Grant County Court minutes from Aug. 23, 2017:
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 Jim Hamsher and Boyd Britton, Administrative Assistant Laurie Wright, Sally Bartlett, Rick Minster, Beth Spell, Jim Spell, Gordon Larsen, Jim Sproul, Katy Nelson, Judy Kerr, Frances Preston, Gail Beverlin, Dan Bishop, Sherry Nehl, Reporter Logan Bagett, Reporter Rylan Boggs, and Pastor Flora Cheadle. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States Flag. The invocation was given by Pastor Cheadle.
CLAIMS. The court had reviewed and approved claims and extension district warrants #21-28.
HAND CHECKS. The court had approved two hand checks for Fair expenses.
AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Hamsher-- to accept the agenda as amended with the addition of Item J, an agreement with OSU Extension for a county employee to access OSU’s computer site.
9:05 am Chris Labhart entered.
ANNOUNCEMENTS. Judge Myers announced today is Jim and Beth Spell’s 48th wedding anniversary and congratulated them.
9:07 am Steve Beverlin and Ryan Nehl entered.
Myers said the eclipse was a spectacular show. On August 10th Myers had a meeting with at the Senior Center to discuss investments of the trust fund. August 15th he gave a double red blood donation. Myers performed a wedding on August 18th and will perform another today on the foot bridge in Canyon City.
9:08 am Sharon Livingston entered.
Tomorrow Myers will travel to Baker City with Al Altnow and Veanne Weddle to meet with Community Connections for a needs assessment for seniors in Grant County. On Tuesday the 28th he will attend an Emergency Food and Shelter Board meeting and if time allows he will go to an aquifer meeting at the Airport.
Commissioner Britton wished to thank some county employees including Mindy Winegar and Dusty Williams from the Fairgrounds and Haley Walker from the Airport for their good work during the eclipse. He said a lot of county employees really stepped up and expressed his appreciation to all of them. Britton reported he and Sharon Livingston met with Alexis Taylor who is the new Director for the Oregon Department of Agriculture. On Monday Britton will travel to Ontario for the Governor’s memorial signing of the transportation package. Britton thanked all the citizens of Grant County for the success of the eclipse.
Commissioner Hamsher attended a meeting at the Forest Service with Judy Kerr and also assisted with putting on the bullfighting at the Fairgrounds during the Fair. He said Mindy Winegar, Dusty Williams, and Andy Reyes did a wonderful job putting the Fair on this year. Hamsher will be meeting with Scott Fairley to discuss possible funding sources to fix the water issues in Prairie City and said they didn’t have any issues during the eclipse and everyone was very respectful.
Myers said he spoke with numerous people during the eclipse that said they loved it here and said they will be back again. He believes some of the people that came will possibly decide to retire here at some point. Our community really stepped up and made people traveling here feel welcome.
9:17 am Mark Webb and Zach Williams entered. 9:18 am King Williams entered.
MALHEUR NATIONAL FOREST TRAVEL MANAGEMENT. Malheur National Forest Supervisor Steve Beverlin presented the draft travel management map to the court. Beverlin was here presenting draft maps two weeks ago and presented final maps to the court today. The final travel management plan will be started in the spring of 2018 and this is a very pre-start of the process. He said they are putting this information out now so the court and public has time to review it and submit comments on the maps. Public input will assist with fine tuning of the maps. Beverlin said they are trying to maintain flexibility in the process while still meeting the mandated travel management they are required to do. Beverlin pointed out the map presented today is a draft baseline map to use as a starting point for public input. He explained how the Forest Service utilizes their data base to locate disbursed camp sites and said there will be more public engagement than people are used to during this process. Beverlin presented a PowerPoint to the court and explained the map. Discussion followed regarding designating roads to disbursed camp sites that are currently not showing on the draft map. Beverlin explained the new forest plan will affect the travel management plan, and road density requirements along with timber harvests and forest management. The map indicates private and state land within the forest. Beverlin said the maps are all available on the forest service website and are interactive for people to view. Myers told the audience the maps provided to the court would be available to anyone who would like to come in and view them. Beverlin stated the maps he is presenting are accurate as of today. There are three decisions coming up that may cause some small changes to be made in the future. Mark Webb asked how the county road ordinance might affect the travel management plan if it was found to not be in alignment with the travel management plan. Myers said until the ordinance was challenged it would remain as it is. Britton advised the court is checking with legal counsel to get an opinion on the validity of the ordinance and should have an answer soon. Webb wanted it on the record that Blue Mountain Forest Partners has nothing to do with him asking about the legality of the ordinance, he is asking as a private citizen. Myers said when the ordinance was first created legal counsel advised it should be a resolution, not an ordinance but went forward with an ordinance anyway. Myers assured those in attendance that he would be more involved with travel management than he has been in the past. Beverlin said he asked for clarification on the ordinance because it does cause issues with forest service plans and read portions of a legal opinion from the Forest Service legal counsel. He said clarification is important because they spend a lot of time answering objections from citizens about the legality of the ordinance. Hamsher asked if roads not showing on the map could just be added since they aren’t used very much. Beverlin explained if a disbursed camp site is within 300 feet of the road it isn’t an issue because going off of an open road is allowed for up to 300 feet. The camp sites further than 300 feet are the ones the Forest Service needs comments on.
