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County Court minutes 03-18-15

Published on March 25, 2015 11:40AM


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

MARCH 18, 2015

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 Chris B. Labhart, Secretary Mary Ferrioli, Jim Sproul, Brooks Smith and Flora Cheadle. Commissioner Britton was absent to attend a Sage Con meeting in Juntura. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the US flag. The invocation was given by Flora Cheadle.

CLAIMS. The court had reviewed and approved claims and Extension District Warrant Nos. 289-291

AGENDA. MSP Myers/Labhart-- to accept the agenda without Item C., Jason Kehrberg and Commissioner Britton discussing the Cramer Fish Sciences Grazing Analysis at 9:30 am. Earlier this morning we were told they would be absent to attend an out-of-county meeting today.


County Budget Committee meetings were held last week on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. This week the Budget Committee meets Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.

Labhart attended a Health Evidence Review Commission meeting in Wilsonville last Thursday. Monday he met with several private business owners about TEC’s workforce board appointees. At noon today he has an EOCCO meeting at the airport. Tomorrow Labhart has a TEC workforce board meeting in La Grande followed by a hospital board meeting in John Day. Saturday Labhart will attend a Lake Creek Youth Camp fundraiser at the fairgrounds.

Myers met last Thursday with Ian Reid of the Umatilla NF about a possible 1 ½ mile County Road 24 realignment proposal, Monday evening he attended an Airport Commission meeting, and Friday he will host an Emergency Food & Shelter local board meeting at the Courthouse.

9:10 am – John Eley entered

MINUTES. MSP: Myers/Labhart- to approve the March 11 minutes with a reservation for Britton’s changes.

C-2 UTILITY CONTRACTORS. The court reviewed the Third Amendment to the county’s Commercial Property Lease with C-2 Utility Contractors for use of space at 323 S. Humbolt Street in Canyon City. The Amendment extends the term to June 30, 2015 to allow more time for Canyon City to complete the their process for the county’s Zone Change Application. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to circulate for signature the Third Amendment to Commercial Property Lease with C-2 Utility Contractors for space at 323 S. Humbolt Street in Canyon City.

EOCCO LOCAL ADVISORY COUNCIL. The court considered an application by Mindy Voigt Stinnett to serve on the Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization Local Community Advisory Council. Labhart, who is Council Chair, recommended this appointment. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to appoint Mindy Voigt Stinnett to the EOCCO Local Community Advisory Council.

9:25 am – Larry Blasing and Hank Lissman entered

CRAMER FISH SCIENCES. Road Advisory Board Chair John Eley attended today to learn about the grazing analysis study. This discussion was cancelled when we were told early this morning presenters Commissioner Britton and Grant Soil and Water Conservation District Director Jason Kehrberg would be attending a Sage Con meeting in Juntura. Myers and Labhart answered some general questions of attendees about the county’s involvement in this study over the past several years. Discussion followed about private and public project proposals that came before the court in the past and were financed by county dollars.

The court took a break until the next agenda item at 10:00 am when Kathy Stinnett, Tammy Wheeler, News Reporter Scotta Callister and Kathy Smith entered

JUSTICE COURT. The court reviewed an updated agreement with the City of Mt. Vernon to have individuals cited for violations of city ordinances appear in Justice Court. Our current 1997 agreement with Mt. Vernon is out of date and contains language which is no longer statutorily correct. The city has been updating its ordinances and is trying to clean up properties that are a nuisance. Justice of the Peace Kathy Stinnett pointed out that all of the county’s similar agreements with cities need to be reviewed for statutory language and legal sufficiency. It was suggested that legal counsel review this city-county agreement to assure the correct statutory language is being used. Stinnett talked about the understanding that both city law enforcement and the Sheriff (as appropriate) can cite city ordinances. Other discussion followed about associated diversions and fines ordered against offenders. Myers and Stinnett planned to follow up on this discussion with legal counsel Ron Yockim.

10:15 am -- Nate Hughes entered

FLOOR TILE REPLACEMENT. Circuit Court Administrator Tammy Wheeler requested signature on Oregon Justice Department Courthouse Improvement Contract No. 150540 to fund and replace flooring in the Circuit Courtroom and Circuit Court operation areas. OJD has agreed to provide up to $35,000 for the project. The contract outlines the process to fund, purchase and install new flooring over approximately 4,915 sq. ft. on the 2nd floor. Wheeler talked about her concern with the need to shut down court operations for about two weeks, as well as to move and relocate furniture, computer equipment and court records. Some discussion followed about coordinating the contractors’ work between elevator installation and flooring abatement / replacement. MSP: Labhart/Myers-- to authorize Judge Myers to sign the OJD Courthouse Improvement Contract No. 150540 to fund and replace flooring in the Circuit Courtroom and Circuit Court operation areas.

