Grant County Court minutes from June 10, 2020:

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 Kim Puckett, Treasurer Julie Ellison, Community & Economic Development Specialist Beth Simonsen, Katy Nelson, Seth Klingbeil, Nathan Gordanier, John Morris, Pastor Gary Cockrell, Reporter Logan Bagett, and Reporter Steven Mitchell. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States Flag. The invocation was given by Pastor Cockrell.

CLAIMS. The court had approved claims & extension warrants# 115-120. Tagged claims were North River Electric $4,337.98 – No bids or approval.

HAND CHECK. Check #59633 to Gentox was written outside of normal claims due to the court approving the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the courthouse.

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

ANNOUNCEMENTS. Judge Myers traveled to LaGrande for a budget meeting with Community Connections, the budget will be adopted by their full Board of Directors two weeks from now. Travel has been limited for meetings so Myers has been talking to a lot of people on the phone. He said that it was nice to see people he hasn’t in awhile.

Commissioner Palmer attended the John Day City Council meeting on June 9th and attended a phone conference with Senator Finley, Senator Hansell, Representatives Owen, Bonham, Smith, Barreto, along with multiple County Commissioners. They have been having twice weekly calls for months related to COVID-19. Palmer is also working on Blues Intergovernmental Council (BIC) meeting information regarding sharing the Wildfire Timber Salvage Program. Palmer stated that he has also spent multiple hours at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

Commissioner Hamsher said travel has been limited but meetings haven’t. He attended over 80 meetings in March & April starting out with 3x weekly with State Representatives and Senators from several districts briefing them. Hamsher said it was very helpful with the new updates daily. He said he has been taking part in weekly briefings from the Whitehouse, State Legislators, Oregon Emergency Management, and Oregon Health Authority. He has participated in Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) weekly meetings by phone as well as the League of Oregon Cities. Hamsher is working on the Eastside Screens Plan Amendment and believes it will be very beneficial to the county.

MINUTES. MSP: Myers / Hamsher-- to approve the May 27th minutes as presented.

MINUTES. The court reviewed and approved the amendment to the 12-27-2019 minutes. MSP: Myers/ Palmer--to approve the amended minutes. After reviewing the audio on 06-02-2020 it was confirmed that both Planning positions would be full-time.

EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER (EOC). The court discussed the future of the EOC and the budget. Judge Myers cautioned those in attendance to be respectful and wait to be called upon for comment. Commissioner Hamsher explained his understanding of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) and Funding and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursement. Hamsher also said that we need to be vigilant and use good sanitation so we don’t get a spike and have to close the County back down. Commissioner Palmer said that this is part of the reasons we still need a functional Emergency Operation Center (EOC) as we are just entering into Phase 2, and need to see where this goes. With the rest of the state having an increase in cases we would have a chance of losing funding, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), that means Hospitals & Businesses could go back into Phase 1 and we would lose all the ground that we gained and spent thousands upon thousands of hours and lots of money. Palmer said it warmed his heart when Grant County and Baker County where mentioned by name Tuesday during a meeting with Senators and Representatives saying they were leaders and people were following us. Judge Myers said there is no question because of the assurances we have made with the Governor’s office and office of Emergency Management and what we need to do to comply with the promises that have been made, in Phase 1 and Phase 2 and likely Phase 3. Myers said as we move forward there’s no question whether or not it is necessary to continue an EOC of some structure, it just needs decided as to what the structure should look like. Myers said about 80% of Counties in Oregon are staffed by 1 or 2 employees and most everything else is being done virtually from home or the office. He said that we need to discuss the future of the EOC and how much it is going to cost to maintain one that is viable and how it will be staffed. Myers said we do have the job posting out now and have had 3 applicants, an interview committee/panel will be formed in hopes to move forward with this process. Harney County has offered to help at any level, and is more than willing to work with us. Hamsher recommended having a meeting with the remaining staff at EOC to talk about what they need. Hamsher said that if you budget for it ahead of time then it becomes an expense that it is not reimbursable. Myers states that he did not attempt to close the EOC down only to possibly relocate and downsize. He understands the importance of the tracking, promises in Phase 1 & Phase 2, and the repercussions if those are not fulfilled. Myers asserted several signatures on assuring that the County will continue to do that. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer—to meet with remaining staff and discuss budget proposals, staffing levels, and needs, then bring back to the court.

Seth Klingbeil, EOC Cybersecurity Officer and Communications Lead, read a prepared statement voicing his concerns regarding the EOC. Klingbeil’s summation of his prepared comments are attached.

