Grant County Court minutes from Jan. 24, 2018:
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, Haley Walker, Shanna Northway, Reporter Rick Hanners, Jim Spell, Beth Spell, Doug Ferguson, Jim Sproul, Reporter Logan Bagett, Rick Minster, Didgette McCracken, Carol Waggoner, Crystal Culley, Ron Rue, Judy Schuette, Jim Soupir, Billie Jo George, Judy Kerr, Katy Nelson, Steve Beverlin, Susan Church and Pastor Al Altnow. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States Flag. The invocation was given by Pastor Altnow.
CLAIMS. The court had reviewed and approved claims and extension district warrant #100 on January 17th.
HAND CHECK. The court approved a hand check on January 18th for payment to USDA-Aphis.
AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to accept the agenda as presented with the addition of a request from the Justice of the Peace for training costs for Pro Tem.
ANNOUNCEMENTS. Commissioner Britton said last Monday there was a SEACT meeting at the Airport that was very well attended.
9:04 am Dan Becker entered.
Tomorrow Britton will travel to Ontario for the meeting to select Representative Bentz’s replacement. Britton advised he is in the process of following up on a water impoundment with the State and will seek assistance from Senator Bentz and Ted Ferrioli.
Judge Myers traveled to Harney County last Thursday to discuss 911 Dispatch and the possible option of partnering with them. Myers said Baker County has also expressed interest in a 911 partnership. On Friday Myers went to the Airport for a meeting with the Forest Service about the joint facility use agreement for the building.
9:10 am Nancy Nickel entered.
On Monday he went to a Planning Meeting at the Airport regarding the 20 year comprehensive plan and also attended an internet meeting at the John Day Fire Hall. Myers conducted an employee performance review yesterday and will also travel to Ontario tomorrow for the selection of Representative Bentz’s replacement. Myers picked up ballots last night for delivery to the Clerk. On Friday morning Myers, Sheriff Palmer, District Attorney Carpenter, Assessor Thunell and County Counsel Ron Yockim will have a telephone conference regarding the process for the upcoming tax foreclosures.
Commissioner Hamsher attended the Senior Center Board meeting last Wednesday. He also participated in a telephonic meeting with the AOC. Hamsher said he went to Malheur Lumber to request donated or discounted lumber for re-siding Keerins Hall and while he was there he was advised of issues Malheur was having getting rid of their pot ash and also problems they ran into when they tried to put a third shift on. Hamsher explained an idea he has to address these issues and proposed his idea to Senator Bentz at a Farm Bureau meeting on Sunday. Senator Bentz expressed interest in assisting with solutions to the issues. Hamsher will be traveling to Ontario tomorrow for the selection of Rep. Bentz’s replacement.
MINUTES. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the January 10th minutes as amended.
EXTENSION & 4-H SERVICE DISTRICT. Shanna Northway, 4-H and Extension Faculty Leader, provided an update to the court on the Extension & 4-H Service District activities. Northway presented a PowerPoint to the court. Northway advised their office relocated to the Madden Building in downtown John Day and said it has been a good move. She explained some of the trainings she attended in the last year and the committee’s she’s involved in. Northway said the Grant County Fair Manager, Staff and Board were recognized at the State level for program and partnership as was Carol Waggoner. Northway obtained her pesticide consultants license in 2017 and stated this has been very beneficial. She discussed agricultural programs on the horizon for 2018. Northway explained the STEM after school program through 4-H that is for elementary students. They also provide a Natural Resource Camp to students with other partners from the community. Northway added there is something for everyone in 4-H (shooting, sewing, cooking, etc.) and if a program needs to be added they will work to achieve that. Christal Culley explained her position to those in attendance. Culley works with 4-H including preparing for Fair, 4-H Camp, Clubs and assisting with Community Service involvement. Culley talked about different 4-H classes she is planning for the future.
9:32 am Eva Harris entered.
4-H includes programs such as a summer conference, and urban rural exchange where kids learn about natural resources from an urban and rural perspective by exchanging places for 3 to 6 days. Culley also works on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Education (SNAP-ED) where she provides nutrition/physical education activity education in schools along with other services.
9:38 am Mindy Winegar entered and Burke O’Brien entered.
Carol Waggoner explained some of her general office duties as the Office Coordinator for the extension service along with what she does to promote the 4-H/Extension programs.
9:42 am Pat Holliday entered.
Waggoner is also Master Gardener and Master Preserver. Beginning in February she will be conducting a Master Gardener Course. Didgette McCracken introduced herself as the new Open Campus Coordinator. McCracken said the open campus goals are career and college readiness, community/economic development and degree completion for students and adults. McCracken explained her programs and what is offered more fully. McCracken added they are putting a computer lab together to allow students without computer or internet access to complete their education.
10:00 am The court took a short break. 10:01 am Jason Kehrberg, Shane Koppel and Matt Wenick entered. 10:06 am The court returned to session.
GRANT CO. SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT. Jason Kehrberg, District Manager of the Grant County Soil & Water Conservation District updated the court on the activities of the GCS&WCD activities. Kehrberg introduced Pat Holliday, Matt Wenick and Shane Koppel. Kehrberg thanked the court for their consistent support over the years. Kehrberg explained the district was established by referendum in 1956 and summarized what a conservation district is. Kehrberg presented a PowerPoint to the court. The GS&WDC is an extremely large district providing a variety of services and programs to encourage long-term productivity, sustainable use and conservation of the district’s natural resources. One of the primary programs offered by the district is a county wide noxious weed control program. Kehrberg showed numerous pictures of projects they have completed for fencing to protect riparian areas, irrigation system upgrades for fish passage, consolidation of diversions, stream and flood plain function restoration, alternative livestock watering systems and Canyon Creek Complex Restoration seeding. Doug Ferguson commended Kehrberg and his staff for their assistance and work after the fire. Matt Wenick explained the role of the Grant SWCD Weed Control Department, the funding sources and benefits to the county and the different entities they contract with to provide weed control services. Wenick answered questions about weed types and priority of elimination within the county. The different ways weed contamination comes into the area were discussed. Wenick summarized the amount of acreage treated in the county and the different methods utilized. In the last 15 years the total program resources for the conservation district totaled $28,650,357. Kehrberg closed the presentation by giving a summary of funding sources, projects completed and future projects planned for 2018.
