SEPTEMBER 22, 2020

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met for a Regular session at 123 5th Avenue North, Okanogan, Washington on September 22, 2020, with Chairman, Commissioner Jim DeTro; Vice Chairman, Commissioner Chris Branch; Member, Commissioner Andy Hover; and Clerk of the Board, Laleña Johns, present.

The full detail of the commissioners’ proceedings was captured via AV Capture video and is available to the public on the county’s website.

The pledge of allegiance was recited.

Commissioners’ Staff Meeting
Director of Planning Pete Palmer

Director Palmer stated next week will be really busy with the various plans being presented to the Planning Commission on Monday. She answered some questions of Commissioner Hover regarding the process of review before the planning group then to the Planning Commission and finally to the commissioners for approval.

Commissioners discussed the difficulty of getting the assessment of fire damages such as miles of fence destroyed, acres of grazeland burned and numbers of structures burned.

Commissioners received an email from Laurie Jones explaining a comment about Ruth Bader Ginsburg that was accidently posted on the Public Health Facebook page. The post was meant for her personal Facebook page.

Commissioners discussed the shoreline master program and language regarding access to the shorelines.

Update Risk Manager/Human Resources Director Tanya Craig
Auditor Cari Hall, Lisa Schreckengost

Ms. Craig invited Auditor Hall to discuss Emergency Management using other department’s staff during emergency. Auditor Hall requested guidance from the commissioners regarding emergency management’s use of another department’s employees for the emergency and how it is inhibiting payroll now due to that office not relaying the situation until now. She recommended a section be added within the emergency management budget for the salary costs and professional services so the costs are coming from the appropriate budget. Ms. Craig stated documentation is also needed on the employee’s timesheet to track the special circumstance and the need for a signed note from the employee’s department head that says they agree with their employee to work in another office in this way.

Maurice Goodall was invited to hear the way he is now to process time of employees used for the emergency and how a new section within his budget is to be used. He mentioned using employees on weekends and holidays and use of overtime double time. He explained other bars lines needed within the new section that will ease tracking during an emergency. Use of exempt employees during a holiday or weekend and how those employees are to be paid. Ms. Craig said the commissioners would have to approve whether exempt employees can be paid overtime for this purpose. Ms. Craig explained when someone truly volunteer’s their time to another department and they do like duties it is considered overtime, but if they do different task then what their normal job is then it is different. Commissioners would have to approve the details of when an exempt employee can get extra pay for overtime hours. Auditor Hall recommended a resolution for this as it has been the practice to memorialize situations like this that way. The emergency management assistant position is going to be re-advertised.

Public Health official Laurie Jones joined ZOOM to discuss use of Coronavirus Relief Funds for school testing. She asked the state if they supported school testing and initially said yes, but then backed out of that. She hoped to schedule a discussion with commissioners about Public Health use of the county’s Coronavirus Relief funds for the testing. It was several hundred thousand dollars that would be needed.

Public Hearing Progressive Flats Utility Franchise Public Works JoAnne Stansbury
Engineer Thomson

Commissioner DeTro opened up the public hearing for the Progressive Flats Utility Franchise. Jo Anne Stansbury provided a staff report. Attached. No comments were received in writing. Commissioner DeTro asked for public comment from those on ZOOM and no one commented.

Commissioner DeTro closed the hearing to the public and he opened the hearing up to commissioner discussion.

Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 125-2020 approving the franchise agreement between Okanogan County and Progressive flats. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Bid Opening- 2020 Gravel Crushing or Supply Project Public Works Shasta Stidman
Engineer Thomson

Commissioner DeTro noted the time for receiving bids is now. Two bids were received on time. Commissioner DeTro opened and read the bid response amounts for the record. Engineer Estimate was $605,000.

Engineer Thomson stated this was particular to the Miller Pit.

DeAtley Crushing Company
Total Bid $467,200

Seubert Excavators, Inc
Total Bid $517,115

The apparent low bidder is DeAtley. A copy of the bids was retained for the record. After review of the responses public works will provide a recommendation for commissioner approval.

Update Public Works-Engineer Josh Thomson
Engineer Thomson provided his agenda and discussed the items listed there.

Commissioner Branch stated he redrafted the tipping fee waiver resolution and redefined it. He would like to pull it from the consent agenda for further discussion. He then discussed the changes and why stating it would likely not be ready for approval today. Mr. Kovalenko said a Cameron Lake resident had inquired about dumping relief. Engineer Thomson discussed the specific fires the waiver includes. Mr. Kovalenko said Okanogan County does serve some of the Bridgeport Bar residents and provided a copy of the findings of fact and conditions of the central landfill conditional use permit. Commissioners discussed whether or not the waiver would include waiver of fees for Douglas County residents affected by the Pearl Hill Fire.

Maintenance and Road Conditions
Engineer Thomson stated a BEAR Team is identifying some road issues that may become an issue later on due to recent burn areas. Washburn lake road may have nuisance issues.

Cold Springs Fire
A lot of these area roads are on the top. Soap Lake road was mentioned. The tribe has built up a bank near the lake. Looking at a lot of burned trees to be removed on Cameron Lake road. A preliminary damage report will be turned into Emergency Management. $30,000-40,000 guard rail fix. 35 signs were destroyed, signs to be ordered. He explained we may not see any funds back for those. Commissioner Branch requested those reports.

