Grant County Court minutes from Jan. 23, 2019:

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 Jim Hamsher and Sam Palmer, Administrative Assistant Laurie Wright, Frances Preston, Katy Nelson, Curtis Perry, Reporter Rick Hanners, Dan Becker, John Morris, Billie Jo George, Judy Kerr, Vicki Thompson, Dave Traylor, Amy Stiner, Elise Delgado, Sheriff Glenn Palmer, Jim Sproul, Didgette McCracken, Justice of the Peace Kathy Stinnett, Reporter Logan Bagett and Pastor Flora Cheadle. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States Flag. The invocation was given by Pastor Cheadle.

CLAIMS. The court had reviewed and approved claims and extension district warrants #82-94 on January 16th. The court had reviewed and approved claims and extension district warrants #95-97 prior to court.

HAND CHECKS. The court approved a hand check to the OR Dept. of Revenue and tax refund check to Haberly on January 10, 2019.

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

ANNOUNCEMENTS. Judge Myers went to the torrefaction presentation on January 10th and then attended an Airport Commission meeting. Myers attended the Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) Legislative meeting on the 14th in Salem and had dinner with Representative Lynn Findlay, Commissioner Owen and Commissioner Nash afterwards. January 15th Myers went to the Mass Timber Summit in Salem where approximately 300 people were in attendance.

9:07 am Tad Houpt entered.

January 16th Myers and Laurie Wright discussed internal county policies with Community Counseling Solutions and the state requirements for discrimination policies. On the 17th a tax foreclosure auction was held in the County Courtroom where 3 of the 4 properties available sold. Also on the 17th Myers conducted a performance review for a department head. Myers participated in interviews with Wright and Veteran Services Officer Katee Hoffman for a Department Assistant in her office. On February 11th Myers will again travel to Salem to attend AOC meetings.

Commissioner Palmer went to Little Canyon Mountain on January 11th to assist in cleaning up trash that had been dumped on private property. That afternoon he met with a citizen regarding concerns she has about the foster care in Grant County and the possibility of opening a foster care crisis center to help parents and hopefully keep children out of foster care. January 16th Palmer attended the Harney County Court meeting where wolf plans were discussed at length. Palmer met with Commissioner Mark Owens after the meeting to further discuss the wolf plan and coordination procedures Harney County currently uses. Palmer talked with Congressman Walden on the 18th about the government shutdown and Walden’s upcoming town hall meetings. Also on the 18th Palmer met with Tammy Bremner from the Chamber of Commerce regarding the Transient Room Tax rates and where the money goes and also the Library Foundation and issues they were having with the Library Board. Palmer advised since that meeting Economic Development Director Sally Bartlett sent out a letter that seems to alleviate the concerns expressed. Palmer attended the Farm Bureau meeting on the 19th where officers were elected and that evening met with Linda Watson to familiarize himself with the Local Community Advisory Board.

9:15 am Elaine Smith entered.

Commissioner Hamsher participated telephonically in the AOC Veterans Steering Committee and the Federal Land Management meeting last week. On January 25th he participated in a Wildlife Advisory Committee meeting where discussion was held about increasing the mule deer population. Hamsher advised there are a couple of cougar bills upcoming that he would like the court to write a letter in support of. He will be working on the letter for court approval. Hamsher said this Friday at 5:30 pm there will be a Wolf Depredation Committee meeting to set amounts for rancher reimbursement for livestock kills and injuries caused by wolves. Hamsher talked with Representative Walden’s Aide regarding a bill called Buy America First which requests the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) purchase food products locally instead of out of country. Hamsher explained past issues with a meat supplier from Brazil and believes it would be more beneficial to purchase from US suppliers. Hamsher talked with Harney County Commissioner Owens about the Forest Plan Revision and its status. Hamsher was also appointed to the National Association of Counties (NaCO) Public Lands Steering Committee which will allow him to have a national voice. On January 28th he will attend a Southeast Area Commission on Transportation (SEACT) meeting at the Airport. Hamsher and Human Resources Manager Laurie Wright discussed recommendations from City County Insurance (CIS) regarding policies to ensure compliance with current labor laws. Hamsher thanked everyone involved with the tax foreclosure auction and was pleased that the unsafe properties were purchased.

MINUTES. MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to approve the January 9th minutes as presented.

