SEPTEMBER 29, 2020

The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met for a Regular session at 123 5th Avenue North, Okanogan, Washington on September 29, 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.

Update Superior Court-Judge Chris Culp
Judge Culp discussed being compliant with the Therapeutic Court Sales tax requirements. He thanked the board for authorizing the Family dependency treatment staff position as it is a requirement of Therapeutic courts sales tax statute. We are now in full compliance. Commissioner Hover reminded we really need to watch what the state does because state is cutting back funding. Superior Court expects Therapeutic Courts funds to carry over a healthy reserve.

Judge Culp and the commissioners discussed the purchase of a building for the courts and the extra costs to it set up and the possible asbestos mitigation in addition to the costs already incurred to set up the Agriplex due to COVID. The courts would continue to use the Agriplex for at least another 90 days if not longer. Commissioner Branch stated there could be a zoning issue yet to be worked out and additional costs for that. Judge Culp said the Agriplex works fine, but the heating could be an issue since there is only one boiler out of two that is working.

Commissioner Branch thought Coronavirus Relief funds could not reimburse indirect costs such as the boiler repairs. Judge Culp said there is also no hearing devise installed, and noted the issue just came up but was resolved with the postponement of that person’s jury obligation. We cannot exclude the hearing impaired we must try to accommodate them.

Commissioners’ Staff Meeting
Naomie Peasley, Pete Palmer, Maurice Goodall

Director Palmer updated the board on the Special Planning Commission meeting last night as several things were heard such as the rezoned lower Methow, WRIA 49 and Recreation Plan which she will discuss with the board next Monday. She requested the board schedule a Work Session for the Shorelines Master Program Commissioners briefly discussed the process and participation of the program.

Commissioner Hover left the room with Naomie Peasley to inquire whether or not she wished to hear complaints or charges brought against her in open public meeting or in executive session then returned shortly after.

Motion Executive Session RCW 42.30.110 (1)(f)
Commissioner Hover moved to go into executive session at 9:30 a.m. for 20 minutes to discuss complaints brought against a public employee inviting Naomie Peasley. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioners exited executive session was extended at 9:50 a.m. for another five minutes.

Executive session ended at 9:55 decisions were made.

Maurice Goodall joined the meeting.

Commissioners discussed with Ms. Peasley what her capacity was to continue helping the short-term recovery group at the fairgrounds for another 30 days. Ms. Peasley said she can continue to help in the short term and did not have a problem with the use of fairgrounds for another 30-days. Ms. Peasley explained 120 tons hay was donated but still needs to get here. Commissioner Branch discussed keeping track of donation intake and outtake and the requirement of providing accountability for the county. Commissioner Hover would like Ms. Peasley to be the coordinator.

Ms. Peasley said she will use the extra 30 days to administer the rest of the hay and feed to stabilize the ranchers. Mr. Goodall asked if she meant the bigger ranchers or the mom and pop ranchers. Mr. Peasley clarified feed lots are being established for those smaller outfits considered mom and pop ranchers.

Fencing repairs was discussed because people are reaching out to the fairgrounds for that need with supplies and disbursement. Mr. Goodall explained his concern about the decision of who is choosing who gets hay or fencing and who doesn’t, he wants to make sure the county does not get into a predicament. Commissioner Branch would like to define the county’s role in emergencies and who the county will work with. We need to have an established process and plan that integrates known volunteers and who and when we hand it off. If we simply provide land for storage, then we do not get involved with who gets what. The recovery groups have not identified who is in charge overall. Commissioners discussed having the established group take over the administration of the donations sometime in October. The process must be established and put into place before then. We do have frequent fires now and a plan and process should be put into place to guide the county from now on.

Commissioner DeTro explained his concern that FEMA designated the Mill Fire as a wind event and it would affect the FEMA support. Mr. Goodall stated that it would not affect the FEMA assistance. FEMA will still be required to do an inspection. He explained the FEMA verification process.

Mr. Goodall will contact tribe and the short- and long-term recovery groups to meet with the commissioners to discuss who is in charge.

Update Public Works-Engineer Josh Thomson
Mike Worden

Engineer Thomson provided his agenda and discussed the items listed there.

Maintenance and Road Conditions
Bridge deck preservations were discussed. He explained the process and materials used for the decking surfaces.

Cold Springs Fire Damage Estimates
Engineer Thomson explained damage estimates due the Cold Spring Fire as listed on his agenda. Engineer Thomson has had no direct contact with FEMA at this time, but he does have questions when that conversation does happen.

Cameron Lake road and its funding eligibility was discussed. It would not qualify for funding per se. He has turned in damage estimates to DOT. Debris removal and protective measures may be covered.

Engineer Thomson stated Soap lake road is the worst.

Upgrades to communication system functionality was discussed. Mr. Worden explained we can replace the equipment as it was and we can get the level of funding for that clarified. The current communications project would not need to be put on hold. The RFP process for consultant is on course but construction is still out a couple years. Pitcher Mt communication network functionality needs to be addressed. Mr. Worden explained anticipation of adding another repeater while main project gets developed and rolled out. Public Works only uses two repeaters McClure and Tunk Mt. There is a public works Supervisor meeting set for tomorrow and they will discuss Pitcher Mt. Communications in the field still function but office doesn’t. There is zero functional ability in Commissioner District #2 due to Pitcher.

Mr. Worden explained future conversations with other agencies about consolidation of the systems.

Bridge Inspection Month is October
Engineer Thomson will be spending time inspecting bridges in October.
Winthrop Pit Site for Bio Char production wanted to use the winter site for lease. A permit was proposed to be considered for the group to work within the county’s right of way and it was proposed as a one-year permit for their BioChar project and he thought it would be the simplest process for moving forward.

