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January 6, 2016

Pursuant to notice made to the newspaper of general circulation throughout Grant County, the radio station, county website, 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 B. Labhart and Boyd Britton, Secretary Laurie Wright, Doug Ferguson, Emergency Management Coordinator Ted Williams, Road Master Allan Hickerson, Jim Sproul, Frances Preston, Brooks Smith, Ron Phillips, Billie Jo George, Jason Kehrberg, and Pastor Levi Manitsas. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States flag. The invocation was given by Pastor Manitsas.

CLAIMS. The court had reviewed and approved claims and Extension District Warrants. Commissioner Britton declared a conflict of interest and did not sign claims for Boyd Britton Welding in the amount of $649.97 and $85.00.

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

ANNOUNCEMENTS. Judge Myers advised those in attendance that today there is a temporary injunction hearing upstairs in Circuit Court at 3:30 pm regarding the marijuana ordinance the court passed. The county attorney will appear by telephone and Myers will be upstairs in case questions arise. Myers said all attorneys involved have the recordings from the court meetings and he is confident Judge Cramer will sort this out. Myers said there will be a department head meeting tomorrow at 2:00 pm. He is hopeful most department heads will attend.

Commissioner Britton said he called Mike Shaw and talked with him about the Zone 1 plans the court approved last week and Shaw is excited about this.

9:07 am Dennis Flippence entered

Britton talked with Dr. Daniels, who is a retired physician from Ontario, regarding the Geographic Names Board. Dr. Daniels has very strong opinions about the Geographic Names Board and Britton asked him to write a letter regarding his opinions. Britton told the other court members he was preparing a letter to send to the Geographic Names Board and he would like them to sign it as well once it is completed. Britton said on January 25th the STIP Enhance 18-21 meeting will be held and he is on a sub-committee to prioritize projects.

Commissioner Labhart said yesterday he and Veanne Weddle went to the Monument Senior Citizen Center for his quarterly meeting and there was a good turnout. Labhart will be driving veterans to the VA Hospital in Boise tomorrow and on Sunday he will be traveling to the Association of Oregon Counties legislative meeting. The AOC will be discussing the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) Supreme Court Ruling. He isn’t sure what the AOC’s stand on this will be yet, but the Supreme Court ruled that the State of Oregon could not do what they did with PERS retirement. Britton suggested Labhart talk with the county treasurer prior to this meeting regarding the surplus Grant County has in its PERS account. Labhart added he believes the transportation bill will also be a topic of conversation.

9:12 am Shannon Springer entered

Britton also encouraged Labhart to request AOC to firmly oppose the alternate tax credit. Labhart said he is also on the Public Lands Natural Resource committee for AOC.

MINUTES. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to approve the December 30th minutes as amended

9:15 am Judy Kerr entered

WATER IMPOUNDMENT SITES. Doug Ferguson (Ferguson Surveying & Engineering) reported on the status of locating water impoundment sites. Ferguson said a water resources grant is available to establish impoundments. Scott Fairley and his staff will be assisting Ferguson and Grant Soil and Water Conservation District Manager Jason Kehrberg will prepare the application. Ferguson said the biggest issue is finding a location that will hold enough water. He would like to see something meaningful constructed and is looking for a location beneficial for stream temperature, irrigation, recreation, etc. Ferguson stated they have some places in mind and said he understands from the governor’s office that they need a sponsor for this project.

Jason Kehrberg said the grant comes through Oregon Water Resources and this is a new program. He explained the feasibility study and the need for support from the court. The grant is a 50% cost share for the feasibility study portion of the grant. GCSWCD would be able to assist with the administration of the grant but does not have the staff to handle the feasibility study themselves. He estimates $50,000 to $75,000 for a good feasibility study. Ferguson said he thinks it will cost closer to $75,000 for a good study. Britton wanted to know how much information can be used from prior studies. Kehrberg doesn’t think any of the past information can be used. Ferguson added the old studies are good information but they were smaller project proposals. He is thinking of something on a larger scope.