SOUTH FORK JOHN DAY WATERSHED. Amy Stiner Executive Director of the South Fork John Day Watershed Council (SFJDWC) presented an update to the court. Stiner presented a handout to the court members. Stiner advised one of the requirements of the Watershed Council is to present annual updates to the court. She summarized her background for those in attendance. Stiner advised the Council was started in the late 1980’s by landowners in the southern area of the county and eventually became a Watershed Council. Stiner explained the boundaries of the SFJDWC and advised the Council is completely grant funded. The mission of the SFJDWC is to maintain and enhance the health of the South Fork John Day River watershed and the long-term economic stability of the region, to foster a better understanding of the multiple resources, to represent broad and diverse geographies and interests, and to work collaboratively to carry out voluntary watershed restoration activities. In 2018 the SFJDWC received 501c3 non-profit status, completed 17 projects, secured funding for 18 additional projects worth $800,000 and currently have 26 open projects with private landowners and other entities. Common projects are water quality/quantity, fish and wildlife habitat, education and outreach and partnership development. Elise Delgado worked with the Dayville School to implement a school garden and the produce purchased will be sold locally to support the school program and make it self-sufficient. Stiner summarized several other continuing and ongoing activities the SFJDWC is working on. Myers asked if the Forest Service had been cooperative with the SFJDWC and Stiner advised they have. Approximately 93% of the watershed is on public land. Frances Preston asked what efforts the SFJDWC has been in including new landowners.

9:34 am Eva Harris entered.

Stiner gave examples of the various ways they reach out to landowners so they know what the council can offer. Delgado said participating in projects with the council is completely voluntary and no one is required to. Palmer asked Delgado if projects like the one in the Dayville School will be expanded to other schools in the area and Delgado said her hope is to expand the program if the funding becomes available.

9:37 am Surveyor Mike Springer entered.

Judy Kerr asked what collaborative groups SFJDWC works with. Stiner said when she mentioned collaborating with groups it was a general statement and not specific to a collaborative entity.

9:40 am Treasurer Julie Ellison entered.

AGREEMENT WITH BLUE MOUNTAIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE. The court reviewed an agreement between Grant County and Blue Mountain Community College which outlines the services the College provides in Grant County including support of a program offering several classes in the area. MSP: Myers/Palmer -- to approve the agreement with Blue Mountain Community College for 2018-19 and circulate for signatures.

LOCAL COMMUNITY ADVISORY COUNCIL. The court reviewed volunteer applications to serve on the Local Community Advisory Council (LCAC). Five volunteer applications were received. The goal of the LCAC is to inform the Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization on how to best meet the needs of people enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan. MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to appoint Tilli Bjomberg, Charissa Moulton, Marcia Wasiluk, Hannah Hinman, and Kristin Lubell to the LCAC.

RESOLUTION 19-05. The court reviewed budget Resolution 19-05. Myers read Resolution 19-05 to those in attendance. This resolution receives and appropriates additional VOCA grant money into the District Attorney Revolving budget in the amount of $6,000. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve Resolution 19-05 and circulate for signatures.

AMENDED MINUTES NOVEMBER 7, 2018. Economic Development Director Sally Bartlett discovered that the minutes of November 7, 2018 did not reflect all of the information required by the Community Development Block Grant and needed more specific details included. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the Amended Minutes of November 7, 2018.

SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET HEARING. Treasurer Julie Ellison presented Resolution 19-04 to the court. Notice of supplemental budget meeting was advertised in the Blue Mountain Eagle on January 16, 2019 pursuant to Oregon Budget Law. A supplemental budget needs to be adopted to receive and appropriate Forest Title III funds for the Sheriff Patrol budget year 2018-19 in the amount of $55,000. Ellison advised there will be no additional funding from this source for the next fiscal year. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to adopt the supplemental budget and approve Resolution 19-04 and circulate for signatures.

ROAD DEPARTMENT QUARRY LEASE. The court reviewed a rock quarry lease and mining agreement with Richard Naumann. The agreement is for a term of 5 years at a rate of payment of $1800 annually for a rock pit near Monument. MSP: Hamsher/Myers -- to approve the rock quarry lease and circulate for signatures.

COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS. The court reviewed an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Oregon Department of Corrections. The agreement provides for an analysis/assessment in order to create an application program interface between two computer systems currently being utilized statewide for offender case management. This will allow community corrections offices to no longer have to enter information separately into each system. The cost to the county for the analysis will be a one-time fee of $195. MSP: Myers/Hamsher -- to approve the IGA with Oregon Department of Corrections and authorize Judge Myers to sign.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY. District Attorney Jim Carpenter had sent a written request to the court asking for approval to send Legal Assistant Jamie McKay to PbK training in St. Louis, MO. This is an annual training for the computer program utilized in the DA’s office and is a budgeted expense. Carpenter estimated the total cost at $1491.61 that would be paid from the DA’s budget dues and travel line. MSP: Palmer/Hamsher -- to approve sending McKay to the training to be paid from the DA’s budget dues and travel line. MSP: Myers/Palmer -- to grant a waiver of county per diem for meals if necessary.

9:55 am Watermaster Eric Julsrud entered.

RELIEF CORRECTIONS OFFICER JOB DESCRIPTION. The court reviewed a revised job description for Relief Corrections Officers. Wright explained the Corrections Officer job description contained requirements not necessary for relief help and this revised description better reflects the duties of the relief correction officer duties. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer -- to adopt the Relief Corrections Officer job description.

