thomson explained the rules are not very detailed about county’s leasing county owned property to another for profit business.

Commissioner Hover called as he was running 10 minutes late

Citizens Comment Period
Isabelle Spohn commented regarding the comp plan comments the county received from the Farm Bureau at the end of January that were submitted late to the planning department then passed on to the Planning Commission and was accepted, but no notice to the public that comment period was open. Ms. Spohn asked if that will that be done. Commissioner Branch said he had not yet spoken to Planning Dept. about the time lines for those. Ms. Spohn said she was at the meeting last night, but her concern is that those documents were not properly submitted and may have been outside the process. Commissioner Branch recognized what she is saying about continuing to take input. He said he would need to look into it. Comments on the scoping was a little convoluted, said Commissioner Branch. Commissioner Hover thought a public hearing would be held for the adoption. Ms. Spohn said the reason was because the board had previously discussed today the comp plan being looked over by an attorney. Commissioner Branch will look into the reason those were taken in, and look into a remedy.

Ms. Spohn asked what the status was on the Proclamation and whether the board would wait until Commissioner Jim DeTro was present. Commissioner Branch and Commissioner Hover would like Commissioner to review and sign it. Commissioner Hover said the proclamation is the commissioner saying how they should act and he feels strongly that all three commissioners sign it. If he isn’t back next Monday, Commissioner Branch and Hover will take another look at it.

Department Head Quarterly Meeting
Judge Culp, Engineer Thomson, Pete Palmer, Aaron Culp, Tanya Craig, Joe Poulin, Maurice Goodall, Tammi Denney

Commissioner Branch thought the department head meeting would provide departments an opportunity to update the commissioners on their departments.

Josh Thomson started out with internet access at the landfill and is very spotty. He knows that communications was looking into connecting the range to fiber. The two projects would be good to pursue. Mike Worden stated yes, he was looking into an access site. It is worth investigating the access point, and has already discussed. There are some parallel needs and so will see how those work out. The Land fil is open at normal hours with a lot of cleaning, but public works offices have been closed to the public but has worked out well for both the public and the office. Very few people actually need to make an appointment.

The Statler Bridge finally opened up on Salmon creek. Omak Riverside Eastside road overlay will be finished today. July 6 chip seal will begin starting in Loomis/Oroville area and ending in the Methow area at the end of July. Information will be released the week before on a weekly basis to state what is going on.

Commissioner Hover asked about the Miller Pit purchase status. Engineer Thomson said because of the COVID we were not able to proceed as planned. Rock should be available by April of next year.

Judge Culp reported that the presiding judge is in the Jail Courtroom right now so Judge Culp is covering for him. June 18 the Washington Supreme Court ordered that jury trial resume. Dennis Rabidou has been on this issue for weeks looking for potential options. The Agriplex was one venue large enough, but if the Agriplex became necessary for Emergency Management things would need to be shut down. He is expecting the microphones as the last piece needed.

Commissioner Hover stated more than five people would be gathering to attend jury selection. Judge Culp said balancing constitutional rights of a speedy trial and the safety of the public. He invited the board to an open house. About half of the Agriplex will be used in order to provide proper social distancing. Jury summons provides awareness. The Judge wants them to feel safe. Jury duty is essential and we cannot do jury trial without people. He gave a shout out to Central Services and Naomie Peasley for their efforts and cooperation. The Agriplex is not a permanent solution. There is already a shortage of courtrooms, so the Forest Service building could accommodate a number of things. Judge Culp stated there is also the Fund 160 money that can help.

Calendars were reduced drastically when COVID started, but now things are getting back to normal with staff returning to work.

Tanya Craig updated the board that it is not required to take people’s temperature, but for those departments that are, those are medical records and those departments were requested to reach out either Shelley or Tanya.

Ms. Craig stated there have been claims submitted due to road work, but those claims were not due to our crew or project. We are gearing up to ensure safety of our workers and public. Working with Central Services to develop a more comprehensive computer use policy as our current version was written in 1999 and it needs to be updated. Cyber security is a real issue and will need to be addressed as well.

