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 -- Called to Order. Present were Judge Mark R. Webb, Commissioners Scott W. Myers and Boyd Britton, Secretary Mary Ferrioli and Reverend Flora Cheadle. The Pledge of Allegiance was given to the US flag. An opening prayer was given by Reverend Cheadle.
PROGRAM. MSP: Webb/Myers -- to accept the program with a review of Deschutes-Ochocco RAC Title II projects and signing a Local Public Health Authority certification letter.
Myers reported on the Northeast Oregon Housing Authority quarterly board meeting that he attended in La Grande on February 2.
Webb reported that he would be spending some time at Community Counseling Solutions in the next few weeks until the vacant Site Manager position is filled.
Britton reported that Interim Director Elizabeth Moore was selected as the new Training and Employment Consortium Director for Region 14.
MINUTES. MSP: Webb/Myers -- to approve the January 27th minutes as amended.
COMMUNITY GARDEN. Treasurer Kathy Smith asked Judge Webb about the current status of the Community Garden. Webb explained that tapping into the city's water system is better than drilling a well since the original ditch is no longer functions to deliver water. He indicated that the county's water right can be accessed through the city's system. Webb planned to speak with legal counsel about how that arrangement should work. He said the Memorandum of Understanding between the county and OSU, about the ongoing working relationship, is in the process of being finalized. Webb indicated that the county would be providing the ground, but nothing else.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE FACILITY. The court considered the Sheriff's written recommendation not to pursue a security retro-fit for the Sheriff's Office that was suggested by the Safety Committee. A quote was received from Mobile Glass to install an interior bullet resistant glass window and pass through -- like in Justice Court -- for a total cost of over $7,000. The Sheriff previously stated that this is a significant amount of money for an issue pertaining to safety of the staff and patrons
who use this facility. He suggested that we leave the facility in the current condition.
MSP: Myers/Britton - to honor the recommendation of the Sheriff and at least post pone the retrofit.
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE PRO TEM. At the recommendation of JP Terry Farrell the court signed Resolution 10-03 Re-Appointing Markku Sario as Justice of the Peace Pro-Tem.
9:25 am -- Ashley Daniel entered
RURAL HEALTH CENTER. Court members reviewed and discussed a financial viability report on the Grant County Rural Health Center Project provided by Consultant Jeffrey Davis. The report reviewed findings of an analysis of the revenues and expenditures of the Health Department to determine the financial status of the Rural Health Center, if the RHC could work together with a non-profit without RHC designation, and if a Federally Qualified Health Center was possible. Webb reported on conversations he had with Davis about the assessment. Webb explained that the consultant couldn't determine which parts of the operations are doing well and whether or not the RHC was carrying the public health side, or vice-versa. The report reveals that the department is solvent, but the exact reasons could not be well explained. Webb said he has been looking into a cost accounting system that would enable us to closely track services in a way that won't increase the Business Manager's workload. Webb planned to speak with Oregon Health Division representative Tom Engle and follow up with the consultant. He also planned to spend some time with the Business Manager over the next few weeks.
Webb talked about national trends toward integration of public health and mental health services which compliment the needs of each other and the public. For instance, RHC reimbursement rates could be used to underwrite or supplement other health services. Treasurer Kathy Smith said she would like to be included in those meetings due to tax issues for federal designations.
Britton sought clarification about uncertainties within the report. He noted that for several years the county has been uncertain about whether or not increased staff efficiency, additional staff, or a different configuration of staff were needed to improve the department's financial viability. However, Britton did not doubt that the Public Health Administrator was doing a fine job, and that the department is financially secure.
Webb stated that accounts receivable will specifically need to be addressed because billing for past services is months behind. He summarized, with this report, we know the department is solvent, that things can be tracked separately, and that a public entity and a non-profit might work profitably together.
The court also signed a letter stating that the Local Public Health Authority has adopted and will comply with the rules for conducting administrative hearings in accordance with ORS Chapter 183. This was required as a result of the Health Department's recent on-site review by the state.
VICTIM ASSISTANCE. Victim Assistance Director Ashley Daniel asked for approval to apply for funding under the federal FY 2010 VAWA Rural Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Assistance Program. The deadline is February 18, 2010 for a maximum award of $350,000 for the period October 2010 through September 2012. Daniel explained, while the grant was not awarded last year, the department would like to readdress those issues in a new grant application. She felt the application would have realistic expectations and attainable goals that could be measured. If awarded, the county could continue program services, collaborate with HEART of Grant County, other law enforcement agencies and DHS, keep a 1.0 FTE Deputy DA and 1.0 FTE Intervention Specialist, and a 1.0 FTE Advocate for HEART of Grant County. Daniel explained that funds for the DDA, VIS and Advocate would not be used until April 1, 2011. But, once awarded, funds would be spent on a domestic violence and sexual assault advertisements to increase public awareness. Daniel addressed trainings and said she would need to attend a DOJ financial management workshop.
Webb spoke with Daniel about plans for involvement by law enforcement that includes much needed localized training opportunities for officers. Webb expressed compliance concerns about requirements for funding to follow only grant designated work. The court expected that these regulations would be strictly respected. Webb asked if there was a method to allocate money in the budget for the county obligation of future unemployment costs. Daniel felt that made sense and said the cost could be tied to the benefit section. Myers was assured that the court would have an opportunity to review the application before submission. Daniel said that could be done next week. MSP: Webb/Myers -- to approve preparation of the 2010 federal grant application.
