JUNE 29, 2020

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session at 123 5th Avenue North, Okanogan, Washington on June 29, 2020, with Chairman, Commissioner Jim DeTro; Vice Chairman, Commissioner Chris Branch; Member, Commissioner Andy Hover and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

Review Commissioners Agenda and Consent Agenda
The Clerk of the Board stated DNR confirmed a meeting with the board for tomorrow at 2:15 p.m. to discuss fire season.

Commissioner DeTro explained that he was in in Idaho last week where the state is open. He said it was a relief not to discuss the COVID-19 every day. He felt like he was coming back to communist Russia when he came back home. The whole group expressed feelings of depression heading home to the COVID.

Commissioner DeTro said a restaurant owner had asked him if customers were required to wear a mask and whether he as a restaurant owner must enforce the mask wearing by his patrons. Commissioner Hover said it is up to the business owners and businesses owners are requiring masks. There has been a spike in cases in the county and many people won’t go into a business if they do not feel safe to do so.

Commissioner Hover explained the FAC is meeting tonight to discuss this year’s Fair, all other county fairs in the state have been cancelled. He said FAC only provides advice on the fair itself and the running the fair. The counties that can apply for Phase IV won’t even be able to hold their fair’s due to COVID-19. Commissioner Hover said the onus should not be put on the FAC to decide, it is up to the commissioners to decide. Commissioner Hover learned that the Para Mutual money the county receives will take a hit. There won’t be any added revenue from the fair if the county cancels the fair. Funds received from fair help operate and maintain the grounds during the rest of the year. Commissioner Hover said auctioneer Larry Campbell provided Laurie Jones a safety plan for holding surplus auctions, so the process for auctioning off fair animals could perhaps utilize the plan.

Commissioner Hover explained someone contacted him about the draft proclamation where the second amendment was mentioned and the person was not happy about that language being in there. The point of the caller was that why would we pit the second amendment against civil rights. He thought the proclamation should not need to speak to one event or one thing. Commissioners reviewed the Proclamation draft together. Commissioner Branch would rather not get into the discussion about minutia. His point was that in drafting the proclamation it was not to be in opposition at all to one or the other, as both exist, and everyone on the streets looks at it a different way. It does exist, the second amendment can be interpreted lots of different ways, but something happened that was really radical in the country, and it troubles people. He recognizes everyone’s rights, to being able to make a statement about stuff, and recognizing people have rights. Commissioner Hover said it is more than just rights it is trying to get out there the recognition to be nice to one another. Treat others like you want to be treated.

Commissioner Branch read from a redraft of the proclamation. Commissioner Hover said deep down all three commissioners believe the same thing and are not racists. Commissioner DeTro said he has several Native Americans and African Americans in his family. Commissioner Hover said it isn’t about who is in your family it is about you individually and how you show respect for others. It has nothing to do with race, it is how you treat people, and it doesn’t matter what race you are. Commissioner Hover was not aware that the draft had been included in the paper. Commissioner Branch noted that he fully read the draft proclamation in a public meeting and the reporter who was attending the virtual meeting asked in “Chat” that he send it to verify that her quote of him was correct. However, the unapproved draft version of the proclamation was in the newspaper. Commissioner Branch pointed out that the reporter was actually writing the language the board discussed in an open public meeting as she was attending the meeting. He wondered if a public record request was actually necessary in such a circumstance when the information was already provided verbally.

Commissioners discussed how the county handles public records requests and how the commissioners should handle requests. The Clerk of the Board stated it is difficult to manage public records requests when staff designated as the public records officer isn’t aware of requests the commissioners receive. She displayed the county’s public records ordinance and commissioners thought it may need to be revised to be more in line with how the county actually handles public records requests.

Briefing Among Commissioners’ – Discuss Individual Weekly Meetings & Schedules
Commissioners discussed their meeting schedules.

Update-Veterans Relief Board-Pam Y Perez—Commissioners’ Hearing Room
This meeting was set as a reoccurring update, but was not attended at the time scheduled.

Discussion GCI Communications Video-Eric Foit
Video production process steps was explained and who we will work with. What does the county wish to highlight and what topics to include. Will send email with contact info.

Up to five videos, one welcome, two education, health services, tourism, fifth either economic development or quality of life.

1st step scripting version James Palmary rough draft script sent within the next 2-3 weeks.

Send links or materials for GCI to look at to get ready for scripts. Once scripts are reviewed get back to James, if there are adjustments needed, work with James on those. Final approval, then scripts will be voiced over and recorded over and situated beforehand. Once laid out, it is the basis and foundation for doing the videos.