9:23 am Dave Traylor entered

Ferguson would like to see a large water impoundment of several thousand cubic feet of storage. Kehrberg would like to get other resource managers involved to endorse proposed sites and said the ESA fish issues will be an impossible hurdle. Ferguson said one possible location is Bear Creek in Bear Valley. He said the state government is finally realizing the importance of water storage here and this is a perfect opportunity to do something about it. Britton asked what was needed from the court at this time. Ferguson said he thinks what is needed is some sort of endorsement or sponsorship from the court and a good start would be if the court would sponsor half of the feasibility study. Kehrberg would prefer to have some sites to present to the court before the court commits to anything. Ferguson advised the deadline for the grant is February 1st. Ferguson reiterated he wants something large and meaningful, 40 or 50 square miles. He added Canyon Meadows was only 6 square miles. Jim Sproul said there is an excellent site on private land in Bear Valley that should be looked at that is 750 to 1000 acres. Sproul said it has been approved before and he feels the landowner would be receptive to this now. Ferguson told the court they will get some proposals ready to present to the court. Kehrberg said they don’t need to show the cost share match prior to applying for the grant. Myers said in his opinion the court needs to give its blessing to move forward at this time and work on the dollar amounts at a later date. Britton said he agrees and this needs to move forward right away. Myers is willing to help in whatever way he can.

CANYON CREEK CHANNEL REHAB PROJECT. Doug Ferguson reported on the progress of the rehabilitation project. Ferguson advised the audience they will be reviewing contractor proposals on January 20th for flood mitigation work. Ferguson said he has talked with some contractors such as Iron Triangle, Tidewater and George Winegar about the project. He said ODOT should be just about finished with the berm they are constructing today which is about 700 feet long. Ferguson added the material Allan Hickerson found for them to use on the project is excellent. The project is moving forward, but getting sandbags filled is still an issue.

9:37 am Sean Hart entered

Myers said some sandbags were filled yesterday. Ted Williams told the audience that the sandbag filling machine had arrived and he will be putting it together later today.

9:39 am Mary Weaver and Dusty Williams entered

Ted Williams added he will be advertising for volunteers to assist with filling sandbags and next week he will get some help from a couple of people who need to perform community service. Williams said the emergency notification contract with AlertSense has been signed and received by AlertSense and he expects a call from them soon to set up training. Labhart advised Williams that the AlertSense notification program apparently isn’t working in Harney County right now. Myers will call Judge Grasty about the issues they are having with the program to try to find out what is happening.

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COORDINATOR. The court members discussed hiring a permanent emergency management coordinator and continuing the current employee through January 15th during the application process. Myers told those in attendance that Ted Williams was first hired at the airport and was interviewed which qualifies him to apply for the position as an in-house employee. Myers, Treasurer Kathy Smith and Ted Williams met last week and agree that after June of 2016 things should slow down and the position would only require 32 hours per week. MSP: Myers/Britton – to extend Ted Williams employment through January 15th. MSP: Myers/Britton – to advertise the emergency management coordinator position in-house beginning today and closing on Tuesday, January 12th.

Kathy Smith said the court needs to decide if it intends to fund the emergency management coordinator as a full time position through June of 2016. MSP: Myers/Britton – to fund the emergency management position for 40 hours per week through June of 2016.

Myers said for the next fiscal year the court will present this position to the budget committee to fund this position at 32 hours per week. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to forward the funding information provided by Kathy Smith to the budget committee for fiscal year 2016/17.

Labhart wanted to know if this position might possibly take on the Human Resources position as well. Myers said adding HR to another position has been discussed before and is still being discussed.

Doug Ferguson told the court that he would like to officially endorse Ted Williams as a candidate for the Emergency Management Coordinator.

Judy Kerr wanted to know if the court was planning ahead since the flood threat has been estimated to last for five years and an emergency coordinator will be needed during this time frame. Myers told her yes, the court is planning ahead and can make changes to the position as necessary. Frances Preston asked if this position was going to be funded forever. Myers stated the court intended to keep an emergency management coordinator, but it is impossible to predict future needs. Preston feels this position is more important than some others in the county and this should be reviewed. Myers added this position is not mandatory, but he feels it is needed.