Haley Walker entered 9:13, Mindy Winegar entered 9:18, Kathy Stinnett entered 9:49

JUSTICE COURT. Judge Kathy Stinnett requested approval to purchase 2 Logitech Conference Cams BCC950. The capability to conduct hearings by video conferencing is a need that has been identified in past meetings between Justice Court and the Grant County Jail. Video conferencing would facilitate hearings with in-custody defendants, and other parties, in a manner that would be beneficial to both departments as follows: alleviate the need for a deputy to leave the corrections facility, eliminate the risks involved in transferring an inmate between buildings, create better security for court staff, Add the ability to hold hearings on short notice from home, add the ability to include out of town attorneys and/or defendants without the need for travel, add ability for hearings to remain open to the public without in-person attendance, eliminate the need to maintain social distancing in our small courtroom, and the extra staff time needed for cleaning in between each hearing. Justice Court has enough budget funds for the purchase, but needs the amount transferred from the general fund capital outlay, the cost for each Conference Cam is $237.00 MSP: Palmer/ Hamsher--to approve the purchase of two Conference Cams for a total of $450. MSP: Palmer/Hamsher to take the funds from the general capital outlay.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. Community & Economic Development Specialist Beth Simonsen discussed the status of two current projects: The Community Development Block Grant to build Heart of Grant County’s domestic trauma service center and funding for the Grant County Small Business Stabilization Project to provide emergency funds and personal protection equipment to Grant County businesses. Simonsen reported the building project is currently on schedule and estimated ground breaking will occur in late August or September. Simonsen read a letter from Grant County Counsel Dominic Carollo stating that he had reviewed the project manual for bid preparation and approved the form of the contract. Simonsen requested authorization for Pinnacle Architecture to release construction bids to be published in the Blue Mountain Eagle and Daily Journal of Commerce and selection of the proposal for labor standards compliance. MSP: Myers/Hamsher --to authorize Pinnacle Architecture to release construction bids for Heart of Grant County Domestic Trauma Service Center. MSP: Hamsher / Myers --to award the Labor Standards and Service Compliance contract to Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corporation. Simonsen reported on the progress of funding for the Grant County Small Business Stabilization Project and described how Grant County’s contribution could be funded partially from this year, and partially from next year’s budget. The court discussed the ability to use CARES Act funding that the county may receive soon. MSP: Hamsher/Myers--to increase the Grant County’s initial commitment of $25,000 to $70,000. MSP: Myers/Palmer--to appoint Stephanie LeQuieu to oversee the project moving forward. MSP: Myers/Hamsher--to negotiate a contract with Community Lending Works to handle the grant application, selection and distribution process of awards to Grant County businesses.

ASSESSOR. The court reviewed and approved the Intergovernmental Agreement (2020-2023) between the State Of Oregon Building Codes Division and Grant County. MSP: Myers/Palmer --to approve and sign the agreement.

ROAD DEPARTMENT. The court reviewed the Road Department Union Contract Amendment. MSP: Hamsher/ Myers--to approve and sign the amended contract agreement.

JEROME NATURAL RESOURCE CONSULTANTS INC. The court reviewed Extension no. 1. to the contract. MSP: Myers /Palmer --to approve and sign the extension no. 1 of the contract.

FAIRGROUNDS. The court reviewed the Fair contract with Laine Hardy for 2021 entertainment. MSP: Palmer/Hamsher --to approve and sign the contract.

TREASURER. The court reviewed and approved resolutions # 20-09, 20-10, 20-11, 20-12, 20-13, 20-14, 20-15. MSP: Hamsher/ Myers--to approve and sign resolutions #20-09 for cash loan from general fund to domestic violence fund $25,000. MSP: Hamsher/ Myers #20-10 for intrafund transfers veteran’s department materials & services to personnel services $2,000. MSP: Myers/Palmer #20-11 transfer from contingency to general fund planning department $4,500 to cover fulltime Director from ¾ to fulltime. MSP: Myers/Palmer #20-12 transfer from contingency to general fund planning department $6,000 to increase materials & services due to unanticipated expenses. MSP: Myers/Hamsher #20-13 transfer from general fund contingency to general fund relief help $16,000 due to more benefit accrual payout than expected. MSP: Hamsher/Myers #20-14 budgeted transfers, general to senior services $40,000. MSP: Hamsher/Myers #20-15 transfer from contingency to general fund relief help for COVID-19 tracking $37,152.

ASSESSOR. The court reviewed Intergovernmental Agreement #DOR-133-20. This agreement is for map maintenance and related cartographic activities to be performed by the Department of Revenue for the County as authorized under Oregon Revised Statutes ORS 306.125 and ORS 190.110. MSP: Myers/ Palmer --to approve and sign agreement #DOR-133-20.

The court left session to attend 4-H & Extension Budget Hearing

PUBLIC COMMENT. The court accepted public comment.

11:07 am Adjourned

Respectfully Submitted,

Kim Puckett

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 Kim Puckett at 541-575-0059 or **


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