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Grant County Court minutes:

Approved minutes of the Grant County Court meeting.

Published on June 27, 2018 2:54PM


Grant County Court minutes from June 13, 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, Billie Jo George, Frances Preston, Theda Phelps, Reporter Rick Hanners, Jim Spell, Beth Spell, Dan Becker, Assessor David Thunell, Rob Raschio, Vicki Thompson, King Williams, Dan Pogue, Rossella Pogue, Katy Nelson, Reporter Logan Bagett and Didgette McCracken. 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 and extension district warrants #170-183. Commissioner Britton declared a conflict on a claim to Britton Welding.

AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to accept the agenda as presented.

ANNOUNCEMENTS. Commissioner Britton was in Arizona last week and has also been negotiating with CCS for the possible purchase of some county property. Britton continued to talk with ranchers and Forest Service personnel regarding grazing and other issues. Last week Britton met with Surveyor Mike Springer.

Judge Myers attended an event at the airport with approximately 120 6th graders on May 6th. On May 30th Myers and Britton participated in a Forest Service supervisor’s telephone call about grazing. Myers met with a representative of AT&T north of Fox to discuss possibly locating a cell tower on county property.

9:08 am King Williams entered.

June 1st Myers attended a hearing in Circuit Court for Palmer v. Grant County and said Judge Sullivan has taken it under advisement and should be issuing an opinion in the future. June 5th he traveled to Silvies Valley Ranch for a meeting about tourism and went to La Grande on June 6th for a Community Connections of Northeast Oregon budget meeting. Saturday, June 9th, he assisted with the household hazardous waste collection event at the Road Department. June 11th he attended the intergovernmental council meeting regarding 911 and then went to an Airport Commission meeting that evening. Myers participated in a Senior Investment Committee meeting on June 12th. Myers may attend a library board meeting on June 14th and on the 16th will go to a training at Ted William’s office (emergency management). June 26th he has a Community Connections board meeting and the same day will attend a Substance Abuse/Needs Assessment meeting at the hospital.

Commissioner Hamsher participated telephonically in an AOC meeting regarding federal land management on Monday and also spoke with several local ranchers regarding their grazing concerns. Hamsher spoke with Congressman Walden’s office on Monday about steps they are taking with national marine fisheries and the passage of the veteran’s bill to assist local veteran’s with health care. He has been working with the Senior Center in Prairie towards getting their building repainted. Hamsher attended a 4-H & Extension budget meeting as well. Hamsher reported they are waiting on the results of well testing in Prairie City and tonight he will attend a Prairie City Council meeting.

MINUTES. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve the May 23rd minutes as presented.

TAX FORECLOSED PROPERTY OFFERS. The court had reviewed offers received for tax foreclosed properties that were not sold at the oral auction. Assessor David Thunell, Administrative Assistant Laurie Wright and Treasurer Julie Ellison met yesterday and opened the offers. Judge Myers advised that those properties awarded would need to be paid for by cash or cashier’s check payable to Grant County and delivered to the Treasurer by 4 pm on June 15th. If payment is not received by the due date and time then the second highest acceptable offers will be awarded and will have until Tuesday, June 19th to submit payment via cash or cashier’s check payable to Grant County to the Treasurer. The awarded properties were: Acct. # 2470 (19.87 acres in Granite) - Brandon Miller $23,215; Acct. # 39185 (12.80 acres in Kimberly) – Bruce Strange $61,780; Acct. # 3639 (Bare lot in Granite) – Forrest McKinney $9,101; Acct. # 3721 (1.72 acres in Granite) – Forrest McKinney $10,600.01; Acct. # 6744 (House in Long Creek) – Torey Johnson $13,501; Acct. # 6773 (House in Long Creek not habitable) – Brandon Miller $5,935; Acct. # 6780 (House in Long Creek) – Torey Johnson $10,005; Acct. # 6232 (9.62 acres N. of John Day River) – Iron Triangle $3,500; Acct. # 4949 (17.56 acres S. of Hwy. 26) – Isaac Smucker $9,250; Acct. #1773 (Steep Hillside S. of Hwy. 26) – Dennis McKinnon $401; Acct. # 1211/1862 (Steep Hillside above Hospital) – Todd Donohue $2,501; Acct. # 2842 (House in Prairie City not habitable) – Bob Crisler $7,250; and Acct. # 2275 (Bare lot in Seneca) – Michael Davis $4,750. Those awarded properties will be contacted after court today. MSP: Myers/Hamsher – to accept the number one bids and the number two bids with the removal of the second bid on #3639 that did not meet the statutory minimum.

INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT JDCC PARKS & RECREATION. The court reviewed an IGA between the John Day/Canyon City Parks & Recreation Department and the Grant County Sheriff’s Department. This IGA is for the Sheriff’s Department to provide security services for a music and food event on August 4, 2018 (Parks and Rec Summer Fest). MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the IGA with JDCC Parks & Rec and circulate for signatures.

FAIR BULL FIGHTING. The court reviewed three proposals for the freestyle bull fighting event for this year’s fair. The proposals received were from Hamsher Fighting Bulls ($14,000); Mo Betta Rodeo ($26,000); and Four Star Rodeo ($19,000). The cost of this event will be paid from the fair expense budget line. Fair Manager Mindy Winegar had included a contract with Hamsher Fighting Bulls for court approval. Commissioner Hamsher declared a conflict in this matter and did not vote. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to award the bull fighting contract to Hamsher Fighting Bulls in the amount of $14,000 to be paid from the fair expense line and to approve the contract and circulate for signatures.

INTERGOVERNMENTAL SERVICES AGREEMENT OREGON DEPT. REVENUE. The court reviewed a services agreement between the Oregon Dept. of Revenue and Grant County for map maintenance and related cartographic activities performed by the Department of Revenue for the Assessor’s Office. This is an annual services agreement. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve the IGA with the Oregon Department of Revenue and circulate for signatures.

SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT. The court reviewed a request from Undersheriff Zach Mobley for two positions for the Sheriff’s Department. Mobley would like to add a Patrol Sergeant and a second Jail Sergeant. Britton would like this discussion tabled because he doesn’t feel there is enough information and would like the Sheriff or Undersheriff here to answer questions. Myers advised he has discussed this with Mobley and has an understanding of why he requested this. Frances Preston believes the Sheriff’s Department is responsible for most of the law enforcement within the county and feels adequate staffing is something that should be taken care of now. Jim Spell believes more information should be provided prior to making a decision. Questions followed about whether this would add positions or utilize current personnel. MSP: Britton/Myers – to table this discussion for a future court date.

RESOLUTION 18-15. Treasurer Julie Ellison presented Resolution 18-15 to the court for approval. This resolution moves $45,000 from materials & services to personnel services in the Sheriff’s budget to buy down compensatory hours accrued and to keep the personnel fund from being in the red. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve Resolution 18-15 and circulate for signatures.

RESOLUTION 18-16. The court reviewed Resolution 18-16 which loans money to the domestic violence fund until reimbursement is received from the grant. The resolution moves $25,000 from the general fund to the domestic violence fund. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve Resolution 18-16 and circulate for signatures.

AMENDED ROCK QUARRY LEASE. The court reviewed an amendment to the Holliday Land & Livestock, Inc. Rock Quarry Lease and Mining Agreement. It was discovered that the legal description used on the previous lease filed as document number 01032 in the Grant County Records was incorrect. This amendment modifies and amends the Lease to correctly identify the property. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the amended lease agreement and circulate for signatures.

AIRPORT GRANT. Airport Manager Haley Walker sent the Grant Offer for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Project No. 3-41-0028-011-2018 to the court for approval and signature. This grant provides $225,000 in funding. MSP: Hamsher/Britton -- to approve Grant Agreement 3-41-0028-011-2018 and authorize Judge Myers to sign.

9:49 am The court took a short break. 10:00 am Eva Harris entered.

10:05 am The court returned to session.

