JANUARY 9, 2013

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 Scott W. Myers, Commissioners Chris Labhart and Boyd Britton, Secretary Mary Ferrioli, Dave Fronapel and Budget Committee member Hal Smith. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the US flag. The invocation was given by Dave Fronapel.

CLAIMS. The court had approved claims and Extension District Warrant Nos. 84 – 92.

AGENDA. MSP: Labhart/Myers -- to accept the agenda for January 9 as presented.

9:05 – New Circuit Trial Court Administrator Tammy Wheeler entered and introduced herself. Britton and Myers had an informal discussion with her about some improvements previously approved for Justice Court and the idea of having an elevator installed.


Myers reported on the Commission on Children and Families meeting held at 5:30 pm yesterday at the state office building. Progress has been made on development of the HUBS that will take the place of the Commission’s current structure. Myers planned to attend the Malheur NF Stewardship meeting this Friday from 6 – 8 pm at the federal building.

Britton said he continues to have daily discussions with people about the Monument Rural Fire District. He reported that an informational meeting on the MRFD facilitated by Oregon Department of Forestry is tentatively scheduled for January 27 at Monument Senior Center.

Labhart had attended the John Day City Council meeting last night and resigned after 24 years on the council. He planned to attend Congressman Greg Walden’s meeting this evening in Mt. Vernon, a CHIP meeting at Humbolt Cafeteria at 5:30 pm on Thursday, the Malheur NF Stewardship meeting this Friday, and County College at OSU in Corvallis January 17 – 19.

9:10 am – King Williams entered

MINUTES. MSP: Labhart/Myers -- to approve the minutes of January 2 as amended.

COMMUNICATION SITE AGREEMENTS. Court members reviewed and signed 2013 Communication Site Lease Agreements for the Aldrich, Dixie and Fall Mountain radio sites. Three year lease term renewals were signed with Blue Mountain Hospital District, Grant County Fire Defense Board, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Oregon State Police, Oregon Telephone Corp, Prairie Wood Products, School District 3, and Wheeler’s Communications. Labhart suggested the lease rates be assessed for the next cycle to assure they’re in line with the market. Britton and Myers both explained the rates were assessed a few years ago, and at that time it was felt increasing rates may risk losing current occupants.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE MUTUAL AID. The court considered a request by Oregon Department of Transportation to renew our 5-Year Oregon Public Works Emergency Response Mutual Aid Agreement. The governing body acts as the county’s emergency manager. The agreement enables public works agencies to support each other during an emergency, provides a mechanism for immediate action by responding agencies, and sets up documentation needed to seek possible reimbursement from federal agencies. Myers noted it was the Roadmaster’s opinion the agreement was not needed. It was pointed out, if the agreement is not signed the county is not eligible to receive FEMA funding if needed in a disaster. Britton personally agreed with the Roadmaster – that the agreement is not needed, since the county has worked well with ODOT in the past without using the agreement. As a taxpayer Hal Smith believed the county shouldn’t forego the opportunity to receive our share of disaster funding. Labhart was in favor of the agreement because it would support full reimbursement of disaster costs. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to authorize Judge Myers to sign the Oregon Public Works Emergency Response Mutual Aid Agreement. Even though Britton thought it wasn’t necessary, he did not have a compelling reason to vote against it.

9:30 am -- Dean Hoodenpyl entered

LETTERS OF SUPPORT. The court reviewed and signed letters of support to Baker County Road Department and Medical Examiner Dr. David Hall as discussed and approved on January 2, 2013.

COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS. Community Corrections Director Dean Hoodenpyl presented a draft policy & procedure manual for Grant County Community Corrections. He noted there has been no policy for this department in the past. Hoodenpyl said he compiled the policy based on pertinent information gleaned from other eastern Oregon counties, primarily Wasco, and the Oregon Department of Corrections process. Since it’s the first policy of this kind for our county, he wanted to know how to proceed with the adoption process. Additionally, he will be updating policy former Director Ken Boethin had for the Juvenile Department. General discussion followed about different procedures used for Juvenile issues and Corrections issues (search and seizure, deadly force), and eventually incorporating policy on how the department works with victims.

Myers saw this policy as a subset of county policy, specific to the Corrections department. Myers believed it was appropriate for the county governing body to approve and adopt the policy. Britton suggested the document be reviewed by our insurance company, he used as an example the section regarding Personal Grooming issues. Hoodenpyl explained those issues are based on law enforcement safety and a professional presence within the community. Britton and Labhart both felt Hoodenpyl had done good job and believed adoption of this policy could potentially protect us from litigation. Labhart asked if further costs would be incurred by the county if this policy is adopted. Hoodenpyl said, that is possible, because he and the Parole & Probation Officer have talked some about the idea of using Tazers. The court acknowledged receipt of the document and expressed appreciation for the work Hoodenpyl has done to create the policy. Court members planned to review and study the policy further.

