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 Okanogan County Commissioners' Meetings Notes

The Board of Okanogan County Commissioners (BOCC) meets on Mondays, Tuesdays, and occasionally Wednesdays in the Commissioners’ Hearing Room in the Virginia Granger Building in Okanogan.

County Watch volunteers attend the meetings (either remotely or in person) and post notes on this website.

The county’s official minutes of these meetings are usually posted a week or two after the meeting and can be read here.

Watch BOCC meeting in real time via AV Capture:

(click on Today for the livestream) or Zoom

Zoom meeting links can be found

on the BOCC Weekly Agenda.

*The notes found on this page are from 2022-2023. For previous years, please visit the archive tab.

Enter your search words here to find subjects within the notes

05.21.2024 Tues AM BOCC



Public Comment: Ms. Jackson reports that she listened to the Planning Commission Meeting last night. She was concerned that for such an important process, Pete was hurrying them along telling them to move quickly. Ms. Jackson suggests that they take their time to educate themselves in this process. She also asked the Board to clarify the process for changing zoning and wondered about the role of “Pete”. CB and AH answered her questions. The board received questions from a constituent in the Oroville/Tonasket area who is wanting to build a USDA approved meat processing facility and needs to know how to deal with waste.

Finance Committee: Looking for funding to fulfill the Becca Bill requirement of the Courts, and for the Water Conservancy Board. Getting ready for the equipment surplus auction.

Solid Waste: Reports on new methane gas laws beginning June 1, and the upcoming apple maggot quarantine for the north county.

Public Works: Working with the Liberty Woodlands (HOA) on their sewer system.

Meeting adjourned 12:11

05.20.2024 Mon AM BOCC



  • Pete Palmer, Planning Director, describes a thorny problem concerning a lot that was divided in half when the owner died, leaving one half to each of her two children, but the lot never went through the county’s subdivision process. Now one of the children wants to sell her property but can’t. The commissioners are stumped by this problem and refer Palmer to the county attorney.

  • Roni Holder-Diefenbach, Executive Director of the Economic Alliance, and the commissioners discuss various infrastructure projects for RHD’s upcoming meeting with a federal interagency funding group, wanting to know funding priorities for affordable housing in the county.

  • Commissioners meet in executive session with Esther Milner, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor and Shelley Keitzman, Human Resources and Risk Management, for 15 minutes under RCW 42.30.110(1)(i)—on going litigation.

  • Meeting adjourns for the day at 12:05.

05.14.2024 Tues PM BOH



• Board approves $3,600 increase for sanitary surveys–chlorination, distribution.

• Legal advisor presents “Roles and Responsibilities” guidelines for the board

• Pertussis, Measles on the rise

• Okanogan biggest state utilizer of hospital transfer program, lack of beds in Wenatchee tied to staffing issues, Health Officer recommends improving capacity for high acuity patients in local hospitals

• Spending strategy in the works to appropriate federal money ($280/year for four years) before deadline

• Community Health director stresses importance of Community Health Assessment

05.14.2024 Tues AM BOCC



· No Public Comment.

· The clerk establishing dates for bid process on the 2nd phase of the courthouse exterior renovation.

· Treasurers Report: filing certificates of delinquency on unpaid property taxes from the 2021 year. Contract approved for Omak Chronicle to be the newspaper of record for County legal notices.

· The Board signs a proclamation that May 2024 is Mental Health Awareness month -Mental Health Color Walk this weekend.

· Bid Opening for Loomis-Oroville Road Drainage project.

· Public Works: BOCC needs to grant easement for Town of Twisp access to sewer treatment plant. The contractor to add more snow breaks on the new County shops, chip seal is happening mostly in Oroville and Omak this year, explains cattleguard relinquishment and requirement to be 20 foot wide.

· No business for Wednesday.

· The meeting adjourned at 11:41.

05.13.2024 Mon PM PC/BOCC



  • The commissioners explain to the Planning Commission (PC) what they’re expecting from them—that the PC will make recommendations only to the changes in red in the red-line document. Then the BOCC will make changes to the zone code based on the PC’s recommendations, and the revised zone code will then have a 30 day comment period.

  • The PC expects to have the review done after their next two meetings.

  • The BOCC will consider other changes in the zone code later on.

  • The meeting adjourned at 8:46.

05.07.2024 Tues AM BOCC



· Public Comment: Ruth Hall thanks BOCC for their service.

· Fairground Update: Contacting Engineering firm (TD&H) about needed improvements at the fairgrounds. Discussion of rental amounts at AgriPlex for Fair Queen activities, and other youth related activities.

· Discussion of review of the ARPA fund allocation.

· Community Action Council (CAC) – Rena Sawver, Executive Director, discusses current housing coalition and March services rendered to County resident for housing, food, and financial services, 85% of funding comes from Department of Commerce grants, and future projects.

· Public Works: no progress on new shops, waste oil pump system, discussion of the electric car pollution in the manufacturing, open positions.

· Meeting adjourned at 11:28




  • Bid for demolition of morgue and sheriff’s equipment shelter on Railroad Ave. awarded to Groat Bros., $148,432 tag includes clean-up and disposal of tanks, new structures’ environmental footprint should be smaller

  • Economic Alliance director needs challenges to internet providers’ promised coverage to bolster argument for broadband grants, funds already secured by Okanogan County Electric Co-op for 222 Methow residents and PUD for “middle mile” up to Conconully; need to prove lines of credit preventing some applications but director and USDA rep confident about continued funding; isolated areas need dependable land line infrastructure since internet vulnerable to power outages

  • Commissioners and clerk struggle to make federal Rescue Plan (ARPA) spending figures add up, time frame of reports compared to annual budgets complicates calculations, clerk is reassuring; total two-year allocation: $8.2M

05.06.2024 Mon AM BOCC



  • Nick Bates, Fairground manager discusses adopting a new policy on fee waivers. The fairgrounds will also create bi-lingual contracts in the hope there will be fewer misunderstandings about what a contract requires. The spay/neuter clinic was a big success.

  • Pete Palmer, Planning Director, and the commissioners have a long discussion about the process the Planning Commission should be taking with regard to changes in the zone code. The Planning Commission would like to create a new document for the BOCC to consider, while the BOCC says the Planning Commission should review the comments received about the changes in the recent BOCC hearing, and make recommendations about the comments, not create a new document. If the Planning Commission wants to recommend a new document to the BOCC, there’s a different process for that. The BOCC and the Planning Commission will hold a joint meeting next Monday, May 13, at 7:00 PM to discuss this issue. This is in addition to the special meeting of the Planning Commission on Monday, May 20.