Ms. Craig explained union negotiations will begin soon. Engineer Thomson explained working remotely people are effective and some wish to have employees work more from home and many are through the end of the year. They find it worked well. We tried it but we did not have much luck. Does the board want to consider this further? Commissioner Hover said it would put certain people at a big disadvantage as some may not be afforded same opportunity. The cost to provide the equipment is not feasible. Commissioner Branch said there is opportunities there, he found he is working more hours due to working from home. There may be some exceptions to look at. We get used to doing things the same way, but keeping the conversation open is good.

Mike Worden provided his update on dispatch center. Sales tax is starting to come in and on track compared to the Juvenile tax. There are a number of factor that will or may impact us. Writing a RFP for consultant to guide the design, construction RFP and is expected to take a couple years. Currently working on the budget for the Fund 161 and is roughed out and will be reviewed by the dispatch advisory board. Those are proceeding. There are challenges to the Range building being a backup site. Commissioner Hover asked if 024 will transition to 162 and the county will be billed its portion of the cost for dispatching.

COVID sickness in the center is one disaster as well as other areas of failure, how do we construct the backup site or enhance the multiple issues that happen without using a lot of resources. The connectivity to the site addresses some mechanisms of failure, sow working on those issues.

Mr. Worden said the radio network is IT, and switches are in the process of replacing those but as on issue is addressed others show up and it impacts dispatching. We would own the wireless end points. Reliability is required.

Tammi Denney updated the board on the Jail. They are doing the best they can to ensure safety. So far so good with no cases in the jail. There are several vacancies in the jail that will take time before those officers will be able to attend academy. There are two hired, two have conditional offers, and two other opening, one resignation, and one with a future start date. She is back to having only five.

Aaron Culp said Civil Service and HR are doing a great job. He has been working hard on the jail restrictions and balance the safety concerns of the courts to ensure no overloading in certain places. The Jail obtained a new transport van and is getting outfitted. The cooperative chain is not back into action, but a meeting is slated it is about a month or so out. Working hard with CPTS and through Family Health and Opioid reduction grant they were able to get an agreement together and will start providing NARCAN to those transitioning from the jail in an effort to stem some of the issues in the community. There are some other opportunities to work with the community. Solutions to crisis response where we dispatch law enforcement to where it might not be appropriate because it is a mental health issue. Would like to create some other solutions and is an important topic in light of what is happening nationally. Moving towards creating more scrutiny on how the Sheriff is doing business with the community.

Aaron Culp followed up on the fleet discussion. The Sheriff will set up a future meeting to discuss those needs with the commissioners. Commissioner Hover stated a company provided a spreadsheet to show costs for leasing a fleet. Additional vehicles for other departments and Sheriff Administration would be included in the spreadsheet. A future discussion with departments will be set once all the information is in hand. Commissioner Branch said there have been meetings the Sheriff has been invited to about racism and defunding police, and he doesn’t want our system to get lost in the national picture, he is glad to see the department involved in that. Aaron Culp understands the needed consideration between the departments involved.

Maurice Goodall said he did not have anything to update.

Joe Poulin stated his department is fully staffed. The new cooling system should be done by the end of August for the eight units serving the Courthouse Annex. Until the new system is in place the Assessor, Treasurer, Central Services, and Superior Court will be a bit warm. The units have been in place since the 1970’s and have been babied along. Mr. Poulin is hoping to have the system up in two weeks and completed by end of August.

The Agriplex cooling will be provided by Superior Court via swamp coolers. The sound baffling is going to be critical as the Agriplex was built for a different purpose.

Pete Palmer, was introduced as the County’s new Planning Director. Ms. Palmer said it has been a lot of learning and getting on board. They are open to the public with about 5-8 people coming into the office but encouraging appointments, a sneeze shield is up, and area sanitized frequently. She discussed the critical areas being worked on to bring back to the table for commissioners review.

Enloe dam meeting with PUD will be held at the staff level. Ramped up enforcements and will be working with Sheriff Office on those.

Public Hearing Water Availability Study Area Tunk WRIA 49-Pete Palmer
Commissioner Branch opened up the hearing for interim land use controls in the Tunk Valley area. He asked for the staff report.