Dave Traylor stated this position is necessary and we must have one. We are a host county in case of a disaster on the other side of the state and are ill equipped to handle an influx of people. Traylor said this position should to be funded no matter what the cost.

FAIRGROUNDS MOWER REQUEST. Mary Weaver, Fairgrounds Manager, presented a quote to the court and requested permission to purchase a John Deere Mower for the fairgrounds. Camp Equipment, LLC quoted the purchase price of the mower as $16,340. Camp Equipment, LLC, is an approved vendor for state purchasing. Weaver said the current mower used at the fairgrounds has been patched together for years and they can’t get parts for it anymore. Dusty Williams explained the specifications of the mower they are requesting and how much faster he could mow versus the old mower. Weaver added they are hoping to use the old mower for leaves and weeds so the new mower won’t get damaged. Williams said last year he mowed twice a week and with the old mower it would take him 8 to 10 hours to complete the mowing. Britton asked if Parks and Recreation had been approached about possibly mowing at the fairgrounds to see if this would be a cost effective solution. Williams said they had not and he doesn’t think Parks and Recreation would be interested. Weaver doesn’t want this taken away from Williams as he has worked very hard on the grounds. Britton said he would like Williams and Weaver to check locally to see if they can find a mower with the same specifications and the cost of this mower. MSP: Myers/Labhart – to authorize Judge Myers to approve the purchase of the mower pending the results of the comparison.

Chris Labhart asked what fund this mower would be paid out of. Kathy Smith advised the mower would be paid out of the county’s equipment reserve fund which currently has a balance in excess of $400,000. Frances Preston inquired why, if a department has extra money in its budget, the equipment would be paid out of a reserve budget line. Kathy Smith explained the fair budget and how far behind it actually is even after the fire money they received. Jim Sproul suggested if the fairgrounds was going to buy a tractor they should look at purchasing one with a pull behind mower and use the lawnmower they already have for small areas. Weaver said they do not plan to purchase a tractor for at least a year.

1% COLA INCREASE FOR ROAD DEPARTMENT. Judge Myers explained the sheriff’s department union has a minimum 1% COLA pay increase in its agreement and as a good faith gesture the court would like to give the road department the same increase. Myers told those in attendance he contacted Rod Osgood, the union representative for the road department, about the county being willing to give the road department a 1% COLA increase for 2016 even though the contract doesn’t require this. Myers received an e-mail response from Osgood thanking the county for this and advising the court that this gesture will be remembered in future negotiations and in all aspects of working together. MSP: Myers/Labhart – to allow a 1% COLA increase for the road department employees represented by Local 701.

AIRPORT SECURITY CAMERAS. Patrick Bentz, Airport Manager, presented options to the court for the purchase of security cameras for the airport. Bentz said he contacted Al Altnow who gave him an initial estimate for 16 cameras of $5,000, not including labor and construction materials. Bentz asked Altnow to quote four cameras plus a DVR and monitor and this quote came to $1,000, installation not included and this was a hard wired system. Bentz advised the court that he preferred a wireless system over a hard wired system. Bentz obtained three online quotes for wireless systems: (1) – REVO Lite 4 Ch. DVR Surveillance System with 4 cameras and security monitor for $599.99; (2) Lorex Technology - LW164MW system with 4 cameras and monitor for $899.99; and (3) Defender-USA - #21291 Sentinel System with 4 cameras, monitor not included for $449.99. He added that in addition to the security cameras a cabinet will need to be purchased to store the base unit. Bentz located a plastic cabinet online at for $72.99 and a Rubbermaid cabinet from Wayfair for $144.95. Bentz stated in addition he has budgeted about $125 for extension power cords to provide power to the cameras and base unit and for a lock for the cabinet for a total of about $775.00. The installation of the system will be completed by airport personnel with assistance from members of the Airport Commission. Bentz said the Airport Commission’s firm preference is for the REVO system from and he personally feels this is the best option. Myers stated there have been problems with theft and vandalism at the airport. Bentz said airport capital outlay would be used to purchase the system. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve the purchase of the system and accessories as presented, not to exceed $775.00.