Hoodenpyl inquired about the possibility of using a more convenient storage shed to store Community Service program equipment. Myers planned to follow up on that request.

COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS. The court considered letters from volunteers wishing to serve on the county boards and committees. King Williams, Grant Resource Enhancement Action Team President, was present to report that a court member has been a representative on the GREAT board. He said it had been the Judge in the past, but could be a Commissioner.

Airport Commission. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to reappoint Joe Intile, Bob Bagett, Ron Lundbom and Commissioner Britton to terms on the Airport Commission ending December 31, 2014. Britton’s position has expired, but he agreed to continue on the Commission through December 31, 2014.

Budget Committee. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to reappoint Rob Stewart to the Budget Committee for the term ending December 31, 2015.

College Advisory Board. MSP: Myers/Britton-- to reappoint Kris Beal and Bruce Ward to the College Advisory Board with terms ending December 31, 2015.

10:00 am – Zach Williams entered

Commission on Children and Families. Myers reported, last night at the Commission meeting, Commissioners agreed to extend expired terms until the end of the fiscal year when the Commission will no longer exist. MSP: Myers/Britton-- to extend the terms of Bradley Cates, Dylan Powell and Hannah Andrews as youth members; and Jan Keil, Kris Beal and Marsha Delaney until June 30, 2013. MSF: Myers/Labhart – to expire the terms of Cathy Currey, Charissa Welsh, Mary Lou Welby, Scott Myers, and Wendy Burril as of June 30, 2013. Britton felt the motion shouldn’t be made until we know the state’s final decision. Myers reported that we have already been assured by everyone at the state level that this is the end of the Commission.

Extension & 4H District Advisory Council. No applications were received to fill the six vacancies on the council. It was noted that no response had been received from Rocky Perkins. The court talked about making contact with current members and Extension Agent Gary Delaney to discuss recruitment of volunteers. Myers has been Extension liasion and planned to see Delaney this week.

10:00 am -- Andrew Hayden entered

BIOMASS ENERGY. Andrew Haden, representing Wisewood, Inc of Portland, had asked to meet with the court to discuss grant opportunities available for engineering and cost analysis of biomass energy projects. Haden has worked with Malheur Lumber, Blue Mountain Hospital, Prairie City High School, and the Airport and wants to continue implementation of biomass boilers in the county. The US Forest Service and US Department of Energy are promoting the concept of biomass energy “clusters” and made $150,000.00 available to be divided for separate $50,000.000 grant applications with a January 31 deadline. Haden is now looking at other buildings that might potentially convert to biomass -- Humbolt Elementary School, the Courthouse and Criminal Justice Facility. He explained the grant would cover engineering and feasibility studies to determine if the project would make sense. It would not cover purchasing and installing the biomass equipment. The grant has a 25% match requirement. Haden hoped to assess all potential interest and the possibility of submitting a joint application for those buildings. He planned to contact Myers again next Tuesday, after he has heard from Mr. Witty. Haden said it’s a competitive grant process, but was confident there would be high success for continuing the existing biomass cluster within Grant County. He saw multiple projects for the amount of money requested as a positive factor. Haden asked for a letter of commitment to participate in the concept and provide matching funds for our portion of the study. Haden was willing to do all the work to put together the joint application. Britton supported the idea and feels we had a unique situation here for biomass energy. Myers said the Courthouse boiler is also geared for propane, but the he was interested in seeing what the study would reveal and through a shared cost match. Haden noted that a representative of Oregon Department of Forestry was on the grant Review Committee. King Williams pointed out two new public buildings have recently been built that don’t use biomass; however, those agencies are willing to support the conversion to biomass study. Williams felt it was important to keep the sawmill going to support the biomass energy resource.

10:10 am -- Kathy Smith entered

BUDGET COMMITTEE. Budget Officer Kathy Smith and the court set Monday, March 4, 2013 at 9:00 am for the first Budget Committee meeting.

SIGNATURE CARDS. Court members signed authorization cards for Sterling Bank, Bank of Eastern Oregon, and US Bank as presented by Treasurer Kathy Smith.