  • The County Finance Committee (the BOCC, Treasurer and Auditor) review the county’s annual report to the State Auditor and the BOCC votes to submit the report.

  • Meeting adjourned for the day at noon.

04.30.2024 Tues PM BOCC



  • DNR prepared for wildfire season with 195 available firefighters, 21 staffed engines, Huey helicopter at Omak airport; says Conservation District’s preparedness plan becoming model for the state; operational grants could finance more pressurized water take-outs from irrigation ditches; several national weather briedfings indicate “pretty average” fire year; 2024 timber sales to total 20M, many around Loomis

  • Commissioners Hover and Neil discuss tick proliferation, clerk informs them of washes over paved road in burned area of Sinlaheken

  • High School Rodeo rep asks for discount for upcoming event, says earnings go to scholarships, commissioners to discuss resolution setting rate for school-affiliated clubs on Monday when all three are present, money tight after $2M spent on fairgrounds over last few years, adding sheriff’s deputies now higher priority

  • Meeting adjourned at 2:47

04.30.2024 Tues AM BOCC



· County making plans for the online surplus auction.

· No public comment.

· 7 bids for property demolition of Railroad Ave in preparation for Sheriff’s Office/Coroner’s building, recommendation back to Board next week.

· Public Works: projects, open positions to be filled, road maintenance.

· Okanogan Wildlife Council presented easement papers for gun club by the landfill.

· Meeting adjourned 10:59

04.29.2024 Mon AM BOCC



  • Nick Bates, Fairgrounds Manager, updates the commissions on repairs to the little beef barn and the irrigation system near the arena. They discuss how to approach repairing the snow damage to the horse barn.

  • Maurice Goodall, appearing as a private citizen, explains how a building on a parcel next to one he owns is egregiously violating the setbacks for the lot. The commissioners discuss how the problem happened and possible solutions. Commissioner Branch thinks the discuss of solutions should continue in executive session.

  • Commissioners hold an executive session for 20 minutes, under RCW 42.30.110(1)(i)—existing litigation, inviting Pete Palmer, Planning Director and Esther Milner, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor.

  • Commissioners adjourn for the day at 12:00.

04.23.2024 Tues AM BOCC



· Public Comment: Ms. Jackson comments on the Planning Commission meeting, found it interesting and long. Surprised they only meet 1X monthly for all there is to do. Ruth Hall comments that it is good to have a full Board of Equalization (BOE) now – all three districts.

· AH notes the ARPA fund is $80,000 over-allocated, then confers with LJ throughout the meeting to get the figures straight.

· Solid Waste: Twisp Transfer Station summer hours will begin earlier this year; composting business interested in wood chips from the County.

· Public Works: County is still in process of determining which departments will be moving where with the new building. Letter of Re-Commitment for Forest Collaborative participants.

· HR/Risk Manager: Grant funded Outreach Specialist position for the Sheriff’s Office to be finalized; then begin the hiring process.

· Board discusses needing to get the Planning Commissions process back on track.

· Meeting adjourned at 11:44

04.22.2024 Mon AM BOCC



  • During public comments, Sheilah and Jeff Delfeld tell the commissioners about their problems getting a mailbox on their property on Rodeo Trail Rd. If it’s simply a matter of locating the mailbox, there’s no permitting necessary, but if they want a new address on Rodeo Trail Rd. instead of Hwy 97, they need to get it from the Colville Tribe.

  • Pete Palmer, Planning Director, has made a new red-line document for the Planning Commission to consider at their meeting this evening. It incorporates all the comments received about the draft zoning code, and Palmer hopes that the Planning Commission will recommend that it be sent to the County Commissioners and be put out for a new 30-day comment period.

  • The commissioners hear a presentation about a proposed conservation easement for a 2,312 acre cattle ranch near Carter Mountain.

  • The commissioners hold a 30 minute executive session under RCW 42.30.110(1)(g)—to consider the performance of a public employee, inviting Vicky Poole, HR Analyst/Civil Service Examiner.

  • Meeting adjourns for the day at 11:45.

04.16.2024 Tues AM BOCC



  • Public Comment: Ms. Jackson – relates concerns regarding public housing and drug use by occupants asking for more investigation into the matter.

  • Blue Sky Minds approved to use BOCC logo on food assessment and website to show cooperative relationship with the County.

  • Finance Committee Meeting: Aeneas Valley Irrigation District able to pay back some of money owed to County. ARPA funds approved for two Community Action projects – one for food crisis funding; BOCC supportive of Twisp’s land purchase; supports Wa. State Dept of Parks & Recreation purchase of property near Pearrygin Lake. The board discussed the bid for work on the courthouse elevators. 

  • Public Works: Conditions have been completed for the vacation of an unnamed connector road between Meek road and Susan road in the Lost River Airport Tracts Association, so an order of vacation will be filed. Grading roads and finishing up with the stabilizer. Damage to the Chesaw Road. Road restrictions being lifted in Chesaw. Chip seal project ongoing. No chip seal projects slated for next year. Two letters to go out for Okanogan County Organization of Governments: the Colville Tribes and the town of Riverside. 

  • Appointment letters signed for new Board of Equalization member, TV District #1, and Methow Watershed Council.

  • Consideration of officially adopting the Housing Task Force.

  • Meeting adjourned at 11:38.

04.15.2024 Mon AM/PM BOCC



  • Commissioners and Pete Palmer, Planning Director, discuss the issue of county email addresses for members of the Planning Commission. They also discuss the issue of procedures for interaction between the Planning Commission, the Planning Department and the County Commissioners.

  • The Washington Association of Counties asks the commissioners for their priorities in next year’s legislative session. The commissioners' top priority is receiving state money to help pay for indigent defense.

  • The commissioners hear a presentation from the Housing Coalition about possible solutions to homelessness in the county.

  • The meeting adjourned at 3:36.

04.09.2024 Tues AM BOCC



· Public Comment:

o Salley Bull, member of Planning Commission and Board of Equalization asking for County e-mail to protect her privacy. She is also concerned about using the Chat feature during Zoom hearings due to derogatory comments and threats to officials entered via this platform.

o Raven (on Zoom) has recommendations for the Sheriffs' Office regarding enforcing protection orders especially for high-risk victims of domestic violence that are being stalked. Raven states that the Sheriffs' Office and Prosecutors Office are not enforcing the law regarding weapons and forbidden (by protection order) places.

o Ruth Hall clarified with the BOCC that Dennis Rabidou is resigning, and they are getting ready to hire 2 people to fill his duties.

