Grant County Court minutes from Feb. 14, 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, Judy Kerr, Billie Jo George, Reporter Rick Hanners, Sally Bartlett, Allison Field, Jim Spell, Sam Palmer, Lisa Weigum, Tracey Blood, Amy Stiner, Elise Delgado, Katy Nelson, 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 #101-113.
HAND CHECKS. The court had reviewed and approved two hand checks on January 31st for the Fair and payroll.
AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to accept the agenda as amended with the removal of Item H to discuss the request from the hospital regarding marijuana tax revenue. Myers added that two weeks ago the court suspended the selection of the contractor for the roof replacement of Keerins Hall until Myers could find out if the bid included the entire roof replacement. Myers advised he spoke with the contractor (Hughes, Inc.) and it did include everything so he signed a contract with Hughes, Inc. MSP: Britton/Hamsher to approve Hughes Inc. as the contractor to replace the Keerins Hall roof.
ANNOUNCEMENTS. Commissioner Britton traveled to Portland last week and watched the play “Astoria” which he said was historically accurate and very good. Britton wished to call the court’s attention to a letter received from a local citizen thanking the court for assisting with the hiring of an animal control officer.
Judge Myers and the other commissioners participated in a meeting on January 25th to select a replacement for Rep. Bentz. Lynn Findley was appointed to replace Bentz. On January 30th he traveled to Baker City for a Community Connections meeting and on February 5th attended a GEODC meeting at Sally Bartlett’s Office. February 8th Myers conducted an employee evaluation for Planning Director McNary and said she is doing a wonderful job. Also on the 8th he attended a Senior Citizen Trust Committee meeting. Myers went to Granite on the 9th to view a cabin Community Connections had loaned money on and acquired due to foreclosure.
9:10 am Steve Beverlin entered.
On Monday he went to an Airport Commission meeting and yesterday went to another Senior Citizen Trust meeting. Tomorrow Myers will chair a Board of Property Tax Appeals hearing and then will travel to Burns for a memorial service. Myers said on Monday he lowered the flag at the courthouse in honor of Greg Bremner who was a Canyon City Fire Fighter and also a Road Department employee who passed away last Saturday. Myers will attend his memorial on Saturday morning.
9:12 am Haley Walker entered.
Commissioner Hamsher also attended the meeting to appoint Rep. Bentz’s replacement. Over the last two weeks Hamsher went to a North Fork John Day Watershed Council presentation in Long Creek, participated in an AOC Natural Resource Steering Committee meeting and AOC Veteran’s Affairs Steering Committee and went to a Rodeo Committee meeting.
MINUTES. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to approve the January 24th minutes as presented.
9:13 am Dan Becker and Nancy Nickel entered.
SOUTH FORK JOHN DAY WATERSHED COUNCIL. The court received an update on the activities of the South Fork John Day Watershed Council (SFJDWC) from Amy Stiner. Stiner provided a hand out to the court members and said this is an annual check in with the court. Stiner summarized her background. She stated the watershed is a non-government, non-profit organization and is completely voluntary for landowners to work with. Meetings are held every second Monday of each month at the Izee School House for anyone interested in attending. The SFJDWC completed 7projects in 2017, have 20 open projects and 16 projects on their waiting list. Stiner discussed the different activities & programs the SFJDWC does along with their outreach programs and partnerships. Stiner explained the work the Watershed has been doing to include the Lower South Fork and the survey that was sent out to stakeholders. A meeting will be held on February 28th from 10-2 at the Oregon Department of Forestry Conference Room to learn if there is interest from the South Fork John Day Coordinate Resource Management Planning group in partnering with the Watershed Council. The goal is to improve involvement with the entire Watershed. Elise Delgado explained some of the programs she works on including the Farm to School program for students.
9:37 am Ryan Nehl, Teresa Dixon, Shilo Burton-Harper and Cooper Merrill entered.
SEARCH & RESCUE. Undersheriff Zach Mobley requested Court permission to purchase a 1998 Chevy Suburban for Search and Rescue. The vehicle has approximately 51,000 current miles and is out fitted with emergency lights. Deschutes County is willing to sell this vehicle to Grant County Search and Rescue for $2000 and this would be paid from the Search & Rescue Donation budget line. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve purchase of the 98 Chevy Suburban in the amount of $2000 to be paid from the search and rescue donation budget line.
COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS. Community Corrections Director Todd McKinley presented a written request to the court for the purchase of an air purifier for their building. The staff frequently experiences respiratory and sinus issues within the building. The Safety Committee recommended air tests for chemical toxins (which was done by the fire department) along with cleaning the air vents and changing the heat pump filter (which was also done). The staff continued to experience the same issues. The Safety Committee recommended purchasing an air purifier for the building. Three quotes were obtained: AirPurifiers.com $538.99; Hammacher.com $574.95; and Lowe’s $638.00. McKinley recommended purchase of the machine from AirPurifiers.com in the amount of $538.99. This would be paid from equipment reserve. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve purchase of the air purifier in the amount of $538.99 to be paid from equipment reserve 116-5401.
AGGREGATE MATERIALS STORAGE LEASE. The court reviewed an aggregate storage lease between Grant County and Mitch & Jennie Mund. The term of the lease is for 10 years at a rate of $600 per year. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the aggregate materials storage lease with the Munds and circulate for signatures.
LCAC HEALTH DEPT. REPRESENTATIVE. The court reviewed a letter from GC Health Dept. Accreditation Coordinator Kathy Cancilla requesting that Jessica Winegar, Health Department Manager, be officially appointed as the Local Community Advisory Council representative for the Grant County Health Department. Winegar is already a member of the LCAC committee, but for accreditation purposes needs to be officially appointed as a representative of the health department. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to appoint Jessica Winegar as the LCAC representative for the Grant County Health Department.
NEXT COURT DATE. Administrative Assistant Laurie Wright will be attending the CIS Conference during the week of February 28th and will be unable to attend court. The court members agreed to change the next court date to February 21st, 2018. MSP: Myers/Hamsher – to change the next court date to February 21st.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. Economic Development Coordinator Sally Bartlett introduced her new Economic Development Specialist Allison Field to those in attendance.
Contract: Bartlett requested court approval of a contract with Nina Leanne Gast to assist with business development, technical writing, interviewing and market research for the GC Economic Development Office. This contract would be for a term of 12 weeks with a maximum payment amount of $3500. Gast would assist with preparing two Percolator publications for this year.
Request for Proposal: Bartlett presented a proposed Request for Proposals to the court for review. The RFP is for a new website designer for the county website. Bartlett advised it is time for a new website to be more in line with what is needed now. She estimates the cost at around $20,000 which would be paid from project maintenance. Discussion was held about the current website and the changes that would be beneficial in a new site. Bartlett said Economic Development has always paid for the website, but if the county or departments pitched in the website could even be better.
Farmers Market: Bartlett said the market has been in existence since 2010 and advised they have never become a 501(c)3 corporation, but it is time for this to happen. Bartlett would like permission to apply for a Ford Foundation Grant to assist them and her office will also contribute approximately $2000 to assist with this. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to approve the RFP and authorize Bartlett to move forward to be paid from project maintenance; and to approve the contract with Gast to be paid from project marketing and Title III Firewise and circulate for signatures; and to approve the application for the Ford Foundation Grant and assistance to the Farmers Market.
9:56 am Dave Halemieir entered.
10:00 The court took a short break. 10:09 am The court returned to session.
MALHEUR NATIONAL FOREST. Deputy Forest Supervisor Ryan Nehl introduced Teresa Dixon, Shilo Burton-Harper and Cooper Merrill. Nehl explained last summer a contractor reviewed the Forest Service facilities and the Malheur National Forest is the first forest in the country to have a facilities master plan. The lack of funding has caused a lot of the buildings to become deteriorated and Nehl said this has been frustrating. Nehl advised the Forest Service is open to public input and ideas on how to deal with these facilities. Teresa Dixon presented a PowerPoint presentation to the court regarding the Facilities Master Plan and Recreation Facilities Master Plan which addresses the condition of buildings on the forest (lookouts, campgrounds, toilets, etc.) and whether certain structures should be decommissioned. The facilities master plan is an inventory of facilities located on the National Forest and is used to document deferred maintenance, decommissioning and acquisition of facilities. Dixon explained the strategies determined by the study conducted at the national level. Meetings will be held on February 20th in Grant County and February 22nd in Harney County to request public comments. Comments will be accepted until March 23rd and can be mailed, emailed or given at the public meetings. The finalized plan will be a guiding document and can be modified in the future if necessary. Dixon explained each PowerPoint slide and the funding gap the Forest Service is facing on a national and local level.
