OCTOBER 12, 2011

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.

9:05 am -- Call to Order. Present were Commissioners Scott W. Myers and Boyd Britton, Secretary Mary Ferrioli and Chaplain and Mrs. Richie Colbeth. Judge Mark Webb was attending a Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. conference this week. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States flag. The invocation was given by Chaplain Colbeth.

CLAIMS. The court had reviewed and approved claims and Extension District Warrants 039 - 050.

PROGRAM. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to accept the program with the addition of Judge Webb's travel expense request, October 10 conference call minutes, and discussion on support for the Kimberly Post Office.

9:20 am - Treasurer Kathy Smith and News Reporter Scotta Callister entered


The final public hearing scheduled for 1 pm today in Monument has been cancelled to allow additional time for assessment and corrections to the legal description. It was cancelled after the court's conference call with legal counsel Ron Yockim October 10 about the current Petition for Formation of Monument Rural Fire District.

Britton said he would try to attend the Eastern Oregon Rural Alliance's October 13 meeting.

MINUTES. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to approve the minutes of October 5 as amended.

MSP: Myers /Britton -- to approve the minutes of October 10 as corrected.

EXECUTIVE SESSION. At 9:30 am the court had an Executive Session under ORS 192.660(2)(a) to consider the employment of a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent. Commissioner Britton recited the State Attorney General's Sample Script to Announce the Start of Executive Session. At 10:10 am the court returned to General Session. No motions were made, but a second Executive Session was planned for later this morning.

10:00 am -- Sue Newstetter, Sheriff Glenn Palmer and Treasurer Kathy Smith entered

TITLE 3. County Title 3 Coordinator Sue Newstetter recommended approval of the Grant County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Equipment Acquisition Title 3 project. Newstetter explained that the enclosed equipment trailer would replace the worn out homemade trailer that's currently being used. A 45-day comment period wasn't needed because in 2009 the court approved a multi-year funding request to cover reimbursement costs, including materials and supplies, through federal FY 2012. If approved the Sheriff's Office could be reimbursed for 95% of expense from the existing Title 3 budget with 5% of cost coming from other funds. Sheriff Palmer offered to provide 5% out of the SAR donations fund. Cost quotes were provided from Blaser Trailer Sales, Inc. @ $2,844 and $2,995 and Cargo Mate @ $2,659 and $2,793. Palmer said he is satisfied with the low bid equipment from Cargo Mate. Britton suggested that Palmer look at the availability of 16" tires to provide a bigger hub and better clearance. MSP: Britton/Myers - to allow the Sheriff and Ms. Newstetter to go forward with purchasing a new enclosed trailer as requested. Treasurer Kathy Smith noted that resolutions from General Fund Contingency and reimbursement from the Sheriff Patrol budget are needed.

HEALTH BUILDING. Court members discussed the Custodian's request to have the Health Building floors professionally stripped. Eastern Oregon Building Maintenance had previously performed work at the Health Building and provided a quote of $1,500 to do the stripping. It was noted that EOBM could do this work the first week of November, if approved.

Treasurer Kathy Smith said, although the Health Department budgets have enough budget authority to pay for the floors, the mental health budget does not because of necessary repairs to several heat pumps. She recommended keeping actual maintenance costs for the building with the proper budgets for accurate tracking and funding. Smith asked if the Health Department has been asked about taking that cost from their budget. Some discussion followed about possibly having this work added to next year's budget along with stripping floors at the Courthouse. MSP: Britton/Myers - to wait until next year to do this work so costs can be properly budgeted.

LIBRARY. Court members considered quotes to replace the Library's heating / cooling system. On August 17 when quotes were initially received further clarification was needed before making a comparison. Since then, Nick Miller had spoken with Stinnett Plumbing and Mark & Sons about their understanding of specifications to replace the ground unit heat pump and coil w/blower cabinet for supplemental electric heat, and remove and dispose of old oil furnace. Mark & Sons quoted $7,460 plus $1,589 for electric work and Frank Stinnett Plumbing quoted $6,996.50 including electric work. Miller had recommended Mark & Sons because he felt the Rheem product was outstanding. Britton recommended that we accept the low bid. MSP: Britton/Myers - to go with the apparent low bidder Stinnett Plumbing. Treasurer Kathy Smith confirmed that the Courthouse Reserve fund would be charged for this expense.