BUDGET RESOLUTIONS. The court reviewed and signed Resolution 13-01 Making Transfer from Contingency, Mental Health Fund, to Capital Outlay in the amount of $7,500.00 for the court-approved installation of a new air conditioning unit at the Mental Health Building, Resolution 13-02 Making Transfer from Contingency, Maternal & Child Health Fund, to Materials and Services $98,000.00 to pass revenue to Community Counseling Solutions, Inc. to administer public health services, Resolution 13-03 Making Intrafund Transfers, WIC Fund, to Materials & Services $21,000.00 to pass revenue to Community Counseling Solutions, Inc. to administer public health services, Resolution 13-04 Making Intrafund Transfers, Family Planning Fund, to Materials & Services $27,000.00 to pass revenue to Community Counseling Solutions, Inc. to administer public health services, Resolution 13-05 Making Transfer from Contingency, Family Planning Fund, to Materials & Services $18,000.00 to pass revenue to Community Counseling Solutions, Inc. to administer public health services, Resolution 13-06 Making Intrafund Transfers Bioterrorism Fund, to Materials & Services $15,300.00 to pass revenue to Community Counseling Solutions, Inc. to administer public health services and Resolution 13-07 Making Transfer from Contingency, Sanitarian Inspection Fund, to Materials & Services $21,000.00 to pass revenue to Community Counseling Solutions, Inc. to administer public health services.

10:30 am – Thad Labhart entered

ROAD DEPARTMENT COST REIMBURSEMENT. Treasurer Kathy Smith reviewed and discussed actual 2011-2012 cost reimbursement figures for the Road Department Exhibit A. The sheet was filled out for next year’s budget for the Road Department. The document lists reimbursement amounts for the Clerk, Bookkeeper, Treasurer, Investment Fee, Assessor, Sheriff, Deputy Patrol, Vehicle Expense, Judge, Commissioners, Court Secretary, Planning Director, and Planning Secretary. Smith said admin fees for the Clerk, Bookkeeper and Treasurer have already been adjusted. She asked if the court would like to change any percentage before she calculates the 2013-2014 budget figures next week. Smith stated she has not seen any documentation that shows if the percentages should move either up or down. Smith wondered if all departments should be asked to track their time from January through December 2013 so the topic can be better addressed in the 2014 – 2015 budget process. She didn’t know how else to adjust the current percentage. She said some departments signed a letter certifying the percentage each year when Judge Reynolds was in office, but that has not continued.

10:40 am – News Reporter Scotta Callister entered

Discussion followed about creating time studies through the production of phone logs, emails, and other records. Britton asked Labhart if he previously made a comment about having Mark Webb come in for this discussion. Labhart said he had, but has changed his mind because it was a court decision. Labhart inquired about previous time studies being done. Smith said the health department routinely does time studies, but she didn’t know if it’s being done by other departments. King Williams understood Judge Reynolds’ certification letter was a justification based on the fact that having certain services in place is required to support the Road Department. He thought a letter of certification was the best way to justify time spent.

Williams felt spending lots of time to have public employees produce time studies was a waste of taxpayer’s money. Britton agreed recording time spent would negatively impact work production. He felt it was something to think about in the future. Labhart suggested the subject be discussed during the budget process. Budget Committee Hal Smith agreed that keeping track of how all of court members’ time is spent was unreasonable.

EASTERN OREGON RURAL COUNTIES. The court talked about its desire to support Eastern Oregon Rural Counties Organization lobbying effort to continue PILT payments. Based on the IGA between Baker, Grant, Harney, Union and Wallowa counties the county was being asked to support the PILT Project in 2013. Last year the county paid $15,000.00 to Union County for this project. Treasurer Kathy Smith said the first contribution came from the Road Fund; however, PILT should come from the General Fund. Britton believed an individual was just as effective as a professional lobbyist. King Williams agreed with Britton and had argued in the past that money was not well spent. He felt we could do better. Britton provided information about Oregon’s good position on the US Senate Appropriations Committee. He believed real people within the community could be more effective than a paid lobbyist. It was generally agreed that further discussion on funding the lobbying effort would be held by the Budget Committee.


Fair Board. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to reappoint Steve Parsons to a term on the Fair Board expiring December 31, 2015. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to appoint Heather Rookstool to the vacant term on the Fair Board expiring December 31, 2015. Myers noted that Ms. Rookstool has been a resident of the county for about 10 years and is involved in fair activities.

Mental Health Advisory Board. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to reappoint Donna Johnston to a term on the Mental Health Advisory Board expiring December 31, 2015. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to appoint Dale Stennett fill a vacancy on the Mental Health Advisory Board expiring December 31, 2015 as recommended by CCS Site Manager Thad Labhart.

