MAY 4, 2020

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session at 123 5th Avenue North, Okanogan, Washington on May 4, 2020, with Chairman, Commissioner Jim DeTro; Vice Chairman, Commissioner Chris Branch; Member, Commissioner Andy Hover and Laleña Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

The audio Zoom meeting was started at 9:00 a.m.

David Gecas, Tanya Craig, Dan Higbee present

The Pledge was recited.

Briefing Among Commissioners Review Agenda, Consent items & Minutes
Commissioners briefed themselves about meetings and discussed resolutions that may need to be rescinded or let to expire.

Commissioner DeTro explained Ferry County was on the list and the rest are rescinding their resolutions. The right on what businesses do is their right. He got as of last Friday is that everyone else will keep the door locked business by appointment practice safety stuff and do a soft opening. Commissioner Branch asked which county’s he spoke to ferry, Franklin, Stevens, Lincoln, and Karen Skoog had contacted all Eastern Counties after that. Commissioner Branch heard from several on Friday and at that time they didn’t know.

Commissioners discussed the resolutions in place due to COVID, they are resolution 50-2020 declaring an emergency, 49-2020 about overnight accommodations.

Commissioner Hover moved to not extend resolution 51-2020 regarding the restrictions on nightly rentals transient accommodations. Motion seconded. Commissioner Hover said his personal opinion is not to extend it, but it is a board decision. Commissioner Branch asked Commissioner Hover what the reason was for not extending the resolution. Commissioner Hover said it is to follow the state order as it was. Commissioner Branch said county commissioners are attempting to satisfy their constituencies concerns over the closures. The state says under their guidance, that businesses violating the rule call a number then get ahold of local law enforcement. There is guidance on enforcement process and how that works. He is thinking about why we are doing all this and one way or the other it is a political statement to take the course of action for our constituents. Commissioner Hover said it isn’t a political statement it is more about certainty and providing that to the people. It is about trying to add certainty and resolution says unless continued. Commissioner Branch said their order is no longer valid and may come in as slightly different. We are dealing with something very real, we have to make a statement sooner or later on social distancing as to whether it is worth doing making a difference. Commissioner Hover said it makes a difference but see in equalities in the way it was carried out and the plan in the beginning for certain businesses to be closed and other not. Those that are open are seeing record sales. Why cannot smaller business do what larger businesses are doing to create social distancing and provide hygiene to those doing business? Why some of these cannot be done in a manner that mirrors what is happening in bigger businesses. Commissioner Branch agrees, but how we deal with that is the hard part. How do commissioners open up the county when they are not the authority that says if operating out of compliance we’ll yank business licenses, but we don’t have any? Commissioner Branch’s thought is enforcement threats to going to jail or writing a ticket, but agrees with the disparity that exists. The second part there are several counties in eastern Washington and everyone talked to the governor’s office and the counties are saying this very thing, and some going further. Water park in Moses Lake, open that? Hair salons. Commissioner DeTro said if big box stores can do it so can the smaller businesses who only serve one or two at a time. Commissioner Branch said Okanogan County has its own issues to deal with. He’d like to see a list of businesses. Many are wondering if they will lose their business license by doing a soft opening recognizing all the safety precautions, they’ll lose it anyway. Commissioner Hover said a lot of people say look to health care officials look to the data, our letter asked for more local control, the data for him of cases how many of those positive cases went to ICU to recover?
Commissioner Branch voted no, Commissioner Hover and DeTro voted yea, motion carried.

Executive Session RCW 42.30.110 (1)(f)
Commissioner Hover moved to go into executive session at 9:30 a.m. for 20 minutes inviting David Gecas and Tanya Craig under RCW 42.30.110 (1)(i) or (f). Commissioner Branch asked if the employee was under the Board’s control, no. The sections were discussed and David Gecas said there was ambiguity on purpose and he believed the RCW covered the purpose. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner DeTro extended executive session at 9:50 a.m. for another 10 minutes.

Executive Session ended at 10:00 a.m.

Commissioner Hover said he heard about some people running their horses on our track and they were talking about stalling them during that time at the fairgrounds in order to exercise them on our track. The fairgrounds fee schedule will be amended.

Dan Higbee explained some are doing 180 days, 90 days, and all seem to be doing a different thing. Commissioner Hover asked what is in code, it is in the policy not the ordinance for fee schedules and approved by the commissioners. The fee schedule shows the time limit and with an extension of 6 months would only help us etc…..

Commissioner Hover moved to direct Dan Higbee to draft a resolution for a temporary extension on building permits as he sees fit. Commissioner Branch asked what that would look like Dan replied that six months would be good and would not break the bank. He thought we would be slammed by inspections and we weren’t. It will allow more time while we are all affected by COVID-19 restrictions but with the climate here there is only a window for construction projects. This would be temporary. However, the resolution would state until whatever date in the future that the permits were obtained from Jan 1 up to this date any current permit not already expired, to be extended 180 days without payment and at such a time as construction restrictions are lifted. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Update Planning & Development-Director Palmer
Director Pete Palmer

Director Palmer discussed the analysis done by Aspect that would need to be in the plan for the WRIA 49 Plan.

