Grant County Court minutes from Oct. 25, 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, Jim Spell, Katy Nelson, Alan Hickerson, Judy Kerr, Sherry Nehl, Judy Schuette, Rick Minster, Reporter Rick Hanners, Frances Preston, and Reporter Logan Bagett. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States Flag. The invocation was given by Commissioner Britton.
CLAIMS. The court had reviewed and approved claims on October 18th.
AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to accept the agenda as presented.
9:01 am Dan Becker entered.
ANNOUNCEMENTS. Commissioner Britton reported he and Judge Myers attended a meeting in Pendleton about the Blue Mountain Forest Plan Revision and said he feels the Forest Service is listening to concerns from citizens. Britton said there are two State Senators (one from Tualatin and Senator Ferrioli) who will be leaving their position to be appointed to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. The County Courts’ will vote for the replacement Senator from their district from within the same political party.
Judge Myers attended the Forest Plan Revision meeting in Pendleton on October 16th as did Commissioner Britton with other representatives from Eastern Oregon counties. On the 18th he went to the 911 informational presentation at the Senior Center in John Day. Myers met with a contractor from Pendleton on the 21st to look at the roof on Keerins Hall and said a reasonable bid was received. He said the court will wait for a couple of additional bids before making any decisions. Yesterday he attended a bid opening for the snow plowing around Granite at the Road Department. Today he and Laurie Wright will meet with a representative from CIS Insurance and go over a best practices survey. On October 31st he will travel to La Grande for a Community Connections meeting.
Commissioner Hamsher has spent a large amount of time in the last week speaking with people from both sides of the 911 issue. He suggested forming a committee to look at the 911 issues and to lobby the legislature to increase 911 funding. Hamsher intends on speaking with as many commissioners as possible at the AOC meeting in November to try to make this a state wide effort. Hamsher said Nick Green presented broadband information to the City of Prairie City and said the City can’t commit to the project without firmer numbers on cost.
MINUTES. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to approve the October 11th minutes as presented.
ROAD DEPARTMENT. Snow Removal: Road Master Alan Hickerson presented the recommendation for award of the Granite area snow removal contract. One quote was received from Columbia Basin Helicopters in the amount of $62,800 for 800 hours of plowing at $78.50 per hour. The sealed quote was opened on October 24th at the road department. Snow removal is for Baker County Road 520 and Grant County Road 24 in the Granite area for 2017-18 and the cost is shared with Baker County. Columbia Basin Helicopters was awarded this contract last year as well and did an excellent job. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to accept the Road Master’s recommendation and award the contract to Columbia Basin Helicopters.
Trailer Purchase: Hickerson requested court permission to purchase a Kaufman trailer. A trailer purchase was approved in this year’s budget, but this trailer costs $1,299.71 more than was originally approved. Hickerson said the road department purchased this same trailer last year and it has proven to be a solid built trailer which has held up well to everyday use. Hickerson reported the department saved $2,579 because the sander approved in last year’s budget was less than expected so this money could be used for the difference in trailer cost. MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to approve purchase of the Kaufman trailer. Myers and Hamsher voted yes, Britton voted no.
9:23 am Andrea Officer entered.
ODOC JAIL IGA AMENDMENT #2. The court reviewed Amendment #2 to the Intergovernmental Agreement #4712 between Grant County and the Oregon Department of Corrections. The IGA allows the Jail to accept ODOC prisoners and rent bed space. This amendment changes the expiration date of the previous agreement dated February 6, 2013 and shows the department to be in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) as required. The agreement will expire 10 years after the date of execution. MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to approve Amendment #2 to IGA #4712 and circulate for signatures.
OSU SPACE USE AGREEMENT. The court reviewed a space use agreement between Oregon State University and the Grant County Extension & 4H Service District. This agreement is a sublease agreement for the lease of the property at 116 NW Bridge St., Suite 1 in John Day between the Extension District and the University. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the space use agreement and authorize Judge Myers to sign.
2ND AMENDMENT TO IGA #154111. The court reviewed the 2nd Amendment to Intergovernmental Agreement #154111 between Grant County and the Oregon Health Authority for the financing of public health services. This amendment increases funding for public health services by $6,850. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve the 2nd Amendment to IGA #154111 and authorize Judge Myers to sign.
BLUE MTN. COMMUNITY COLLEGE AGREEMENT. The court reviewed a Contracted Out of District Agreement with Blue Mountain Community College (BMCC) for 2017-2018. This is an agreement for BMCC to provide educational programs to local citizens. The State mandates the County to assist colleges within communities. The County assists financially with $11,706. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the agreement with BMCC and circulate for signatures.
TEC PROPERTY LEASE AMENDMENT. The court reviewed Amendment No. 1 to the Commercial Property Lease with the Training and Employment Consortium. This amendment extends the lease expiration date to December 31, 2017. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve Amendment No. 1 to the TEC lease and circulate for signatures.
VICTIM ASSISTANCE. CAMI Grant: Victim Assistance Director Andrea Officer announced to the court that they have been awarded the Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Intervention Grant (CAMI) once again. The total amount of the grant award is $53,555.25 and ends on June 30, 2019.
Tablet Purchase: Officer requested permission to purchase a tablet to help facilitate the Victim Assistance Program. She presented 3 quotes: Fire HD 8 with case ($118.98); Amazon Fire HD 10 with Alexa hands free and case (204.98); and Amazon Fire HD with 64 GB ($204.99). Officer would like to purchase the Amazon Fire HD with Alexa hands free and case and feels this would be the best choice for her office. They budgeted $300 for this purchase and the expense will be funded by the VOCA Project Award. MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to approve the purchase of the Amazon Fire HD with Alexa hand free and case from Amazon to be paid from the VOCA Project Award.