Daniel requested permission for lodging for eight CAMI multi-discipline team members to attend the 2010 Clackamas Co. Child Abuse Summit. She reported that Oxford Suites @ $100 per night would provide substantial savings over the Red Lion @ $135. Treasurer Smith noted that 3 county employees would be overtime eligible. She asked Daniel if time could be monitored to prevent any unnecessary hours because of existing comp time accruals. Daniel said that hours would be monitored using flex time when appropriate. MSP: Webb/Myers -- to approve the request to attend the 2010 Clackamas Co. Child Abuse Summit.
9:50 am - News Reporter Scotta Callister, Colin English, Sue Newstetter and Maxine Day entered
AWOS. Airport Manager Colin English recommended initiating a formal Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) Maintenance Agreement with the manufacturer Vaisala. The annual maintenance fee of $4,200 includes response within 24 hrs, four scheduled visits including an annual FAA inspection, and telephone service support by certified / FAA approved / FCC licensed technicians. English explained difficulties with prior service provided by a former ODOT technician based in La Grande that costs a flat fee of $800 per visit, whether effective or not, plus equipment rentals and parts. He added that the lack of a formal maintenance agreement also contributed to delays in repairing two UHF transceivers last year. English felt an agreement with Vaisala would provide more comprehensive and responsive support for the AWOS system, at a stable cost that includes all necessary services including parts and equipment. The court questioned English about previous equipment repairs and incurred costs compared to anticipated costs for the new Vaisala service arrangement. Treasurer Kathy Smith noted that the Reserve Fund is currently in the red, so there is no revenue to pay for this cost. MSP: Webb/Britton -- to authorize Judge Webb to sign the AWOS Maintenance Agreement as presented.
530 E. MAIN, SUITE 10. Title III Coordinator Sue Newstetter recommended approval to hire a certified contractor to provide asbestos abatement services at 530 E. Main, Suite 10, in John Day.
Newstetter had received quotes for asbestos abatement, removing tile and mastic, and grinding the floor -- from Alpine Abatement @ $4,868 and Cascade Insulation @ $3,850. She added that Alpine didn't request to visit the site, but Cascade inspected the area on February 1st. Newstetter recommended Cascade Insulation since they visited the site and are the lower cost, and because she worked with them before and they did a great job. She added that Cascade has worked on other projects in Grant County including the hospital and Courthouse Boiler Room. MSP: Britton/ Myers -- to approve Cascade Insulation to provide asbestos abatement services as presented.
10:15 am -- Lane Burton entered
RURAL FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT. Assessor Lane Burton appeared to report that he was contacted by Roy Peterson who is apparently in the process of forming a Monument Rural Fire Protection District. Burton said that Peterson asked if Burton would attach a $200 fee to his Assessment and Taxation roles, for each structure regardless of value, in a Monument area rural fire district. According to the Department of Revenue, this would be statutorily illegal, but there could be an "ad valorem" tax approved by the voters.
Mike Smith, King Williams, Walt Gentis, and Larry Blasing entered
PUBLIC FOREST COMMISSION. Four members of the Public Forest Commission -- identified above -- met with the court to discuss the possibility of a joint opposition to Senator Ron Wyden's "Oregon Eastside Forests Restoration, Old Growth Protection and Jobs Act of 2009." Williams had provided copies of the Commission's letter to Senator Ron Wyden. Williams said he also spoke with Harney County Judge Steve Grasty. Williams had studied the act and provided an overview of several areas that contains conflicting language and ambiguous terms. He explained that this act would require specific funding under repeated resolutions of the Congress. He said all of the previous inappropriate regulations concerning old growth and a 150 year restriction were included in the bill, plus now it goes even further to further eliminate cutting of certain trees below 21 inches. Williams pointed out that local contractors were to be determined within 100 miles of the "entire national forest border," not within 100 miles of the "project." Gentis and Blasing also believed the bill adds further restrictions and regulations, and would jeopardize funding for federal forest management. Smith pointed out that this bill would also negatively impact grazing. The Commission asked the court to stand in opposition to this legislation.
Britton said the bill wasn't needed and wasn't something that he could support. Webb felt the bill had lots of loose ends, complicates matters, and adds layers of regulations. He believed that, in terms of context and approach, it is not in the county's best interest. However, Webb was not ready to make a decision today since he still has a few others to speak with on this issue. He also planned to speak with Senator Wyden's office about counties no longer being included in the process. Webb added that he has been asked to attend hearings on this bill when they are scheduled.
11:15 am -- Kimberly Lindsay, Elizabeth Boyer and Kathy Stauffer entered
MENTAL HEALTH. Community Counseling Solutions, Inc. Director Kimberly Lindsay recommended approval of the Biennial Implementation Plan for providing mental health, developmental disabilities, and alcohol & drug services within Grant County. Staff member Elizabeth Boyer and Clinical Supervisor Kathy Stauffer were present. Lindsay and the court reviewed and discussed various elements of the Implementation Plan such as priorities identified through the coordinated comprehensive planning process, system coordination, funding allocation, and top priorities for the alcohol & drug program including successful service integration with the Drug Court. The local Mental Health & Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board would provide oversight for implementation of the plan. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve the plan as presented and that it be signed by Judge Webb.
SITE MANAGER. Community Counseling Solutions, Inc. Director Kimberly Lindsay reported that Harney County Mental Health representative Kathy Stauffer would provide temporary Clinical Supervision services at Community Counseling Solutions, since Site Manager Gary Lewis has recently resigned.
TITLE II. At the request of the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, the court reviewed three of the Deschutes-Ochocco proposed Title II projects, within Grant County, for the 2009 and 2010 RAC cycles. It was noted that Grant County's funds have already been allocated for other projects under another RAC.
12:10 pm -- Adjourned
Mary R. Ferrioli
County Court Secretary