Grant County Court minutes from April 25, 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, Elaine Smith, John Morris, Archie Osburn, Reporter Logan Bagett, Gordon Larson, Rick Minster, Tom Olson, Joseph Intile, Ron Ballard, Dave Traylor, Katy Nelson, Louis Provencher, Sam Palmer, Charlene Morris, Kris Beal, Beth Spell, Jim Spell, Jim Soupir, Reporter Rick Hanners, Mark Webb 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 warrants #150-152 on April 18th.
HAND CHECK. The court approved a hand check to refund a planning application fee on April 17th.
AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to accept the agenda as amended. Commissioner Hamsher requested the Natural Resource Advisor discussion be postponed and removed from the agenda for today.
9:06 am Tanner Elliott entered.
ANNOUNCEMENTS. Commissioner Britton traveled to Pendleton and met with two forest supervisors and the regional supervisor along with other commissioners to discuss grazing issues. Britton advised he felt good about the way the conversation went. Last Thursday Britton attended a conference in Walla Walla where the Forest Service was asking for input on how local district rangers work with the public and county officials. Britton advised he is still in negotiations for sale of the mental health building.
Judge Myers chaired a Mental Health Advisory Board on the 13th to discuss the increase in local suicides and what may be causing this. On the 16th he attended a budget meeting and on the 17th chaired the annual Northeast Oregon Housing Authority meeting.
9:09 am Elise Delgado entered.
Myers and Hamsher both went to a block grant meeting to discuss possible funding for a new building for the Heart of Grant County. April 19th Myers went to a LPSCC meeting. Yesterday he and Al Altnow traveled to La Grande for a Community Connections of Northeast Oregon meeting where he was asked to Chair the board beginning in January. Tonight Myers will have a casual meeting with the Grant County Democrats. Myers will perform an employee evaluation on April 16th and attend 911 meetings at the Oregon Department of Forestry building.
Commissioner Hamsher attended the senior citizens lunch last week in Prairie City, John Day and Monument. He went to block grant meeting and also attended the candidate’s forum on Sunday.
MINUTES. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the April 11th minutes as presented.
BLUE MOUNTAIN FOREST PARTNERS. Executive Director Mark Webb presented an update to the court on Blue Mountain Forest Partners activities. Webb passed copies of documents he provided to the court to the audience.
9:14 am Mike Stearly, Deb Ray, Eva Harris and Adele Cearny entered.
Webb explained BMFP works with the Forest Service and Harney County Collaborative to ensure the local forests are managed in a healthy manner. Webb explained how CFRLP funding and the 10 Year Stewardship had benefited the local economy with jobs, home sales, increased employment numbers and increased school enrollment in some districts. Webb stated without the CFRLP funding and Stewardship project the local mill would not still be operating. He discussed the benefits that may come to the local economy from a new bio-mass plant. Webb said other non-federal groups are investing money here as well such as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) and Wild Turkey Federation due to the projects happening on our forest. Webb explained the map he handed out. Webb answered questions from the court members and audience. Webb said collaboration is mandated by law and without it these projects would not have been possible. Webb answered questions regarding coordination and collaboration. It was suggested that the county court request an opinion from County Counsel regarding coordination, collaboration and cooperation that would provide better definition of what is required by law. Webb estimated approximately half of the stewardship proposed projects have been started or will be within the next year. Webb reported the Forest Service has not been litigated since 2006 on local projects, but this could be because of the project sizes. He said there may be future litigation as projects get larger and treatments become more aggressive. Webb advised BMFP typically has two field trips per month to monitor projects. Discussion followed about SRS funding versus timber sale receipts and how funding is provided to the county. Webb stated the BMFP meetings are open to the public, advertised in the newspaper and minutes are kept for the public to view. Webb introduced Elise Delgado who has been hired part-time to work for BMFP to assist with outreach and to familiarize people with BMFP and what they do. Delgado explained a youth camp she is organizing at Lake Creek Camp the last week of June and some other programs she is working on.
9:56 am Valerie Maynard entered.
Delgado also works with the South Fork John Day Watershed Council.
10:02 am Matt Turner entered.
Webb answered a question on whether County Ordinances cause BMFP any issues. Webb said none of the County Ordinances have been discussed by BMFP and as far as he knows they haven’t caused any problems.
10:04 am The court took a short break. 10:12 am Rebecca Rand entered.
10:15 am Nick Green, Rick Minster & Treasurer Julie Ellison entered.
10:17 am The court returned to session.
911 DISPATCH. The court members discussed the different options for 911. Myers explained a user group has recently been revived and has been meeting under the 1989 911 agreement. Myers expressed his opinion that the ballot measure that failed was because it was to fund 911 from property owners and not all telephone users. Myers advised the City of John Day can no longer afford to fund 911 and so other options had to be looked at. Myers said at the last user meeting the consensus was to keep 911 local at least for the next couple of years in the hopes that state funding may increase. Canyon City Fire Chief Matt Turner said the options are to keep 911 local or to ship it out to Frontier. Turner believes we should at least try to keep 911 local for the next three years and if it then becomes impossible we can go with Frontier. Myers said Frontier would be willing to take over 911 in three years for the same proposal they submitted. Turner advised all of the local fire chief’s support keeping 911 local. John Day City Manager Nick Green explained his understanding of how the current tax funding from telephone taxes works. Discussion followed about how taxes are collected from telephone users. Judy Kerr asked for clarification on what options were available for 911. Britton said an ORS 190 could be formed or the county could take it over. Myers said the City of John Day has already decided they no longer wish to manage 911. Turner reported an Intergovernmental Agreement is already in place as an ORS 190 under the original agreement and what they are looking for is a lead agency to take over such as the county. Myers said a decision needs to be made prior to July 1, 2019 when the City of John Day will no longer manage 911. Turner disagreed in a way because he is concerned we could lose current dispatchers who might find other work out of concern for job security. Hamsher said the representatives who attended the 911 meeting on behalf of Prairie City also reported to him that the consensus was to keep 911 local. Myers explained the potential funding costs and savings. Hamsher expressed his understanding of the potential cost savings to the county. Discussion followed about a potential location for 911 Dispatch; such as two vacant suites in the L-Building. Britton would like to see the county take over 911 and the employees involved. Myers said the decision for today is whether the court would like to keep 911 local based on the hybrid model presented. Turner asked Nick Green how much funding was left from the money received from the legislature. Green reported the funding has been used for this year’s costs and will be used for next year’s as well. Green estimates there should be around $60,000 left over from the funding that can be applied to the third year’s costs. 10:51 am Kathy Stinnett entered.
MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to approve keeping 911 local. MSP: Britton/Hamsher -- to appoint Judge Myers as the court representative to serve on the IGC User Group.
RESOLUTION 18-09. The court reviewed Resolution 18-09 – In the Matter of Submitting the Oregon Department of Revenue Assessment & Taxation Grant Application. This is an annual resolution to apply for the Assessment & Taxation Grant from the Department of Revenue that provides funding to counties to help them come into compliance with Oregon Revised Statutes and other laws requiring equity and uniformity in the system of property taxation. The amount applied for with this resolution will be $561,739.00. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to approve Resolution 18-09 and circulate for signatures.
RESOLUTION 18-10. Treasurer Julie Ellison had prepared Resolution 18-10 to create a new expense budget line for marijuana tax revenue in the amount of $15,175. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve Resolution 18-10 and circulate for signatures.
VETERAN SERVICES OFFICE. VSO Kathleen Hoffman had presented a written request to the court for approval of billboard advertising. Hoffman reported her office is in need of additional advertising, especially after moving the office to a new location. Hoffman received a quote from Meadow Outdoor Advertising for $3,469 per year and recommended this be paid in one payment so it will be expended from the current year’s budget. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the billboard advertising in the amount of $3,469 to be paid in one payment from the VSO budget.
AIRPORT. Airport Manager Haley Walker sent a written request to the court for permission to apply for a Business Oregon grant to assist with funding for the Apron Reconstruction Project scheduled to take place in 2018 and 2019. Walker also provided a letter of support for the court member’s signatures. Myers explained this is a portion of planned improvements at the Airport and will repave the apron and some taxiways. This grant would assist with costs associated with the project. MSP: Myers/Britton - to authorize Walker to apply for the Business Oregon Grant. MSP: Britton/Hamsher – to approve the letter of support for the grant application and circulate for signatures.
PLANNING DEPARTMENT. Planning Director Hilary McNary presented a written request for court approval to request assistance from The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) for planning assistance to update the comprehensive plan and infrastructure information. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to authorize McNary to apply for the DLCD assistance.
USDA COMMUNITY CONNECT GRANT. The court reviewed a proposed letter of support for application for a USDA Community Connect Grant Application to assist with funding the broadband fiber installation. This grant request would be prepared by the City of John Day. Myers read the letter to the audience. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve the letter of support and circulate for signatures.
COMMITTEE VOLUNTEERS. Extension & 4H Service District Advisory Council: Two applications were received for this committee. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to appoint Troy Cox and Jim Jacobs to the Extension & 4H Service District Advisory Council with terms to expire December 31, 2018.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. Economic Development Director Sally Bartlett sent a written request and Amazon quotes to the court for approval of purchase of two office chairs ($181.95, $183.13 & $186.65), two client chairs ($105.76, $111.30 & $111.31) and two small stands for each office ($52.10, $52.94 & $61.16). MSP: Hamsher/Britton – to approve purchase of the office chairs at $181.95 ea., two client chairs at $105.76 ea., and two small stands at $52.10 ea. to be paid from general fund – capital outlay.
11:09 am The court took a break. 11:15 am The court returned to regular session.
Judge Myers recited the State Attorney General’s Sample Script to Announce the Start of Executive Session.
EXECUTIVE SESSION. 11:21 am - The court members met in Executive Session pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(i) to review and evaluate the performance of an officer, employee or staff member. Judge Myers recited the State Attorney General’s Sample Script to Announce the Start of Executive Session. Present were Judge Myers, Commissioner Britton, Commissioner Hamsher, Reporter Rick Hanners and Reporter Logan Bagett. The court left this executive session at 11:37 am. The court then entered into the next executive session. No motions were made after this executive session when the court returned to regular session.
EXECUTIVE SESSION. 11:40 am - The court members met in Executive Session pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(e) to conduct deliberations with persons you have designated to negotiate real property transactions. Judge Myers recited the State Attorney General’s Sample Script to Announce the Start of Executive Session. Present were Judge Myers, Commissioner Britton, Commissioner Hamsher, Reporter Logan Bagett and Reporter Rick Hanners. The court left executive session at 11:53 am. The court returned to regular session at 11:55 am. MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to allow Commissioner Britton to continue negotiations for sale of the property at 528 E. Main Street, John Day.
LETTER TO THE COURT. Commissioner Britton requested the court enter the letter received this morning from Kris & Roy Beal into the record. The letter was in support of keeping 911 local. MSP: Britton/Hamsher to enter the letter into the record.
11:58 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 ****