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.
9:05 am -- Called to Order. Present were Judge Mark R. Webb and Commissioners Scott W. Myers and Boyd Britton, Secretary Mary Ferrioli, Pastor Rod Bieber and News Reporter Scotta Callister. The Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States flag. An opening prayer was given by Pastor Rod Bieber.
PROGRAM. MSP: Myers/Webb - to accept the program as presented.
Myers planned to attend a Northeast Oregon Housing Authority Board of Directors meeting at 10:00 am on March 6th in La Grande.
Britton reported that this morning he met the new Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative Manager at the local office open house on Patterson Bridge Road.
Webb planned to attend the Eastern Oregon Regional Alliance meeting in La Grande March 6th.
MINUTES. MSP: Myers/Webb -- to approve the February 27th Minutes as amended.
COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS. Court members considered quarterly applications submitted by volunteers to fill vacancies on the following committees:
Extension & 4H Service District Advisory Council. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to appoint Bill Skinner to the position on the District Advisory Council expiring December 31, 2008. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to appoint Dennis Reynolds to the position on the District Advisory Council expiring December 31, 2010. MSP: Myers/Webb -- to reappoint Mitch Mund the District Advisory Council Budget Committee with a term expiring on December 31, 2010.
Fair Board. MSP: Myers/Webb -- to appoint Jake Pilling to the Fair Board vacancy that expires December 31, 2008 based on the unanimous recommendation of the Fair Board.
Planning Commission. MSP: Myers/Webb -- to appoint Maurice Kimball to the full member vacancy due to expire December 31, 2011 as recommended by the Planning Director, creating a vacant alternate position.
No applications were received to fill vacancies on the Compensation Board, Library Board, Road Advisory Board, Senior Citizens Advisory Council and Wildlife Advisory Board.
DENTAL CLINIC. The court reviewed and approved an application for a mini-grant from Grant Action Partners (GAP) in the amount of $1,000 for the Grant County Healthy Smiles Dental Clinic, as prepared by Dental Clinic Grant Administrator Sue Newstetter, including a budget page summarizing all funding sources for the project. Webb explained that GAP funds would be used to purchase a scanner/printer/fax/copier and supporting supplies for the machine. Due to necessary budget adjustments to accommodate office supplies, phone, computer equipment and possibly dental software, available funds are limited for the purchase this much needed equipment. MSP: Myers/Webb -- to allow Judge Webb to sign the mini-grant application to Grant Action Partners.
WEED MANAGEMENT. Court members reviewed a draft Strategy Plan for Invasive Weed Management and MOU for Cooperative Weed Management between the Bureau of Land Management, Malheur National Forest, the county, the cities, Grant and Monument Soil and Water Conservation Districts, North Fork and South Fork John Day Watershed Councils, Natural Resource Conservation Service, OSU Extension Service and a number of state agencies. Court members had questions and concerns and wanted to know what this weed management plan meant for the county. The proponent would be scheduled to review and discuss the draft plan with the court.
NURSE PRACTITIONER. The court reviewed and signed a Contract for Nurse Practitioner Services with Jolene Cawlfield to provide periodic Family Planning services at the Health Department at the rate of $550 per day plus reimbursement for mileage and lodging expense and related long distance phone expense. Webb reported that the Health Department staff is very pleased with Cawlfield's service. Additional service consultations are scheduled in the future.
PUBLIC HEALTH FINANCING. Court members reviewed and signed the 5th Amendment to DHS Agreement 121010 to Finance Public Health Services reflecting funding decreases in Bioterrorism Preparedness ($1,419) and Pan Flu ($730) and a funding increase of $30,000 for School-Based Health Center Planning. Webb indicated that the county can satisfy state expectations associated with the agreement given our current situation of being understaffed for a short period of time.
MSP: Britton/Myers -- to allow Judge Webb to sign the 5th Amendment to DHS Agreement 121010 to Finance Public Health Services.