Motion Resolution 53-2020 Sole Source ASPECT
Commissioner Hover moved to approve resolution 53-2020 Sole Source Aspect analysis for critical areas ordinance. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Director Palmer discussed the Sateekhwa Park tree trimming. Last year a request for fire adapted Fire Wise management fuels reduction in the park and the park is owned by the county and in order for them to do that they need the county permission. Permits issued through the town of Winthrop and crews covered by L&I for volunteers. Director Palmer discussed the approval and crews are considered employees of DOE and AmeriCorps clause for property damage. She has all the documentation there. Commissioner Hover had no opposition to the project. Commissioner Branch asked if we have obligations to trail system due to being a grant recipient. It was to leverage the work of the property for grants, once that is past, there is no reason to have the property. A resolution is being drafted for approval that recites the arrangement and memorialize the resolution.

Director Palmer updated the board on another land use item and thought an executive session would be the best way to discuss. Commissioner Hover was aware of the situation.

Motion Executive Session RCW 42.30.110(1)(i)
Commissioner Hover moved to go into executive session at 10:40 a.m. for 20 minutes inviting Attorney David Gecas, Risk Manager Tanya Craig, Engineer Josh Thomson, and Director Pete Palmer to discuss legal matters or agency enforcement actions which the county may or may not become a party. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Executive Session ended at 11:00 a.m. no decisions were made.

Discussion Ameresco Proposal- Rob Haneline, Kirsten Wilson
Kurt Lundgren, Rob Haneline Ameresco, Kirsten Wilson, DES, and Joe Poulin

A preliminary cost proposal for the Courthouse Annex HVAC replacement system had previously been submitted for commissioners’ consideration by Ameresco. The group reviewed the proposal and discussed. (attached) The total project estimated cost was proposed at $544,285.66 for VRF system. Joe Poulin has reviewed both the proposals geothermal and VRF. Commissioner Hover asked if the scope of work was the same for both? Ameresco goes into more details but the units are essentially the same. The electrical and ducting are both in there.
Rob Haneline said they are in competition due to the county having another is another proposal

The difference between the two proposals is huge. Commissioner Hover said we are looking at VRF pretty heavily because of the cost difference. Rob Haneline said Ameresco has put a bunch in for other agencies. Commissioner Branch said it has gotten complicated because of the way we approached it. We have two options: One we don’t have to bid through formal process of the state through DES, to use Ameresco or DIVCO. The other one

Rob Haneline reminded about DES has guaranteed energy savings among other things, so costs won’t always be apples to apples and there is no change orders of Ameresco. The numbers are true good numbers and they are motivated to help us. They follow through with their work. Commissioner Branch said whether or not there are grants involved would make a difference. Commissioner Branch asked about the project alternative does it have an energy savings element. Mr. Haneline said the study hasn’t started so Ameresco doesn’t know yet.

Kurt said the VRF has a higher efficiency over regular heat pumps and does meet energy savings. Mr. Haneline said Ameresco could do engineering for both VRG and Geothermal system and for a hybrid.

What was included in the VRF price, was what Commissioner Hover was interested in. It would not be a bad idea to put something out that spells out exactly what we are asking for so those specifics can be bid upon by those responding.

Joe Poulin stated time is critical, so he likes the VRF system. He knows the cost savings will be there due to the current units to be replaced being over 35 years old. The grants are a year or so out and are hard to get and we need to move forward with the project before the weather gets too warm.

When a price was solicited how was the question asked. What were the specs. Joe Poulin explained he knew another system could be used besides the geothermal system. He combined the two systems in order to just replace the outside units. More formalized quotes would now be the next step, said Commissioner Hover.

Mr. Haneline asked would we do a design build strategy or a design, bid, build strategy.

Kurt Lundgren said a system like this requires specific attention, a design consultant would be needed and possibly some added duct work may needed once design is known.

Bid the work in a design bid build fashion or the design build strategy, asked Mr. Haneline.

Commissioners would like more time to look at the proposals and decide which to go forward with. Commissioner Branch said it would be important for the board to consider the process to where we are comparing apples to apples.

Commissioner Hover discussed process for obtaining proposals.

Motion Public Health Voucher
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the Public Health Vouchers including regular vouchers in the amount of $8994.67 and payroll vouchers in the amount of $45142.50. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. 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 $476,171.02 and Payroll vouchers in the amount of $1,072,859.62. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion seconded and carried.

Motion Bid Award County 2020/2021 Legal Newspaper Designation-Omak Chronicle
Commissioner Branch moved to accept the bid proposal of Omak Okanogan County Chronicle for Legal Newspaper as the lowest responsive bid. Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Branch stated he was impressed with the Chronicle in stepping up to consider community in its broadcast last night.

Commissioners considered approving the Consent Agenda today.

Resolution 55-2020 SaTeekhWa Park
Commissioner Hover moved to approve resolution 55-2020 authorizing a resolution to allow fire fuels management on Sa TeekhWa Park Winthrop. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

The board adjourned at 12:30 p.m.