9:58 am Haley Walker entered.
Beverlin stated this is the upfront work in order to get public comments. Sally Bartlett suggested getting links to the travel management maps on the Oregon Department of Forestry’s website as well in order to get the information out to more people. Beverlin would like comments from the public on what roads they want open along with comments from the other side of the spectrum. Beverlin explained there are three subparts to the travel management plan that address the current open road system along with winter travel for snowmobile travel.
MINUTES. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the August 9th minutes as presented.
NPRA RODEO. The court reviewed a contract with Claude Rickman – Lazy H Ranch to provide stock for an NPRA Rodeo to be held September 8th and 9th. The court had previously approved Fair Manager Mindy Winegar’s request to host the rodeo and to use Lazy H Ranch as the stock contractor. The cost for this event will be $6,500. MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to approve the contract with Claude Rickman – Lazy H Ranch in the amount of $6,500 to be paid from the fair rodeo expense line and circulate for signatures.
VICTIM ASSISTANCE. Victim Assistance Director Andrea Officer presented a written request to the court for approval to purchase two iPhones and one laptop computer to be paid from the VOCA grant. Three bids were included **. Britton would like to encourage Officer to check with ESD for pricing. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve the purchase of the two iPhones and one laptop computer.
AMENDMENT #2 TO OHA AGREEMENT #145529. The court reviewed Amendment #2 to Intergovernmental Agreement #145529 between Grant County and the Oregon Health Authority. This amendment extends the expiration date of the original contract. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve Amendment #2 to IGA #145529 and authorize Judge Myers to sign.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. Economic Development Coordinator Sally Bartlett explained to the court that the county must initiate Title III projects prior to September 30, 2017 for $85,531.91 in funding that was received from the State in March of 2016. She explained this process is just to initiate the process, allow for a 45 day public comment period and then she would return to court to request approval to obligate the funds. Bartlett presented three recommended projects to the court: Project 1 – Firewise Communities program ($40,531.91): which is to support, assist and implement the Firewise Communities program in the communities of John Day and Canyon City, the Laycock Creek area and the City of Dayville. Project 2 – Search and Rescue and other emergency services ($10,000): to reimburse the participating county for search and rescue and other emergency services, including firefighting, that are performed on national forests (published as required) and paid for by the participating county. Project 3 – Community Wildfire Protection Plan ($35,000): to update the County’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) in coordination with the US Forest Service to include: Umatilla, Whitman, Ochoco and Malheur Forests. The 45 day comment period begins tomorrow. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve initiation of the process for the March 2016 Title III funds.
AIRPORT. Airport Manager Haley Walker presented two requests to the court. 1. Airport Weather Observation System: Walker reported that the new FAA maintenance service provider discovered the AWOS system had not received correct maintenance in the past. Repairs are needed to the system to provide accurate weather reporting to pilots and to be in compliance with FAA regulations. The necessary repairs are critical from a safety standpoint. The total cost for the repairs is $4,615.89 and will be paid from the airport budget maintenance line. The Airport Commission is in full support of the repairs. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the repairs to the AWOS system in the amount of $4,615.89 to be paid from the airport budget maintenance line.
2. Oregon Aviation Industries Summit: Walker requested permission to attend the ORAVI Summit in Tillamook on September 19th. After the ORAVI quarterly meeting held at our airport in July she received a request to speak to a larger group to share the message of the Economic Development Value of Airports to Rural Oregon Communities. The registration to the summit is free, but travel and a one night hotel stay would need to be paid. Walker said the Airport Commission believes this meeting is valuable and supports her attendance. Myers commended Walker on the good job she is doing at the Airport and in representing Grant County. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve Walker’s attendance at the ORAVI Summit with travel and hotel cost to be paid from the airport dues and travel line.