· Juvenile Jail Administrator and Superior Court Administration: OBHC CEO in to discuss other numbers and treatment alternatives for mentally ill/substance abuse individuals in crisis and ongoing services.

· Solid Waste Manager: on receiving green waste and reducing organics in landfill.

· Public Works: Adding stabilizer to dirt roads. Using Dyna Patch for road repairs. Public Works building needs repairs. Looking at used equipment to replace broken equipment. STP chip project approved.

· No Wednesday meeting.

· Meeting adjourned at 12:22

04.09.2024 BOH



  • Local resident renting property with pool asks for “two-pronged” regulating approach, single family dwellings should apply international pool/spa norms

  • Commissioner Hover has the minutes changed to reflect a nuance in vaccination stance.

  • Health Administrator requests board approval of promoting current employee to fill the Community Health Director position she vacated last year, discussion ensues over feasibility of that person continuing former duties as well.

  • Pool regulations brought up to conformity ; further discussion for later meeting

  • Health officer reports one pertussis case in county; in Texas avian flu jumped from birds to cows to humans

  • Food Action Plan nears completion, features ideas from diverse sectors: farm toschool program, gleaning farm produce, freezer cars on trains, local processingfacilities for ranchers and orchardists

  • Support services supervisor invited to talk about her job

04.08.2024 Mon AM/PM BOCC



  • The Omak Chronicle’s bid to print legal notices was accepted last week. The new contract will begin July 1. In addition to the Chronicle, the county will continue to print legal notices in the Methow Valley News and the Okanogan Gazette for items that concern only those areas of the county.

  • Kirk Johnson and Dick Ewing make comments concerning the county’s proposed re-zone and legal requirement for lot sizes.

  • Pete Palmer, Director of Planning, updates the commissioners on the proposed re-zone.

  • Maurice Goodall, Emergency Management, will buy a used 9½ foot cargo container to use in storing his sand bags and other equipment.

  • Commissioners discuss the script and filming dates with CGI Productions for the updated video introduction to the county. Filming is tentatively scheduled for July 9-12.

  • Commissioners review a proposal from MJ Neal & Associates architectural firm about courthouse renovations. They discuss a proposed land swap or purchase of the church between the courthouse and the Grainger Building. Commissioner Hover says the courthouse is just on the cusp of being too small.

  • Commissioners adjourn for the day at 2:37.

04.02.2024 Tues AM BOCC



· County Clerk directed to work with Room One in Twisp to allocate ARPA funds of $100,000; $50,000 per year over two-year period.

· Public Comment: Ms. Jackson requests information/help with county codes for burning, timeframes. Finance Committee: Meeting with Aeneas Lake Irrigation District to work on becoming solvent, rather than utilizing County funds. Economic Alliance to help with finding grants/loans to help financial situation, and the District will work with the PUD to help decrease costs of electricity. Will meet with Finance Committee again in June.

· Sheriff’s Dispatch Deputy Update: staffing: 11 of 13 positions filled, radio project looks favorable – there is more to do – awaiting funding from Congress budget. Working on the Sheriff’s building on Railroad Avenue – site visit on 4/17. Picked up the Radio Tech van for the new employee to use.

· Public Works:  Loomis/Oroville drainage project. Working on asphalt pad at the landfill, this is from the grant tied to organics. Looking at the Loomis right of way for the kiosk sign. Will ask DNR about a boundary line adjustment to accommodate the kiosk.

· Meeting adjourned at 11:46

04.02.2024 Tues PM BOCC



  • For $84,000, heartbeat detector and ankle bracelet monitors to help depleted jail staff deal with health crises; corrections officer training on the rise, Okanogan awaits graduates

  • Records Coordinator position to be reinstated, Deputy Board Clerk will apply

  • County administrator discussion revived

  • What to show in refreshed version of county website video

  • Regional director from Ecology forecasts 60% to 70% water availability, AH advocates meeting between Methow Watershed Council and Ecology, sediment study results awaited before dismantling Enloe Dam, Commissioner Hover asks about funds for water bank and Aeneas Lake irrigation district

  • Resigning Juvenile Court/Superior Court administrator to be replaced by two employees

  • Courtroom renovation discussed amid uncertainty over courtsʼ eventual location

  • Emergency manager must transfer hundreds of sandbags to new storage site

04.01.2024 Mon PM BOCC



· Rena Shawver updates BOCC on Community Action Council work, focusing on housing. Okanogan County has a housing crisis of extreme proportion.

· Discussion about plans for updating the County promotional video that is on the website.

· Discussion about future updates to historic courthouse building

· Update from Noxious weed manager. Employee promotions, public presentation for Lake Mgmt District.

04.01.2024 Mon AM BOCC



  • Public Comments: Ms. Jackson asks about reported sightings of white busses dropping off illegal immigrants in Omak who would then become part of the local homeless population. She asks what the commissioners are doing to protect the community. The commissioners say they will look into the matter but point out that orchardists are doing a lot of spraying right now and that Gebbers Farms has busses to transport their workers to the orchards. Ms. Jackson also asked why there are no meeting minutes posted for March on the commissioners’ website. They reply they haven’t corrected the March minutes yet.

  • Commissioners hold an executive session under RCW42.30.110(1)(iii)—legal risks of a current practice, inviting Esther Milner, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor, and Cameron Burnette, Deputy Clerk of the Board.

  • Maurice Goodall, Emergency Management reports that the two Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP) held recently went well. The meeting in Okanogan was attended by about 80 people.

  • Commissioner Hover proposes giving Room One, a social services organization in the Methow Valley, $100,000 of ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds over two years. They would use the money to serve the homeless population.

  • The commissioners discuss contract modifications with the Okanogan County Tourist Council concerning their kiosks.

  • The meeting adjourns for lunch at 12:40.

03.26.2024 Tues AM BOCC



· No Public Comment.

· Carelon Behavioral Health Organization (BHSAO) representatives in to explain to BOCC their contract with the Wa State Health Care Authority (HCA) for Crisis (Substance Abuse and Mental Health)Services in three County groups in the State of Washington; Spokane (which includes Okanogan County), Southwest Washington, and Pierce County. Carelon is a for-profit nationwide organization – part of Elevance health. Okanogan Behavioral HealthCare (OBHC), which is a subcontractor of Carelon also joined the discussion.

· Public Works: poor road conditions coming out of winter in Chesaw & Havillah, also, Libby Creek Road, Foster Bridge Road Repair. Landfill cleaning out, green waste program, Whistler Canyon trailhead, and possible kiosk in Loomis area. Report on progress of new county shops.