Director of Planning and Development Pete Palmer read from her staff report for the OCC 17A.400 water availability study areas in Upper Tunk, Lower Tunk, Tamarack Springs. Attached. On June 2, 2020, the BOCC adopted Ordinance 2020-003 which amended OCC 17A.400.130 by designating the Upper Tunk, Lower Tunk, and Tamarack Spring basins in WRIA #49 as water availability study areas. Ms. Palmer read the objectives and the BOCC options. A comment was received from FutureWise and several others which were submitted for the record.

Commissioner Branch explained how the comments would be taken.

See attached verbatim transcript for the full transcribed meeting proceedings. (Verbatim Transcript of Public Hearing by Johanna Peterson)

Motion Continued Public Hearing July 20, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.
Commissioner Hover moved to keep public comment open and to continue the public hearing on Ordinance 2020-003 which amended OCC 17A.400.130 by designating the Upper Tunk, Lower Tunk, and Tamarack Spring basins in WRIA #49 as water availability study areas to July 20 at 2:00 p.m. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Hover explained there is a complication with the county’s public hearing comment process. He would prefer that the Planning Department be sent the comments, that the Planning Department compile the comments for submittal to the BOCC prior to the hearing. He recommended that Planning then incorporate the comments in to their staff report for the hearing.

The commissioners discussed setting a due date for receiving comments before the hearing. Comments should be due prior to the public hearing and be sent to the planning department which that way the comments can inform the staff report. The commissioners would prefer the staff report to include the comments and to be submitted to the board the Friday before the hearing.

Commissioner Branch agreed and said that is the protocol he is used to from his past work as well, and has observed that the Planning Department hasn’t always had that same process in place. He also noted that unique conditions including the recent realization that the interim regulation process needed to be addressed which resulted in a timeline that did not lend itself well to the process.

Assessor Larry Gilman asked to discuss his staffing promotion situation with the board.

Larry Gilman commented that sales values are being affected by available water. There have been two appeals in the past and two current from the Methow valley and it is a hard issue.

Approve Commissioner Proceedings
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the meeting minutes of July 15, 16 and 17, 2020. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Consent Agenda
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the consent agenda items 1-8, as presented. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

1. Appointment Letter- LTAC Cyndi Thomson
2. Appointment Letter- FAC Lori Caswel
3. Appointment Letter- FAC Carol Sivak
4. Contract - Reimbursable Road Work- Town of Conconully-Public Works
5. Contract- Reimbursable Road Work City of Brewster -Public Works
6. Agreement- Homeless Housing Funds OCCAC
7. Resolution 76-2020 Amended Fairgrounds Fee Schedule
8. Resolution 77-2020 Eastlake Shores Long Plat 2019-1 Development Agreement

Motion Form 6-G NEPA Determination-CDBG Grant Oroville Housing Authority
Commissioner Hover moved and authorized Commissioner Branch to sign Form 6-G NEPA Determination-CDBG Grant Oroville Housing Authority Sewer Project. Motion was seconded, all were in favor motion carried.

Motion Form 6-J NEPA Concurrent Notice-CDBG Grant Oroville Housing Authority
Commissioner Hover moved and authorized Commissioner Branch to sign Form 6-J NEPA Concurrent Notice-CDBG Grant Oroville Housing Authority. Motion was seconded, all were in favor motion carried.

Motion CDBG GP Grant #19-62210-036 -CDBG Grant Oroville Housing Authority
Commissioner Hover moved and authorized Commissioner Branch to sign CDBG GP Grant #19-62210-036 -CDBG Grant Oroville Housing Authority. Motion was seconded, all were in favor motion carried.

Commissioner Hover moved to approve the May 21, 2020 meeting minutes. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioners worked out a process for how and who will receive Public hearing comments ahead of a public hearing that has to do with Planning and land use codes.

The Clerk of the Board discussed a communication she received from Omak Fire Chief Kevin Bowling from the Fire District Chiefs who are recommending the county place a burn ban on all the incorporated areas of the county to be effective July 1, 2020 and to remove language about the “Valley Fire Danger Rating Area” and to leave the reference about fire blight in the draft to be considered by commissioners.

Commissioner Hover moved to direct staff to draft a resolution to place a burn ban on all incorporated areas of the county to be effective July 1. 2020. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion – Special 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 voucher in the amount of $66,890.26. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion seconded and carried.

The board adjourned at 4:10 p.m.