2nd step, Shot List script will be used to produce visuals. Shot list t to Lanie about 2-3 weeks prior to shoot. Suggested visuals that coincide with script.

If there are issues with filming, we can provide material footage to help and high definition photos that can be used to incorporate into videos.

3rd video shoot date. From today he likes to schedule about 6-7 weeks out beginning of August and use 2-3 days for filming, back to back shoots.

Eric asked if someone or several people would like to attend the shoots with GCI videographer. Is there someone else in mind the commissioners would like to enlist to attend? A few locations would help as well and would make it easier to have a guide person. Enlist folks to go to shoots once the topics are selected. It will depend on what is to be highlighted will give a better idea of what locations will be needed.

Commissioner Hover reminded that Okanogan County is very large. GCI understands and they have done large counties before. That is why footage we already have could be used. OCTC the county’s DMO, may have footage to share.

If people speak on camera, they do ask that a release form be signed, which gives GCI permission.

4th step, video editing timeline does vary, somewhere between 5-9 weeks after the shoot is complete. Editor goes through all the materials, and once ready it will be forwarded the edits video proof to review before finalization. Provide feedback about images and video, make adjustments or changes on all five videos. Once we are happy and finally approved, then they will be ready to link up to our website. Casey will help with set up on our end.

Eric went through the five highlights to focus on and asked questions to gather some details about each to focus on. Education 8-9 school districts, Wenatchee Valley College North,

Contact the schools to see if any have high ranking test scores, sports, prominent programs etc… shoot an email to Eric, call and ask.

Health services- four hospital districts, do any provide a specialty care services, Mental Health organization OBHC.

Tourism, what are the popular destinations, OCTC has a lot of information, Commissioners suggested sorting through there. Pateros is the gateway to a couple scenic byways within the county giving the option to explore both valleys of Methow Valley to North Cascades and Okanogan Valley up to Canada.

The video press release was discussed. A template script will be sent, similar to the business letter to post on the website to promote. A video press release would provide information to the public of what it talks about. Approve the video press release.

Follow up Phone Call GCI Communications Nicole Hunt GCI
Maurice Goodall, plus the virtual attendees. Nicole Hunt vice president of GCI Communications From upstate New York

Ms. Hunt provided her back ground noting she has been with GCI for 17 years. She covered what to expect with GCI and business sponsorships. The letter of introduction and video press release as it really answered a lot of questions that business have.

List of businesses who we want to represent our community in the video sponsorships.

Movement towards working to be resilient to unexpected circumstances and be able to survive those events such as fires. We have fire season coming up and businesses work hard to plan to survive those events. They do have some stories.

Look forward to getting started in the next 2-3 weeks.

Update-Planning Director Pete Palmer
Josh Thomson

Ms. Palmer provided the commissioners and the Clerk an agenda and documents for her discussion.

Ms. Palmer stated she invited Josh Thomson to discuss the trail.

Commissioner Hover moved to approve the letter of support to the City of Omak for an RCO grant for a skate Park. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Ms. Palmer said the well tracking scope of work is not ready for approval but would like the commissioners to review it. The program is being reviewed to ensure it is compatible.

Critical Areas ordinance changes that were presented in 2012. The reasons it was not brought forward again was because it was shared with the board at the time and they decided not to act on it due to litigation and comprehensive plan adoption. There was no action January 17, 2016 when it was last presented to the board.

Pete asked for direction as to when to bring it up again, after the comp plan is adopted or when. Commissioner Hover stated because of the shorelines management and this has an overlap and we have current shoreline program, we need to look for consistency and legal review on the CAO because he was looking at the setbacks as opposed to shoreline and they are different, so he would like to see a consistency review.

Commissioner Branch moved to check the draft critical areas ordinance for consistency with the shorelines master program. Director Palmer then asked about legal Review in house or out? Motion seconded

Commissioner Branch moved that the plan be reviewed by a land use attorney. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried. Commissioner Branch asked that the cost be provided to the board for this. Commissioner Hover stated there was funding in the reserve account for special planning costs.

SaTeekhWa Park: Reached out to Mayor for something in writing to relay their interest in the park.

Met with Methow Advisory Group via zoom, Jon Haynes provided lots of information on the trail easements. The county Value for the matching grant was the only monetary consideration.

Mr. Beck keeps calling about marijuana farms going in on either side. Walked his property and took note the fenced areas on southern farm that was not permitted yet but have not done anything that would trigger the need for a permit. They were contacted, met with Andres and he will provide a tour of the grow. After meeting with the committee to come up with regulations, and agreed on the process they feel another layer was added by Perry after that. For marijuana farm they can do everything, clear the land, put up the fence, construct huts for water control, not triggered for permitting until a building goes up then triggers SEPA and site analysis, so the only time adjacent owners could comment is at the SEPA process and only allowed to comment on the environmental aspects of the grow. Mr. Beck is upset, and she wanted to give the commissioners a heads up. The water rights were explored of the marijuana operation to understand both sides of the farm so that the county might provide additional information about their findings.