Bridge Deck Preservation
Winthrop Property Lease
Engineer Thomson explained he discussed the possibility of leasing property for Bio Char but they will still need to follow the rules, a memo to MRSC will be put through for additional advice.

WSACE Transportation Funding Study
Engineer Thomson stated priorities will need to be identified. County engineers would like to start talking about how counties need to be represented during legislative session. Commissioner Branch explained some restrictions for legislative agenda testimony that will happen due to COVID.

Engineer Thomson said the state gas tax has doubled, but the county’s portion increased very little and has been left behind.

Commissioner Hover noted he would not be present for the rest of the day.

Public Comment Period
Isabelle Spohn commented on the county’s community wildfire protection plan. She assumed the four meetings that were noticed in the Methow Valley newspaper were cancelled. She explained concerns that it has not been updated in seven years. She relayed that the Planning Department would be part of the process and the plan incorporated into the Comp Plan. She provided her written comments with the points she addressed. Commissioner Branch tried to address Ms. Spohn questions about its integration. There is a note reference that he read that appeared to be incomplete. There is a draft that is being reviewed in terms of the Shoreline management plan.

Discussion Elections & Elections Costs for 2020-Auditor Cari Hall
Lisa Schreckengost

Auditor Hall followed up with the board to let them know where she is at with regards to her elections budget. The costs are estimated and are best guesses based on previous election years, but sometimes the estimate is off. She provided a $13,000 estimate for the mailing portion and another $10,000 for the ballot portion. Going to a legal size increases the cost to produce and mail. There is also an increase in voter registrations. She has processed over 500 new or modified registrations. She will see how it goes as she could possibly make it up somewhere else. This was her first-time budgeting for a presidential election year and her crystal ball was a little fuzzy. Ballots will be mailed no later than October 16th.

Auditor Hall stated she was asked to testify to the senate elections committee about ballot boxes and the challenges due to Okanogan County being so large. Part-time post offices did not want the boxes on their property, so finding a different location was a challenge. Then collecting the ballots from the boxes stationed around the large county and the costs involved, use of two employees to do the collections. She is tracking the costs involved.

Auditor Hall discussed the disaster recover plan she would come to the VG building. But if there was no power then what. OBHC does have generators and working with them might be considered. Commissioner DeTro said Emergency Management purchased some generators. The Clerk of the Board stated in order for the Courthouse to be powered up infrastructure would need to be improved to be able to do that. Auditor Hall explained use of a small generator for her laptop in order to continue the elections work would be sufficient. Commissioner DeTro mentioned that her office could be retrofitted to allow a generator to operate only her office. One computer that could operate EDEN server for payroll processing would also be great. Recording would also need to be addressed for redundancy requirements. Elections are deemed federal infrastructure.

Public Hearing-Budget Supplemental Appropriation – Planning Dept
Commissioner DeTro opened up the public hearing to staff. Director Pete Palmer provided the supplemental was needed to support the purchase of the self-contained restroom at the Methow Trails. Federal Highways grant will help pay the cost.

Commissioner DeTro closed the hearing to staff opened up to public but no public wished to comment.

Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 122-2020 a budget supplemental appropriation in the amount of $22,065 for the purchase of the vaulted toilet for placement on the Methow Trails. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Public Hearing-Budget Supplemental Appropriation-Fairgrounds
Commissioner DeTro opened up the public hearing to staff. The Clerk of the Board stated the funds were donated by Rotary Club for refurbishing the room dividers at the fairgrounds.

Commissioner DeTro closed the hearing to staff and opened up to public but no public wished to comment then opened up the hearing to commissioner discussion.

Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 123-2020 a budget supplemental appropriation within Current Expense Fairgrounds budget in the amount of $1500. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Public Hearing-Budget Supplemental Appropriation-Sheriff
Commissioner DeTro opened up the public hearing to staff. The Clerk of the Board mentioned that the amount of the Forest Patrol contract is less than the cost to upfit the patrol vehicle.

Commissioner DeTro closed the hearing to staff and opened up to public but no public wished to comment then opened up the hearing to commissioner discussion.

Motion Resolution 124-2020 Budget Supplemental Appropriation
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 124-2020 a budget supplemental appropriation within Current Expense and Sheriff budget in the amount of $12,830. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Approve Commissioners Proceedings September 8, 9, 14, and 15, 2020
Commissioner Branch stated he was not ready to approve the commissioners’ proceedings.

Approve Consent Agenda
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the consent agenda items excluding item number 5. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.
1. Prospectus-County Wide Guardrail Safety Project (2019)-Dept. of Transportation
2. Agreement-Old 97 Verestar to Plata Rd Survey Services-Erlandsen & Associates, Inc
3. Agreement-Dispatch Services-City of Okanogan
4. Agreement-Dispatch Services-City of Tonasket
5. Resolution 121-2020 Waiving Clean-Up Disposal Fees

Commissioner Branch and Commissioner DeTro did not believe a COVID or regular meeting would occur tomorrow.

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 $583,797.54. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion seconded and carried.

Motion Public Health Voucher
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the Public Health Vouchers including regular vouchers in the amount of $23,301.61. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Emergency Manager asked if Community Action Council could park their van at the VG parking lot because it was being messed with at the community action parking lot and he thought it would be safer. The Clerk of the Board mentioned that an MOU would outline that the situation as the county would not be responsible for any damage while its parked at the VG parking lot.

The board adjourned at 4:00 p.m.