Grant County government operates in accordance with the Oregon Revised Statues, and the Oregon Constitution which was ratified by the people of Oregon in November 1857.
Grant County is one of nine Oregon counties with a County Court system of government. Grant County Court is comprised of a full time County Judge and two 0.33 FTE County Commissioners who are responsible for all executive and legislative matters, with some limited judicial responsibilities falling to the County Judge. County Court functions as the Contract Review Board for Grant County and is the sole contracting authority for county government. County Court is the governing body of the Grant County Extension & 4H Service District. Court members comprise one-half of the County Budget Committee and one-half of the Grant County Extension & 4H Service District Budget Committee.
County government delivers a variety of public services to its citizens throughout the county. It is the County Court's responsibility to oversee the delivery of services to the citizens through each of its departments ranging from administrative and human services to legal and public services.
GRANT COUNTY COURT AGENDA MARCH 12, 2014
Attendees are asked to turn cell phones to "vibrate" before entering the meeting.
8:00 am General and special claims; Extension District Warrants
9:00 am Call to Order, Flag Salute, and Invocation by Ron Roberson
9:05 am Agenda Review, Announcements and Special Reports
9:10 am Approve the Minutes of March 5
9:20 am Opportunity for the public to comment
9:30 am GENERAL ORDERS
A. Decide on Eva Harris' request to grant an easement to access Tax Lot 2302 located east of West Bench Road and west of the airport
B. Review for approval, payment of Eastern Oregon Counties Association membership dues
10:00 am C. Glenn Palmer, Sheriff Request approval to purchase (16) On-Officer video cameras with cost reimbursement through a pre-approved CIS Risk Management award
10:15 am D. Ashley McClay, Victim Assistance Program Director Request approval to allow Multi-Discipline Team members to attend the Clackamas Child Abuse & Family Violence Summit in Portland April 22 - 25
10:30 am E. Kate Klein, Ochoco National Forest Supervisor Carol Benkosky, BLM District Manager Informational presentation on timber sales, Ochoco Summit Trail System, Eastside Forest Strategy, sustainable roads, and vegetation management
11:30 pm F. Patrick Bentz, Airport Manager Request approval to allow Grant ESD to upgrade two computers
Meetings are handicapped accessible. The County Court Office can arrange special accommodations in advance. Pursuant to ORS 192.660(1) the court reserves the right to recess to Executive Session as may be required any time during this meeting.
Grant County Court's weekly agenda is finalized on Monday and publicized electronically on Tuesday morning by notice to the Blue Mountain Eagle newspaper, KJDY radio, and individuals on the agenda distribution list. If Monday is a legal holiday, the agenda is finalized the preceeding Friday.
Requests to be placed on the County Court Agenda must be in writing, and received by the County Court Office the week before the requested meeting date. Requests should include a complete explanation of the purpose for appearing before the County Court and all associated details and / or documentation that supports the request. Please include the presenter's name, title, agency, complete mailing address, and phone number(s).
Mail: Grant County Court, Courthouse, 201 S. Humbolt St., No. 280, Canyon City OR 97820
Regular business meetings of the Grant County Court are held at 9:00 am each Wednesday in the County Courtroom at the Grant County Courthouse in Canyon City. Meetings are open to the public and handicapped accessible. Contact the County Court Office at 541-575-0059 to make arrangements for special accommodations if necessary.
The County Judge presides over the court's weekly business meetings, special meetings, public hearings, and appeal hearings. The County Judge acts as Chair of the local Emergency Food & Shelter Board and the Gertrude L. McRae Scholarship Committee, and is the Grant Washeshed Representative to Oregon Department of Enviornmental Quality concerning solid waste and recycling matters.
The County Court functions as Grant County's Contract Review Board and Board of Directors for Grant County Extension & 4H Service District. Court members comprise one-half of the Grant County Budget Committee and one-half of the Grant County Extension & 4H Service District Budget Committee. County Court is represented on the Community Connections of Northeast Oregon Board of Directors, Northeast Oregon Housing Authority Board of Directors, Southeast Regional Alliance / Area Commission on Transportation, and Regional Workforce Investment Board.
