Grant County Court minutes from Oct. 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 Kim Puckett, Frances Preston, Judy Kerr, Katy Nelson, Rick Minster, Roy Walker, Mark Webb, King Williams, Zach Williams, Reporter Rudy Diaz, 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.


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

ANNOUNCEMENTS. October 14th Judge Myers attended an Intergovernmental Council meeting at the John Day Fire Hall. On the 15th he attended an Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization (EOCCO) meeting at the Airport. He went to a Planning meeting with Commissioner Hamsher at the John Day Fire Hall. Yesterday he traveled to LaGrande all day for the Community Connection Board of Director Meeting. Tomorrow Myers will perform employee performance reviews for the Veteran’s Service Officer and Human Resources. On the 29th he will attend a group of meetings in Harney County with the United States Forest Service (USFS).

Commissioner Palmer met with Derek Daly, Chief Executive Officer, of Blue Mountain Hospital regarding some of the renovations and programs they will be bringing to the community for health care. He met with Tucker Billman from Congressman Walden’s Office, they talked about a variety of topics from elections, forestry, and impeachment. On the 29th Palmer attended a group meeting in Harney County with the United States Forest Service (USFS).

Commissioner Hamsher attended a Veteran’s Service Office spaghetti feed fundraiser to raise money for Urns. He attended an Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) Natural Steering Committee Meeting telephonically. Hamsher attended Eastern Oregon Land Use Legislation Implementation. He attended a Fair Board Meeting. Hamsher went to a meet and greet for the new Oregon State University (OSU) Agriculture & Forestry Agent. He had a lunch meeting with Congressman Walden’s Aide. He met with the United States Forest Service (USFS) on setting up a county alternative for the Austin Project. He also attended the Hospital Foundation dinner fundraiser. He toured the Torrefaction Plant. Hamsher met with Fairgrounds Manager, Mindy Winegar about upgrades to the Fairgrounds. He attended a Community Presentation put on by Oregon Department of Wildlife (ODFW) at the Airport. He also attended an informational meeting with Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization (EOCCO).

MINUTES. MSP: Myers/Palmer-- to approve the October 9th minutes as presented.

BLUE MOUNTAIN FOREST PARTNERS & MALHEUR NATIONAL FOREST: Roy Walker, with the Malheur National Forest, appeared before the County Court to describe contract mechanisms the Forest uses to perform timber harvest and other work on the Malheur NF. He focused on timber sales and stewardship contracting. Mark Webb with the Blue Mountains Forest Partners joined him. A summary of the presentation follows. Currently, approximately 30% of the timber harvested on the Malheur NF happens via traditional timber sales, with the other 70% happening via stewardship contracting. Timber sales focus solely on harvesting timber, whereas stewardship contracts include timber harvest among a broader suite of management activities that include pre-commercial thinning, prescribed fire, and other management actions within the same contract that are intended to improve the health of public lands and benefit the local economy. Both approaches are competitive in nature. While timber sales are awarded based solely on the highest bid offered for the timber, stewardship contracts are awarded based more broadly on best value to the Forest Service and benefit to local communities. Both approaches implement the same timber harvest prescriptions, and both require maintenance of the Forest Service roads used for work. Timber sales typically allow a purchaser more time to harvest the timber, their sole focus. This provides them with more flexibility to align their timber harvest with good markets. Stewardship contracts allow less time to harvest timber or do the other associated work required by the contract. This decreases the contractor’s flexibility to align their timber harvest with good markets but does contribute to a more diverse, stable and consistent schedule of natural resource work which benefits public lands and the county. Historically, 25% of the money the Forest Service received from timber sales went to the county’s road department and local schools, and 25% was set aside to do other work like thinning or brush piling after the timber harvest was complete. By contrast, all the money made from timber harvest under a stewardship contract is plowed back into other work on the forest. That is one advantage of stewardship contracting with its “best value/local benefit” focus: it retains all timber receipts locally to fund other work on the Forest, which generally results in more work happening on the ground and a stronger local economy. Secure Rural Schools was passed in 2000 to address declining timber receipts to counties. It provides Grant County and its schools with quite a bit more money than timber sales would nowadays. Given this, stewardship contracting provides Grant County with more natural resource based socio-economic opportunities than it would otherwise have.

