Grant County Court minutes from Nov. 13, 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 Kim Puckett, Lucas Palmer, Frances Preston, Reporter Rudy Diaz, Reporter Logan Bagett, Beth Spell, Jim Spell, Jim Sproul, Don Merritt, Didgette McCracken, Chris Labhart, and Pastor Wes Aasness. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States Flag. The invocation was given by Pastor Aasness.

CLAIMS. The court had reviewed and approved claims and extension district warrants #43-51.

AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Palmer-- to accept the agenda as amended.

ANNOUNCEMENTS. Judge Myers on the 24th performed two employee evaluations. On the 29th he went to an Eastern Oregon Counties Association (EOCA) meeting and then the United States Forest Service (USFS) meeting in Burns. On the 30th he attended the IGC Stakeholders & Communications meeting at the John Day Fire Hall. On the 31st interviews were held for the Senior Program Manager position. On Nov 7th Myers went to a Road Advisory Board meeting. On Nov 11th he attended the Veteran’s Memorial held at the 7th Street Complex, stating it was well done and the Elks should be recognized for their involvement. He attended a Silvies Watershed Open House at Seneca City Hall on the 13th. On the 14th he will chair the meeting at Community Counseling Solutions (CCS) for the Mental Health Advisory Committee. The 15th he met with Economic Development, Sheriff’s Office, and Sally Bartlett to discuss Search and Rescue (SAR) reimbursement. Myers will be out November 19th-22nd for the Annual Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) Conference in Eugene. Friday the 25th he attended the Heritage Foundation meeting.

Commissioner Palmer toured the Torrefaction Plant on Oct 23rd, later that day he met with Mindy Winegar, Fairgrounds Manager in regards to the heating system. On the 28th he attended the Eastern Oregon Counties Association (EOCA) meeting and then the monthly meeting with the United States Forest Service (USFS). Palmer also met with Mindy Winger, Fairgrounds Manager again in regards to a lot line adjustment at the Fairgrounds. On the 29th he followed up with Staubs on propane heating & prices. Palmer met with Amanda Lindsey, Siviculturist from United States Forest Service (USFS) in regards to the Washington DC trip and some of the things they had done. On the 30th he followed up on the sewer line project on the Fairgrounds property. Oct 31st Palmer continued to work on sewer line project between the City and County. November 5th he attended the Search and Rescue (SAR) meeting and on the 12th he attended the John Day City Council meeting. November 19th-22nd Palmer will attend the Annual Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) Conference in Eugene.

Commissioner Hamsher had the opportunity and honor to judge the county wide 4H, it was a great group of kids, it was a tough contest and only a few points separated all of them. Hamsher also judged the district FFA Ag Sales Competition he said it was a great group of kids and they all represented their schools well. He attended an annual Tech Board meeting by phone. On the 14th he held the Natural Resources Advisory Committee (NRAC) meeting at the Courthouse. He traveled to Burns for an Eastern Oregon Counties Association (EOCA) meeting and it was followed by the monthly meeting with the United States Forest Service (USFS). November 19th-22nd Hamsher will attend the Annual Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) Conference in Eugene. Hamsher then will travel to Bend for a Blue Mountain Intergovernmental Council (BIC) meeting at the Oregon Cattleman’s Association. He also met with Economic Development on the Oregon Rain Program and where they are at in the process. Hamsher also attended the Veterans Day dinner stating it was very well put together, with a large turnout. They estimate there is over 900 Veteran’s in the County. Hamsher thanked all the Veteran’s.

MINUTES. MSP: Myers/Palmer -- to approve the October 23rd & November 06th minutes as presented.

Haley Walker & Dan Becker entered 9:15; Kimberly Lindsay & Mike Snyder entered 9:45; Eva Harris entered 9:53; Brett Uptmor entered 9:55

MUSEUM: Didgette McCracken & Don Merritt gave the Court a presentation on data from the Kam Wah Chung Museum. Mid July they began a survey to visitors. The first of its kind. 652 surveys were completed by visitors, and in 2019 total visitors was 9382. 95% of International Travelers use the Internet, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and consider posts from friends and family on destination. Almost 50% of millennials select a holiday destination based on social media content. The visitor demographics reports that most people 56 years old and older visit and most of them are from Oregon. 71% of visitors stay at least 1 night. Most travel more than 100 miles to get here. Cultural tourists spend more money. The possible impact of out of town visitors is $604,000. 76% of visitors eat here, 62% fuel here and 7.8% of local economy is around hospitality or 285 jobs. The majority hear about Kam Wah Chung from friends. Merritt states that they are currently working on a new Facebook page and Website that will reach younger people. Visitor comments indicate that they would like a coffee shop or any place with WiFi , larger Interpretive Center, better hotels, more places to camp, different choices in lodging, Chinese food in John Day, and free fishing passes to name a few. 56% of the comments were positive, as people love to visit Grant County.