· Adjourned at 11:57

03.26.2024 Tues PM BOCC



  • auto purchases over $50,000 subject to competitive bid

  • Corrections officer after first year reports shifting staff around, wants more interaction with inmates, less filling out forms, is consulting with Tribes on mental health

  • Sheriff’s office and Omak Police Dept. seek grant to employ mental health worker; sheriff urges collaboration between agencies to prepare for “a huge fire season”

  • Prosecutor presents new Bar Association guidelines for gradual reduction of average public defender caseloads from 150 to 47, anticipates need to prioritize offenses affecting public safety

  • Court Clerk reports 15-year record number of state filings

  • Green waste accepted at landfill free of charge thanks to air quality grant

  • Assessor hopeful state proposal to lower property tax passes next session

  • Coroner’s office faces certification hassle, prepares building swap

  • Planning director applauded, called “toughest-skinned person of the year” after taking heat for zone code revision, wants to get permit software running

  • Ag Dept.’s $17,500 grant to cover Fair program

  • Commissioners to draw up agreement for opioid settlement spending; fund administrator’s report forthcoming

  • ARPA dollars to pay for recruiting defense attorneys

  • Commissioners Hover and Branch conjecture on implications of indigent defense legislation proposals, Hover says there’s room for NAACP to get involved.

03.25.2024 Mon AM/PM BOCC



  • Pete Palmer, Planning Director, discusses a grant application for water banking. Commissioner Branch says he thinks the county should hire a Water Resources Manager to handle water banking instead of using someone in the Planning Department. Palmer also discusses plans for the continued re-zone hearing that’s scheduled for the Argiplex that evening.

  • The Sheriff’s Office is applying for a Fire Arms Safety and Violence Prevention grant. The grant includes funding to hire a core outreach specialist to serve as a co-responder and develop a collaborative relationship between the Sheriff’s Office, fire fighters and EMTs. Commissioner Branch thinks hiring the right person for this job will be the key to its success.

  • The commissioners hold a 30 minute executive session, under RCW 42.30.110(1)(i)—to discuss potential litigation, inviting Esther Milner, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor.

  • Meeting adjourns at 2:05.

03.19.2024 Tues AM BOCC



· The State Legislature passed a bill to decrease Public Defender caseloads, but without extra funding for the Counties, expecting the Counties to bear the expense of hiring more staff.

· Public Comment: Isabelle Spohn suggests the BOCC put the Community Wildfire Protection Plan meetings on their website to get the message out for the best participation. Emergency Response Coordinator feels they have done a good job of getting these meetings (for public input) advertised, BOCC to get them advertised on their schedule/agenda.

· HR/Risk Manager: Received communication from the Public Defender contractor requesting funding to hire 2 new Public Defenders. She will work with Clerk of Board and Auditor to write this up. BOCC is considering using ARPA funds to pay for this. The County currently pays over a million dollars for Public Defender services.

· Public Works Update: Most road restrictions lifted today, new shops are still waiting for completion, closeout of Cameron Lake Road project funds to be used for chip seal.

· Meeting adjourned 10:21. No PM session.

03.18.2024 Mon AM BOCC



  • Nick Bates, newly hired Fairgrounds Manager, is surveying the buildings that need repair. Also, he would like to make changes to the rental fee schedule.

  • Pete Palmer, Director of Planning, has hired a new Senior Planner and a Planner I to fill empty positions. She also hired another Planner I to replace an employee who will be leaving soon.

  • Tom Even, Okanogan Veterans Services Officer gives his quarterly update to the Commissioners. They discuss housing for homeless veterans.

  • Sheriff Budrow says he’s received a grant to provide a Designated Crisis Responder who would work with deputies, fire fighters and EMS personnel in dealing with people in crisis. The hope is to be able to deal with such people without jailing them.

03.12.2024 BOH



·  Resolutions passed involving: Public Records Act, Organizational chart, Claims Officer, Group B water systems

·  Covid allocation extended to June 30th, Cases number 10-12 a week

·  Commissioner Hover expresses support for freedom of choice regarding vaccines

·  Salary of new Local Emergency Response Coordonator discussed

·  New legislation requires septic inspections for every transaction, cloud data base discussed; system failure reported near Oroville, hook-up to sewer extension possible, grouping several would lower the cost

03.12.2024 Tues AM BOCC



· Discussion about Community Action Council having a huge shortfall – needing $300,000.

· No Public Comment.

· Zak Kennedy – Counties' lobbyist reports on end of Legislative Session – what initiatives passed, which did not, and what next year may look like. He is hopeful the Cap & Trade Tax, along with the Capital Gains tax will be repealed next year.

· Public Works: County engineer reports on road maintenance – some road restrictions are ending due to weather warming up. Road crew began their 4 X10 schedule this week, Cameron Lake Road project is not going to happen – never did hear back from the Tribe.

· Okanogan Wildlife Council (Buck Workman and Mike Ferrens), which owns the shooting range up by the landfill request permanent road easement to access the shooting range. This road is shared with the County's rock crushing access. A survey would need to be done in order to give official easement to go longer than 2037.

· HR/Risk Manager and Juvenile are doing a salary survey for staff – hoping to hire two new staff members.

· Dispatch purchase of a tech van for the new Radio Tech position. BOCC approves purchase from only bid from Wendle in Spokane for $71,321.

· Need to organize trail easements for the new Trails position.

· Work session/Discussion regarding Opioid Abatement monies designated for Okanogan County projects, and how to work the with Opioid Abatement Council.

· Meeting adjourned at noon. Public Health @1:30 and BOCC back in session at 3:00.

03.11.2024 Mon AM/PM BOCC



  • Commissioners hear about a property tax issue with a retired orchardist. Later they discuss the situation with Larry Gilman, County Assessor, who tells them that the man is ineligible for the Open Space tax rate.

  • Shelley Keitzman, of Human Resources, introduces Nick Bates, the new Fairgrounds Manager. He says he’s had experience before with fairgrounds that have not been maintained well.

  • Commissioners hear a proposal from CGI Video Tours to update their five year old video, introducing people to the county.

  • The commissioners and the Sheriff discuss lowering the speed limit on the road that runs past the two schools in the Methow Valley School District.

  • Meeting adjourns at 2:20.

03.05.2024 Tues PM BOCC



·  Executive sessions held to discuss union negotiations,mediation proceedings, ongoing litigation

·  Motion of understanding addresses fairgrounds crew moving garden program equipment

·  Contract discussions needed with Fair events company Romeo.

