Grant County Court minutes from March 28, 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, Jim Sproul, Dan Becker, Reporter Rick Hanners, Jim Spell, Beth Spell, Sam Palmer, Reporter Logan Bagett, Judy Schuette, Rick Minster, Gordon Larson, Bob Crisler, Reporter Sean Hart, Katy Nelson, Steve Beverlin, Rusty Baughman, Austene Hendrix, Deb Roy, Vicki Thompson, Julie Ellison and Pastor David Hoeffner. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States Flag. The invocation was given by Pastor Hoeffner.
CLAIMS. The court had reviewed and approved claims and extension district warrants #130-136 on March 21, 2018. Commissioner Britton declared a conflict on a claim to Boyd Britton Welding.
AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Hamsher-- to accept the agenda as presented with the addition of a proclamation declaring April Child Abuse Prevention Month.
ANNOUNCEMENTS. Commissioner Britton stood and apologized to Jim Sproul for inappropriate comments he made in a budget hearing last week. Britton praised Julie Ellison for her good work on the budget and during the budget meetings. He said the legislature funded SRS for at least a couple of years and fully funded PILT for this upcoming year. Britton was the auctioneer at the Library fund raiser which he reported went very well.
9:08 am John Morris, Charlene Morris and Archie Osburn entered.
Britton said Tanner Elliott was recently on TV and did a great job during the interview.
Judge Myers reported there will be some changes in the way SRS funding can be utilized including pre-buying some Search & Rescue equipment and assisting with paying for patrols on the forest. On March 15th he chaired an Emergency Food & Shelter meeting and went to a Mental Health Advisory Council meeting later that morning. Myers attended the following: March 16 CASA dinner and auction; March 19 Budget Committee meeting; March 20 Safety Committee meeting, Budget Committee meeting, 911 User Board meeting; March 22 Seniors Investment meeting; and March 23 Heritage Foundation Board meeting. This afternoon Myers will travel to Pendleton for a meeting with Rep. Walden to discuss SRS and PILT funding. This month he attended a total of 22 meetings. Tomorrow Myers will assist with a fundraiser at the Canyon City Park to benefit the Grant County Museum.
Commissioner Hamsher attended two budget committee meetings and met with Mindy Winegar at the Fairgrounds to discuss Fair events. Hamsher also went to the Road Department to discuss their budget. Hamsher will travel to Pendleton today to also meet with Rep. Walden. Hamsher reported on some meetings he attended in Prairie City and announced US Cellular plans on putting a cell tower in Prairie City and the plan is to use the funds from this pay for repairs to the existing water system at no cost to the citizens. Hamsher met with the City of John Day to discuss the patrol deputy contract in Prairie City and will be sending a representative to talk to the Sheriff’s Department about taking on this contract.
MINUTES. MSP: Britton/Hamsher -- to approve the March 14th minutes as presented.
9:14 am Billie Jo George entered.
SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET HEARING. Treasurer Julie Ellison presented Resolution #18-07 to the court. Notice of supplemental budget meeting was advertised in the Blue Mountain Eagle on March 21, 2018 pursuant to Oregon Budget Law. A supplemental budget needs to be adopted to receive and appropriate premium book ads for the Fair for budget year 2017-18 in the amount of $15,000. Ellison explained in the past the Fairgrounds has had someone else prepare their premium book ads, but this year plan on taking it back and completing this themselves. MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to adopt the supplemental budget and approve Resolution 18-07 and circulate for signatures.
AGGREGATE MATERIALS STORAGE LEASE. The court reviewed an aggregate materials storage lease with Michael E. Keerins Trust. The lease had previously been approved by the court, but the owner requested some changes be made. The lease consideration is $2,511.43 annually for 10 years. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to approve the lease agreement and circulate for signatures.
PLANNING DEPARTMENT. Planning Director Hilary McNary sent a written narrative to the court requesting updated computer software for her department. Funds from the Grant Young Memorial Grant will be utilized for the purchase of ESRI ArcView GIS software at a cost of $1500 with a yearly maintenance program of $400 per year. The current version of the software being used in the planning office is outdated and no longer supported by ESRI. This program is used for assessment data as well as flood hazard mapping. MSP: Myers/Hamsher – to approve purchase of the items requested.
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT. Administrative Assistant Laurie Wright presented quotes to the court for a new office chair and Microsoft Office Suite 2016 computer software. The office chair would replace the current one Wright uses which is uncomfortable for prolonged use. The current chair will be re-purposed and used in the courtroom. The memory foam chair quotes were: Amazon $183.88; National Business Furniture $349 or $369 (depending on style); and Amazon $349.99. The software quote provided by ESD was $273.41. ESD recommended upgrading the computer software and expressed concern that the current software being used was becoming outdated. These items would be paid from the general fund – capital outlay equipment. MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to approve purchase of an office chair from Amazon in the amount of $183.88 and Microsoft Office Suite 2016 from ESD in the amount of $273.41 to be paid from general fund – capital outlay equipment.
LIBRARY. The court reviewed a request from the library to purchase a fire proof safe to keep laptops, kindles, money and other valuables in. A fund raiser was held in which the money was raised for this purchase. Four quotes were provided: D&B Supply $1,499.99; Bi-Mart $1,899; Costco $1,999.99; and Home Depot $2,151.42. Librarian Vicki Bond recommended purchasing the safe from D&B Supply in the amount of $1,499.99 as it is the least expensive and is rated for 80 minutes of fire protection. MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to approve purchase of the safe from D&B Supply in the amount of $1,499.99 to be paid from the library – capital outlay equipment.
