JUNE 3, 2020

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session at 123 5th Avenue North, Okanogan, Washington on June 3, 2020, with Chairman, Commissioner Jim DeTro; Vice Chairman, Commissioner Chris Branch; and Laleņa Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

Member, Commissioner Andy Hover absent..

Okanogan County Phase II Application
Commissioner DeTro asked if the county had heard if our application was approved. The Clerk of the Board stated she has not been notified. Commissioner Branch said we would not hear from Health about our Phase II application until later today.

Okanogan Community Homeless Shelter-Eric Hein
Okanogan Community Homeless Shelter representative Eric Hein explained a Department of Commerce DRAFT grant opportunity that was in the comment process and comments were due June 4. There is about 40 million dollars available.

The grant background is a result of ESSB 6168 which identified new funding for local governments to increase local shelter capacity. Funds to be awarded for a three year period August 2020 to June 2023.

Commissioner Branch thought this was funding the county could not opt out of administering. However, he was contacted by Chris Johnson, Planner for Okanogan who expressed an interest in a co application to share administration duties.

Mr. Hein explained the Emergency shelter runs in the winter and is operated by volunteers. At his last board meeting they discussed the anticipation that there would be a heavy need for homeless shelters. There are several plans in place for the Okanogan Shelter.

If there is a coordination of County and city plans the grant allows for joint applications as long as the shelter serves the community.

Commissioner Branch explained that Lael Duncan, OCCAC, had previously talked with Commerce about these funds and she indicated the application and administration was complicated. What he got from Ms. Duncan was that there will be a more difficult process to pass the money through. Commissioner Branch said the Shelter Grant Program is in a comment period right now. He thought it best to collectively discuss with the Housing Coalition then we could implement ideas from Eric, Chris Johnson, and others involved. He suggested the coalition come together and invite Eric to look at a strategy to put forth a joint application. Commissioner DeTro said that sounds like a good place to start.

Commissioner Branch said we have an opportunity to do this so we need to work it out with the others and at this point we know Eric is in it.

The board adjourned at 2:00 p.m.