10:43 am Scott McDonald entered

Britton asked if protocols would be implemented to monitor and back up the system and if any hangar owners had been approached about assisting with payment for the system. Bentz said he is developing the protocol for this and he would talk to the owners and see if they would like to contribute.

ANNEXATION TO RURAL FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT. Landowner Scott McDonald presented a proposal to the court to request permission for his property to be annexed into the Mt. Vernon Rural Fire Protection District. Myers said McDonald followed the necessary process and got the necessary signatures. McDonald said he would like the court to sign the annexation because he has not had structural fire protection since he moved here in 1989. Labhart pointed out that on the first page of the application it said John Day Rural Fire District and this should be changed to Mt. Vernon Rural Fire District. MSP: Labhart/Myers – to sign the petition to annex Scott McDonald’s property into the Mt. Vernon Rural Fire District.

JUSTICE OF THE PEACE. Kathy Stinnett, Justice of the Peace, discussed proposed revisions to the job description for the Justice of the Peace. Stinnett explained the current job description was written in August of 1989. She said it was important to her the job description reflect requirements of the Oregon Constitution and Oregon Revised Statutes. Stinnett added the new description is more accurate and better reflects the duties of the position. Stinnett said some changes were made by HB3399 that now require Justices of the Peace to attend the National Judicial College and she has already completed this training. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve the revised job description and to send it to LGPI for review.

JUSTICE OF THE PEACE PRO-TEM. Kathy Stinnett, Justice of the Peace, recommended the following appointments as pro tem Justice Court Judges for the 2016 calendar year: Riccola J. Voigt, Attorney at Law, Hon. Robin Ordway, Wheeler County Justice of the Peace, and Hon. Don Williams, Baker County Justice of the Peace. Stinnett said the Oregon Revised Statute now requires the attendance to the National Judicial College and continuing legal education for Pro-Tem Justices of the Peace and this limits who can perform the duties. Stinnett explained as pro-tem any one of the above individuals could serve at her pleasure, in her absence or to resolve a conflict of interest. Stinnett said she and Ordway and Williams have all agreed to pro-tem for each other. Labhart would like to see this added to the agenda for next week so the public is aware of Stinnett’s recommendations. This will be placed under General Orders in next week’s agenda.

Judge Myers left the courtroom to call the county attorney in response to an urgent telephone message.

VOLUNTEER APPLICATIONS. The court members reviewed applications for volunteers and recommendations for various committees.

Airport Commission: Cheryl Berry and Barbara Smith’s terms expired on December 31, 2015.Berry and Smith both returned letters to the court requesting re-appointment to the Airport Commission. MSP: Britton/Labhart -- to re-appoint Cheryl Berry to a two year term to expire December 31, 2017 and to re-appoint Barbara Smith to a two year term to expire December 31, 2017.

Budget Committee: Robert Stewart’s term expired on December 31, 2015 and Stewart returned a letter to the court requesting re-appointment to the Budget Committee. Four applications were received for the remaining vacant position on the committee. The term for the vacant position ends on December 31, 2016. MSP: Britton/Labhart -- to re-appoint Robert Stewart to a three year term to expire December 31, 2018. MSP: Britton/Labhart -- to appoint Amy Kreger to complete the remaining term of the vacant position which expires on December 31, 2016.

11:29 am King Williams and Zach Williams entered

College Advisory Board: Kris Beal, Bruce Ward and Elizabeth Shelley’s terms expired on December 31, 2015. Beal, Ward and Shelley returned letters to the court requesting re-appointment to the College Advisory Board. MSP: Britton/Labhart -- to re-appoint Kris Beal to a three year term to expire December 31, 2018, Bruce Ward to a three year term, and Elizabeth Shelley to a three year term to expire December 31, 2018.

Extension & 4H Service District Advisory Council: Gail Enright’s term expired on December 31, 2015 and Enright returned a letter to the court requesting re-appointment to the Extension & 4H Service District Advisory Council. No other applicants applied. The council currently has two vacant positions that expired on December 31, 2015 and one vacant position expiring on December 31, 2016. MSP: Britton/Labhart -- to re-appoint Gail Enright to a three year term to expire December 31, 2018.