9:37 am The court took a short break. 9:41 am Dennis Teitzel and Stacey Forson entered.
9:57 am The court returned to session. 9:57 am Ryan Nehl entered.
OCHOCO NATIONAL FOREST & PRINEVILLE BLM. Dennis Teitzel, Prineville BLM District Manager and Ochoco National Forest Supervisor Stacey Forson presented updates to the court.
Ochoco National Forest: Forson provided a briefing paper to the court. She said during the eclipse their forest received a lot of activity and the intensive preparation and information provided prior to the eclipse mitigated potential fire problems. Forson reported there wasn’t a single human caused fire during the eclipse. She explained how they worked with the landowner and event promoter during the symbiosis event which brought in an excess of 70,000 people. Forson gave an overview of the Central Oregon Fire Season and said they are still conducting after action reviews. She said one of the things they are trying to do is more prescribed burns to mitigate future fire issues. Selected logging was done prior to the prescribed burns. A non-profit group has been formed (Historic 1908 Rager Ranger Station) to try to maintain and save the Rager Ranger Station for future public use. Forson said the Forest Service is working with this group to see what the future of this facility might look like.
10:09 am Elaine Smith entered. 10:11 am Valerie Maynard & Nick Green entered.
Forson explained the Ochoco National Forest has not yet been mandated to revise its Forest Plan like the Malheur has. She summarized additional plans and projects being worked on including wild horse herd management and trail systems.
Prineville District BLM: Teitzel introduced himself and said he moved to Prineville from Alaska in June and is retired from the Marine Corp. He said he has been with the BLM for about 10 years now. Teitzel provided a handout to the court and discussed South Fork Complex Fire burned area rehabilitation and Murderers Creek Wild Horse management. He reported construction of the Dayville waterline extension was was completed in May 2017 and funded entirely by the BLM. The Prineville District has been working to get biological assessments for two grazing allotments that were expired so they can be reissued. He said the BLM has been approached by the Eastern Oregon Trail Alliance to establish a mountain biking trail on Little Canyon Mountain and BLM is working with this group to see if this is possible. A 30-Mile/Rattray Acquisition project was discussed. This project proposes acquiring 11,500 acres of private land adjacent to the John Day River, Thirtymile Creek and surrounding upland areas. Britton expressed his concerns that the seller, Western Rivers, wants to retain wind energy development and mineral rights to the property. Teitzel agreed this is unusual because normally the BLM purchases property with no rights retained by the seller. Teitzel said they were fortunate and did not have any large fires on BLM land during fire season. In 2017 the BLM collected just over $21,000 in fees for permits sold on the John Day River and said this money will continue to be put back into the John Day River for maintenance and patrols.
MARIJUANA DISPENSARY. Haley Olson had called and left a message while court was in session that she needed to cancel her court appearance for today. Hamsher wanted to clarify that in previous court sessions it was announced that the County and Cities would not receive any tax revenue from marijuana sales and this was incorrect. The County received $14,597.20 and the Cities will receive some as well. He is still trying to get those numbers.
PUBLIC COMMENT. Frances Preston would like an update on the Natural Resource Advisor position. Myers said three RFP’s are being reviewed and a decision has not yet been made, nor has a work session been scheduled. Preston wanted to know why the City of John Day had the lead on 911 and not the County. Myers isn’t sure how John Day became the entity that takes care of 911, but thinks at some time in the past the County turned this management over to John Day. Preston expressed her opinion that the Forest Service must allow the public to comment on the Forest Revision, but understands that this isn’t going to be allowed. She requested the court write a letter asking the Forest Service and USDA for clarification of this issue. Myers said those who have standing can comment. Preston stated she understands that, but because there are two new alternatives that are new issues she thinks the public has the right to comment. Myers advised he will call or email Jim Pena and seek clarification. Preston further expressed her concern that Myers and Britton both attended the Forest Plan Revision meeting and therefore a quorum of the County Court was at the meeting. Myers said other counties sent more than one court member to the meeting and said he and Britton did not discuss issues nor arrive at any decisions. Myers added the court members can attend events together as long as they don’t discuss issues or make decisions. Judy Schuette gave her opinion that the majority of statements made to the court and requests made of the court should be placed on the agenda, especially when someone is making a request for court action. Britton told the audience the names of other commissioners who attended the Forest Plan Revision meeting and also said other regulatory agencies were represented which was unusual and gave credit to Representative Walden for putting the meeting together.
Nick Green asked the court for guidance on how to proceed with the broadband issue. Green said there was a quote in the newspaper attributed to Myers regarding needing to know operational costs and asked for clarification of what he meant. Green advised at this time there is no way to know exact costs because it is too early in the process. Myers said the court had not made a decision as a body and this would need to come before the court as an agenda item. Green asked how soon the agreement should be presented to the court and Myers said right away. Discussion followed about the possible costs and Green said the percentage to each entity right now is strictly for the cost of the main line installation. After the main line is installed each city will be responsible for its own costs. Green explained the time restraints being faced so construction can begin next year. Elaine Smith said she believes the broadband issue should have been put on the agenda. This topic was scheduled for November 8th at 9:30 am for further discussion. Dan Becker stated when someone outside of John Day/Canyon City gets Oregon Telephone internet service they are told it is a requirement that they have a landline. Becker contacted the Oregon Public Utilities Commission and was told this is not true.
11:18 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 email@example.com ****