Scott W. Myers (R) FTE 1.0 First Elected (2013) Term Expires (2019)
Grant County Judge
Chris B. Labhart (R) FTE 0.33 First Elected (2013) Term Expires (2017)
Grant County Commissioner
Boyd Britton (R) FTE 0.33 First Elected (2003) Term Expires (2015)
Grant County Commissioner
Grant County Court makes appointments and accepts resignations of many local volunteers willingly to serve on various committees, boards and commissions within county government. On a quarterly basis, the court considers letters of application and letters of resignation submited in writing by local volunteers. Exceptions may be made at the court's descretion when an immediate appointment is necessary in order to obtain a quorum. Vacancies are advertised each quarter in the local newspaper. Letters should be directed to the County Court Office, 201 S. Humbolt Street, No. 280, Canyon City OR 97820. Letters of application and resignation must include the volunteer's name, complete mailing address, and phone number(s). Grant County strives to maintain diversity among committee membership with regard to age, gender, location of residency, and profession.
Local volunteers currently serve on the Grant County Regional Airport Commission, Budget Committee, College Advisory Board, Grant County Extension & 4H Service District Advisory Council, Grant County Extension & 4H Service District Budget Committee, Fair Board, Forestland Classification Committee, Healthy Smiles Dental Clinic Advisory Committee, Library Advisory Board, Mental Health Advisory Board, Grant County Planning Commission, Riparian & Water Management Board, Road Advisory Board, Senior Citizens Advisory Council, Transient Room Tax Review Committee, and Wildlife Advisory Board.
Committees shall be aware of the terms of its members and keep the County Court informed of vacancies and committee activities by submitting meeting minutes to the County Court office. Committee chairs, their designees, or a staff member may make recommendations to the County Court regarding committee appointments.
IN THE COUNTY COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF GRANT
FEBRUARY 19, 2014
Pursuant to notice made to the newspaper of general circulation throughout Grant County, the radio station in Grant County 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, Commissioner Chris B. Labhart, Secretary Mary Ferrioli, Jim Sproul, Flora Cheadle and Commissioner Boyd Britton. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States flag. The invocation was given by Flora Cheadle.
CLAIMS. Claims & Extension District Warrant Nos. 109-111 had been reviewed and approved. Labhart voided a personal reimbursement check for $372.01 for his attendance at the Oregon Parks Commission meeting in Salem on February 5.
AGENDA. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to accept the agenda as presented
ANNOUNCEMENTS. Britton attended a Stock Growers meeting last Thursday. He reported on Senator Jeff Merkley's Town Hall in Mt. Vernon last Sunday where he had been asked to introduce the Senator. Britton also reported on an Oregon Geographic Names Board meeting that he recently attended.
Myers attended a meeting at the airport late yesterday afternoon about the electronic gate option. Today he will participate in further union negotiations at 2 pm at the Road Department. Thursday he'll attend a local Early Learning Council meeting at 2 pm Families First.
Last Thursday Labhart met with the Veteran Services Officer, attended a Library Board meeting and drove the VA van to Boise. Sunday he attended the Science Odyssey program at U of O. Monday he attended a EOCCO board meeting in Pendleton. Tuesday he attended the LCAC Children's Health Subcommittee meeting in John Day. Thursday Labhart plans to participate in an EOCCO grant phone conference and a Blue Mountain Hospital board meeting. Monday, he will attend a BMH compliance meeting and instruct a hunter safety class at GUJS High School.
9:10 am - Sally Bartlett entered
MINUTES. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to approve the February 12 minutes as amended.
PUBLIC COMMENT. An opportunity was given for the public to comment, but no one spoke.