COUNTY COURT TRAVEL. Judge Webb previously indicated he would be asking for approval to travel to Salt Lake City to support Blue Mountain Forest Partners' competitive grant request through the Forest Service. If awarded, it would provide from $2.5 to $3 Million annually to the local area for specific project-related activities. Yesterday, Webb asked that the airline and hotel be scheduled for October 18 -20. The total cost would be $745.05 plus meals and parking.

MSP: Britton/Myers - to authorize Judge Webb's trip to Salt Lake City as requested. It was noted that costs would come from the Road Fund since the purpose of the trip is forest-related.

KIMBERLY POST OFFICE. After a brief discussion the court made the following motion. MSP: Britton/Myers - to authorize the Court Secretary to send a letter of support for the Kimberly Post Office to the Postmaster General, similar to what the court did for Seneca.

10:40 am -- David Kerr and Mark Witty entered

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT. School District 3 Superintendent Mark Witty asked the court if the county could set up a meeting with all of the effected parties to review and discuss future flood planning. Judge Webb (on behalf of the court) has been involved in emergency management activities in the past. The court planned to discuss Witty's request in the near future.

SCHOOL DISTRICT 3. School District 3 Superintendent Mark Witty reported that the school board would be approving the final resolution for the QZAB loan for the biomass boiler, since everything went through with Sterling Saving Bank. The award was expected to be received in the next week or two and the project contract signed by the end of this month.

PC SCHOOLS. Prairie City Schools Superintendent David Kerr spoke with the court about the possibility of a future request to partner with the county to secure financing for a $600,000 biomass boiler project. The biomass boiler would produce steam heat for the main building and hot water for the gym. District 3 Superintendent Mark Witty has been working closely with Kerr on this project and was present. Kerr explained the district has been working with Clean Energy Works, Oregon Department of Energy and the Department of Education in an attempt to design and secure funds for a bio-mass boiler. He reported that Business Energy Tax Credits -- awarded on a lottery basis - were applied for three times last year, but they did not win. The district has also been working to possibly secure a loan from the Governor's Cool Schools Initiative with 4% interest. The Oregon Clean Energy Works grant could provide a 2 year award of $30,000 based on 5% of the total project cost. Calculations previously presented detailed both propane and wood energy costs with annual price escalations. Loan scenarios included a QZAB loan @ 0% interest for 16 year term, as well as county-loan scenarios of 3% interest for 15 years and 3% interest for 20 years. Kerr believed that the anticipated fuel savings would pay for the loan. Kerr said if financing cannot be secured through other means, he hoped to start a dialog with the county about forming a partnership and identifying an appropriate percentage for financing this project. Kerr's first preference is to secure a 0% QZAB or BETC loan. He felt the best time to begin the project is next spring.

Britton said the county is in the process of getting a legal opinion on loaning money to the schools. At this time, we haven't seen an opinion or heard an answer from legal counsel. Britton noted that an Attorney General's opinion may be needed. Myers said, even though the county could legally make it a gift, he was more comfortable making a loan. He added that we have spent a lot of time and energy building the county's Road Reserve. Britton felt it would be good to invest back into the county, as long as we don't lose money on the investment. He asked about the financial viability of the school. Kerr felt the district was as stable as any other school could be right now. He thought closing the school would destroy the community, and did not see that happening. When Britton asked Treasurer Smith if it would make a difference which budget year a loan was made, she said we'd need to set up our budget the way the auditors need it set up. Smith added there may be a process we need to go through, like a Supplemental Budget which requires a minimum of two weeks.

SURPLUS EQUIPMENT. Treasurer Kathy Smith asked the court why she wasn't asked about the surplus equipment storage before it was moved in the Planning Department relocation. She also felt there was damage to floor tiles and things in the way people did the move that could have been prevented if we had someone else involved (like Nick Miller). Britton said this was a long standing situation and thought it needed to be addressed. He informed Smith many of these areas had been a problem for a long time. Because of the way things were moved, Smith would need to re-sort items for the sale and inventory removal. Smith reported that e-cycle items are being moved to the ESD on October 21, and that's all being arranged by the community service program. The other surplus items were expected to remain in storage at the south end of the Planning Department until the sale. The court approved Nick Miller to do some cabinetry work in the Planning Office; Kirby Bliss would be taking care of replacing the tile.

EXECUTIVE SESSION. At 11:30 am the court held a second Executive Session under ORS 192.660(2)(a) to consider the employment of a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent for the purpose of consulting with legal counsel. The session ended at 12:20 pm. No motions were made as a result of the discussion.

12:30 pm -- Adjourned

Respectfully Submitted,

Mary R. Ferrioli

County Court Secretary



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