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 -- Called to Order. Present were Judge Mark R. Webb, Commissioners Scott W. Myers and Boyd Britton, Secretary Mary Ferrioli, and Pastor Dave Fronapel. The Pledge of Allegiance was given to the US flag. An opening prayer was given by Pastor Dave Fronapel.
PROGRAM. MSP: Webb/Myers -- to accept the program with the addition of discussion on a chair rail for the Health Department's waiting room, Webb's participation in a lobbying trip to Washington DC with the RVCC in April, a request for a letter of support on the investment of funds in Old West FCU, and possible discussion on a citizen's water right issue.
Webb reported on his February 10 participation, by state invitation, at a meeting to discuss the final roll out of the Mid-Columbia Steelhead Recovery Plan. He also attended a Greater Oregon Behavioral Health meeting in Boardman on February 11th, met that evening in Portland with Western Law rep Susan Jane Brown and Sustainable Northwest rep Mia Enzer about forest issues, and attended the Governance Forum February 12 to bring DHS and county officials together to discuss mental health and public health issues. Webb had talked with AOC reps and visited with legislators in Salem on February 12, and also talked with the Oregon Water Enhancement Board (and Gregg Smith for lunch) about a Native Fish Society grant application that involves potential removal of the dam at Bates. Webb reported that he volunteered to be on the Implementation Board for the Mid Columbia Steelhead Recovery Plan.
On the February 19 Webb would be at OSU talking to a forestry class with James Johnston, Tim Lillebo, Susan Jane Brown and some others.
Webb planned to meet tonight with Mike Hibbard, Sue Lurie, Heidi Biglercole and Lauren Senkyr about the IMW (Intensively Monitored Watershed). This is associated with a two-day scientific forum about restoration efforts to supplement ongoing economic issues.
Britton reported on an Oregon Stock Grower's meeting that he had recently attended. He planned to attend the 2nd annual Economic Summit at the federal building on February 19.
MINUTES. MSP: Webb/Myers -- to approve the February 10 minutes as amended.
INVESTMENTS. The court considered a letter of support, recently requested by Ken Olson, for state legislation allowing public entities to invest funds in credit unions. Treasurer Smith did not support investment in credit unions because they don't have the same security requirements for protecting public investments as the banks do. Webb pointed out that a letter of support -- to make public investment an "option" does not compromise the county since responsibility for the decision is still up to the governing body. Smith said that would be the court's decision, but not hers. MSP: Britton/Myers - to sign off on a letter of support for Old West Federal Credit Union.
CLAIMS. The court reviewed and approved claims as prepared by the Deputy Clerk-Bookkeeper.
STERLING SAVINGS BANK. Court members reviewed and signed a signature card for the county's account at Sterling Savings Bank. Treasurer Kathy Smith said this is for a new account which is now available; it acts like a Money Market Checking Account.
DRUG FREE COMMUNITIES GRANT. The court reviewed and signed a Professional Services Agreement with Kathy R. Ingram, Ph. D, Inc. to prepare the Commission on Children and Families year-six federal Drug Free Communities Grant Application. The document was previously reviewed and approved by legal counsel. Services would be provided onsite during the week of February 22 to 26, including facilitation of a work session with the Drug Free Coalition to develop decisions required in completing the application. All services are to be completed by March. The contract sum is not to exceed $5,440.00. MSP: Webb/Myers - to sign this agreement with Kathy R. Ingram.
RVCC. Court members talked about this year's attendance by Judge Webb at the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition meeting in Washington DC this April. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to allow Judge Webb to attend the RVCC event in Washington DC. MSP: Britton/Myers - to waive per diem rates for this trip, if necessary. Webb said that he may stay with his sister while he is in Washington DC.
9:30 am - Georgia Patterson entered
HEALTH DEPARTMENT. The court discussed a recommendation made by Nick Miller to protect sheetrock in the waiting room at the Health Department where chairs come up against the wall. MSP: Myers/Webb - to allow Nick Miller to pursue wall protection as needed at the Health Department. Some discussion also took place about floor grinding that is needed in the Johnnie Titus Room before tile replacement is completed. Britton noted that there needs to be some investigation into shelving along the east wall of the reception office that has no back support. Webb planned to ask about that the next time he is at the Health Services Building.
10:00 am -- Hailey Boethin, Eric Julsrud, Jack Watson and Ken Holliday entered
DEPOT PARK. City of Prairie City Maintenance representative Georgia Patterson requested financial assistance to drill a well on county property for the irrigation of 15 RV spaces at Depot Park. Water Resources representatives Eric Julsrud and Hailey Boethin were in attendance. Patterson had previously provided a cost estimate from Marciel Well Drilling in the amount of $4,900.00 to drill a 6 ft. domestic well up to a depth of 40 feet. Webb confirmed that the county does have money available in the RV park fund. Patterson reported that the underground sprinkler system has been expanded into the picnic area. She stated that it is more cost effective to drill a well rather than pay city water rates. Patterson hoped to have the irrigation system in place before the park opens in May. She added that new above ground pedestal base cooking grills are being installed at each site. Britton suggested that other cost quotes be obtained, in the spirit of competition, if possible. Otherwise, Marciel could be declared a sole-provider. Some discussion took place about how to handle the cost range, depending on the actual drilling depth. Watermaster Eric Julsrud estimated that state permit fees would be about $1,500. He explained the timing and paperwork process, as well as new regulations for a one-time $300 registration fee and a one-time $125 start card fee. The court favored moving forward with determining a total cost for the job. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to allow Judge Webb to make the decision on moving forward when and if another quote is received. Patterson planned to seek additional quotes.
10:10 am -- Lane Burton entered
WATER RIGHTS. Local rancher Ken Holliday appeared in court to discuss issues regarding stock water rights versus irrigation water rights as stipulated by the landowner's water right decree. Holliday felt that only about 5% of landowners in the basin have stock water rights. He talked about the period between 1862 and 1909 when landowners had to ask for domestic, irrigation and stock water rights to be adjudicated. Water Resources representatives Eric Julsrud and Hailey Boethin, local surveyor Jack Watson, and Assessor Lane Burton were present. Julsrud provided background on the John Day Basin going back to 1909 when the first water law was passed in the state. He talked about property settlement, water use applications adjudicated by the courts, basin surveying and mapping by state engineers, and proof of claims settled. Julsrud commented on a personal challenge concerning this water law issue which -- he had been told by the state -- does not need to be addressed and may not be legally supported. Other information was provided on adjudicated versus decreed water rights, in-stream rights, proof of claims, water diversion from-and-return to the surface source, flowing water, permitted ponds, well drilling, and water gaps. Boethin provided information about work that has been done in the past with the Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Natural Resource Conservation Service about alternatives for stock water through an EQIP grant.
Assessor Lane Burton had been asked about how property values are established with regard to water rights. He stated that his office looks at productivity to determine property value.
11:05 am - Adjourned
Mary R. Ferrioli / County Court Secretary