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County Court minutes 10-22-14

Published on October 30, 2014 9:30AM


Access the court’s weekly Agenda and approved Minutes on the Commissioners page at www.gcoregonlive2.com.

OCTOBER 22, 2014

Pursuant to notice made to the newspaper of general circulation throughout Grant County, the radio station, county website, and e-mail distribution list, a regular meeting of the County Court was held at the County Courthouse in Canyon City OR.

9:00 am -- Call to Order. Present were Judge Scott W. Myers, Commissioners Boyd Britton and Chris B. Labhart, Secretary Mary Ferrioli, and Wes Aasness. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States flag. The invocation was given by Wes Aasness.

CLAIMS. The court had reviewed and approved claims and Extension Warrant Nos. 222 - 232. Tagged claims were a conflict of interest for Boyd Britton Welding / $255.00 to remove the old jail door and the airport’ late VISA claim of $107.26 to Bank of Eastern Oregon.

AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to accept the agenda with discussion about holding a joint meeting with the Forest Service and Public Access Board.

9:10 am – Larry Blasing and Jim Sproul entered


Labhart attended the Oregon Rural Health Conference in Sunriver last week. Monday he had an EOCCO Board meeting then a local CAC meeting on Tuesday. Tomorrow Labhart meets with the Senior Citizens Advisory Council; next Monday he’ll attend a Blue Mountain Hospital Compliance meeting. Labhart will be out of state to visit family the first week of November.

Britton thanked the Chamber of Commerce, specifically Jerry and Marsha Franklin, for putting the 150th Anniversary celebration together, Also, Dennis and Julie Reynolds and others who did a good job in Canyon City this Sunday. He attended the Blue Mountain Forest Partners general meeting last Thursday. Friday he met with Susan Jane Brown of the Western Environmental Law Center and Congressman Peter DeFazio’s Policy Advisor Franz Joseph to talk about biomass. Monday he attended Congressman Greg Walden’s Forestry Summit with Umatilla County Commissioners, Regional Forester Jim Pena, and many others. Britton attended a Grant County Farm Bureau meeting to discuss the trich Ordinance. Yesterday he attended a Blue Mountain Forest Partners and High Desert collaborative with Regional Forester Pena.

Myers met with Red Cross rep Karen Parmelee last Friday about a potential MOU around emergency response. He attended the county’s 150th Anniversary Sunday in Canyon City. He recognized the good work of a lot of dedicated people who put on a well-attended and memorable celebration. Yesterday Myers chaired the Northeast Oregon Housing Authority board meeting in La Grande. The jail tour will be at 10:45 am and contract negotiations with Pinnacle Architecture will begin at 1:30 pm for the Elevator Project. Myers has a wedding ceremony to perform at 4:00 pm today. He said he and Treasurer Kathy Smith are continuing to seek guidance from other counties about Human Resources positions, and discussing potential office space. There was discussion about how the county handled HR in the past, and how important it is to have a qualified individual in place to handle this full time responsibility. Britton suggested that we seek the advice of labor attorney and Senior HR consultant Trent Whitford.

9:20 am -- Kathy Smith entered

MINUTES. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to approve the October 15 minutes with a minor change.

BUDGET HEARING. At 9:22 am the court held a Supplemental Budget Hearing to consider proposed changes to the Sheriff Patrols Fund to include $100,000.00 in additional revenue expected to be received from road blocks provided for the Forest Service during recent fires. Expense lines were allocated as $30,000.00 to Personnel & Services, $20,000.00 to Materials & Services and $50,000.00 to Capital Outlay. Budget Officer Kathy Smith was present and had provided the budget resolution for signature. She noted that these funds could be used to offset the cost to operate the Sheriff’s department. Myers recited the resolution in its entirety. No public comment was offered and the hearing was closed. MSP: Labhart/Myers -- to adopt Resolution 14-37 for the Sheriff’s Patrol Fund.

HOWELL PIT. Court members reviewed and signed a 5-year Rock Quarry Lease and Mining Agreement with Art Ragsdale with an annual lease payment of $1,500 beginning May 2015. The court had asked that the lease term be reduced from 20 to 5 years. MSP: Myers/Britton-- to circulate for signature the Rock Quarry Lease and Mining Agreement with Art Ragsdale for the Howell Pit as presented.

HAND CHECK. The court reviewed and approved a hand check signed by Judge Myers on October 16 to Doubletree Hotel for $1,038.23 for the Veteran Service Officer’s previously approved attendance at the ODVA Conference in Portland. MSP: Myers-- to approve the hand check on Bob Munchausen’s behalf for the ODVA Conference at the Doubletree Hotel in Portland for $1,038.23.

