MARCH 10, 2020

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session at 123 5th Avenue North, Okanogan, Washington on MARCH 10, 2020, with Chairman, Commissioner Jim DeTro; Vice Chairman, Commissioner Chris Branch; Member, Commissioner Andy Hover and Laleńa Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

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

Commissioners’ Staff Meeting
Naomie Peasley, Pete Palmer

Director Palmer updated the commissioners about the vision for the Planning Department and policies that drive the vision. She explained some tools she will create that will help members move along. Additionally having a facilitator who keeps the meeting moving would really help them out. There are many records of the comp plan and she wondered if there was one person who is has the main version with all the updates in it. She wishes to establish that record put it all together in one place.

Meeting with staff to familiarize with budget, grants, recording, compliance, and understand the duties of each staff, what their needs are to do better or is lacking, and another is learning about the water issues which seem to be very important. Ms. Hubbard will catch her up on those issues, and what is happening with enforcements and what those looked like when we were enforcing rules.

Ms. Peasley updated the board on the FAC meeting last night. They approved the little beef Barn and Mr. Egerton will speak with the super intendents of the large beef barn. Whitney

Motion Little Beef Barn
Commissioner Hover moved to authorize Whitney Wilson to do maintenance on the little beef barn as the FAC wishes. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Painting buildings, superintendents training and judges training to become certified judges, will happen. Fairground request forms have been turned in that need commissioners approval. A plan was discussed that commissioners would need to approve. Commissioner Hover said he has reviewed the requests, some are a lot, some are a little requests, but he would like maintenance to look and prioritize the tasks that we can actually do within budget.

Commissioner Hover asked that the Fair and Fairground Facility contracts be turned into the Clerk of the Board for approval and she would list them on the consent agenda.

Commissioner Hover said he met with Kris Simms and Mike Egerton about a proposal to put in new RV electrical hook ups along the east fence of the southern RV park. Three bids will be obtained on the electrical equipment (16,500) the FAC wants to take $10,000 fair money and put towards the project. He spoke to the Auditor and she said as long as we show the fair is benefiting from what is being done. Ms. Peasley said No volunteer labor was offered. Commissioner Hover said if volunteers could be found to help install.

Ms. Peasley is working with teachers on kids entering school projects in the fair.

David Gecas requested executive session for 20 minutes

Motion Executive Session RCW 42.30.100(1)(i)
Commissioner Hover moved to go into executive session at 9:25 a.m. for 20 minutes inviting Chief Civil Prosecuting Attorney David Gecas to discuss agency litigation or potential litigation to which the agency may be or may become a party and when public knowledge of the discussion could cause an adverse legal consequence to the agency. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Executive session ended at 9:45 a.m. no decisions were made.

Update Risk Management/HR-Tanya Craig

Update - Public Works – Engineer Josh Thomson

Maintenance and Road Conditions
Talking with Omak about city project at the airport. It appears the northern part of Robinson Canyon road is actually the cities. Engineer Thomson is working with the city on the county continuing to plow that portion. Commissioner Branch discussed city of Tonasket economic development and the value the county may see in annexations of roads. Engineer Thomson said there isn’t clear RCW‘s on this matter.

Engineer Thomson will find more information on a solution that is considerate of the OTID concerns that were expressed yesterday by Jay O’Brien. Commissioner Branch said informal things occur that rise to the surface that need to be addressed at some point. The issue began when the county sent OTID a bill on some improvements made due to OTID not locating the districts pipes when requested, which then affected the relationship between the county and the district. Engineer Thomson explained the timeline used by OTID to locate prior to the county road project. Franchise agreements require agencies to do certain things.

Statler Bridge project
Engineer Thomson is concerned about the completion of the project.

There is a well right beside the road that was discussed. Engineer said there was a void around the well that had pulled into the well and was caving the well. A jumper jack fell through the ground into the void. A well driller was called and DOE to help resolve the issue. There are issues below that area, so pea gravel would not have structure, CDF would stick to the pipe and would not be a good solution, and so the only way would be to dig it up, fill it in to the top. Over time the well sediment gets sucked around into the well. The well was apparently used to water orchards so a lot of value was pumped through the well. Ecology may have the well sealed, and they will weigh in whether or not to preserve the well or not. It was a preexisting well problem that was not caused by the county.

Johnson Creek Culvert @ Greenacres Rd Permitting & Schedule
Construction to begin Aug-Sept 2021
Engineer Thomson stated it is a tribal project and they are working on the permitting now. They will be working in the county right of way.

Consent Agenda items were discussed.

Commissioners adjourned for lunch at 11:25 a.m.

Board of Health Meeting-1234 South Second Ave, Okanogan
Commissioners attended the board of health meeting and returned at 3:30 p.m.

The Clerk of the Board presented several items for approval that were outside the consent agenda approval process. She explained the requested consideration.

