IN THE COUNTY COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON
IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF GRANT
AUGUST 1, 2012
Pursuant to notice made to the newspaper of general circulation throughout Grant County, the radio station in Grant County 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 Mark R. Webb, Commissioners Scott W. Myers and Boyd Britton, Secretary Mary Ferrioli, Commissioner Candidates Mick Dougharity and Chris Labhart, Jerry Franklin, Sharon Moog, Tammy Bremner, Jerry Cowger, Leon Skiles, Bob Quinton, Clerk Brenda Percy, Assessor Lane Burton, David Hamilton, Sandie Gilson, Delores Bagett, Leslie McLeod, Craige McMillan, Larry Vote, Pamela Callahan, and Pastor Richie Colbeth. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States flag. The invocation was given by Pastor Colbeth.
AGENDA. MSP: Webb/Myers -- to accept the program as presented
Britton planned to attend an Airport Commission meeting tonight to review RFQ submissions for the upcoming airport runway rehabilitation project.
MINUTES. MSP: Webb/Myers -- to approve the July 25 minutes as amended.
MONUMENT RURAL FIRE DISTRICT. Court members continued their discussion on how to address inclusion or exclusion of landowners from the proposed Monument Rural Fire District. Discussion today was about whether or not to vacate the May boundary determination, as to which lands could or could not be benefitted by inclusion in the MRFD. Each legal counsel had suggested the court could rescind the May Order of Formation and reopen the record for landowners to submit information as to the benefit or non-benefit to their lands being included in the district. After a two week period of leaving the record open the court would then set the district boundaries. If the boundaries set at that time only include those landowners who signed the petition or joined in the petition, then the county can at that time form the district and set the issue of the levy to the voters. The court would then amend or rescind the June Order. However, if the boundaries set include other than those petitioners or those who joined with the petition, then the court would leave the June Order in place and the matter of formation and tax levy will be on the ballot. The list of landowners currently in the district and hearing notice would be posted in Monument and at the Courthouse. Britton confirmed with the Clerk that reopening the comment period for two weeks would fit within the required deadline for the ballot. He also clarified that the ballot question is created by the district, or their attorney, and then submitted to the Clerk. Webb provided further details on the reasoning for opening the comment period and explained the purpose of sending the tax levy question to the General Election. It was clarified that landowners who are already in or out of the current district boundaries do not need to resubmit statements to the County Court. Webb answered a series of Cowgers and Skiles questions about the courts actions to reopen the opportunity for concerned landowners to either opt-in or opt-out of the district. Cowger wanted to have the court form the district today. He stated, if the court did not form the district today, he would file a Writ of Mandamas against the county in Circuit Court. Webb restated the purpose and reasoning of the courts intended action today. MSP: Webb/ Britton -- to rescind the May 18 Order, reopen the record for landowners to submit information as to whether their lands could or could not be benefited and, after a two week period of leaving the record open, we will then set the district boundaries.
9:35 am Treasurer Kathy Smith and Scotta Callister entered
TRANSIENT ROOM TAX. The court reviewed and discussed a draft Ordinance Amending and Restating the December 2004 Ordinance Providing for Administration, Collection, and Appropriation of Transient Room Taxes. Webb said the process began in 2008 with a disagreement about whether penalty and interest count as tax and go to the 95% / 5% breakdown. The ordinance has been ambiguous and out of compliance with revised statutes. He said the intent was to revise the ordinance to add clarity and update the language.
Chamber of Commerce Manager Sharon Mogg was present and stated, after much involvement by the county and chamber attorneys, the document is now clearer and in compliance with statutes. Myers questioned Mogg about statutory amendments to the ordinance. It was noted the chamber would take on the administration process under an MOU with the county. Mogg understood the county took responsibility for the tax from the City of John Day several years ago. Revisions Webb felt still should be made are: any legal fees and an annual audit costs need to be taken out of the 95%, since the 5% portion would not cover those costs. With those two changes, Webb recommended approving the document. Treasurer Kathy Smith expressed concern about having the chambers books audited annually by an independent auditor / CPA. Mogg said the agreement provides for an audit or oversight review committee made up of community members. She indicated that chamber records were reviewed by a CPA this past year. Mogg explained that TRT records would be kept separately from chamber records.
Jerry Franklin suggested there be a transfer of all of the historical data. Mogg said the Assessor is in favor of the transfer and all (non- confidential) TRT records would be shared with the Chamber. She was confident the chamber has the time and staff available to fully administer and enforce the countys TRT Ordinance. Other discussion followed about the ongoing need to enforce full compliance. Chris Labhart understood the ordinance title would need to be recited at the time of signature. He supported the chamber administering the TRT ordinance. Britton and Myers clarified that the final document would be reviewed and signed at a future meeting. MSP: Webb /Myers -- to accept the draft ordinance as presented and have legal counsel put together the final version with the two changes. MSP: Webb/Britton -- to have the MOU with the Chamber prepared that allows the Chamber to take over full responsibility of administering the TRT Ordinance.
It was noted that, once signed, the ordinance becomes effective July 1, 2012. Britton understands the situation, but personally disagrees about turning over administration to the chamber. He sought clarification about transparency and the confidentiality practices of the chamber with regard the hotel owners business records. Canyon City Recorder Tammy Bremner pointed out the county requested that the chamber take on the revision process for the existing ordinance. Other discussion took place about how TRT is handled differently by other entities.
