Grant County Court minutes from May 10, 2017:
9:00 am -- Call to Order. Present were Judge Scott W. Myers, Commissioner Jim Hamsher, Administrative Assistant Laurie Wright, Katy Nelson, Frances Preston, Jim Spell, Rick Minster, Judy Schuette, Gail Beverlin, Alan Hickerson, Billie Jo George, Amy Stiner, Chris Labhart, Reporter Rylan Boggs, Gary Jacobson, Marlene Greer and Pastor Flora Cheadle. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States Flag. The invocation was given by Pastor Cheadle. Commissioner Britton was absent as he was meeting in Salem with Senator Ferrioli regarding economic development.
CLAIMS. The court had reviewed and approved claims and extension district warrants #308-310.
AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to accept the agenda as amended. Commissioner Hamsher declared a conflict with voting on the bullfighting contract for the Fair so it was tabled until the next court meeting.
ANNOUNCEMENTS. Judge Myers said on May 4th he attended peace officer union negotiations.
9:02 am Susan Church entered.
On May 5th he performed a wedding and on May 9th he attended Greg Walden’s town hall meeting at the credit union and then at noon went to an Internet Task Force meeting. Yesterday afternoon Myers went to the road department for bid openings for a new equipment storage shed. There is a meeting today at noon for the airport master plan and tomorrow he will attend an Oregon Solutions project meeting at The Outpost. On May 15th he will be at road union negotiations. May 16th he will assist the DA’s office with legal assistant interviews. May 22nd Myers will attend the Senior Citizens Trust meeting if time allows.
Commissioner Hamsher reported he attended the Senior Citizens lunch in Prairie last week. Hamsher attended the breakfast meeting with Senator Walden yesterday at the credit union. He met with an electrician at the Fairgrounds to look at the wiring in Keerin’s Hall and said the electrician doesn’t believe much work would need to be done on the electrical system. He also reviewed the trenching project at the Fairgrounds for the PA and Reader Board systems. This morning he and Judge Myers went to the Fairgrounds because they have some power poles that are leaning dangerously.
MINUTES. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the April 26th minutes as amended allowing Commissioner Britton to review and make changes if necessary.
9:07 am Reporter Logan Bagett entered.
IGA MAP MAINTENANCE. Assessor David Thunell had provided the court with an Intergovernmental Agreement (#3607-17) between the Oregon Department of Revenue and Grant County to provide map maintenance services to the Assessor’s Office. This is an annual agreement and the total cost is $13,680. MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to approve IGA#3607-17 and circulate for signatures.
VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION LETTER. The court reviewed an appreciation letter to Bruce Kaufman for his years of service as Chair of the Senior Citizens Advisory Council. Kaufman is still serving on the council, but is no longer the Chair. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the appreciation letter to Kaufman and circulate for signatures.
9:11 am Steve Beverlin and Mike Stearley entered.
IGA OREGON HEALTH AUTHORITY #153123 . The court reviewed an Intergovernmental Agreement between the Oregon Health Authority and Grant County for financing of mental health, substance use disorders and problem gambling services for 2017-2019. Myers explained even though the county contracts the services with Community Counseling Solutions the contract is between the county and the Oregon Health Authority. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve IGA #153123 and authorize Judge Myers to sign.
FAIRGROUNDS CHANGE ORDER. Judge Myers advised after all the bids were received for the electrical installation at the Fairgrounds for the PA system and reader boards it was discovered that electrical conduit was omitted from the proposal for bids. S&C Electric was awarded the electrical contract and has submitted an estimate of $5,000 for the extra conduit and installation needed to complete the project. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the change order in the amount of $5,000 with S&C Electric.
MALHEUR NATIONAL FOREST PLAN REVISION. Forest Supervisor Steve Beverlin gave an update to the court on the Forest Plan Revision. Beverlin said he will also address travel management today. Beverlin explained each forest, the Malheur, Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman will each have a forest plan revision approved for them under one environmental impact study. He said every forest in the nation was required in 2005 to update its forest plan revision. Until the forest plan revision is complete the travel management plan will not be finished. Beverlin stated the forest plan revision does not have any site specific designation of routes in the plan. The designation of roads, trails, and areas for motorized use will be addressed in the travel management plan. Beverlin explained the difference between a forest plan revision and travel management plan. The forest plan revision is an umbrella plan covering everything on the forest and the travel management plan deals with motorized vehicle access. Citizens and the court will have opportunities to comment on the travel management plan.
9:24 am Zach Williams and King Williams entered.