Glenn Palmer & Dan Becker entered 9:27, Mindy Winegar entered 9:55, Doug Cox entered 9:55.

FAIR & RV PARK: Mindy Winegar, Fairgrounds Manager discussed with the court the bids submitted by True Value & Ed Staub for the propane heaters at the Pavilion, and the contract with Strux Engineering. MSP: Myers/Palmer--to approve and sign the contract with Strux Engineering. After the propane discussion court members decided to walk the Fairgrounds property to see if there is a good location for the big propane tanks. A final decision will be made based on that information.

Kathy Cancilla entered 10:35

COMMUNITY COUNSELING SOLUTIONS: "Grant County Public Health Department: Kathy Cancilla, Accreditation Coordinator, presented the Public Health Department annual report, including progress on the 2017-19 Strategic Plan, an update on the Accreditation process and an introduction to the Grant County Public Health Assessment which is being distributed to the public for an open comment period. The three priority areas of the health assessment are the Social Determinants of Health; Unified Leadership with Common Vision; and Infrastructure."

Eric Julsrud entered 11:05

WATERMASTER: Eric Julsrud requested approval for capital outlay purchase for a conference room phone. MSP: Myers/Palmer--to move forward and approve the purchase for a conference room phone using the Equipment General Fund.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE: Jim Carpenter, District Attorney has requested the Grant County Court to appoint Richard Tirico as an additional death investigator for Grant County. Earlier this summer Tirico attended and completed the coursework to become a Medicolegal Death Investigator (Death Investigator). This appointment will bring the number of Death Investigators in Grant County up to three, to assist the State Medical Examiner on cases in Grant County. MSP: Myers/Hamsher--to approve & appoint Richard Tirico as a new Death Investigator for Grant County.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE: Kimberly Neault has requested approval to pay for Jessica Winegar’s travel and lodging expenses, in order for her to attend a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) training, November 12th-14th. The training will be held in Redmond, Oregon. Ms. Winegar is employed through Grant County Health Department as the public health nurse, and an active member of the Grant County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). Ms. Winegar will be attending the training to complete her MOCK exams. This training is necessary for Ms. Winegar to obtain her certification as a SANE nurse. The estimated cost is $673.30 for lodging, meals, and travel for 3 days. The training costs will be paid for using VAWA grant funds, line item 133100/5200018. This training was included in the original budget for the grant requirements in assisting with training opportunities for SART members, as well as community partners. MSP: Myers/Palmer--to approve the travel expenses for Jessica Winegar.

CLERK’S OFFICE: The court appointed the 2019-2020 Grant County Board of Property Tax Appeals, county residents Scott Myers, Elisa Moore, and Robert Quinton, with a term of office to begin October 15, 2019 and end June 30, 2020. MSP: Myers/Hamsher--to appoint the BoPTA Board Members.

NATURAL RESOURCES ADVISORY COMMITTEE: The court reviewed term dates for the Natural Resources Advisory Committee and appointed length of terms to the committee members. MSP: Myers/Palmer—to appoint half the committee members for a 1yr term expiring 12-31-2020 and the other half a 2yr term expiring 12-31-2021 based on last name alphabetically.

COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS: The court reviewed the 2019-2021 Biennial Plan for Grant County Community Corrections. The plan had previously been approved by the Local Safety Coordinating Council on August 1, 2019 and then forwarded to the court. MSP: Myers/Palmer--to approve the Biennial Plan for Grant County Community Corrections.

PLANNING DEPARTMENT: The court reviewed the letter of support for Harney and Wallowa County Senate Bill 2. MSP: Hamsher/Palmer—to sign the letter of support.

TREASURER: The court reviewed Budget Resolution # 19-26 in the matter of appropriating unexpected grant funds, to be received and expended within a budget year by resolution, and whereas the Airport will receive a Supplemental Airport Improvement grant, now therefore, be it resolved that the following funds are so received and appropriated. The Airport Reserve Supplemental AIP $6,300,000.00 and Expense Supplemental AIP$6,300.000.00 MSP: Myers/Hamsher--to approve Resolution #19-26 and circulate for signatures.

PUBLIC COMMENT. Judge Myers asked for public comment.

11:44 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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