10:41 am Sharon Livingston entered.
Dixon summarized the contractor findings and recommendations from the study conducted last summer. Slides were shown of various facilities on the Malheur National Forest along with some current suggestions on decommissioning or repairing the facilities. Dixon and Nehl answered questions from those in attendance.
11:18 am The court took a short break. 11:23 am The court returned to session.
PLANNING DEPARTMENT. Planning Director Hilary McNary and Planning Assistant Shannon Springer discussed implementing e-permitting with the court. Celina Patterson from the State of Oregon Building Codes Division appeared via telephone. The e-permitting software is called Accela and provides an interface for office staff to view & issue permits, schedule inspections and handle all matters related to the building permitting program. It would also allow contractors to pull permits online for simple electrical, plumbing and mechanical projects. Only licensed contractors who are pre-authorized to use the program can pull permits online. In the past the Planning Department declined to participate because of the costs associated with the program. Springer traveled to Pendleton last week and viewed what the system could provide and how it works. The Building Codes Division has offered to allow the Planning Department to pass the costs on to them for this service so it can be implemented. Currently the Planning Department is allowed to retain 10% of the building permit fees to assist with costs and this would remain the same. Myers asked Patterson if there were any draw backs to the e-permitting system. Patterson said the main drawback would probably be the initial computer entry for the permit. McNary and Springer advised they are ready to move forward with implementing this system with some nervousness due to learning a new system. Patterson explained the implementation of the system takes approximately 4 months for training prior to the system going live. Patterson suggested waiting until this fall to begin implementation when construction slows down. McNary recommended entering into the Intergovernmental Agreement with the Building Codes Division. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to approve the IGA with the State of Oregon Building Codes Division for e-permitting and circulate for signatures.
AIRPORT. Rural Airport Services Study: Airport Manager Haley Walker explained the results of the rural airport services study which was completed over the last year and half. In Eastern Oregon Pendleton, Baker City and John Day were studied for potential commercial rural air service. Walker summarized some of the items looked at in the study. She believes this is an accurate study based on the economic and cultural factors at this time. The study concluded that rural commercial air service is not currently a feasible option for the Grant County Regional Airport.
Courtesy Car: Walker requested permission from the Court to donate the 1989 Plymouth Reliant airport courtesy car and 4 snow tires to the Heart of Grant County. The only known mechanical issue with the car is it needs a battery. Cork from Les Schwab has volunteered to donate a battery. This vehicle was advertised in the last County surplus sale for $500 and received no bids. It is rarely used at the airport because there are two other courtesy cars available. The Heart of Grant County is a non-profit entity who would greatly benefit from the vehicle. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve donation of the 1989 Plymouth Reliant and 4 snow tires to The Heart of Grant County.
AIRPORT JOINT FACILITY USE AGREEMENT. The court members reviewed the Joint Facility Business Plan between Grant County and the Forest Service for the Airport building. This is an annual agreement designed the assist both entities in the efficient and effective operation of the Airport facility and has been in effect since the Forest Service and Airport have both been occupying the building. Myers advised there has been some reluctance by the other party to the agreement to sign it until clarification is reached regarding some County Ordinances and Custom and Culture document. Myers said his intent is to sign the agreement as per County Counsel’s recommendation. MSP: Britton/Hamsher -- to approve the Joint Facility Business Plan and circulate for signatures.
PUBLIC COMMENT. Sharon Livingston would like to be on the agenda for the next court meeting. She wants to discuss natural resources and the problems caused by the lack of timber harvest and cattle grazing.
12:15 pm – 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 ****