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County Court minutes 09-16-15

Grant County Court munites

Published on September 24, 2015 10:45AM


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

SEPTEMBER 16, 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, Commissioner Chris B. Labhart, Secretary Mary Ferrioli, Frances Preston, Billie Jo George, Jim Sproul, Doug Ferguson and Flora Cheadle. Commissioner Boyd Britton was excused this week for vacation. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States flag. The invocation was given by Flora Cheadle.

AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to accept the agenda as presented.


Myers had meetings last week with Susan Christensen (DEQ), Scott Fairley (Governor’s Office) and an asbestos mitigation contractor from Prineville to address ash removal and disposal from burned-out home sites. He reported on Governor Brown’s Executive Order to ease restrictions for fire-affected counties to keep cleanup moving forward. He talked about DEQ’s approval of several septic system hook-ups to drain fields. Friday he met with the Burnt Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team and representatives from every discipline at the airport to talk about the rehab process. Monday Myers participated in an Airport Commission meeting preceded by a public roll-out of the Airport Master Plan Project. Yesterday he was at EOU in La Grande to meet with Congressman Greg Walden and Commissioners from seven eastern Oregon counties to talk about SRS and PILT funding, and fire. Today Kevin Jeffries (Oregon Insurance Division) is at the Courthouse to meet with the public to help make sure insurance companies are doing everything they need to do for their clients. Tonight Myers will attend Jeffries’ public meeting at 6 pm at the airport. He announced the VAWA Rural federal grant was renewed for another 3 year cycle that supports the county’s Victim Assistance Advocate and Deputy DA positions.

Labhart attended a Grant County Chamber officer installation Wednesday evening. Monday he toured the Canyon Creek Complex fire with Congressman Walden, John & Lindy Bastian and Doug Ferguson and attended a Town Hall in Canyon City about the Canyon Creek Complex fire. Tuesday Labhart attended the John Day Fire Station ground breaking ceremony and a Blue Mountain Hospital board provider meeting. Today at noon he will attend a Local CAC meeting at the airport.

9:10 am – Judy Kerr and Caleb Maplesden entered

MINUTES. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to approve the September 9 minutes as amended

DOUG FERGUSON. Ferguson Surveying & Engineering (Doug Ferguson) provided an update on last week’s activities with ongoing assessment of Canyon Creek watershed rehabilitation. He reported that regular communications have been established with Congressman Walden’s office. Ferguson reported on work he’s doing with the Forest Service BAER team while there are available on site. It was clarified that Ferguson has been the contact for private landowners regarding integration with BAER team efforts. Some discussion followed about future potential for increased water flows and work needed on Canyon City’s bridges and bridges over the John Day River. Frances Preston thought private citizens needed to be aware of their responsibility associated with the receipt of rehab funds from federal and state agencies. Other discussion took place about the structural status of the Canyon Meadows Dam and local availability of rail cars for bridges at the Gander Ranch.

9:30 am – Mike Dress and Bud Erwin entered

Myers provided information about handling regulations for removal of household metal and ash that’s being stockpiled at Clark’s Transfer Station until a DEQ-approved landfill pit is available there. He said another option could be a permitted open pit at Prairie City for the disposal of ash from the Co-Gen.

INTERVIEW COMMITTEE. The court talked about selecting individuals to serve on the County Court Secretary Interview Committee sometime during the first week in October. It was previously determined that all court members would participate. Justice of the Peace Kathy Stinnett and Dana Brooks (Old West FCU) had expressed interest in serving on the committee. Labhart recommended having a certified HR presence on the committee and suggested Blue Mountain Hospital’s HR Manager Victoria Furver. He was given permission to make that contact. Treasurer Kathy Smith wanted to know why the court still has not addressed hiring an HR Manager to perform those responsibilities transferred by the County Clerk to the County Judge last October. She pointed out that a full time HR Manager was discussed with the Budget Committee and funded for 15-16. Smith added that the Secretary has been helping Judge Myers with HR, but it’s not in her job description. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to approve appointment of Dana Brooks, Kathy Stinnett and court members to the Court Secretary Interview Committee, and an HR representative if available. Court members also reviewed and approved a list of Court Secretary Interview Committee questions. It was later noted that three court members, Dana Brooks and Victoria Thurber would participate in interviews October 6.

INMATE BOARDING. Court members reviewed and signed an Intergovernmental Agreement with Union County to provide jail space for Union County inmates effective September 5, 2015 at the rate of $50.00 per day. The document is similar to the current IGA the county has with Wheeler County.

MSP: Labhart/Myers -- to approve the Intergovernmental Agreement with Union County as presented.

FAIR EMPLOYEE’S WAGES. The court and Treasurer Kathy Smith reviewed a “Fair Wage Proposal Due to Fires” to reimburse some August hours spent on fire for fair employees Mary Weaver, Mindy Winegar and Dusty Williams. The proposal calculates the total cost of fire hours, overtime hours, and extra hours for 5 weeks at a grand total of $4,432.12. Smith recommended the expense be paid from Relief Help / Special Projects. She also requested approval to pay any further fire-related overtime hours in September. Methods used to recover costs to the fairgrounds associated with a Facilities Use Lease Agreement for fire camp, et al. were explained. MSP: Labhart/Myers -- to approve the wage proposal for fair employees and any fire-related overtime hours in September.

10:00 am – Sheriff Glenn Palmer entered

MALHEUR COUNTY. The court considered Malheur County’s letter requesting support of Resolution 15-34 Opposing the Creation of a New National Monument Proposed as the Owyhee Canyon Lands Monument; and the Establishment or Designation of any other National Monument, National Conservation Area or Wilderness Area on Public Lands Within Southern Malheur County, Oregon.

MSP: Labhart/Myers -- to create a letter in support of Malheur County’s resolution R15-34 as requested.

PUBLIC COMMENT. Judy Kerr reported that her car tire was punctured last week, and that also happened to Billie Jo George. It was noted this could have occurred in the area surrounding the Courthouse. Caleb Maplesden asked about available financial support to keep the Transfer Station open 7 days a week. Ideas were shared about ways to increase open hours. Clark’s operates under a Transfer Station Lease with the county and a franchise with cities. Myers talked about the liaison relationship the county has with the state and federal agencies that is helping to solve some of these issues. The county has been talking about the need to access the pit for disposal of ash from burned-out home sites. Jim Sproul said Friday morning Blue Mountain Forest Partners will be touring the Canyon Creek Complex to look at the status of the restoration areas. He suggested that Myers join the tour group. Other discussion followed about using city / county mailings or annual tax statement mailing as a method of widely notifying the public about important information.

Sheriff’s Budget. Sheriff Glenn Palmer appeared to report he has a staffing issue due to work associated with the Canyon Creek Complex Fire, complicated by staff vacation and medical leave. He is now down to Zach Mobley and himself. Palmer said he is using volunteers where possible, but asked for help in watching his budget to avoid a potential problem. Treasurer Kathy Smith said it might be possible to pay off fire-related comp hours, such as was approved for fair employees. County policy on paying down the comp hours “cap” was discussed.

11:00 am -- Adjourned

Respectfully Submitted,

Mary R. Ferrioli

County Court Secretary


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