Judge Myers returned to the courtroom and advised those in attendance that the injunction hearing set for 3:30 pm today had been cancelled and the complaint regarding the marijuana ordinance had been dismissed.

Fair Board: Steve Parson and Heather Rookstool’s terms expired on December 31, 2015 and neither Parson’s nor Rookstool requested re-appointment. Sherry Craig-Miller resigned from the Fair Board and her term doesn’t expire until December 31, 2017. Six applications were received for the Fair Board vacancies. The Fair Board recommended John Girvin (to complete Craig-Miller’s term), Sherry Nehl, and MT Anderson for appointment. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to appoint John Girvin to complete the remaining term of Sherry Craig-Miller which expires on December 31, 2017 and to appoint Sherry Nehl to a three year term to expire December 31, 2018 and MT Anderson to a three year term to expire December 31, 2018.

Library Advisory Board: Two vacant terms are available on the Library Advisory Board, one expires on June 30, 2016 and the other expires June 30, 2019. The Library Board had previously requested the court to delay selection of new board members until this quarter. Three applications were received for the positions. The Library Advisory Board recommended appointment of Kathy McKinnon and Glenda Hughet. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to appoint Kathy McKinnon to complete the term expiring on June 30, 2016 and to appoint Glenda Hughet to complete the term expiring on June 30, 2019.

Mental Health Advisory Board: Donna Johnston and Dale Stennett’s terms expired on December 31, 2015. Johnston and Stennett both returned letters to the court requesting re-appointment to the Mental Health Advisory Board. The board will still have a vacant term expiring on December 31, 2016 and a vacant term expiring on December 31, 2017. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to re-appoint Donna Johnston to a three year term to expire December 31, 2018 and to re-appoint Dale Stennett to a three year term to expire December 31, 2018.

Planning Commission: Ron Burnette, Rod Kuhn, and Sue Porter’s terms expired on December 31, 2015. Burnette, Kuhn, and Porter returned letters to the court requesting re-appointment to the Planning Commission. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to re-appoint Ron Burnette to a four year term to expire December 31, 2019 and to re-appoint Rod Kuhn to a four year term to expire December 31, 2019 and to re-appoint Sue Porter to a four year term to expire December 31, 2019.

Southeast Regional Alliance/Area Commission on Transportation: Sally Bartlett and Patrick Bentz’s terms expired on December 31, 2015. Bartlett and Bentz both returned letters to the court requesting re-appointment to the alliance. Mike Cosgrove resigned from the alliance as the alternate member so there is a vacancy for an alternate. No other applications were received. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to re-appoint Sally Bartlett to a three year term to expire December 31, 2018 and to re-appoint Patrick Bentz to a three year term to expire December 31, 2018.

Wildlife Advisory Board: Rick Henslee and Larry Burton’s terms expired on December 31, 2015. Burton returned a letter to the court requesting re-appointment to the Wildlife Advisory Board. Shaun Robertson applied for a position on the board and advised the court through a written message that he spoke with Rick Henslee and Henslee agreed to serve another term as well. One vacant term remains on the board and expires on December 31, 2017. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to re-appoint Larry Burton to a three year term to expire December 31, 2018 and to re-appoint Rick Henslee to a three year term to expire December 31, 2018 and to appoint Shaun Robertson to a three year term to expire December 31, 2018.

PUBLIC COMMENT. Frances Preston stated a letter to the editor was published in the Blue Mountain Eagle on December 30, 2015 and because of this she requests two things from the court (1) to make known who the county court member was that said if someone retired from the Forest Service “they have fed at the trough too long”, and (2) that said court member offer a public apology to the Forest Service retiree. Scott Myers said he made the comment to Ron Ballard, who is a friend of his, and this was said in a joking manner and he will not apologize for making a joke away from the court. Myers said he would invoke his right of freedom of speech and this was a comment made in private. Myers again stated this was a private conversation. He told the audience this was a joke and he was surprised to see it published.

11:50 am -- Adjourned

Respectfully Submitted,

Laurie Wright

County Court Secretary

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