AIRPORT GATE / DOOR. Last week the court delayed a decision on installing an electric gate at the airport to allow time to speak further with the Forest Service. Myers reported on his meeting with Eric Bush yesterday. He told Bush he agreed the electric gate was a convenience for the Forest Service, and suggested a smaller gate that's easier to move manually. The Forest Service counter-proposed combining the electric gate and rear entry door projects with a cost share between the county and the Forest Service. Some discussion followed about other locations now using a manual gate and the difference between a manual rolling gate and an electric gate. Myers thought the cost differential would be between $1,500 and $1,800. It was noted the FS prefers having an electric gate and, according to the Airport Manager, the original specifications / "as builts" call for an electric gate. Myers asked for and received the court's permission to negotiate a 50-50 cost split with the Forest Service on both projects. Jim Sproul wondered why the county would pay for an electric gate for the Forest Service's convenience, when a manual gate would be just fine. Britton pointed out the airport is county property and, if a deer enters the premises, the county will be liable. Myers added that 200 - 250 people on the premises during busy training activities could easily lead to a manual gate being left open.
9:30 am - Kimberly Lindsay, John Combs, Elizabeth Boyer and Lindsey Madden entered
PUBLIC HEALTH. Community Counseling Solutions Director Kimberly Lindsay asked the court to approve the Public Health Department Checklist of Minimum Standards for the 2014-2015 Annual Plan. Attachments include an organizational chart, the Community Health Assessment by the Community Health Improvement Partnership, and Community Advisory Committee Triangulation Needs Assessment. Lindsay reported that the Local Public Health Authority meets current Standards for Local Health Departments under ORS 431.345. Lindsay reviewed the Minimum Standards List that covers organization, Control of Communicable Diseases, Environmental Health, Health Education and Health Promotion, Nutrition, Older Adult Health, Parent and Child Health, Primary Health Care, Cultural Competency, and the Local Public Health Administrator's Minimum Qualifications. While most answers to questions were "yes," Lindsay noted that Administrator and Medical Examiner review of collaborative efforts has not been done yet. She added that a meeting will be set up with the Medical Examiner. Items regarding sewage and on-site environmental health (she has been told) are a DEQ matter which is being pulled from the checklist next year. Also, Corrections Health (not required) is being handled by the Blue Mountain Hospital.
9:35 am - King Williams and Zach Williams entered
Labhart inquired about the Administrator's required classes which Lindsay indicated are being removed next year. Labhart declared a potential conflict of interest because his son works for CCS. MSP: Britton/ Myers -- to authorize Judge Myers to sign the Minimum Standards Checklist.
Lindsay addressed the contractual relationship Grant County has with CCS to operate public health programs and services. She previously provided a Worksheet outlining beginning and ending fund balances for MCH, WIC, Family Planning, Bioterrorism and Sanitarian for FY 2011-2012 and for December 31, 2013 to Projected Year End. A monthly review of significant Staffing events, financial impacts, and activities over the entire period was also described. Lindsay reported that Primary Care and Family Planning continue to show a loss due to additional administrative and other costs and unexpected revenue reduction. She felt that having identified billing errors has helped and would cause improvement in the future. She said, despite efforts to address budget issues and including the $80,000 the county provided, a significant deficit remains and 90 days of operating reserves are not there. The CCS board had considered the options of eliminating Primary Care and reducing FTE across the board, but contractual requirements with the state would not be met. So, the board decided by vote to give the program back to the county, and would discuss also giving the county some unencumbered reserves within Mental Health Programs. Lindsay added that CCS is still continuing to look at ways to generate revenue through grant applications. She said that Rural Health Clinic transfers have finally gone through and next year's School-Based Health Center will receive $60,000 for capital improvements at the junior-senior high school. Lindsay felt a clean break would be at the new fiscal year. The board plans to give notice in March about terminating at the end of June. Lindsay Madden felt a reduction in FTE would not only leave state requirements unmet, but would also not meet the needs of the community. She didn't see the programs being successful without the leadership and influence at the state level that Kimberly Lindsay brings.
John Combs said, according to Oregon Health Authority representative Tom Engle, only two other Health Departments in the state are surviving without General Fund support. Combs asked the court to consider that approximately $60,000 would be needed to support mandated public health programs, or about $5 to $7 per capita. Mandated programs include WIC, Family Planning, Emergency Preparedness, Maternal Child and Adolescent Health, Environmental Health, Prenatal and Babies First, Immunizations, and Communicable Disease. Non-mandated programs include CaCoon, Dental, Tobacco Prevention, and parts of Environmental Health.
