The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session at 123 5th Avenue North, Okanogan, Washington on September 8, 2020, with Chairman, Commissioner Jim DeTro; Vice Chairman, Commissioner Chris Branch; and Clerk of the Board, Laleña Johns, present.

Member, Commissioner Andy absent.

Okanogan County Declared a state of Emergency due to the fires in Okanogan County. Their agenda was limited due to power, phones and internet outages across the county. Emergency powers granted RCW 36.40.180 and RCW 38.52.070.

AV Capture video was turned on and the county commissioners meeting was video streamed and video recorded, but due to hearing room phone issues, ZOOM was not able to be activated for public participation.

Motion Resolution 118-2020 Declaration of Emergency Due to Fires
Commissioner Hover moved to approve resolution 118-2020 a declaration of emergency due to fires burning in Okanogan County. Motion was seconded, all were in favor motion carried.

Commissioners cancelled the following scheduled meetings and updated the online agenda to reflect the cancellations.

CANCELLED Discussion Law Library Issue-Dennis Rabidou
CANCELLED Commissioners’ Staff Meeting
CANCELLED Update-OBHC Quarterly Update Bill Snyder & OBHC Board Chair
CANCELLED Update County Auditor Cari Hall
CANCELLED Update Public Works Engineer Josh Thomson
CANCELLED Update Risk Manager/Human Resources Director Tanya Craig

Emergency Manager Maurice Goodall updated the commissioners on the active fire of Cold Springs burning in the Cameron Lake area in the southeast portion of the county and another fire that appeared to have been a rekindling of a previous fire near the Omak Mill. The fire grew tremendously due to high winds. Power outages across the county affected internet and cell services in most communities. The radio station of KOMW was down as well. Mr. Goodall explained his communication ability as dependent on internet and cell services and has posed a challenge. He explained the outlying borders of the fire. There are an unknown number of structures lost, and many families evacuated in Okanogan, Douglas, and Chelan Counties. Public Health has been in contact with hospitals, but hospitals have limited communications. A Type III team has been activated as well as FMAG. Community Action and Red Cross have been contacted and are actively involved with providing help to evacuees and those burned out. Smoke is thick and hazardous, but winds have died down.

Commissioners discussed the need for each department head to have a hard key to the building and to their offices because when the power is out a key is their only access to the building. The Clerk of the Board will ensure adequate keys are provided.

Sheriff Hawley provided his update. Highway 97 is closed at Brewster north with traffic rerouted onto Old 97. Deputies worked with State Patrol to evacuate and notify people in the areas of Monse and Malott. Many structures did not make it, although many did. Communications are being addressed as best as possible. E911 systems diverted to Rivercom but they are dealing with their own issues. Resources are limited such as fuel.

Assessor Larry Gilman, Auditor Cari Hall, and Treasurer Leah McCormack explained services impacted by the downed systems and requested the Commissioners allow admin leave to employees sent home. There is an issue with the Courthouse not having a generator to run Communications, Central Services and other essential offices during a power outage.

Commissioner Branch moved to allow department heads to close their department due to the emergency and limited office systems requiring internet services. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Resolution 119-2020 Office Closure
Commissioner Hover moved to approve resolution 119-2020 allowing offices to close during the fire emergency and allowing employees affected to use Admin leave. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioners discussed moving county business to continue on Wednesday beginning at 1:30 p.m.

Commissioners continued the Board of Health meeting from today to September 15 at 1:30 p.m. after consulting with Public Health official Laurie Jones.

The Clerk of the Board continued the Public Hearing on a Budget Supplemental Appropriation in the amount of $33,187 to Wednesday, September 9 at 1:30 p.m.

The Clerk of the Board continued the Public Hearing for CDBG CV-1 Funds Application to Wednesday, September 9 at 1:35 p. and notified Lael Duncan of OCCAC about the date and time of the continued hearing.

To be continued Approve Commissioners Proceedings August 10,11,17,18,24 & 25, 2020
To be continued Approve Consent Agenda Items

The board adjourned at 10:25 p.m.