WATERMASTER. The court reviewed quotes to replace the Assistant Watermaster’s computer and necessary software. Watermaster Eric Julsrud reported the current computer is not capable of running the upcoming software. Quotes for the computer tower were: Lenova ThinkCentre M910s ($1168.69); Lenova ThickCentre M910t ($1166.97); Lenova ThinkCentre M920t ($1185.53); and Lenova ThinkCentre M710 ($943). ESD recommended purchase of the M910s in the amount of $1168.69. Quotes for the monitors were: ViewSonic ($122.52); Acer ($124.12); LG ($128.42); and Dell ($249.89). The recommended monitor was the ViewSonic in the amount of $122.52. In addition a graphics card, solid state hard drive and Windows 10 Professional software need to be purchased for the computer. MSP: Myers/Palmer -- to approve purchase of the Lenova ThinkCentre M910s ($1168.69), two ViewSonic monitors ($122.52), graphics card, solid state hard drive and Windows 10 Professional software as recommended by ESD.

COORDINATION. Commissioner Palmer reported he had provided the other court members with documents last week regarding coordination. Congress passed a law regarding coordination which give counties a more equal footing with other government entities and allows the court to begin addressing issues at the beginning of a project. It allows working together from the inception of a project all the way through to the end. Palmer advised there are several ways to put this together and he reviewed Baker, Harney and Crook County’s for information. Palmer said the initial start of talks does not allow for public comment and is only between the court and the other entity. Palmer’s idea for this would be to put together a six person advisory board representing different groups such as agriculture, mining, timber, recreation, etc. Palmer believes this would be beneficial for Grant County and would like the court to begin working on the process of putting this together. Myers doesn’t believe this needs to be a scary undertaking and this can be a positive experience for the court to participate in.

10:05 am King Williams entered.

Myers said currently the court must object to have standing in a project where the court should have standing from the beginning of a project. MSP: Hamsher/Myers – to move forward with the planning process. Eva Harris said according to the National Forest Service Management Act she doesn’t see anything indicating the county would have equal footing in this process. Harris summarized some items from this act. Myers feels the court has been invited in late to some of the project discussions. Harris wanted to know if the court couldn’t just ask to be more involved. Myers and Hamsher said that the court must actually invoke coordination. Harris questioned the value of invoking coordination. Hamsher said the court is merely asking to be more involved in the planning stages. Myers reported the court doesn’t want to demand, but to merely be allowed what is deserved by the law. Palmer said this is another tool for the court to utilize. Myers asked the audience to please remain congenial in this discussion. Billie Jo George reported at the last objection meeting in La Grande the new Forest Service Regional Manager Glen Cassamassa invited counties to join in coordination with the Forest Service. Jim Sproul reported one item that is required in coordination is a Natural Resource Plan. Sproul said a few years ago a group put a plan together and recorded it with the Clerk and suggested the court review the plan as a starting point and edit as necessary. Sproul said there will be a lot of work involved in this after coordination is invoked and suggested a Natural Resource Committee be created as Palmer suggested. John Morris said coordination is under NEPA, not the National Forest Service Management Act and is much bigger than this. Morris said coordination allows the county to have a part in any proposed action planned by a federal agency. Preston agreed with Morris. Kerr said the Forest Service has an Interdisciplinary Team that still exists and would be the first step in coordination. Dave Traylor believes there is some confusion about how coordination works and is implemented and suggested having County Counsel research this and give a legal interpretation. Sproul further suggested inviting someone from another county that has invoked coordination to come here and have a public forum type of meeting to explain how it has worked in their county and to answer questions from the public. Sheriff Palmer would like other county elected officials from different entities to participate (Cities, School Boards, etc.). Myers agreed other elected officials should be involved. Elaine Smith believes the Custom and Culture document in Grant County was started by Ted Ferrioli along with two others who spent months researching and put the document together and the document is history and it confuses her why anyone would challenge it. Harris would like to see the document revised because she doesn’t think it is completely accurate. Morris suggested another document that needs to be reviewed is the County Comprehensive Plan. Sproul said in the past projects have moved forward without public notification, such as on Camp Creek and Little Beech Creek and this is the type of thing coordination would help with.

PUBLIC COMMENT. Kerr asked the court to please identify acronyms. Wright will begin to spell these out on the agenda as well. Preston asked where coordination goes from here and said she didn’t hear a motion. Myers said a motion was made and passed to move forward with coordination. Palmer said the documents he has will be provided to County Counsel for review. Myers believes the court needs something defined by ordinance or resolution to move forward with coordination.

10:41 am – Adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted,

Laurie Wright

Administrative Assistant

**** Please note the court minutes are a summary of the court proceedings. An audio recording of each court session is available, after approval of the minutes, by contacting Laurie Wright at 541-575-0059 or wrightl@grantcounty-or.gov ****

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