Kimberly Lindsay explained that Medicaid Administrative Claiming services funds are based on countyGeneral Fund expenditures and would be an opportunity to generate revenue. Myers and Lindsay talked about transferring programs, grant applications, and resources including the SBHC. Lindsay said it was CCS's intention not to retain Primary Care and the Rural Health Clinic. She added that the FNP is not interested in working for the county. Other employees would be transferred back to the county according to public employee transfer laws. Lindsay felt employee wages would be comparable to the county, except for the retirement program.
Britton remarked on his conversations with CCS staff and board Chair Mark Lemmon. He said the board would like to see this revenue loss trend stop. Britton felt Primary Care was seeing more clients now and is growing, so potential exists for additional revenue through billings and continued growth. Lindsay indicated that about $300,000 would be needed annually to operate Primary Care to pay for the provider, a nurse, a billing clerk and a receptionist. Britton said he may have aggravated the situation because 6 months ago he encouraged CCS to push forward despite the financial difficulties. Britton said Mr. Lemmon feels the "door is not totally closed," and he wants to see the county support public health operations by CCS. Britton does too; he feels there's a good opportunity to demonstrate how we can have a seamless public health and mental health program. He clarified that the CCS board is asking the county to come back with a serious proposal within the next month.
10:20 am -- Tammy Wheeler entered
Myers was curious as to why our county has gone away from having Primary Care assist in financial support of public health. Lindsay indicated that Primary Care previously generated enough revenue to help support mandated health programs. Myers wanted to check with our comparable counties to see how they help their health departments. Combs offered to provide Myers with detailed information he obtained from Tom Engle on other health departments. Treasurer Kathy Smith recalled that, ever since Johnnie Titus got her FNP, the county no longer needed to support the health department with General Funds. Some discussion followed about Labhart's suggestion to possibly hire another billing clerk. Lindsay felt the 1.5 FTE billing staff that CCS had before January was adequate. But, now it is at 0.5 FTE and funds are not there to hire another employee. Labhart felt, if we lose Primary Care, we lose the health department.
Elizabeth Boyer said CCS has been a viable and respectable agency that's well-suited to run the health department. She felt many factors contributed to the situation today. Boyer explained, over the past two years, CCS experienced a variety of unanticipated changes in practitioners and personnel, and administrative and financial difficulties. She felt CCS needs county support now to allow time to look at fiscal funding and correct things that need time to be corrected. Sally Bartlett remarked on the negative impact to our community resulting from Tim Nielson's death, and the long time it would take to recover from that loss. She didn't think the county was ever prepared to administer the health department. Bartlett believed CCS has provided much better experience with the administration process, billing, and patient care. Bartlett supported the county looking into what other counties are doing to financially contribute to the operation of public health programs. Labhart asked if the CCS board had indicated any amount of money needed from the county to stabilize the health department. He was told no.
Lindsay said she was proud of what CCS has accomplished over the past two years with cross training, improved billings and policy and procedures, as well as improved clinical services and patient care. She added that the state is very pleased with the onsite supervision provided and up-to-date budget reporting for every single program.
Treasurer Kathy Smith asked what budget would pay for the SBHC. Sally Bartlett replied that there has been plenty of SBHC funding which even had to be given back. But, last week the school district voted to contract with the health department for the SBHC. She added that $30,000 will be available this year to study it, then $60,000 each year as long as it is running. Bartlett thought future funding may even increase. She added that grant funding opportunities are available to pay for capital improvements and insurance billing would continue under the SBHC. Lindsay reported on the success rate of other SBHC in the state, including Mitchell.
10:50 am - Kathy Stinnett, Nate Hughes, Shannon Springer entered
COURTHOUSE FACILITIES. Circuit Court Administrator Tammy Wheeler, Nate Hughes and Shannon Springer (Courthouse Facilities Committee) met with the court. The committee also provided a generic Courthouse Maintenance Plan listing interior and exterior improvements. Wheeler reported the state feels the elevator project would fall under the State Court Facility and Security Account funding. Wheeler said an approximate cost was needed for DOJ budgeting this spring and it would probably be a 50-50 split with the county. She proposed asking for a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for a feasibility study to find out what it would cost to install an elevator. Wheeler noted that the Court Security Fund has about $5,000 that can be used for the study and grants may be available too.