Myers asked for clarification of what the distinction is between current projects happening and travel management. Beverlin said current projects are analyzed site specific and the transportation system is adapted for that specific site and travel management is the official process for analyzing motorized use across the entire forest. Billie Jo George asked if once travel management is completed if additional roads be closed in projects that have already been completed. Beverlin said the intent is to leave the projects the way they are and doesn’t believe changes will be made to recent decisions. He said this would be a rare occurrence in his estimation. Frances Preston asked if travel management is mandatory or a choice by the forest and also if the forest management plan will name designated routes. Beverlin said designated routes will be named for motorized use on roads, areas and trails. He added the same process will be followed for the travel management plan as is used for specific projects. Beverlin said in 1972 and 1977 two executive orders were signed mandating the use of off road vehicles on public lands. The 2005 travel management rule can be found at https://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/ohv/final.pdf. Beverlin explained the 2005 rule and answered additional questions from those in attendance. Beverlin said until the 2005 rule is changed the Forest Service is mandated to implement a travel management plan. Maps are available for free at every Forest Service office showing roads open for travel. The travel management plan consists of three parts, identification of minimal road system analysis, designation of areas, roads and trails for motorized use, and over the snow motorized use. Hamsher said he is receiving a lot of concern about stubble height from ranchers. Beverlin stated the Court, Stockgrowers and some ranchers have standing to object to this once the environmental impact study is completed. Myers pointed out that in order to object to stubble height a person must have expressed concerns about grazing issues initially. The intent is to being travel management in the spring of 2018 and Beverlin said the Forest Service is trying to give the public as much time as possible to be engaged in the process. The Malheur National Forest has over 9000 miles of road which is the third highest in the nation. Discussion was held regarding cross country damage and personal responsibility to ensure people aren’t causing destruction to our public lands.
JUSTICE COURT. Justice of the Peace Kathy Stinnett had presented information to the court regarding her wish to change collection agencies. She explained in her narrative that her office has never utilized the services of the current collection service (Credits, Inc.) and would like to switch to Western Collections Bureau, Inc. Stinnett expressed her belief that Western Collections Bureau, Inc. would be a much better fit for the needs of her office and offer more support to the Court both with set up, implementation and follow up. She reported other courts are using this service and very pleased with it. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve cancellation of the contract with Credits, Inc. and to approve a new contract with Western Collections Bureau and to authorize Judge Myers to sign the cancellation letter.
FIREWISE CONTRACT. The court had previously awarded the Firewise Contract to Jerome Natural Resources Consultants, Inc. and this is the final contract signed by Irene Jerome. Myers explained Firewise is a program to assist communities with fire proofing their properties. Discussion followed about where the funding comes from for Firewise. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the contract with Jerome Natural Resources Consultants, Inc. and circulate for signatures.
PROPERTY TAX REFUND. Assessor David Thunell had presented and Order and Tax Refund to the court for approval. CoreLogic of Coppell Texas paid $1,360.59 and then it was discovered that CoreLogic was billed an incorrect amount. The Assessor is requesting the amount of $1,360.59 be refunded to CoreLogic. Myers read the Order to the audience. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the refund of $1,360.59 to CoreLogic and circulate the Order #2017-03 and Tax Refund #05 for signatures.
10:23 am Joe Hitz entered.
ROAD DEPARTMENT. Road Master Alan Hickerson presented bid results to the court for a metal equipment storage building. Hickerson explained this will be an open sided storage shed for equipment. Two bids were received for this project, Smucker Quality Homes ($132,250) and Mike Voigt Construction ($103,100). After reviewing the bids Engineer Josef Hitz and Hickerson recommended awarding the project to Mike Voigt Construction. MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to award the project Mike Voigt Construction in the amount of $103,100.
10:28 am The court took a short break. 10:38 am Andrea Officer entered.
10:44 am The court returned to session.
VICTIM ASSISTANCE. Couch: Victim Assistance Director Andrea Officer requested court permission to purchase a couch for her office to provide a seating area for victims with families and children of domestic violence and sexual assault crimes. The VOCA grant granted her permission for this purchase and the amount budgeted was $750 to $1000. Officer asked the court to waive the three quote requirement as she would prefer to purchase locally (Mosier’s Home Furnishings) and be able to measure the comfort of the couch prior to purchase. Myers said Mosier’s is the only local dealer for furniture. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve purchase of a couch from Mosier’s Home Furnishings in the amount of $750-$1000 to be paid from the VOCA grant.
ESD Grant Award: Officer further notified the court that together with the District Attorney’s office they received notification that they received a $10,000 grant to further their assistance to children that have been identified as victims of crimes involving domestic violence, neglect and child sexual assault. This is a one-time grant that will allow for additional follow up services for victims. Judge Myers advised he was on the committee that helped score and select the grant awards and complemented Officer on her well prepared application. The grant money was left over funding from when the Commission on Children and Families closed.
PUBLIC COMMENT. Judy Kerr asked if the court could guarantee the speaker system would be installed prior to the next court meeting. Myers said the court can’t guarantee this, but is working towards having it installed. Laurie Wright advised she has emailed Al Altnow and he will be coming by tomorrow to look at this and thinks it can be installed prior to the next meeting. Jim Spell understands Congressman Walden was here for a town hall and expressed his disappointment that the public wasn’t invited. He asked how this meeting came to be. Myers said it was attended by approximately 20 people and was by invitation. Myers said it was a simple discussion about the new administration and committees Walden is on. Spell said people are frustrated they were not invited or told about the meeting. Myers suggested making those complaints to Walden’s office directly. Hamsher added cellular service around Mitchell was discussed at the Walden meeting as well. Myers said other blind spots in Eastern Oregon for cellular phone towers are being looked at due to the upcoming eclipse.
10:55 am – Adjourned.
**** Please note the court minutes are a summary of the court proceedings. An audio recording of each court session is available, after approval of the minutes, by contacting Laurie Wright at 541-575-0059 or firstname.lastname@example.org ****