FY 2018-19 BUDGET HEARING. The budget hearing for fiscal year 2018/19 was entered into at 10:06 am. Treasurer Julie Ellison presented changes to the budget to the court. Ellison explained the budget hearing is to approve what the budget committee approved. She said some changes have been made since the last budget committee meeting and handed out copies of a spreadsheet to those in attendance. Ellison answered questions regarding some of the changes. The spreadsheet is attached hereto as Exhibit A. MSP: Britton/Myers – to approve the budget changes as presented. MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to close the budget hearing.

10:15 am Amy Stiner entered. 10:17 am Haley Olson entered.

CLERK. The court discussed the Clerk Brenda Percy’s request for a stipend for preparing payroll and the proposed job description revision she prepared. The revised description she provided was sent to LGPI for placement and remained at the same grade level. Myers explained the new job description does not include completing payroll which has been included in this position for many years. Myers said the position was reviewed in 2013 and was also placed as a grade 11 including payroll duties. Preston asked if Percy didn’t complete payroll how would it be done. Myers said it would probably need to be contracted out and would cost the county additional money. Hamsher would like to see this matter tabled for a future discussion. Britton said this has been done in the past and the assessor has historically been paid a stipend for tax collection and in 2009 the Treasurer job description was changed to remove the budget officer portion and then she was paid a stipend for being the budget officer. Britton believes completing payroll deserves a stipend of at least what the budget officer receives. Myers believes the difference is that the Assessor and Treasurer job descriptions do not include the tax collector or budget officer requirements, but the Clerk position does include this and did when she was elected. Britton said he thinks $400 a month would be a fair stipend. Hamsher would like to know if Percy is going to refuse to complete payroll if she doesn’t receive a stipend. Myers said Percy has not indicated that she will refuse.

10:26 am Shane Jeffries and Patrick Lair entered.

Britton believes this is a matter of fairness because other elected officials receive stipends. Preston would like to know who would complete payroll if the Clerk refuses to do so. Eva Harris said this is not a question of the person in the position, but rather a question of policy. MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to table the decision to change the job description pending further clarification.

OCHOCO NATIONAL FOREST. Ochoco National Forest Supervisor Shane Jeffries introduced himself to the court. Patrick Lair presented a briefing paper to the court members. Jeffries explained his background to those in attendance. Jeffries said an average fire season is expected in Central Oregon this year. Some of the projects being worked on include working with the South Fork John Day Watershed Council (SFJDWC), invasive weed projects, trail work in the Black Canyon Wilderness, and winter burning.

10:31 am Ryan Nehl and Lisa Rynearson entered.

Jeffries gave a brief summary of the Blue Mountain Resiliency Project. Jeffries said grazing is still happening including sheep grazing which helps with fire prevention. The Ochoco National Forest manages 740,000 acres of which 57,826 are in Grant County. Jeffries answered questions from the court members and those in attendance. Lair explained they are working with the SFJDWC to submit an Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board grant application for a restoration assessment on Wind Creek. SFJDWC Coordinator Amy Stiner explained the process in further detail. Jeffries continued to answer questions including what the Forest Service will do with the hazard trees (including salvage) that were cut along Highway 26 by the Oregon Department of Transportation. Jim Sproul said it is refreshing to hear the trees will be salvaged. Jeffries explained his belief that good government is meeting with the different county courts and citizens and creating an open dialogue.

10:59 am Steve Beverlin, Melissa Ward and Lori Bailey entered.

The Ochoco National Forest has several youth crews and volunteers that complete trail work on the forest.

11:00 am Kimberly Lindsay and Rick Warden entered.

Wild horse management on the Ochoco and Malheur was discussed. Jeffries said he would be working with Ryan Nehl and Steve Beverlin on an updated herd management plan and a large challenge of this is the reproduction rate is higher than the mortality rate. He is hopeful that some decisions will be made within the next 12 months or so and a draft EIS is planned for public release sometime this year.