Commissioner Branch moved to approve the Planning Only Grant CDBG Commerce A19 invoice in the amount of $1,995.04 and authorized the chairman to sign. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Branch moved to approve the Employment agreement between Okanogan County and Stephanie (Pete) Palmer Planning Director. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Hover moved to approve the letter to Forest Supervisor Kristin Bail inviting her to meet with county commissioners. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

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

Motion Methow Valley EMS District
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the Voucher certification and authorize the Methow Valley EMS District vouchers to be paid in the amount of $56,797.83. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

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

Commissioner Hover moved to authorize the Clerk of the Board to pay the late fees and finance charges on the Commissioners’ office VISA bills due to departmental transition of staff. Motion was seconded all were in favor motion carried.

Approve Commissioners Proceedings – February 24, 25 and March 2, 3, 2020
Commissioner Hover moved to approve commissioners’ proceedings of February 24, 25 and March 2, 3, 2020. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Approve Consent Agenda
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the consent agenda items 1-6, as presented. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.
1. CDBG Public Services Grant Req #8 Feb-2019 $7713.72
2. Bid Award 2020 Soil Stabilizer Roadwise Inc.
3. Bid Award 2020 Liquid Asphalt Idaho Asphalt Supply Inc
4. Supplemental Agreement- OCOG Primitive Roads Strategy -Shea, Carr & Jewell, Inc
5. Interlocal Agreement Building Inspection Services-Town of Riverside & Okanogan County
6. Resolution 35-2020 Decreasing Full time Maintenance Custodian Position to Part time

Discussion -Salary Review-Noxious Weed Anna Lyon
Jan Asmussen, Steve Kiefer, Larry Hudson

Commissioners discussed the request of the Noxious Weed Dept. to increase the wage of the Assistant Manager. Commissioner Hover discussed the proposal as it would put the wage over 100% of the comparable counties. The data provided by the department compared the position with the building official. There are the Union contracts to consider too in how we move forward with this position.

Mr. Kiefer said that our noxious weed department has more responsibilities and their work involves more technical ability. The weed board was meant to be equal to the building official by resolution. There are similar ways to look at them as equal. Commissioner Hover explained the responsibilities of the board in this situation and how the authority for weed assessments are considered. Commissioner DeTro assured the group that Commissioner Hover was the lead in dealing with budgets.

Jan Asmussen asked if the assessment was the only consideration commissioners were thinking. Commissioner Hover explained the process to authorize both the wage increase and the weed assessment and the department’s budget. Ms. Lyon said the assessment went up a dollar then a couple years later it went up to four dollars but before that it had not been increased for 20 years. Realistically the assessment needs to be reevaluated more often than every 20 years. Prior to the increase she was thinking about reducing to two employees to handle the whole county. We simply cannot comply with what we need to comply with and so the assessment was increased at that time to provide adequate staff. Okanogan County is a unique county with regards to its weed department. Ms. Asmussen said another $50,000 to $60,000 would be available in October.

Mr. is concerned about the weeds which affect everyone and when we do not have a viable weed department it affects agriculture. The increase will help retain good people to the position and he is strongly behind the wage increase. Ms. Asmussen explained the 100’s of dollars their department brings in from the DNR, BLM, FS, and Aquatic programs and are funds used on the ground to do the weed work.

Commissioner Hover said the question is really about making sure the decision is based on discussion about all the different aspects of the request. It isn’t about taking money it is simply going from $66,000 to $78,000 per year and when you look across the state it is hard. Ms. Lyon said as a contracted department head she wants the salary to be fairly considered like other department heads.

Commissioner Hover explained the four county data salary comparisons that was collected by Tanya Craig. Klickitat County was the highest. He explained his concerns.

Ms. Lyon explained how difficult it is to compare different county weed departments and their staff scope of work or job descriptions.

Mr. Hudson highlighted the tasks that make Okanogan County. Part of three weed management areas, work with agencies, across the border, and adjacent counties which is a bit above and beyond what other counties do. A lot of grant work is being done here and not in other counties such as the aquatics. Ms. Lyon sits on the Invasive species council. Ms. Lyon said she has been in the weed office doing this coordinator position since 2005, but she was staff in the department before that.

Jan Asmussen said the amount of the request is not set, it is up to the board to come to a comfortable number. Commissioner Hover asked if a negotiation of the contract between the staff members and commissioners would be acceptable to come to a number. Mr. Steve and Ms. Asmussen said yes.

Discussion-Follow-Up Land Use-Roger Rylander
This discussion happened Monday, March 9, 2020.

Commissioners reviewed the cap stone project ideas that were developed by the Extension office that are due to WSU by March 16. Commissioner DeTro and Commissioner Hover were comfortable with Commissioner Branch discussing with the Agent which ideas will be given to WSU.

Commissioners reviewed the request for signing authority that was received for Christina Ortiz, juvenile office assistant. Commissioners would like to discuss the request with Dennis Rabidou.

The board adjourned at 5:00 p.m.