Pursuant to notice made to the newspaper of general circulation throughout Grant County, the radio station in Grant County, and to interested persons on the Grant County e-mail list, a regular meeting of the County Court was held at the County Courthouse in Canyon City OR.
9:03 am -- Called to Order. Present were Judge Mark R. Webb and Commissioners Scott W. Myers and Boyd Britton, Secretary Mary Ferrioli, student Jacob Lallatin and Pastor Daniel Wiese. The Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States flag. An opening prayer was given by Pastor Daniel Wiese.
CLAIMS.The court had reviewed and approved claims submitted by the Deputy Clerk-Bookkeeper. Tagged claims were to Smoking Pit Bar-B-Q / Fair signed the contract; to Sterling Bank VISA / Personnel over per diem; to Sterling Bank VISA / Fair has late charge; and Outpost Catering / Fair signed the contract. Extension District Warrant Nos. 160 -166 were signed.
PROGRAM.MSP: Myers/Webb - that we accept the program with the addition of discussion on funding for schools as Item M and the Grayback Forestry site lease discussion as Item N.
Webb planned to meet with the Collaborative Group at the federal building on June 21. On June 22 he would meet with the Forest Service, some environmentalists and a local landowner adjacent to the Thorn Salvage to hear what the Forest Service is proposing for that site.
Webb said he has been in contact with Oregon Parks & Recreation Dept about development of Bates Park.
Britton planned to attend County College in Salem on June 22 and 23.
MINUTES.MSP: Myers/Webb -- that we approve the June 13 Minutes as amended.
SPANISH INTERPRETER. The court reviewed and signed two Employment Agreement Amendments to continue to provide Spanish Interpreter services through June 30, 2008. Some discussion took place about a request by a current provider who requested a pay rate increase from $25 to $40 per hour. The court declined to raise the rate but welcomed another contract with this person at the current rate.
9:25 am - News Reporter Scotta Callister entered.
STIP FUND EXCHANGE AGREEMENTS. Court members reviewed state Dept of Transportation 2004 Fund Exchange Agreement No. 24203 to request a draw on funds in the amount of $118,816 to conduct chip sealing on various county roads. It was noted that $126,400 in STP federal funds would be exchanged for this draw down amount. The Road Dept previously requested that the court pass a motion to sign the agreements after they are returned from legal counsel. MSP: Britton/Webb -- that we approve the Dept of Transportation 2004 Fund Exchange Agreement No. 24203 and sign it when we have it in our possession.
9:30 am -Kathy Smith entered.
LOCAL 701 SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT. Court members reviewed a Settlement Agreement with International Union of Operating Engineers Local 701 to resolve a dispute between parties on a grievance filed January 5, 2007. Britton declined to sign because he did not want the term "compromise" in this agreement. Webb placed a call to legal counsel Adam Collier to discuss Britton's concern with the wording. Collier explained, the agreement simply says the county agrees the county and union would both be getting something in this situation. Collier didn't think it would be a problem if the word "compromise" was eliminated. MSP: Myers /Britton -- that Judge Webb be authorized to sign the Settlement Agreement after the word "compromise" is removed. After adjustment the agreement was signed and would be sent to legal counsel. Treasurer Kathy Smith sought clarification about compensation and future instances of this particular situation, in which there would not be an issue.
JOINT HEARING REQUEST. Planning Director Hilary McNary previously submitted a request to hold a joint hearing with the Planning Commission for a zone change on an application filed by Strawberry Mountain Natural Beef for their facility on Canyon Blvd in John Day. McNary had noted, the Land Development Code allows a single meeting to be held jointly and a decision made at that time. The Planning Commission meeting had been tentatively set for July 19, 2007 at which time at least two court members would need to attend. McNary had felt it was beneficial for the court to hear the same testimony as the Commission, and a single hearing would expedite the process. However, she saw a drawback in having only one opportunity for public input.
The court had no problem with a joint meeting; however, Britton said he may need to recuse himself due to ex parte contact and a potential conflict of interest. Myers said he's always been interested in attending a Planning Commission meeting. Webb supported the joint meeting if the hearing could be extended to obtain additional input, deemed necessary. MSP: Myers/Britton - that we hold a joint meeting with the Planning Commission. (At this point, Webb briefly left to receive a delivery of landscape bark for the Courthouse.)
A call was placed to Planning Director Hilary McNary to ask about the court's option to continue the hearing to a date and time certain. McNary stated that she would hesitate on a delay because the department is heavily overscheduled with applications and that would push all applications beyond September. Britton and Myers questioned McNary about a quorum, procedure for presentation of testimony and deliberation on the Commission's zone change recommendation. It was noted that the court's deliberation and decision, or continuation to a date and time certain, would be subsequent to the Commission's action.
COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS. Court members made quarterly appointments to fill board and committee vacancies as follows: Airport Commission. MSP: Myers/Britton -- that Allan Mullin be appointed to the Commission in the position left by Al Near due to expire December 31, 2008. Commission on Children & Families. MSP: Myers/Britton -- that we appoint Susie Brown to fill the vacancy left by Rick Minster due to expire December 31, 2008.
No applications were received to fill openings on the Compensation Board, Extension & 4H Service Dist., Library Board, Road Advisory Board, Senior Citizens Advisory Council and Wildlife Advisory Board.
10:10 am - Roadmaster Mark Hensley and Treasurer Kathy Smith entered.
SCHOOL FUNDING.Court members, Treasurer Kathy Smith and Roadmaster Mark Hensley discussed further funding for the schools. Webb noted that county payments would be reauthorized for one year, bringing approximately $6.5 million to the Road Department. Additionally, he said he learned the state has increased the percentage of funding per student, over the amount received last year. Webb provided figures on additional funding that he received from the state for 2007-2008 -- $190,000+ for District 3, $58,000+ for District 4 and $22-28,000+ for Monument, Long Creek and Dayville. Webb reported on his recent conversation with the Dept of Education about the dollar value and percentage increases for each school district. Discussion followed about whether or not additional state funding would meet the schools needs. Britton suggested that the county back fill those districts that are still short according to the formula. The court also considered not using the formula this year so additional funds could go to District 4, because of that districts greater need. It was noted that a smaller (than the formula) amount would go to District 3, but they would still receive more than they earlier requested. Webb was willing to give $500,000 to the schools. Myers pointed out, that would still leave $6 M for the Road Reserve.
Hensley and Smith had some discussion about the amount of funding going (off the top) to preschools out of the Road Department budget.
Webb called the Education Service District to determine how the percentage formula break-down would work for each of the schools based on ADMw. It was understood that a total of $500,000 would go to schools next year. Treasurer Smith calculated the individual figures to be $65,000 to the community college and preschools, $269,750 to District 3, $100,000 to District 4, and $21,750 each to Districts 8, 16 and 17. Smith said that a Supplemental Budget could be adopted when funds are received later this year.
10:30 am - Dena Bush entered.
BID OPENING. At 10:30 am the court held a bid opening for (5) surplus vehicles as follows: (A) 1997 Ford Expedition / 225,178 mi, $3,900 minimum bid; (B) 1997 Ford Expedition / 238,000 mi, $3,500 minimum bid; (C) 1998 Ford Explorer / 419,650 mi, $1,000 minimum bid; (D) 1999 Ford Explorer / 161,783 mi, $3,000 minimum bid; (E) 1991 Chevrolet Caprice 4 door / 172,954 mi, $1,000 minimum bid; and (F) 1993 Ford F250 Pickup / 155,607 mi, $1,000 minimum bid. Deputy Treasurer Dena Bush reported that no bids were received based on the public advertisement. Webb mentioned that he spoke with a Fire Protection District representative who is interested in one of the vehicles, but had not realized bids were due now. It was noted that the taxing district could still purchase that vehicle. MSP: Britton/ Myers -- that we re-advertise the surplus vehicles at a new minimum price and negotiate with the interested fire district on the vehicle desired.
BUDGET HEARING. At 11:00 am the court conducted the 2nd public hearing on the 2007-2008 budget. Budget Officer Kathy Smith and the court reviewed previous and additional changes to budget lines reflecting revenue and expense increases or decreases in funds for General, Courthouse & Bldgs, Watermaster, Road, Fair, Community Correction, Sheriff Patrols, Bioterrorism, Courthouse Rentals, District Attorney, Veteran Services, Maternal Child Health, and Senior Citizens EXHIBIT A. Smith noted that until we go through next year we won't know if we are balanced. She asked the court to keep in mind that Carry Over is the county's "budgeted Contingency" so if and when Contingency is used in the future it will decrease Carry Over. MSP: Britton/Myers - that we close the 2007-2008 County Budget hearing. Court members signed Resolution 07-39 Adopting the Annual Budget, Imposing Taxes and Making Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2007-2008 for Grant County.
COMMUNICATION SITE. Webb explained that he spoke with Dave Hannibal of Grayback Forestry who would like to lease space for a receiver on Dixie Mountain. It was noted that Hannibal did not propose to pay the $500 annual rate for space in the county's building, but wanted to erect a tower outside the county building. The court declined his request.
11:30 am 51; Lunch Recess. The court reconvened at 1:00 pm. Present were all court members, the Court Secretary, Brenda Percy, Kathy Smith and Pastor Daniel Wiese.
RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN. Personnel Manager Brenda Percy and the court reviewed the CCIS Risk Management Plan for Grant County. Risk management objectives included assurance that - 1.) Employee Policy& Procedure Manual is updated, 2.) all employees receive annual performance reviews, 3.) County Court members receive training in elected officials57; liability, and 4.) current Safety Committee members are trained in hazard ID, accident investigation and general operations. According to the plan, objectives are to be met by November 30, 2007. Percy reported that the Policy and Procedure Manual is in the process of being revised at this time and she planned to send a memo to Department Heads about the annual performance review requirement for all employees. Percy said she would send a memo urging departments to comply with the performance review requirement. She reported that most offices are doing regular reviews, but a few don't do them at all. Percy stated that not doing performance reviews was a huge liability, plus employees need to understand that the review process is for their benefit. Britton thought compliance may be assured through the implementation of financial consequences. Percy thought that County College, attended by Webb and Britton, may have addressed liability for elected officials. But, if not, CCIS could provide this training. Webb reported that the Safety Committee is moving forward, slowing. He had met with SAIF about safety, but wondered if it was worth looking at CCIS for a safety program because the insurance agent told him that could save money. Discussion followed about timing for a possible change in service providers, options for costs savings, and the status of the current billing from Bisnett Insurance. Webb planned to meet with Percy in the future about handling the annual employee review requirement. He mentioned that the hospital district uses a particular evaluation form which the county plans to review and consider for use.
ORDINANCE HEARING. At 1:30 pm court members held the 2nd public hearing on proposed Ordinance 07-06 Permitting Social Gaming Within Grant County. Treasurer Kathy Smith and Pastor Daniel Wiese were present. Webb recited proposed Ordinance 07-06 then requested proponent and opponent testimony, each a total of three times.
Wiese expressed concern about increased gambling, in that it may allow more people to spend money on things they cannot afford. He felt it could be detrimental to families and said he had read reports about this addictive behavior being on the increase. Britton felt the single bet limit would prevent some of problems that concern Wiese. Webb felt Wiese's concerns were legitimate. But, if he felt it would be detrimental to citizens, he would not support it. The Ordinance was at the request of the John Day Golf Club, in order to comply with state law. Hearing no further input, the hearing was closed. The Ordinance was signed by Webb and Myers. Britton declined to sign because he felt there may be a potential for abuse.
1:45 pm - Dana Brooks entered.
CHILDREN& FAMILIES CONTRACT. Commission on Children& Families Director Dana Brooks recommended signature on a Contract with Steven Rider dba Pacific Research and Evaluation to evaluate the federal Drug Free Communities Grant. Brooks reported that funds have been budgeted including a court approved Carry Over increase request to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Admin. The contract term ends September 30, 2007. Brooks explained the public advertisement process use for the consultant and reported that she was impressed by Rider's interview. She indicated that legal counsel had been consulted and agreed with an adjustment to the insurance requirements for this individual. MSP Myers/Britton - that Judge Webb be allowed to sign the Pacific Research& Evaluation Contract.
During discussion, Brooks indicated that the option to renew the contract for next year would be at a reduced amount.
Brooks, who is on the Commission's State Budget Committee, gave an update on state budgeting for various grant streams coming to her department next year.
2:00 pm - Ken Boethin entered.
YOUTH DETENTION AGREEMENT. Juvenile Department Director Ken Boethin recommended signature on the Northeast Oregon Regional Youth Center Detention Extension Agreement expiring June 31, 2008. Boethin explained that the daily rate is still $130 per day for adolescent detention services. The court signed two copies of the agreement.
2:45 pm - Mark Hensley, News Reporter Scotta Callister entered.
13TH STREET IN PRAIRIE CITY. The court was scheduled to deliberate toward a decision on vacating a portion of 13th Street in Prairie City. Present were Roadmaster Mark Hensley, News Reporter Scotta Callister and two representatives of the Prairie City Athletic Complex Association. A public hearing on this matter was conducted on June 6, 2007. Today, Roadmaster Mark Hensley recommended that vacating the public's right of way at this time, with compromises shared between all parties involved, seems appropriate. He said a negative impact cannot be identified and positive actions will result from the vacation. Hensley explained that compromises between the School District 4, the City of Prairie City, et al have been agreed upon, on the honor system. But, he believed compromises were reasonable and "do-able.' He suggested that the Order reference a 300 foot length to a certain point, and a legal description be done at a later date. MSP: Britton/ Webb -- that the county vacate the identified portion of 13th Street, based on a determination at this time of no negative impact and resulting positive actions.
3:12 pm -- Adjourned
Mary R. Ferrioli
County Court Secretary