10:58 am Kathy Stinnett entered.
Kehrberg stated he has a terrific staff and wanted to acknowledge their expertise and hard work. Steve Beverlin thanked Kehrberg for all of the assistance the district provides to the Forest Service.
LETTER OF APPRECIATION. The court presented a Certificate of Appreciation and letter of commendation to former Morrow County Public Works Director Burke O’Brien for his years of service to Grant & Morrow Counties and his work on the Grant-Morrow OHV Park and 2017 Statewide Transportation Bill. Commissioner Britton advised today is Burke O’Brien’s birthday and wished him a Happy Birthday. Britton read the letter to those in attendance.
CONNECT AMERICANS NOW. Commissioner Hamsher presented information he received from Connect Americans Now (CAN) regarding their goal to bring affordable and reliable broadband internet to rural Americans. CAN’s goal is to utilize unused TV White Spaces (unused spectrum in the UHF television bands) to provide broadband service to rural communities. CAN is requesting support from local organizations in order to advance their mission of lobbying the legislature to set aside a portion of UHF television bands for this purpose. The Association of Oregon Counties and Oregon Cattleman’s Association along with other entities have signed on in support of this endeavor. There is no cost to the county to support this. Myers and Hamsher advised this would compliment other services and not interfere with them. Britton said he believes this is a good idea and there is no down side to supporting this. MSP: Britton/Hamsher -- to sign a letter of support to Connect Americans Now.
11:19 am Rob Raschio entered.
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE. Justice of the Peace Kathy Stinnett had requested court approval to send her contracted Pro Tem Riccola Voigt to a Judicial Education Conference on traffic safety in Bend in March. The cost of the conference is $150 for the conference, 2 or 3 nights of lodging and most meals. Stinnett asked the court to make an exception to county policy this one time and to pay for this training for Voigt. Rob Raschio expressed his opinion that paying for this training would be a benefit to the county. Stinnett advised she should have included this in the contract when it was drafted and she will include training in future contracts. Hamsher said he would be willing to donate $50, if the other court members would, towards the cost of this rather than set a precedent for the future. The court members agreed to each pay $50 to pay for Voigt’s attendance at the conference. Stinnett advised she would pay for meals for Voigt that are not included in the conference.
COMMITTEE VOLUNTEERS. Planning Commission: The court reviewed a volunteer application for a vacant alternate position on the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission had reviewed and approved of the applicant. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to appoint Tanner Elliott to an alternate position on the Planning Commission with a term to expire on December 31, 2019.
TIME KEEPING SYSTEM FOR JAIL. Corrections Manager Josh Wolf sent information to the court regarding a time keeping system for the jail. City County Insurance Services has agreed to assist with paying for the system. This system allows corrections staff to electronically scan a button during their cell checks and logs this information into the computer system assuring that accurate records are kept and reducing potential liability to the jail. The system can also log service of meals, perimeter checks and any other item needed to be logged. Wolf checked with ESD and no additional computer hard drives will be required for the system. The quote for the system is $4,552.81 and would be paid from the jail expansion fund and then reimbursed from CIS. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the purchase of the time keeping system in the amount of $4,552.81 from TimeKeeping Systems to be paid from the jail expansion fund.
KEERINS HALL ROOF. The court members reviewed two quotes received for replacement of the roof on Keerins Hall. The quotes were: Hughes Inc. ($10,150) and Palmer Roofing ($27,700). Judge Myers requested quotes from other contractors, but received no responses. Britton suggested tabling this discussion until Judge Myers can look into if further because of the large disparity in price. MSP: Britton/Hamsher – to table this discussion until further clarification on the disparity in price. Judge Myers will speak with Hughes to make sure the bid included the entire building.
AGGREGATE STORAGE LEASE RENEWAL. Road Master Alan Hickerson sent a renewal lease agreement for Mike Keerins stockpile site. Keerins requested an increase of the yearly payments from $1931.87 to $2511.43 for a 10 year lease. Hickerson advised this is a valuable site and he recommended accepting the small increase in the yearly lease fee and requested the court approve and sign the lease. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to accept the recommendation of the Roadmaster and approve the lease with Mike Keerins and circulate for signatures.
FAIR CONCERT HEADLINER. The court reviewed the artist rider contract with Lonestar to provide the headliner concert entertainment at the 2018 Fair. This is the contract provided by Lonestar’s producer. The cost of the contract with Lonestar is $30,000 and if the concert goes well the potential revenue could be around $50,000. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the contract with Lonestar and authorize Judge Myers to sign. *** In the January 10th minutes the expense line to pay for the headliner act, stage and generator was incorrectly identified as fair expense and should actually have been the entertainment line. ***
PUBLIC COMMENT. Jim Sproul asked for a status update on the Natural Resource Consultant position and said it is important for the court to either decide to move forward with this or not. Myers said he personally hasn’t decided whether this position is necessary. Sproul suggested making a decision on this matter soon.
11:44 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 ****