·  Consensus on Hearings Examiner candidate

·  Board Clerk enthusiastic about coming homeless housing presentation; Discussion on “Catch 22” of needing to use grant money to develop plan necessary to be awarded more grant money

·  HVAC in jail price tag: $96,000, plans revised

·  Brief discussion on emergency medical services’ regional association

03.05.2024 Tues AM BOCC



· Board considers using ARPA funds for some Oroville Fire Department equipment.

· No public comments.

· The Sheriff’s Dept Communications Director requests permission to look for new Ford transit van for the new technician position.

· HR/Risk Manager asks for authorization to purchase two gun lockers for weapons storage in the Court House due to security concerns. Purchase is approved. Discussion of preference of keeping Opioid Settlement monies for County in County Fund, but willing to pay administrative fee to the Opioid Settlement Council – “we know best use of funds in our county”.

· Public Hearing on closeout of Covid 1 & 2 funds through Community Action- $400,000.

· Solid Waste Manager: Receives approval to get on Open Line (on radio station) to explain the new organics program grant and also the grant to improve air quality – accepting 'green' waste with no charge.

· Public Works: The new Trails/Planning position person, Amy Staggs, gives update to Board on Whistler Canyon and other possible projects.

· 11:37 meeting adjourned.

03.04.2024 Mon AM BOCC



  • Commissioners discuss several times the upcoming Planning Commission meeting on March 25 and how to ensure it runs smoothly. Commissioners Branch points out how harmful social media can be in spreading misinformation.

  • Susan Speiker, Clerk of the Courts, gives the Commissioners her quarterly update.

  • Commissioner Hover reads an article critical of him at the Feb. 26 BOCC meeting, not realizing it’s a satire from the Omak Republic.

  • Meeting adjourns at 12:00.

02.27.2024 Tues AM BOCC



· Discussion of fee-waiver policy at the fairgrounds,

· Public Comment: Mrs Jackson having problems with her Grade A well water system and wants to know who to complain to. There are 117 hookups on this Suncrest System LLC, and numerous problems that need to be reported.

· WSU extension office brings Memo of Agreement concerning the Master Gardeners demo garden at the fair – approved.

· Fairgrounds Manager's last day is March 1st. New manager to start on March 5th.

· County Assessor Update: Assessed values have increased 16%, but the levy rate went down. Would like to change policy on pest acres assessment – will discuss with the pest board, there is an opening for a personal property clerk, assessor doesn't understand the State School rate.

· Finance Update: Discussion on funding and logistics regarding the Water Conservancy Board in relation to county bookkeeping, auditor and treasurer will talk with their Chelan counterparts to see how it is done there.

· Solid Waste Update: Manager regarding grant for air quality – for green waste, also farm slaughter/butchering waste business.

· County Engineer Update: Road maintenance, dirt roads are drying up. Waiting for comments from WDFW on some newly possible WATV routes. Progress on Cameron Lake Road project – problems with eminent domain with Colville Tribe.

· Meeting adjourned at 12:00 noon.

02.27.2024 Tues PM BOCC



  • Bridge project to receive $22,000 from Recreation and Conservation; $60,000 approved for cybersecurity

  • Raven Aea pursues case for county administrator, law enforcement training

  • Planning director reports on standing-room-only public hearing for zoning amendment, better      understanding of process and changes needed; successor for resigning Hearing Examiner chosen; resident questions planning process; commissioners regret silence imposed by attorney-client privilege

  • City of Okanogan’s Elmway water main extension gets federal boost; contract approved for group to write broadband grant application

  • Oroville’s request to create port district discussed

02.26.2024 Mon AM BOCC



  • At several times during today’s session, the commissioners discussed the Planning Commission’s public hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 20, and how to make future hearing run more smoothly.

  • Commissioners held two 30 minute executive sessions, both under RCW 42.30.110(1)(iii) to discuss the legal risk of a proposed action. The first meeting included Esther Milner, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor and the second included Milner and Shelley Keitzman of Human Resources and Risk Management.

02.20.2024 Tues AM BOCC



· Commissioners checking on status of HB 2057 relating to funding Search & Rescue –currently in Executive Session in Olympia.

· Zak Kennedy (lobbyist) gives updates on house and senate bills of interest to Counties, also predicts next year will be a really tight budget at State level.

· Public Comment: Isabelle Spohn, community member expresses real concerns about the Planning Commission process, especially regarding tonight's hearing on the rezone and the lack of clear mapping of zoning areas in the county, especially in the Methow Valley. BOCC points out this hearing is for recommendation back to them, and then there will be another public meeting/hearing before the final decision.

· Financial Committee Meeting with Treasurer, Auditor, and Finance Manager:  Approval of new debt and investment policy, 5.50 % interest on investments currently, discussion of registered warrants outstanding, and how to deal with Aeneas Lake Irrigation District that is unable to pay expenses from assessments - running on public funds. Two bid openings for liquid asphalt and soil stabilizer with Public Works.

· Solid Waste Manager: New EPA rule changes coming and recycling bills in the legislature.

· Public Works: Road maintenance and 2 Senior Mechanic positions to advertise due to upcoming retirements.

· BOCC will be at Planning Meeting this evening.

· Meeting adjourned at 11:58 until 1:30 in the PM.

02.20.2024 Tues PM BOCC



· IT director met with company to equip courtrooms for virtual, portable camera planned for room used for Hearings Examiner and Executive sessions

· Civil Prosecutor announces $260,000 in recent settlement funds for regional opioid council, Commissioner Branch attended meeting

· Letter of interest for planning positionsparks discussion on county politization, zoning code revision misinformation

· Public received misinformation on zoning code revision,Planning Director will have to open that evening’s hearing with clarifications and corrections; zoning map’s colors and lines could benefit from interagency collaboration

· WSU Extension Coordinator preparing “4H Needs You” campaign to enlist adult volunteers, Okanogan Valley youth may integrate “Family Clubs” in meantime; local Master Gardner/4H Coordinator applying state 4H rules for Fair, priorizing safety, shomanship, cleanliness, no more “open”, only supervised projects exposed in 4H barn; access to and salary for possible regional coordinator discussed

· HR director seeks to fill previously held full-time fairgrounds clerk position, budget must be juggled with to finance this; “re-curring user Sunrise RV had planned event without signing contract, will have alternate Agriplex dates with fees waived

· Motley discussion : Oroville water systems, Group B systems, road problems from subdivisions on Tunk Mt.

· Meeting disbanded at 4:10

02.13.2024 BOH



· Board approves $19,000 to be paid to Blue Sky Minds, along with Memo of Understanding to conduct an assessment of Okanogan County's food/growers needs – will report back quarterly.

· Board approves procurement policy to purchase Emergency Response vehicle, preferably local purchase up to $55,000.