RURAL VOICES FOR CONSERVATION COALITION. The court considered a request by Judge Webb to attend the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition meeting in Washington DC April 14-17, 2008 at a total estimated cost of $2,668. Webb said participants are an intelligent and energetic group that will be involved with lobbying. While hesitant about the high cost to attend, he understood that he would be talking to important senators and representatives, among others, about forest-related legislation that could help Grant County. Webb added that, since the subject is timber-related, road funds could be utilized. Myers believed that if Webb felt it was worthwhile, then he should attend. Britton encouraged Webb to go and felt it might be a good idea to extend the trip (staying with family) to do his own lobbying. Britton felt our county's voice needs to be heard. MSP: Britton /Myers - to allow Judge Webb to attend the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition meeting to be paid out of road funds. Webb asked court members to provide him with a list of people they would like him to see while in Washington DC.
10:00 am - Kathy Smith and Dana Brooks entered.
COUNTY CAR. Recently, it was suggested that a user-fee be established for use of the General Fund-purchased county car to fund ongoing maintenance and future replacement. Discussion followed about the idea of drafting policy on use of the county car by non-GF departments and the establishment of a mileage charge. Treasurer Kathy Smith felt the county car rate should reflect a savings versus use of a personal vehicle. She added that Commission on Children and Families (CCF) would not be charged because Commission funds helped to purchase the vehicle and also paid for snow tires.
10:05 am - Lane Burton entered.
Burton said that he initially proposed that only GF departments and CCF be allowed to use the car.
His issue was that use by special funds would increase wear and tear on the vehicle and may limit its availability to GF departments/CCF. Burton acknowledged that his department has a nice pickup that has been used when needed. But, he added, some of the other special funds seem to have more funding ability than the General Fund. Webb asked Smith about the Motor Pool concept. Smith explained that all users would pay into a fund to build revenue to replace the car in the future. Webb suggested that priority be given to GF departments/CCF to address concern about conflict of use. He understood most people would rather use their own cars, but if not, he suggested charging the reimbursement amount they would have received for using their own car. Children & Families Director thought a 25¢ or 30¢ charge per mile might be a reasonable cost that would still allow savings in the budget. She said she didn't know how details of the priority might be established. Smith felt, whatever method used should be simple.
Burton's opinion was that the fine county vehicles we have now (for the first time) should be well cared for and available when needed. Britton agreed with Burton and asked how to build a fund for this purpose. Some discussion followed about the fact that other replacement funds were established in the past, but during down times they could not be replenished.
Myers believed that the county was in a position to restrict use of the county car only to GF departments/CCF. He suggested setting a base fee now, in case a special fund department does use the vehicle. He thought the only decision necessary today was to set a fee for tracking the mileage. MSP: Myers/Webb - to establish priority use of the Ford 500 vehicle to General Fund departments and Commission on Children & Families, and that non-general fund departments
pay for use at the county's current mileage rate. Based on the motion, draft policy would be composed for court review and approval and inclusion in the new policy handbook.
CHILDREN & FAMILIES. Commission on Children and Families Director Dana Brooks recommended signature on an Amendment to the Families First of Grant County and Commission on Children and Families contract. Brooks said the amendment increases funds for "Strengthening Families Parenting Education" class now being offered by Families First of Grant County. She explained that the funding request was written by the Center for Human Development Director because it was received from and funded by the Addiction and Mental Health Division of DHS.
11:35 am -- Russ Lane and Lane Burton entered.
FIRE PATROL ASSESSMENT. Oregon Department of Forestry Unit Forester Russ Lane presented the 2007-2009 contract for maintenance and update of the Fire Patrol Assessment computer program by the Assessor's Office. Assessor Lane Burton, who had reviewed and approved the contract, spoke with Lane about coordinating this work with Laurie Smith at the local department office.
Russ Lane explained the ongoing state-wide land classification process and the Subcommittee on Transition Lands which basically deal with rangelands. Burton addressed the process for updating timber-type maps associated with special assessments. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to allow Judge Webb to sign the 2007-2009 Fire Patrol Assessment contract between the Oregon Department of Forestry and Grant County. Further discussion took place about development of digital mapping and GIS support. Russ Lane updated the court on several personnel changes that have taken place at the department, as well as future plans to relocate the department's local compound.
Russ Lane talked about significant fire protection cost increases this year which the court said could be unacceptable to many range and timber landowners. He explained the 50/50 General Fund match, general cost increases, and legislative funding changes that will require a greater match by landowners. Russ Lane planned to provide informational details for a future discussion with the court.
12:15 am -- Adjourned
Mary R. Ferrioli
County Court Secretary