COMMUNITY COUNSELING SOLUTIONS. CCS Director Kimberly Lindsay presented an update to the court and a request to receive marijuana tax revenue to assist with CCS’ addictions funding. Lindsay introduced Rick Warden, Chief Financial Officer for CCS. Lindsay provided the court members with CCS’ updated strategic plan. The strategic objectives in the plan are to attract and retain exceptional talent, communication and integration of services, develop and innovative programs, provide excellence in operations and provide agency and health promotion. She said the plan is completed every three years and the objectives are further explained in the book Lindsay provided. Lindsay explained how the school based health centers are working and having these depends on legislative funding. CCS is still moving forward on public health accreditation and has received an extension in order to complete some small items required. Lindsay explained some of the small changes they will need to make in the future include better signage on the health department door and changes to the CCS website. CCS must complete a community needs health assessment every 5 years. There are 9 domains that must be met to receive public health accreditation and they are working on domain 9 at this time. Marijuana Tax Revenue: Lindsay explained the state had a budget shortfall in the 2017-19 budget biennium where they utilized addictions funding for other programs. The shortfall to addiction treatment was 16%. Lindsay said the marijuana tax revenue was supposed to be used to backfill the reduction. She reported that CCS was told to not worry about reducing staffing because they would receive funding from marijuana tax revenue. Lindsay said she realizes assumptions are dangerous and it is up to the court to decide what to do with the tax revenue. Myers asked about the funding already provided to the hospital and CCS. Lindsay’s understanding is that the marijuana tax revenue must be used for treatment. Hamsher read a portion of Measure 91 to those in attendance that says counties receive 10% of the marijuana tax revenue and it is to be used for enforcement or as the county sees fit. Lindsay advised she isn’t sure what is required; she is going by what she has been told. Haley Olson offered her opinion that now that recreational marijuana is allowed in Grant County CCS and local law enforcement will start receiving tax revenue from the state. Olson stated that the reason the money wasn’t coming in is because the county had opted out of recreational marijuana. Olson offered to provide Lindsay with her contact at the state. Lindsay advised they work with other counties who did not opt out and haven’t seen any funding from this, but this is new for everyone involved. CCS has been able to retain the current level of services by pulling money from a reserve account, but this won’t be able to be sustained forever. Myers said the court has numerous questions that will need to be answered and he will reach out via email to begin these conversations. Myers stated the county will fulfill whatever obligations are required.

11:43 The court took a short break. 11:51 am The court returned to session.

EMIGRANT CREEK RANGER DISTRICT. Melissa Ward and Lori Bailey updated the court on the Emigrant Creek Ranger District Danger Tree Removal Project and provided a PowerPoint presentation. Bailey explained the purpose and need of this project is to provide for worker and public health and safety by removing danger trees along forest travel routes, campgrounds and other improvements and to recover the economic value of the danger trees and rapidly as practicable. Mortality due to pine butterfly outbreaks, drought and bark beetle outbreaks have created high levels of dead trees across the district. The proposed action is to remove the danger trees (some will be commercially removed, others cut and left). Slash will be dealt with on a case by case basis. Bailey explained the definition of danger trees, potential failure zone and the design criteria. This is a multi-year project and if trees die along the way then they can be removed under the plan. There will be some timber sales from this project, but Bailey and Ward aren’t the decision makers on how these will be handled. All of the documents for this project are available online at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52029 .

12:15 pm The court took a short break. 12:20 pm The court returned to regular session.

EXECUTIVE SESSION. 12:21 pm - 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, Administrative Assistant Laurie Wright, Assessor David Thunell and Reporter Rick Hanners. The court left executive session at 12:39 pm. The court returned to regular session at 12:40 pm. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to attempt to complete negotiations to sell on 528 E. Main St. in John Day to CCS for $400,000 and to retain 530 E. Main St. in John Day as a county building. Myers and Hamsher voted yes, Britton voted no because he would prefer to sell the entire complex.

12:45 pm -- Adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted,

Laurie Wright

Administrative Assistant

**** 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 wrightl@grantcounty-or.gov ****



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