JOINT MEETING ON PUBLIC ACCESS. Myers recommended that court members put together a short list of what we expect for joint meetings with the Forest Service and Public Access Board. The court looked at available dates and a preferred time to meet with the Forest Service and the Public Access Board. Myers has suggested that each entity come up with a possible scenario on how to move forward so that can be brought to the joint meeting. The meeting’s purpose is to establish guidelines on how things will work and how the committee addresses issues with the Forest Service and the Court, and vise-versa. Labhart suggested a Work Session (with no public comment) at the airport on October 28 or 29 at 6:30 pm. Myers agreed to ask about the availability of the airport and the parties on October 28 (preferred).

9:40 am -- Patrick Bentz and Kathy Smith entered

AIRPORT FUEL DISPENSER. Airport Manager Patrick Bentz presented bids received to purchase and install a new 100LL Jet-A fuel dispenser. He explained that last spring the dispenser’s leak detector was failing to reset so the system defaulted to “slow flow.” After two weeks and five visits from fuel repair companies the system was working properly. But, now the aviation community is aware the fuel system is unreliable and fuel sales are being lost because of it. Scope of Work includes cost and labor for the dispenser, replacement of the existing piping from the turbine to the dispenser, installation of the sumps below the new dispenser, and a new activation switch for the dispenser -- all according to DEQ requirements using a state-certified supplier list. Cost estimates were received from Central Service Inc. in Bend (including electrical) @ $24,897.14 and Pacific Environmental Services Co. in Airway Heights WA (including electrical) @ $41.674.00 plus sales tax and permits. The quote from Eastern Oregon Petroleum in Pendleton @ $15,730.00 plus or minus 15% does not include the dispenser, but they’ve been asked for that cost. Bentz said Central Service said they could complete the project by the end of November; Pacific Environmental could not start until next spring. He noted that carry-over funds from last fiscal year are on hand to pay for the project which he’d like to have completed by Thanksgiving. He recommended Central Service in Bend based on experience with the company’s quick, reliable response to previous problems. He planned to send the required 30 day notice to DEQ as soon as a contractor is selected. Treasurer Kathy Smith said, even though approximately $25,000.00 was carried over and fuel revenue was received this year, she didn’t think the airport can afford the upgrade this year and still operate within their income. She suggested taking this project expense out of Courthouse Reserve which has $671,000.00 at this time. Other discussion followed about the airport’s fuel sales profit and plans to market the airport’s new fuel dispenser once it is installed.

MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to approve an award to Central Services Inc. with the expense coming from the Courthouse Reserve Fund suggested by the Treasurer. Britton asked for the Airport Commission’s recommendation on this project. Bentz felt the Commission would agree with his recommendation since it’s their first priority. Myers agreed. Britton questioned Bentz about his previous request to contact local providers Ed Staub & Sons and Triangle Oil. It was noted that DEQ requires using state-certified suppliers. The question was called; Britton voted no.

Bentz reported the Forest Service has agreed we could use their portion of the training room rent to upgrade the teleconference system in the conference room. Bentz said the system does not allow conversations to be heard by those who attend by phone.

PUBLIC COMMENT. Public Forest Commissioner Larry Blasing provided a copy of the Commission’s October 15, 2014 letter to Regional Forester Jim Pena requesting a totally new planning staff be assigned to formulate new plans on individual forests. Blasing talked about his impression of the Forestry Summit which he recently attended with Mr. Pena and other interested parties. Britton reported on discussions held at Congressman Walden’s recent Forestry Summit as well as during the Blue Mountains Forest Partners general meeting. Blasing talked about work on past and future projects, and concerted efforts of the collaborative group, to prevent law suits over timber sales. It was understood that difficulties could develop if conservation community members are no longer able to participate in the process.

Jim Sproul asked about any recent response from the Forest Service about access issues. Some discussion took place about the importance of talking with the Forest Service about initiating salvage activities on the Murderer’s Creek and Bald Sisters fire area. Other discussion followed about a variety of associated forest fire management issues.

JAIL INSPECTION. At 10:45 am, pursuant to ORS 169.040, the court and Court Secretary conducted an inspection of the Criminal Justice Facility lead by Jail Manager Josh Wolf. A tour was made of the facilities which included the Sallie port, booking room, kitchen, medical room, exercise room, cell areas and control room. The inspection was concluded at 11:40 am.

At 1:30 pm the court held contract negotiations with Pinnacle Architecture about the Courthouse Elevation Project. Other participants were Circuit Court Administrator Tammy Wheeler and Treasurer Kathy Smith.

Respectfully Submitted, Mary R. Ferrioli / County Court Secretary


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