FAIR BOARD. The court considered the Fair Boards recommendation to appoint Steve Parsons to fill a vacancy. Parsons previously submitted an application letter. MSP: Britton/Webb -- to appoint Steve Parsons to fill the current vacancy on the Fair Board expiring December 31, 2012.
HEALTH DEPT. Judge Webb spoke with the court about the need for cooling in the Med Room and Dental Clinic at the Health Department. He said the new, larger refrigerator has contributed to overworking the current cooling system. Webb said Nick Miller recommends installing a supplemental cooling system to accommodate those two rooms. Webb has been at the site and confirmed the current system leaves those rooms extremely warm. He recommended that Miller set the standard specifications and proceed in the same manner as was done at the library. Myers asked Webb to remind Miller that he and Miller tore out a 16 x 8 unit off that roof, so its probably best not to have a roof unit. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to allow Judge Webb to work with Nick Miller to provide specifications to fix the cooling problem at the Health Dept.
CRAMER FISH SCIENCES. Judge Webb presented a Revised Scope of Work for Grazing Analysis as recommended by Cramer Fish Sciences. He said it addresses stream bank alternation standard issues that have been exploited by environmentalists to litigate the permitees. Webb said he told the permitees lawyer, Elizabeth Howard, he would bring the matter before the court to consider funding the effort. Analysis and draft reporting could be complete within 45 days of notice to proceed. The budget for the analysis is 132 hours plus 200 hours for reporting and outreach totaling an estimated cost of $49,179.00. It was noted the schedule for outreach workshops would be worked out in collaboration with the funding partners. If approved, according to legal counsel, the expense qualifies for road fund dollars since its relevant to water quality (EPA & TMDL standards) related to public roads. Webb indicated that the study would provide a modeling technique to be utilized in the future. Webb felt the permitees would be contributing the majority of funding. The AOC Public Lands Committee is considering the same request, as well as the other eastern Oregon counties. He suggested that, if we want to fund it at all, an amount can be identified today or after further conversations with legal counsel and permitees. Myers and Webb talked about funding support and the impact to other counties. Britton proposed approving the funding at the $49,179.00 limit. Webb agreed it was appropriate for the county to contribute, but not the full amount. Myers said he was at the $10,000 range. Webb said legal counsel recommended not funding more than $10,000. Britton disagreed and preferred to make a substantial contribution. Webb added that the county has already funded this effort at times in the past. MSP: Webb /Myers -- to support the Cramer study and fund the effort as recommended by legal counsel.
10:30 -- Dean Hoodenpyle and Kathy Smith entered
JUV / PROB MOVE. On July 18 the court had asked Juvenile and Parole & Probation Department Director Dean Hoodenpyl to determine the total estimated cost to relocate his offices to the building across the street at 200 S. Humbolt. Today Hoodenpyl presented a cost quote of $3,281.30 from Day Wireless Systems that includes equipment, freight, and labor for ESD to install the capability to connect the Courthouse to the proposed off-site location. Oregon Youth Authority / DAS would charge between $2,000.00 and $2,500.00 to install the T-1 line. And, Oregon Telephone Corporation had provided a quote of $1,578.28 to provide and install phone data drops at that location. The total cost for the phone system, T-1 line, and phone data drops would be $7,359.58. Hoodenpyle suggested that, if the data drops can be installed by another means that would reduce the overall cost.
Treasurer Kathy Smith hoped the total cost to relocate offices would be presented including equipment, utilities, janitorial, etc. She reported the copier was paid ½ by the General Fund and ½ by the Juvenile Revolving Fund. A replacement copier would need to be purchased by some funding source. Webb assumed the General Fund would have to pay for all of it. Smith recommended that operational costs for that building be tracked separately, like other county buildings. Smith brought up other considerations like rent, cleaning, air conditioning, heating, etc. Webb felt the move was needed regardless of costs and we may not know all costs now. Webb wondered if the current rent paid now would cover monthly utilities. Smith wanted to know if the court would charge rent or just have the department pay utility costs. Thats what Webb recommends; however, he wants the department to pay as much as possible to lessen General Fund impact. Some other discussion followed about potential use of the vacated space downstairs. Webb suggested looking at monthly costs for the Extension office to determine an estimated cost for the space at 200 S. Humbolt. The court felt the Courthouse Reserve could be used for relocation costs. Smith said shed create a new utility line for the Juvenile & Probation funds. The court asked Hoodenpyl to utilize ESD as much as possible to meet technical needs of the move. Smith asked about possibly having the Custodian trade some time at the Courthouse to clean the building before the move. The court thought that was appropriate. Hoodenpyl indicated that his staff would keep the new office space clean on their own after the relocation.
11:00 am -- Kate Klein, Carol Benkosky and King Williams entered
OCHOCO NF / BLM. Ochoco NF Supervisor Kate Klein and BLM Prineville Field Office Manager Carol Benkosky introduced themselves and talked about their agencies activities. Discussion with Klein and Benkosky was around the Travel Management Plan and associated processes involving a variety of natural resource issues. Other topics were land exchange, grazing, Murderers Creek wild horse gather, commercial saw log harvest, stewardship contracting, and current county road maintenance projects, dead standing trees, and a fire wood program.
12:15 pm Adjourned Respectfully Submitted, Mary R. Ferrioli / County Court Secretary