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.
9:10 am -- Called to Order. Present were Judge Mark R. Webb and Commissioners Scott W. Myers and Boyd Britton, Secretary Mary Ferrioli, and Pastor Mike Teague. The Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States flag. An opening prayer was given by Pastor Mike Teague.
PROGRAM. MSP: Webb/Myers -- to accept the program with the addition of discussion on the annual surplus sale and wage placement of proposed Dental Clinic Coordinator and Tobacco Prevention Coordinator position descriptions.
Britton reported on the joint Airport Terminal Building Project kick-off meeting followed by a design meeting with the WH Pacific architects & engineers at the federal building December 11th.
Myers reported on an informal open house that he and Britton attended at the airport the evening of December 10th regarding the joint Airport Terminal Building Project.
Webb reported on his December 15th meeting in Heppner at Community Counseling Solutions to discuss issues related to cost-ratios and rate setting for the provision of mental health services.
Webb reported on the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition Policy Conference that he attended with Mike Billman in Troutdale December 10 - 12 about development of draft Congressional policy and legislative strategies. While in Portland, Webb also took time to visit with Elizabeth Howard (the permitees' attorney). That trip was followed by a forest stewardship meeting at the federal building in John Day.
Myers planned to participate with Bruce Makela in two Veteran Services Officer job interviews on December 18th.
Webb reported that a week ago an individual told him it would not be appropriate to raise property taxes, pay a cost-of-living increase, or pay the current level of health insurance benefits next fiscal year. It was noted that the public has a right to attend Budget Committee meetings and provide input.
Myers said he inspected the east facing wall at 530 E. Main Street and the Road Department had done an excellent job backfilling that area to provide cold weather insulation.
Webb reported the Blue Mountain Hospital District has agreed to rent space at 530 E. Main, Suite 10 after Oregon Life Solutions moves to the building at 200 S. Humbolt Street after renovation.
MINUTES. MSP: Webb/Myers-- to approve the December 10th Minutes as amended.
FINANCIAL AUDIT. Court members reviewed and signed letters associated with the Oster Professional Group audit of county financial statements for fiscal year 2007-2008. Discussion followed about an anticipated management letter that would address the federal audit requirement. MSP: Myers/Webb - to authorize Judge Webb to sign the audit letters as presented.
GENERAL LEDGER MOU. The court reviewed and signed a Letter of Understanding with Chaves Consulting, Inc. related to installation, training and technical support for the county's General Ledger Payroll Software Program. The agreement runs from July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2009.
Treasurer Kathy Smith explained that the federal Drug-Free Grant requires that this letter of agreement be in place. MSP: Myers/Webb - to authorize Judge Webb to sign the Letter of Understanding with Chaves Consulting Inc.
MID-COLUMBIA STEELHEAD RECOVERY PLAN. The court considered comments on the Mid-Columbia Steelhead Recovery Plan previously presented by Dayville resident Dan Driscoll (Prairie Springs Fish Farm.) Comments are to be submitted as public input to the Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission. Webb expressed concern about the need to decouple what's going on in the John Day Basin. He said, according to legal counsel and others that was extremely unlikely, but he felt it was worth making that point. Webb felt that NOAA needs to be pushed to start enforcing sport fishing and commercial regulations so predation is addressed, as well as putting pressure on other water systems like the Willamette River. Myers didn't disagree with Webb comments. He thought one way to fix part of the problem would be to increase the limit on bass in the John Day River, (especially those from 8 to 12 inches in length) and also a possible bounty on Pike Minnow. It was suggested that fish detrimental to natural restocking be taken care of. Webb planned to write the comments for court review and signature for timely submission.
BLUE MOUNTAIN HERITAGE TRAIL. Court members considered a letter from the Blue Mountains Heritage Trail Association Chair Dick Hentze asking for a meeting to discuss a proposal to develop a multipurpose trail encircling the Blue Mountain region with economic development interests to maximize the regions potential economy. Court members weren't familiar with the organization or a proposed trail plan. Webb said he heard about something coming into Prairie City, but didn't know what the county would have to do with it. The court agreed to a meeting with this group.
SURPLUS SALE. Treasurer Kathy Smith addressed the court's December 10th site visit to the former Road Department facility where surplus furniture, equipment and weeded library books are being stored. The visit was made to discuss how best to dispose of the accumulation. January 10th was proposed as a date for the surplus sale between 10 am and 12 p.m. with everything not sold being "free" until 1 p.m.. After 1 p.m. any remaining items would go to Hendrix Landfill or Prairie City Recycling Center. Smith expected court members to help at the sale and arrange for pickup trucks to be available. She said the Library Foundation has no trouble with funds coming to the county for designation to the Library's future book purchases. Smith added that Library volunteers would be responsible for disposing of books that are left after the sale. MSP: Britton/
Myers -- to authorize the Treasurer to move ahead with preparations for the surplus sale as proposed. Smith noted that the county would need to think about a location for storage of the county's future surplus items. Some discussion followed about recruiting volunteers for removal of items after the sale. Smith reported that tires and tools belonging to Juvenile / Adult Services will need to be relocated to a new storage area. Discussion followed about possibly purchasing a storage shed or train car.
DENTAL CLINIC COORD. / TOBACCO PREVENTION COORD. The court reviewed and approved proposed job descriptions for the part time Dental Clinic Coordinator / Assistant and the Tobacco Prevention and Education Program Coordinator positions at the Health Department. MSP: Webb/ Myers - to send both job descriptions to Local Government Personnel Institute for evaluation and placement on the wage scale.
EXECUTIVE SESSION. At 10:20 am the court met in Executive Session under ORS 192.660(2)(b) to consider the dismissal or disciplining of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent with regard to the Road Department. Webb recited the State Attorney General's Sample Script to Announce the Start of Executive Session. At 10:54 a.m. the court returned to General Session.
10:55 a.m. -- Adjourned for the county Christmas Party.
Mary R. Ferrioli
County Court Secretary