· Report from Dr Wallace: We’re out of respiratory illness season (Covid, Influenza, RSV), ER visits have risen, hospitalization rates are down. Have been working with schools/day cares and Long Term Care facilities for outbreaks. Continued Opioid Overdose problem, along with sexually transmitted infections. Director presents power point to report on Public Health 2023 activity.& data. Environmental Health Officer reports wrap-up of 2023; septic difficult on an acre. (100 foot radius sanitary zone needed- easier with a 2 acre minimum.

· BOCC reports zone code is up for review.

· Adjourn 2:58

02.13.2024 Tues AM BOCC



  • Commissioners clean up previous meeting notes, Branch comments on logging

  • Affordable housing grant support letter approved

  • Used oil from elevators to be recycled for heat

  • Road restrictions lifted, Cameron Lakes road project rejected by Indian affairs bureau

  • Public Works next projects: drainage at Bonaparte, overlay near Oroville, Loomis-Oroville Rd.

  • Minimum wage going up, budget adjustment necessary

  • Letter of support for affordable housing grant approved

  • Branch reports on regional opioid council’s progress, meetings among local actors, prospect of shared treatment evaluation center

  • Meeting adjourned at 11:42

02.12.2024 Mon AM BOCC



· 3 Public comments: regarding vacant seat on Planning Commission, and accusing BOCC of numerous “severe violations” of RCWs regarding the zoning update process. Request to cease process immediately

· Emergency Management update: MG concerned that he was not included in discussion about new building for Coroner and Sheriff dept storage; complaint about having to watch “offensive images” as part of required harassment training.  The training program is pushing things that are not normal.

· Discussion on Hearing Examiner letter of termination. DB objects to way his termination was handled, does not want to stay in H.E. position any longer, resigns effective immediately.

· Further discussion on zoning code update procedure.  Explanations of why it was done this way, legal requirements due to stipulation order agreed to by BOCC resulting from lawsuit by Yakima Nation.

· Discussion about applicant for planning commission vacancy.  Concern about her strong opinions on property rights.

· CB reports on meeting with animal rescue organizations

· Short discussion about taxes

02.06.2024 Tues PM BOCC



· Human Resource director signing everyone up for Sexual Harassment Training, it’s “auto-assigned” to all new employees; relays call from state Criminal Justice Training Commission to solicit legislative support to add six new classes to existing four, currently employment candidates seeking certification must wait up to 24 months

· Repairs for recently-bought tractor, damaged by fairgrounds employee, quoted at around $20,000, FG budget must cover it; discussion about what price purchases require how much competitive bidding

· Board examines case of person wishing to acquire county land adjacent to his to facilitate access, land must first be assessed

· Video Tour of county on website to be renewed at no extra cost, sponsorship and sharing the video with businesses’ websites discussed

· Access to Hearing Examiner’s website discussed

· Comm’r Branch not convinced by photos that Mission timber cut constitutes any irregularity, talks about subjectivity on part of Wilderness Society-paid monitor he accompanied to a cut; says lot of home development made possible by forest roads

02.06.2024 Tues AM BOCC



· Public comments regarding ATVs, logging in the Methow Valley

· Legislative update: new definition of ‘Frontier County”; wolf bills; 6 initiatives on ballot; property tax assessment methods

· Finance Committee discussion

· Election observing

· Update on communications and mobile command unit; legal complications of ordering a coffee maker

02.05.2024 Mon AM BOCC



· In Public Comment Aeneas Valley resident gives litany of complaints including

police roughing up his wife, neighbor stealing his back hoe and laxism toward drug dealing; County Watch note-taker asks to re-position clock since camera angle has changed; Mission timber cut in Methow criticized

· Emergency Manager says Wildfire Protection Plan to be discussed at six public

meetings throughout county, has aided three houses with frozen pipe issues

· New Fairground Manager seeks mediation for tensions with Fair Advisory

Committee; complains of regularly having to “kick people out’’ who signed contracts he wasn’t notified of when he took the job, will try to satisfy commissioner’s request to move scheduled Agriplex venue

· Brief discussion on need to visually document Housing Board’s funding efforts for

better understanding

· Long discussion with local resident/management specialist Raven Aea on

benefits an appointed County Administrator could bring to county government where elected officials cannot complain about other elected officials

· Orchardists’ had bad year and beef producers having trouble; help available

through Farm Service Agency?

01.30.2024 Tues PM BOCC



·  Community Action describes current housing crisis, will subcontract with consulting company to apply for grant to identify barriers to affordable housing, and develop 5-year housing plan; zoning an issue; Commissioners to sign letter of support

·  Dispatch Coordinator asks about demolition bid on site of future sheriff’s equipment /coroner’s building; tanks of “residual oil-related tar “could pose problem

·  Fairground volunteers shouldn’t have free rein with county equipment

·  Discussion on distribution of funds for public safety, competition between Omak and county to recruit qualified officers

·  Electric Co-op in Methow to receive American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds for broadband; wants to buy neighboring land for equipment but zoning change needed

·  County got “dinged” in audit of ARPA funds for not documenting proof  of non-disbarment for contractors and sub-recipients, Commissioner Hover objects

01.30.2024 Tues AM BOCC



· Public comment opposing military training flights over wilderness areas

· Superior and Juvenile Court update - numerous vacancies

· Voluntary Stewardship Program advisory committee appointments

· Discussion about wolves

· Public Works and Solid Waste updates- road restrictions and legislation to watch

· WATV Discussion with WDFW personnel regarding the Methow Valley area. Goals and strategy.  Map of roads under discussion, but not yet proposed, attached.

01.29.2024 Mon AM/PM BOCC



· BOCC hears comments from Raven Aae concerning National Stalking Awareness Month. She urges the commissioners to consider hiring a county manager whose duties would include investigating complaints against the Sheriff’s and Prosecutor’s Office.

· Maurice Goodall, Emergency Management and Michael Harr, Director, Environmental Health, update the BOCC on the water emergency at the River Road Mobile Home Park near Tonasket. The development’s well went dry two months ago.

· BOCC hear a summary of the State Auditor’s audit of the county.

· Okanogan PUD wants to re-write the contract for $500,000 of ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds. They would like the funds to pay for construction materials instead of planning for the Conconully broadband project. The BOCC is happy to make the change. Commissioners and the PUD also discuss electrical power supply to the county. The PUD is concerned that because power demand is growing, they may not be able to supply the county during a cold snap or heat wave next year.