EOCA DUES. The court reviewed an invoice from Union County in the amount of $1,220.69 for Eastern Oregon Counties Association dues. Myers believes this is to assist other counties who cannot afford to pay AOC dues and he will confirm this with Commissioner McClure at today’s meeting in Pendleton. MSP: Myers/Britton – to approve payment of the EOCA dues.
***Judge Myers spoke with Commissioner McClure at the meeting in Pendleton and found out this money is to pay a share of the travel expenses for the EOCA liaison to travel to Washington, DC.***
9:23 am Chris Labhart and David Thunell entered.
PROCLAMATION. Myers read a proclamation to those in attendance declaring April Child Abuse Prevention Month in Grant County. MSP: Hamsher/Myers – to approve the proclamation and circulate for signatures.
ASSESSOR – FORECLOSURE SALES. Assessor David Thunell discussed the upcoming property tax foreclosure sales with the court. Myers said lengthy discussions have been held regarding how this process will work. Thunell wished to thank District Attorney Jim Carpenter for getting judgments on these properties. On April 10th a deed will be recorded deeding the properties to Grant County and then they can be sold and placed back on the tax rolls. Thunell said the main issue today is to set a minimum bid for the properties. Thunell provided a spreadsheet to the court members setting minimum value bids at 50% of the real market value. If a property doesn’t sell at the oral auction then the court can take offers at a later date. Thunell believes 31 properties will be deeded to Grant County on April 11th. Thunell said he expects at least half of the properties to sell. On April 11th the court will enter an Order directing the Sheriff to sell the properties. MSP: Myers/Hamsher – to accept the Assessor’s recommendation and set the minimum bid of the properties at 50% of the real market value.
9:37 am Elaine Smith entered.
NATURAL RESOURCE ADVISOR. Hamsher said he realizes there are concerns on how this position will be funded and requested until more information comes in on SRS and PILT funding he would like to table this discussion until a court meeting in April. Britton said the proposal he discussed in the budget meeting about an administrative fund would have addressed this but was shot down. Britton stated he is fine with tabling this for now. Myers said PILT can be spent at the discretion of the court, but SRS funding has guidelines that must be followed. Hamsher understands PILT funding is being increased and once we know how much money the county will receive funding may become available for this position. Hamsher is hopeful that after the meeting today with Rep. Walden more information regarding funding will be available. Discussion followed about how projects are selected by the RAC and the process for spending Title II funding. This discussion was tabled until the April 25th court meeting.
9:53 am The court took a short break. 10:04 am Mike Stearly entered.
10:11 am The court returned to session.
BROADBAND IGA & AMENDED ORDINANCE. The court reviewed the proposed Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the City of John Day, City of Seneca and Grant County for joint management of a broadband network. Ordinance 2017-01 needed to be amended by Ordinance 2018-01 to change the effective date of the original ordinance from January 1 to April 10. Myers said the IGA was prepared by the John Day City Attorney and has been edited by County Counsel Ron Yockim. Myers gave a summary of the background of the process up to today’s date. Britton asked if Mr. Green had seen the edits. Myers assumes so. The changes to the agreement will not change the amended ordinance. Hamsher said he realizes this has been months in the making, but hasn’t had an adequate amount of time to review the agreement since the redline version wasn’t provided until this morning. Britton said he reviewed the draft provided on Monday and is comfortable with Yockim’s changes and said the severability clause allows the county to leave the agreement at any time. Hamsher understands it would take 90 days for the county to leave the agreement, but he reads it to say the City of John Day could leave immediately with just a letter. Hamsher would prefer clarification on some of these items prior to voting on the agreement. Britton suggested approving the agreement today with the caveat that Hamsher contact Yockim and if his concerns aren’t alleviated the agreement can be changed. Hamsher expressed concerns with the unknown costs in the agreement. Britton believes the agreement needs to be moved forward and is comfortable with it. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve Amended Ordinance No. 2018-01 and circulate for signatures. Myers and Britton voted yes. Hamsher voted no because he still has questions about the agreement and believes the ordinance ties the court to the agreement. Jim Sproul asked if Judge Myers has any conflict of interest because he was on the initial group discussing broadband and Myers advised he does not because he will receive no financial gain from the agreement. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to conditionally approve the IGA, but not sign it until Commissioner Hamsher has his questions resolved after discussion with Ron Yockim. Britton and Myers voted yes. Hamsher voted no because he would like his questions resolved regarding the agreement.
PUBLIC COMMENT. Sam Palmer asked what happens to the money if John Day opts out. Myers said the money would remain and another entity would take over as lead agency. Billie Jo George asked what entities were entering into this agreement. Myers said John Day, Seneca and Grant County. George asked if this would affect all citizens. Myers believes it will, but in a positive way and no money has been allocated as of yet. Charlene Morris asked why this money wasn’t given to Ortelco and Myers said they didn’t apply and discussions are being held with Ortelco and CenturyLink. Hamsher wanted it on record that he isn’t against the broadband agreement; he just wants his questions answered (especially regarding cost).
10:38 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 ****