COMMUNITY COUNSELING SOLUTIONS: Kimberly Lindsay gave the court an update on Community Counseling Solutions (CCS) activities. Lindsay shared with the BOC the decision that was made by the legislature with reduce funding to CMHP’s this biennium due to the number of individuals in the state hospital on a civil commitment being law. It is the number of civilly committed that comprise the formula funding for CMHP’s. It is difficult to get individuals in the state hospital due to all of the beds being full with PSRB and aid and assist individuals. In the 1970’s Morrow County hospitalized 120 individuals in a 6 month period. That is due to the fact that services in the community were minimal and in order to see a psychiatrist a person needed to go to the state hospital. Today, services in the community are much more robust and we send very few individuals to the state hospital. However, just because we are not sending individuals to the state hospital does not mean that we should receive a significant reduction in funding. If we do receive a significant reduction in funding, we may not be able to provide services in community and therefore we would be sending more individuals to the state hospital. She did indicate that CCS would use their reserves for six months but that would be full of concern. There was a bill that passed that had a budget note attached to it that asked the Addictions and Mental Health Division to revisit the formula. Lindsay is on the committee that is reviewing the formula. They have been meeting regularly and plan to have our recommendations in front of the legislature for the short session. Lindsay also discussed the Zero Suicide (ZS) initiative that CCS has taken on. She reviewed statistics on national and state data on youth and adult suicide. She shared that ZS is a program that touches all positions in the organization, from maintenance to board members. The committee has been actively working to identify trainings that various staff members will be taking. One training that was discussed was Question Persuade Respond (QPR). It is a training designed for all individuals to increase their understanding, skills and confidence when talking with an individual who is expressing suicidal thoughts. She shared that we will be sending some licensed clinicians to a train the trainers training so they can come back and train clinicians on assessment and treatment of individuals expressing suicide. Lindsay reviewed how significant acute events are, I.e. a person who experiences a serious event (relationship ending, loss of employment) is at much higher risk of attempting suicide in the first hour, and adding alcohol or drugs to the mix is very problematic. She discussed what activities we had been doing in the community (i.e. presentations) and that they plan to make QPR available to other health care providers towards the end of year 2 of our implementation.

Rob Raschio entered 10:07

SWIMMING POOL: Court Designee Rob Raschio updated the court regarding the Community Swimming Pool. Documents have been provided including an opinion from Legal Counsel for the City. Rashio suggested the County submit the letter to their legal counsel for review. There are two models being considered by the city through Councilman Huntsinger: either expanding the current parks and recs district or a new special taxing district just for the building, maintenance and operation of the pool. Rashio also stated that if any commissioner has an objection to, or questions about, either model, now is an important time to explore those with the City. The feasibility study is coming February 2020.

Teresa Penninger & Craig Sipp entered 10:35; Hilary McNary & Shannon Springer entered 10:55

Stacy Posgate & Dominic Carollo called in at 11:00

PLANNING DEPARTMENT: The court discussed the LUBA remand of application ZC-17-01, filed by Oregon Department of Transportation for a significant aggregate site determination at the Meadowbrook Quarry Site. Optional Executive Session under Litigation ORS.192.660 (2) (h). MSP: Hamsher/Palmer --to adopt the amended ESEE final order and attached analysis.

CHRISTMAS POTLUCK: The court discussed holding the annual Christmas Potluck on December 10th

at 12:00pm. MSP: Myers/Palmer--to approve the Christmas Potluck.

COMMUNITY COUNSELING SOLUTIONS: The court reviewed the contract between Community Counseling Solutions (CCS) and Grant County for effective mental health, developmental disability and drug abuse treatment services for those citizens of Grant County in need of said services. MSP: Myers/Palmer--to sign the amended contract between CCS and Grant County.

ACCESSOR: The court reviewed order# 2019-08 for property tax refund.MSP Myers/Palmer--to sign Order# 2019-08.

AIRPORT: The court reviewed the Airport Runway Decoupling/Supplemental Project CatEx. Haley Walker, Airport Manager said that while working through the environmental clearance for this project it has been determined that they will not have to conduct another cultural resource survey due to the previous survey being completed during the recent Airport Master Plan. As a result, they need to complete the CatEx document for official approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Walker is also requesting that any future required documents related to the Runway Decoupling/Supplemental Project be signed after receipt and review. MSP: Hamsher/Myers--to approve and sign the CatEx document. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer--to approve and sign any future documents after review for the Decoupling/Supplemental Project.

TREASURER: Review Order# 2019-07 to amend #2019-05 to remove enumerated Item 3, Forest Title III funds from the order. MSP: Myers/Hamsher--to sign the amended order.

OREGON WATER RESOURCES DEPARTMENT: Review Letter of Support – Upper John Day Aquifer Management Feasibility Study. MSP: Myers/Hamsher--to sign and forward the letter of support.

EASEMENT: The court reviewed the easement to the City for the sewer line near Fairgrounds. MSP: Myers/Palmer--to approve the access to the City to work on the sewer lines if necessary.

CELL PHONE STIPEND: The court to review cell phone stipend for Frank Stinnett, Property Maintenance Specialist, he uses his personal phone for county business. The court came to a consensus to postpone until the stipend issue is resolved.

AIRPORT: Haley Walker, Airport Manager requested signatures from the court for the Critical Oregon Airport Relief Program (COAR) Grant Agreement for the Reconstruct Apron Project (Phase IIa). Walker said now that the FAA Grant Agreement is in place for the reconstruction of the north apron project we need to have the COAR Grant Agreement in place for our grant match requirement. MSP: Palmer/Myers--to sign the Grant Agreement with COAR.

AIRPORT: Haley Walker, Airport Manager requested signatures from the court on the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program document. This is to remain compliant with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules needed to continue and have on file a DBE. The document ensures our ability to continue receiving federal funds from the FAA by meeting the previously agreed upon sponsor assurance related to the DBE program. MSP: Myers/Hamsher--to sign the DBE Program document.



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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