A request was made to appoint Treasurer Kathy Smith to serve on the Facilities Committee to provide important information on a variety of financial and funding questions. Myers believed it was a good fit to have the Treasurer participate, if she is willing to serve. Smith previously expressed her willingness to serve on the committee. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to appoint Kathy Smith to the Courthouse Facilities Committee.
Shannon Springer asked if authorization was needed to prepare and advertise a RFQ. She suggested a two phase process (feasibility and budget & design and scope of work). Myers and others reviewed and discussed the process the county previously used to obtain architectural specifications for the Courthouse window replacement project. Since this time frame is short, Wheeler proposed contacting the service provider for the window project, who's already familiar with the building. She had previously been in contact with that individual. Myers thought it might be good to have a conversation with Sue Newstetter, of Eastern Oregon Professional Services. Springer asked to consider having a single service provider prepare specifications for the elevator, windows, and heating / cooling improvements packaged as one project. Other discussion took place about the specifications and detailed architectural plan the OTIS elevator company would need from a contractor. Labhart pointed out all we need to know now is if the elevator would be possible and, if so, how much the project would cost. Britton suggested contacting the county's engineer about the possibility of providing a feasibility study for the elevator project. With the group's support, Britton arranged a meeting between the Facilities Committee meeting and Ferguson Surveying & Engineering (Werner Arntz) after lunch today.
Judge Stinnett asked if the court would consider abating the upstairs foyer floor using Court Security Funds, as part of the Law Library relocation project. She added that it also ties into the Maintenance Plan. Stinnett felt it could be a good "trial" abatement project to see how that works. Nate Hughes indicated that the floors can be encapsulated, but the mastic tiles are breaking loose underneath. He felt it would be wise to budget abatement for each floor over a period of years, which could be done during weekends and evenings. It was noted the upstairs floor is not in worse shape than the main floor high traffic area. Labhart suggested the idea of using carpet squares which are quiet, look good, and can easily be replaced. Hughes does not suggest using carpet in high traffic areas, such as foyers.
Hughes mentioned that the Maintenance Plan is a work-in-progress which he's working to prioritize for budget purposes. The court was updated about progress on the relocation of Hughes' Maintenance Room, the Attorney-Client Conference Room, and the Law Library. Other discussion took place about the past and current process for operating the Chair-Lift to access Justice Court and Circuit Court.
ROCK QUARRY AGREEMENTS. Court members reviewed and signed a Rock Quarry Lease and Mining Agreement with Richard Naumann granting the county rights to mine and remove all rock, aggregate material, and soil from property adjacent to CR 7 in the Monument area for a term of five years. Court members also reviewed and signed a Rock Quarry Lease and Mining Agreement with Margaret Colvin granting the county rights to mine and remove rock, aggregate material, and soil from property consisting of approximately 3 acres owned by Colvin Cattle Company for a term of ten years.
SNOW REMOVAL CONTRACT. The court reviewed and signed an Intergovernmental Agreement with Baker County to provide snow removal from Baker County Road 520 in the Granite area by Grant County from November 1, 2014 through March 31. 2019.
HR 1526. The court reviewed and signed a letter of comment to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee regarding HR 1525 "Restoring Healthy Forests for Communities Act," recently passed by the House of Representatives.
COURT RECORDING SYSTEM. Last week the court delayed the decision to purchase a Martel Electronics Court Reporter 5000 Microphone / Digital Recorder / Transcriber system, to allow time for Commissioner Britton to consider other options. Britton said he had checked into other options and then made the following motion. MSP: Britton/Labhart -- to authorize Ms. Ferrioli to purchase the Martel Electronics Court Reporter 5000 Microphone / Digital Recorder / Transcriber system as previously proposed.
1:50 pm - Adjourned
Mary R. Ferrioli / County Court Secretary