The Board discussed costs associate with Coronavirus and asked Public Works to help prepare an MOU for Public Works to be reimbursed funds.

Public Comment Period
Isabelle Spohn commented on the AV Capture video streaming and asked some questions. Eventually zoom will be phased out once the county able to hold face to face meetings.

Discussion -Courthouse Curvilinear & Gables Project- Russell Holter
Joe Poulin Maintenance

Mr. Holter is a consultant for historical projects and he provided a proposal for the Courthouse scope of work that considers the historic nature of the courthouse that will be part of the DAHP grant. The scope of work is necessary for the project to go out for bids on the construction portion of the project. The courthouse is of Masonry parched in stucco. He believed the courthouse is of Cornish design rather than Spanish design. Commissioners asked questions about their desire for metal gable ends where the gables are now painted red. Coping flashing is appropriate in this application, he would formulate that argument to the DAHP that it would not cause an adverse effect. We would need to be concurrent with the state.

Motion Courthouse Gable and Curvilinear Restoration Project Services
Commissioner Branch moved to accept the Courthouse Gable and Curvilinear Restoration Project Professional Services of Cultural Recognizance in the amount of $9,799.80 and authorized the chairman to sign. Motion was seconded all were in favor motion carried.

The next step will be to develop the scope of work for the bid document. The project construction date is noted to be in June 2021. Mr. Holter will work on developing the full scope of work for construction phase. The DAHP grant is contingent on the Legislators adoption of the 2021-2023 capital budget. It would be helpful for Mr. Holter to come on site to take photos, observe the extent of the damaged masonry and spalling on the structure.

Commissioner Branch stated it was clear the Clerk of the Board was fully capable of handling the project and managing the financials, based on project acceptance by DAHP for grant funding.

Mr. Holter stated he will consult with the DAHP on the project and consult with the governor’s office to ensure the project and grant is in line with the plan articulated. Commissioners thanked Mr. Holter for his time today.

Commissioners discussed the heat boiler for the Agriplex. Mr. Poulin is gathering quotes for the one broken boiler, but would like to keep in mind that we risk losing the old one too and recommended quotes to replace both boilers. Commissioners discussed the cost is due to COVID as the courts wouldn’t have needed the alternative space had it not been for the COVID pandemic. The cost is directly related to COVID in order to provide public safety measures in the Agriplex for the courts.

Motion Employee 2020 Flu Shots
Commissioner Hover moved to approve Flu Shots for employees through the Public Health up to the amount of $7700 and ensure enough budget is in the line item for the cost. Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Approve Commissioners Proceedings September 14, 15, 21, & 22 2020
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the commissioners’ proceedings of September 14, 15, 21, and 22, 2020. Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Approve Consent Agenda
Commissioner Hover moved to approve to approve the consent agenda items 1-2, as presented. Motion was seconded, all were in favor motion carried.
1. Resolution 127-2020 Authorizing Full Time Custodian
2. Resolution 128-2020 Emergency Management Use of Other County Employees

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 $1,509,303.23. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion seconded and carried.

Motion - Postage 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 Postage voucher in the amount of $6,000. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion seconded and carried.

Discussion- Coronavirus Relief Funds Jail-Aaron Culp
Aaron Culp, Tammi Denney, and Mike Worden

Undersheriff Culp proposed purchasing a full body scanner for the Jail. This would allow Jail personnel to maintain social distancing when there is the most risk to staff dealing with inmates coming into the jail. This would allow intake without physical touch. Certain populations require strip searches and some bring things into the jail on a regular basis and the physical search process is the time personnel is most at-risk to exposure to COVID-19 infection. The body scanner eliminates the need for that. Whitman County was approved by their county commissioners and they are in the process of purchasing the equipment. Undersheriff was quoted around $175,000. He did not believe it could be purchased for less. This machine is moveable and on casters without needing recalibration with every move. There is a maintenance contract but cost was not discussed. Undersheriff Culp will check on the maintenance contract costs.

Commissioner DeTro believes the equipment is necessary to keep jail staff safe from infection. The equipment provides another level of security to employees. Commissioner Hover thinks it is an excellent idea but would like to know what the cost of maintenance is. Commissioner Branch agreed with Commissioner Hover on his point.

Undersheriff Culp noted another purchase that may or may not be linked to COVID but is a significant cost. Commissioner Branch stated indirect costs may not be allowed but that is still being reviewed.

Undersheriff Culp updated the board on the Sheriff’s vehicle situation. The 2020 Ford explorer was deemed totaled due to a recent collision and it was a k9 unit and cost $60,000 fully equipped. The other vehicle involved had limited liability insurance. The base cost for replacement is $40,000 but the upfits of the 2020 Ford can be salvaged and used on the replacement. The base vehicle will be sold for salvage.

Commissioner Hover is in favor of purchasing the body scanner as long as the Maintenance costs do not exceed $4,000-6,000 annually.

Motion Purchase of Body Scanner for Jail
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the purchase of the body scanner for use in the jail with Coronavirus Relief funds as long as the annual maintenance of the scanner is not more than $4,000-$6,000 annually. Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Amendment #2 Economic Alliance Coronavirus Relief Funds
Commissioner Branch moved to approve amendment #2 between Economic alliance and Okanogan County for an additional $200,000 making the total amount $557,345 for Coronavirus Relief Funds to be used for eligible businesses affected by the Coronavirus impacts. Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Resolution 128-2020 Budget Amendment Prosecutor and Veterans Budget
Commissioner Branch moved to approve resolution 128-2020 a budget amendment for the Prosecutor’s budget and Veterans Relief fund in the amount of $36,000. Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

The board adjourned at 3:45 p.m.