EXTENSION SERVICE DISTRICT. An Intergovernmental Agreement was reviewed by the court between Grant County and Oregon State University’s Extension Service. This agreement authorizes OSU to allow an employee designated by the County to access secure OSU computer systems. Carol Waggoner is the employee currently in this position. This agreement is one that is executed every two years and would expire on June 30, 2019. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the IGA with OSU after review and approval of CIS and circulate for signatures.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT. Myers wanted those in attendance to know about the exemplary job Emergency Management Coordinator Ted Williams did in preparing for the eclipse. Myers said Williams had emergency management teams from other places come here in case we had a disaster and because of Williams we were extremely prepared. He again thanked Williams for a job well done.
RESOLUTION 17-23. Treasurer Julie Ellison presented Resolution 17-23 to the court. This resolution amends Resolution 17-21 due to a calculation error. The earlier resolution stated the Veteran’s Office received $40,294 when the office actually received $39,810. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve Resolution 17-23 and circulate for signatures.
RESOLUTION 17-24. This resolution was needed because Community Counseling Solutions new contract had changes in the needed revenue budget lines. Ellison created new revenue lines and deleted those no longer necessary. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve Resolution 17-24 and circulate for signatures.
RESOLUTION 17-25. This resolution was created to receive donations for Animal Damage Control. The expense line for Animal Damage Control already existed and will be increased by $65,000 to pay out donations, and a new revenue line will be set up to receive donations for pass-through expending. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve Resolution 17-25 and circulate for signatures.
RESOLUTION 17-26. Myers read a portion of the resolution to the audience. This resolution transfers $11,000 from the budgeted 24 hour dispatch funds in the Sheriff’s Department budget to the Veteran’s Service fund. Due to the decrease in the cost of 911 to the county this year the Sheriff’s Department will not need all of the previously budgeted funds. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve Resolution 17-26 and circulate for signatures.
10:48 am Nate Hughes entered.
PROPERTY MAINTENANCE. Property Maintenance Specialist Nate Hughes discussed painting the L-Building with the court. Hughes asked if the court would be interested in entertaining bids to repaint the L-Building. He said the paint is chipping and in bad shape. Hughes estimates it will cost $6000 to $8000 to repaint and prep the building. Hughes would need to make some small repairs prior to it being painted. Hughes suggested painting the building next spring or summer to give him time to make the repairs necessary. Britton asked Hughes to write up some specifications for how the job should be done prior to going out for bids. The court consensus was to allow Hughes to move forward on the repairs necessary.
NATURAL RESOURCE ADVISOR RFP. The court continued their discussion regarding the proposed Request for Proposals for a Natural Resource Advisor for the county. Two weeks ago the court began discussing the RFP and postponed the discussion until today. Hamsher is more comfortable with the RFP now that he has had additional time to review it. Frances Preston thanked the court for the extra time to review the RFP but said she was disappointed it didn’t mention coordination. Myers said it mentions coordinating with the public, but could be amended to include coordination with the Forest Service. Myers suggested making the wording say something about coordinating with public and private entities. Judy Kerr said what the people of Grant County want needs to be addressed stringently. Kerr said it needs to follow what the people of the County wanted when they voted in the Public Forest Commission in 2004. Myers stated the County Court would supervise this position. Katy Nelson asked what outcome the Court is hoping to achieve in hiring a consultant. Myers would like to see this position create better relationships with other entities and believes it would be a bridge between the court and other entities. Myers stated this position has never been in the County in the past, but believes we need someone who is well versed in dealing with the Tribes and Federal Government regarding natural resources. Sharon Livingston expressed her belief that our county is full of natural resources and we need documentation and data to take to agencies when dealing with them. Livingston said this is exactly what we need and it needs to move forward in a positive direction. Gail Beverlin doesn’t want to see the court get caught up with the terms collaboration and coordination and end up with their hands tied. Preston said the County Court has the final say in coordination. Britton read a portion of the RFP to the audience and said the County Court needs a person or entity in this position to offer advice to the Court. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to move forward with advertising the RFP after adding terminology regarding private and public agencies to the portion regarding coordination.
PUBLIC COMMENT. No public comment was offered.
11:13 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 ****