Wheeler and Property Maintenance Specialist Nate Hughes presented two bids to remove carpet, asbestos floor tiles and mastic on the upper floor of the Courthouse -- Alpine Abatement Associates, Inc. bid $8,459 / Courtroom; $11,184 / Operations Area; and $5,668 / Hallway & Restrooms and Cascade Insulation, Inc. bid $10,000 / Courtroom; $14,000 / Operations Area; and $8,000 / Lobby. Both contractors are located in Bend. Wheeler said other bids will be needed for replacement flooring products. She recommended accepting the bid submitted by Alpine Abatement, Inc. Hughes indicated he has worked with Alpine Abatement in the past and recently spoke with them about this project. MSP: Labhart/Myers -- to accept the bid from Alpine Abatement, Inc. for the flooring replacement project upstairs as recommended.

The need to relocate one bookcase and overhead lights before the elevator installation project begins on March 30 was also discussed. Wheeler said she would take care of relocating those items.

10:35 am – Loren Stout and Ashley McClay entered

VICTIM ASSISTANCE. Victim Assistance Program Director Ashley McClay requested approval to send the Multidiscipline Team to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Child Abuse and Family Violence Summit in Portland April 21-24 with a waiver of per diem for lodging. The Oxford Suites is not the conference site, but has a better rate with complimentary meals and is in the same parking lot as the conference. Training was approved by the grantors and the expense is budgeted within the VAWA Rural, CAMI and Criminal Fine/Unitary Assessment grants. The total cost for 7 attendees was estimated at $9,330.51 which includes $395 registration, $252.45 mileage, $485.48 lodging, and $200 meals. McClay said she just got the team members together and had put the claim in last week to receive the early-bird discount. Members attending will be Mike McManus, Andrea Officer, McClay, and DHS & Heart of Grant County reps. The DA has received a scholarship for his registration. She believed it was the best in-state training the team receives each year. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to approve the Multidiscipline Team’s attendance at the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Child Abuse and Family Violence Summit in Portland April 21-24 as requested.

10:50 am – Al Cummings, Steve Periera, Melissa Brooks, Butch Phillips , Mark Pengelly, Greg Jackson, Kathy Gillam, Terry Brandsma, King Wiliams, and Alan Hickerson entered

McClay requested approval of a non-competitive 2015-2017 CAMI MDT Grant in the amount of $45,290.71 to fund the program’s multidisciplinary approach to child abuse intervention. Funding would support a 0.31 FTE MDT Coordinator (McClay), allow for child abuse victims to be medically assessed and interviewed at Mt. Emily Safe Center in La Grande, and provide training opportunities for MDT members. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to approve a 2015-2017 CAMI MDT grant application for $45,290.71 as requested.

USFS ROADS. Local rancher Loren Stout was present to propose the county take over maintenance of USFS roads and road side timber to aid in fire prevention. Road Foreman Terry Brandsma and Road Advisory Board Chair John Eley submitted a statement acknowledging this matter was discussed at the March 12 Budget Committee meeting where Eley said they first want a full understanding of what is being requested (in writing) and have a new Road Master on board before the request is considered or addressed. Those present for this discussion were Al Cummings, Mark Pengelly, Hank Lissman, Greg Jackson, Jim Sproul, King Williams, Fritz Phillips, Steve Periera, Melissa Brooks, Public Forest Commissioners Larry Blasing and Brooks Smith, and Road Department representatives Kathy Gillam, Terry Brandsma, Alan Hickerson and John Eley.

Stout talked about how mills historically paid for road maintenance associated with logging projects. He also reported on last year’s fire on the Malheur, the conditions for road access, firefighting efforts, and how he got his cattle out of the forest. He felt the ongoing buildup of fuels on our forest was a serious concern which he feels the federal government is not addressing. Stout believed county maintenance of forest roads, including 200 to 300 feet on either side, could improve forest health and our environment, create local jobs, and bring money to the county for schools. He has already been in conversations with representatives of the timber industry and our elected officials. Stout felt this program could be accomplished through federal leases and state agreements to uphold forest practice regulations. He believed the value from timber on either side of the roadway could pay the cost of road maintenance.

Discussion followed about the level of road maintenance that would be expected, the increasing negative effect of roads that are poorly maintained, and the fact that serious liabilities that could arise.

Public Forest Commissioner Brooks Smith provided information about the federal highway downsizing program for some roads which have a high cost to maintain. He understood some of those are available for transfer to the state or county. Smith pointed out that timber products on federal lands would always belong to the federal government. Therefore, any timber salvaged would be delivered to and put up for sale by the Forest Service.

Myers had some concern about how the county would approach and move forward with this concept. He also felt this type of activity was ripe for highly expensive litigation. Eley believed the potential liability associated with this concept must be addressed, to identify the level of financial resources that must be available to meet the need.

Melissa Brooks suggested that it might be a good start to look at applying this concept on County Roads that are already being maintained within the county’s 60-foot-from-center right of way. Some discussion followed about the opportunity to look at a jurisdictional exchange on some road portions, as a pilot project.

The court requested any further public comment, but none was offered.

11:45 am – Adjourned. Labhart had a noon meeting at the airport and Myers had an immediate need to address a personnel issue. The County Budget Committee meets at 1:00 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Mary R. Ferrioli

County Court Secretary


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