Legislation has proposed changes. Issues with concentrated areas within residential areas, and she was told there was no ability without a data base. Three data bases were necessary.

Address referenced on WSLCB notice isn’t an address that has been set up and is causing problems with E911. A parcel number will be requested on the notice. Issuing licenses for property without the land owner even knowing. There are over 400 farms and 14 retail shops in Okanogan County. Some are not licensed operations. The information in the WSLCB data base has the actual site address listed for that operation. The majority of the notices we are getting are operations that are moving from the west side over to here. The more we learn about it the more we learn about areas that should be regulated more. Director Palmer would like to revisit the process and rules. They are largely inadequate. The commissioners discussed moratorium until rules can be sorted out. There are many people concerned about the placement of the operations within residential areas. Commissioner Branch thought coordination with the state on the Suites and may have a problem as the county isn’t involved with approving those. How many farms can fit on one parcel? There should be a specific amount of required spacing between farms. Commissioner Hover would like to know what that is between the fenced areas of each grow operation. Director Palmer said many think once they have their state license they don’t need anything from the county. Commissioner Hover explained there is the check and balance. Director Palmer stated when Gebbers put in their last orchard in Brewster, the county doesn’t have a grading and clearing ordinance and they were moving mountains. She is concerned about what will happen when neighbors see whole hillsides being flattened and irrigated and planted with no regulation in place to mitigate.

Commissioner Branch discussed binding site plans to partition a portion of the land out for leasing, but not subdivided, so there is a process to doing that. There could be a missing element to the marijuana operations regulation that would provide guidelines on multiple leases on one parcel with more than one person.

Director Palmer explained she did some reaching out to the Department of Defense about the agreement. This would be a good fit here because only two airports went through a process to be included in the county’s zoning ordinance, so that work could be completed using the grant funds. She thought we would need to look at those areas for things such as lighting, communication outreach with public about fly zones, realtors would need to disclose the fly zone and its rules to potential buyers, look into a joint land use plan that would be a long term plan used by the military and the county that would regulate the fly zone areas. The other thing that would be needed in the comp plan is a consultation section to ensure we are doing things that are compatible with the Military fly zones and provide coordination among the agencies. Director Palmer said she is doing research to find out what that is. She will reach out to Military and provide our draft comp plan and prepare for the consultation.

Commissioner Branch asked about the connection between the county plans and military so land use activities are be compatible with those uses.

Motion Executive Session RCW 42.30.110 (1)(i)
Commissioner Hover moved to go into executive session at 2:20 for 10 minutes inviting David Gecas and Pete Palmer to discuss legal matters to which the county may be or become a party and when public knowledge could result in an adverse legal or financial consequence to the agency. Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Executive session ended at 2:30 p.m. no decisions were made.

Discussion-Department of Archeological Preservation Grant Application-Chris Moore
Commissioners Hover asked about maintenance and deterioration of historical buildings and what other materials could be substituted. Mr. Moore replied with what options we have to provide a different material and reasons for using it. Some cases rehabilitation using historical features and the grant helps offset the higher costs of the more preservation procedures.

Mr. Moore went over the program particulars and where the grant funds are intended to go. There are other programs that can play into it because there is a match requirement. So if upgrades do not fit under the grant those could be paid by match dollars.
Courthouse safety was discussed. Single point entry. The proposal was on West side off the annex.

Architect fees cannot be included to be grant funded but could be part of our match. Evaluation criteria of the program application was discussed and what features and level of need that would be covered by the work.

Minimum county match is 25% of the total amount requested so if request is $100,000 the match would be $25,000.

If county has expended capital funds between now and January 2021 and are capital projects could count towards a match. If county upgrades HVAC system to annex those dollars could be used as match. Progress and project payment can be allowed in certain circumstances.

Standards of review were discussed.
5-year rehab consultation requirement will need to be in place to require consultation with DAHP on any future capital projects for the building.

Motion Proclamation Denouncing Racism and Excessive Force
Commissioner Hover moved to sign the County Commissioners Proclamation denouncing racism and excessive force. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried. Submit as a news release

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

Commissioner Hover moved to approve the Voucher certification and authorize the Tonasket EMS District vouchers to be paid in the amount of $21,700 to Life Line for February Services. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

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

Review Meeting Minutes
Commissioners reviewed their meeting minutes.

The board adjourned at 3:45 p.m.