· BOCC meets twice in executive session under RCW 42.30.110(1)(i)—potential litigation. The first meeting lasts 20 minutes and includes Esther Milner, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor, and Pete Palmer, Director of Planning. After the meeting the BOCC directs Palmer to write a letter of termination to Dan Beardslee, the Hearing Examiner, and to create a request for proposal for the services of a hearing examiner. The second executive session is for 10 minutes and Esther Milner is invited.

· Adjourn at 2:21 until tomorrow.

01.23.2024 Tues PM BOCC



 • Asbestos removal in courthouse hallways, slated for summer, will bring altered  circulation and relocated offices  

• Windows in annex to match courthouse’s 

• Either polished concrete or something else for courthouse flooring surface,  depending on historical preservation group’s recommendation 

• Five resolutions signed affecting funds for housing (resolution 5-2024), Search  and Rescue, hiring nurses to cover jail, and un-obligated funds certification 

• Commissioners sign letter supporting broadband connectivity on reservation 

• No free bottled water-rule to be waived for maintenance workers  

• Sunrise RV publicized but didn’t sign contract for annual event in Agiplex, site  already rented out for same weekend  

• Mini debate on where to put asphalt in 2nd Ave. building parking lot

01.23.2024 Tues AM BOCC



·  Public Health requirements of Lazy Lightning long plat complied with, approval by commissioners

(In meeting with MJ Neal Architects to discuss floor plan of proposed Justice Center)

·  Sheriff Budrow opposes relocating courts to former Forest Service Building, security concerns cited, especially transportation of prisoners from jail to south 2nd Ave.; Court Clerk Susan Speiker and Prosecutor Albert Lin also against project

  • BOCC willing to change course if security concerns in historic courthouse can be resolved, will re-consult department heads for consensus

  • Symbolic aspect of courthouse, respect for the institution of the court evoked

  • Architects, commissioners, staff agree grouping public services on new site makes sense

  • Most of current courthouse renovation plans would be unaffected by project turn-around

01.22.2024 Mon PM BOCC



· Discussion of County Code regarding manufactured homes

· Code enforcement

· Public Works Dept update (proposed legislation on transitioning from gas-powered to electric equipment, tax reform, storm water, etc.)

· Discussion on LTAC application process

· Discussion on Homeless Housing Coalition and grant application

· Different ID cards for Superior Court Employees

01.22.2024 Mon AM BOCC



  • Planning Director Pete Palmer says the Eastern Washington Airspace Extension is asking for comments about its proposal to lower the floor limit to 300’ in additional areas in the county—mostly in the Methow and the Reservation. The floor limit is already 300’ in some parts of the county. Also, the Department of Ecology wants the county to update its Floodplain regulations.

  • Commissioners hold a 10-minute executive session under RCW 42.30.110(1)(g) to evaluate the performance of a public employee, with Pete Palmer invited.

  • Commissioners hold a 30-minute executive session under RCW 42.30.110(1)(ii) to discuss risks of potential litigation, inviting the Albert Lin, County Prosecutor, Esther Milner, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor and Shelley Keitzman, Human Resources and Risk Management.

  • The commissioners were updated on last week’s Courthouse Security Meeting. They are considering buying lockers for courthouse visitors to store items that aren’t allowed in the courtrooms.

  • Mike Worden, Dispatch Center, asks the commissioners to consider hiring a new radio technician and buying a new vehicle.

  • Meeting adjourned at 11:38

01.17.2024 Wed AM BOCC



  • The Finance Committee (BOCC, County Treasurer and County Auditor) holds its first meeting of the year. Cari Hall, County Auditor, updates the commissioners about the results of the state’s annual audit of the county.

  • Josh Thomson, County Engineer, and the commissioners discuss how to deal with the fact that under the county re-zone only 15 of the county’s 19 gravel pits will be allowed.

  • Meeting adjourned at 11:50

01.17.2024 BOCC Wed PM



  • Executive session with Prosecutor, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor and Planning Director to discuss a law asserting the right to hold executive sessions. Prosecutor mentions      “overwhelming” incident in child support service which prompted letting 2 employees take rest of day off.

  • Building Dept. report says this year “not far off normal”; new energy code to be adopted but not finalized yet, Wilderness-Urban Interface code required as of March 15th; requiring snow roofs for mobile homes would raise affordable housing issue ; salary boost for most valuable employee requested

  • Okanogan Conservation District representatives present progress on County Wildfire Protection Plan to assess and reduce risk from wildfires, completion planned for June; not a regulatory document but adding acreage to Wilderness Urban Interface will increase funding; Community study reaps 670 responses.

  • Memorandum of Understanding to participate in grizzly restoration environmental impact study approved.

  • PUD proposal for engineering of internet project doesn’t satisfy Board.

  • Brief discussion during minutes approval suggests difference in Lodging Tax applications between Methow and Okanogan valleys; tourism discussed.

· Meeting adjourned at 4:51

01.09.2024 BOH



Because of technical difficuties, the notetaker could only listen to the last part of this meeting.

Summary of Important Discussions:

  • Medical officer says 140 reported overdoses last year, real number probably three times higher; should be more information available in the right places

  • Former Brewster fire chief hired as new Emergency Response Coordinator.

  • Public Health Director Lauri Jones says workers at housing shelter in Okanogan “in over their heads” with people coming at night and complex medical issues.

  • Drug use in jail, long discussion about need for full-time nurses, experienced in mental health, who do more than administer drug treatments, maybe from the west side? “Recovery navigators” recommended, plan for discussion between sheriff and public health actors

01.09.2024 Tues AM BOCC



- Presentation by Wes McCart, Stevens County Commissioner on a new organization National Center for Public Lands Counties) that he is urging Okanogan County to participate in.

- Contract signed to fund WSU Extension Agent

- Discussion about parking lot at new Justice Center

- Discussion about a grant to fund Public Defender

- Public Works update – concern that proposed Zone Code rules around gravel pits will be a problem for the county. All the county pits (and most private ones) would be out of compliance under the proposed new rules.

- Discussion about Whistler Canyon horse unloading site.

- BOCC approves proposal for new Sheriff/Coroner equipment building.