Planning Commission. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to reappoint Margie Walton to a term on the Planning Commission expiring December 31, 2016. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to move current alternate Dan Driscoll to a regular position on the Planning Commission due to expire December 31, 2016. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to appoint Steve Parsons to an alternate term on the Planning Commission expiring December 31, 2013. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to re-appoint Hailey Boethin to a position on the Planning Commission to expire December 31, 2016.

Senior Citizens Advisory Council. MSP: Britton/Labhart -- to appoint Richie Colbeth to a vacant term on the Senior Citizens Council due to expire June 30, 2014.

Southeast Regional Alliance. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to reappoint Sally Bartlett to her position on the Southeast Regional Alliance expiring December 31, 2015. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to appoint Airport Manager Patrick Bentz the position on the Southeast Regional Alliance that will expire December 31, 2015. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to appoint Mike Cosgrove to the alternate position on the Southeast Regional Alliance due to expire December 31, 2015.

Wildlife Advisory Board. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to reappoint Rick Henslee, Cecil Swaggart, and Larry Burton to terms on the Wildlife Advisory Board expiring December 31, 2015.

DEPARTMENT LIAISON & COUNTY REPRESENTATIVE. The court discussed department liaison assignments and county representative positions on local and regional boards. Past Judge Mark Webb previously submitted written input to be placed in the record promoting Commissioner Britton to be the liaison for the Mental Health, Public Health, and Road departments. Similar letters were also received from Mike Springer of Benchmark Surveying and Doug Ferguson of Ferguson Surveying. Myers explained this process has never been contentious in the past, but this time it looks like that is not the case. He said letters from the public making statements about the role of a court liaison have never happened in the past. Myers indicated the original intent of the liaison was not to be the first or last point of contact with Department Heads, but a casual contact. A draft list was provided for the purpose of making new decisions among the court members. Myers stated that, regardless of liaison appointments, he will attempt to be involved with the daily operations of all departments. He said the full time Judge’s position has always been the emergency contact, and the most likely contact, for any issue. For instance, yesterday, Myers said he spent over one hour on a road department issue in addition to a personal meeting here with Mr. Hensley. He said Hensley invited him to start spending a couple mornings a week at the Road Department. Myers wanted it understood that, if there are meetings he feels the County Judge should attend, he will feel obligated and responsible for attending those meetings. Beyond that, Myers didn’t really have a preference as to who does what. Myers said he wants Department Heads (elected or not) to know that he is here as the most important first contact, whether he’s the liasion for that department or not. That responsibility has historically come with this position and he doesn’t see anything that’s changed that. However, Myers said Department Heads should feel comfortable speaking with any court member, as opposed to their liasion. Myers hoped some tension on this subject would be relieved after hearing his statement. Britton thought Myers should be the contact person and take an active role in a lot of the issues.

11:45 am – Ron Greb and Gerald Sagert entered

Britton agreed the liasion assignment has been informal and that all court members are involved with the departments. He mentioned that he regularly stops in to visit the various departments. Britton had questioned the criteria used for the draft list and felt some mistakes had been made. He suggested holding a work session to work through the liaisons assignments. Myers noted that liaison assignment have been casual in the past, with the Secretary providing a list for the court to look over and trade assignments back and forth during their annual discussion. He thought the process should remain casual and productive.

Labhart said each court member is equal with one not having more authority than another. He was interested in knowing what boards and commissions the County Court is a part of, and the responsibilities of a department liaison. Labhart was not worried about the draft list because he understands it is something to be worked out. Myers believed that court members could sort out liaison assignments themselves.

A brief discussion followed with CCS Site Manager Thad Labhart about county participation on the CCS board. He reported that Mark Webb and Bob Houser are Grant County’s representatives on the CCS board. Thad Labhart said representation by a county government official is not required, like it is on the Mental Health Advisory Board.

The idea of having a goal setting session and holding an occasional court meeting in outlaying communities was introduced by Commissioner Labhart. Further discussion on these ideas may be addressed in the future.

SNOWBALLLERS. Ron Greb reported that the Grant County Snowballers Club is applying for grant funds for grooming of snowmobile trails. He asked for a letter of support from the County Court. He said the deadline to send the letter to the Forest Service is tomorrow. MSP: Myers

/Labhart – to send a letter of support as requested.

12:15 pm -- Adjourned

Respectfully Submitted,

Mary R. Ferrioli

County Court Secretary

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