01.09.2024 Tues PM BOCC



Jail commissary to be flagged as retail to eliminate tax-processing chore, no  revenue change, family, friends can make purchases; inmates to get tablets 

• Tonasket district ranger says two timber sales completed on Mt. Hull, last sale  requires winter units; emergency action protocol signed; local contractors sought for  bunkhouse construction and fence rebuilding; Smoky’s birthday to be celebrated  with library story times; collaborative thinning project benefits bighorns; 3,000 acres  of prescribed burn tallied; Conconully roadwork to continue this spring; 2023 was  “good grass year” for livestock; Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) due in  June 

• Board agrees to sign letter to Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife after  Commissioner Hover points to inconsistencies between Conservation Policy Draft;  and state agency’s 25-year plan with regards to hunting and fishing 

• County will pay Methow Arts Alliance’s radio ad bill but group missed deadline for  2024 LTAC (Lodging Tax Advisory Committee) funding 

• Murmur heard about Grainger parking lot and another parking lot needing makeover

01.08.2024 Mon AM BOCC



· Commissioners discuss the possibility of putting a proposal on the ballot to raise the sales tax rate .3%. The proceeds would be shared between the county and the cities and be used to fund new positions in the Sheriff’s Office, 24 hour coverage in two EMS districts and capital expenditures for rural fire districts.

· During public comments, Raven Aae tells the commissioners of her experience as a victim of stalking in the county. She asks the commissioners to create an ombudsman position so that an independent person would handle complaints against the Sheriff’s and Prosecutor’s Offices.

· Commissioners hold two executive sessions under RCW 42.30.110(1)(g)—performance of a public employee, each for 10 minutes. In the first session, Shelley Keitzman of Human Relations is invited, and in the second, Keitzman and Pete Palmer of Planning are included.

· Cari Hall, County Auditor, and Jamie Groomes, Chief Deputy Auditor, discuss how the office will process elections in the next few months. Signature checking will be done where it’s been done in the past, and the ballot processing will be done in the room where Licensing was planning to be.

· Commissioners hold an executive session under RCW 42.30.110(1)(i)—on-going litigation involving land use for 30 minutes and extended to another 30 minutes. Albert Lin, County Prosecutor, Esther Milner Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor and two outside attorneys (Jenna Mandell-Rice and Charlene Kozki of Van Ness Feldman) are included.

Meeting adjourns at 12:33.

01.02.2024 Tues AM BOCC



· Jon Neal Elected BOCC Chair, Andy Hover elected Vice Chair.

· No Public Comment.

· Discussion about how to support Public Lands: wildfire, forest management, wildlife management.

· Finance: some policy changes into the new year, still balancing things out from yearend- 2023, state audit happening, roll out of new software going well with a few issues that have been resolved.

· Risk Management: Horse barn “damage” claim.

· Sheriff and Undersheriff not understanding the budget process timelines, and unhappy about not being notified of final budget, also not getting staff requested – upgrading deputy to lieutenant with commensurate pay – may use stipend for extra duties, also animal control position not approved/funded – but it is not off the table.

· Approved Resolution upgrading some salaries due to minimum wage increase.

12.26.2023 Tues AM BOCC



· Executive Sessions for Employee Evaluations.

· Public Comment: via e-mail, Sheilah Kennedy concerned about the criminal activity along Rodeo Trail Road and Hwy 97 – suggests hiring more deputies instead of constructing the coroner’s building.

· Judge Grimm to make a 'wish' list for technology updates for court. Drafting a letter to State Representatives to support Communications upgrade funding -$3 billion.

· Public Works update: 3rd fire at recycle bin, road conditions quiet, working on Mazama Bridge Project. New part time position in Public Works/Engineering Tech. Board authorizes new Search & Rescue coordinator position,

· Meeting adjourned 11:18

12.19.2023 Tues AM BOCC



· Continued 2024 budget hearing – Budget approved for 2024 – Resolution 206-2023.

· Board made exception of rolling over unused leave over 240 hours into the next year for Building Supervisor.

· Approved Union Contracts for County Court employees and the Sheriff’s Office,

· Public Works update by County Engineer.

· Meeting adjourned 11:30 – not afternoon meeting or Wednesday meeting.

12.18.2023 Mon AM/PM BOCC



  • Commissioners discuss the recent US Fish & Wildlife listing of the lynx as endangered. Commissioner Hover would like the board to make a comment on the proposed plan, noting that wildfire is the biggest threat to lynx habitat.

  • Marie Hines, of Blue Sky Mind, presents her plan to produce a food system assessment of Okanogan County and the Colville Reservation and create a10-year Food Action Plan. She asks the commissioners for $9,500 to go with the $9,500 she hopes to get from Public Health, but the commissioners think that one allocation of $20,000 from the $1,000,000 ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) money that Public Health has received makes more sense.

  • Commissioners hold three executive sessions, each 30 minutes long. Two are under RCW 42.30.110(1)(iii) and one is under RCW 42.30.110(1)(i).

  • Adjourn at 3:13.

12.12.2023 Tues AM BOCC



· Approved county vouchers for $1,089,000. Approved budget supplement appropriation to finish the Goat Creek Bridge project.

· HR/Risk Manager: Performance evaluations getting scheduled, 6 union contracts are ready to ratify. Communications/Dispatch: 12 of 13 positions are filled – improvement from last year at this time. The mobile command vehicle will be delivered this Thursday – this was financed with ARPA monies. We are 2/3 of the way on the new radio project on Pilcher Mountain, also planning for Molson site, and progress being made on equipment building for Sheriff/Coroner.

· County Auditor: Recording fees are going up significantly at the first of the year – these are set by the State, expecting 2 special elections next year, plus the Presidential general election in November. Approval of Resolutions providing 2 bailiff positions in District Court, changing legal secretary to a Records Clerk, adding civil clerk/bailiff in the Prosecutors Office.

· Public Works: not too much road work due to lack of snow, continuing to work on the Sheridan Road issue – will place a county road sign to help with the confusion.

· Meeting adjourned at 11:31, Board of Health this afternoon at 1:30, but no meeting afterwards, nor on Wednesday.

12.12.2023 BOH



  • In public comment, Blue Sky Minds lauded for serving students in need

  • Leadership training in Wenatchee with other NCW counties strengthening management teams

  • Resolution 2023-16 on procurement policy approved to comply with RCW, geared more to large public works projects than public health

  • Health Officer’s salary upped from $125 to $150/hour

  • Approval of $10,000 contract with Blue Sky Minds county hunger assessment tabled until group can present “deliverables” to board members

  • Health Officer’s report signals rising Covid and RSV rates, each totaling 4% of county hospitalizations; State reviewing what could have been done better in reaction to Covid, governor’s approach called “abrasive”

  • Brief discussion on tribal sovereignty; Cmm’r Branch says government not providing what they need

  • End of bookmobile in north a mental health worry

  • Long discussion on mental health crisis: decentralization, staff shortages, “ER becoming a mental health facility”; mental health nurse planned for jail

12.11.2023 Mon AM/PM BOCC



  • Commissioners discuss taking 5% of the Weed and Pest Boards assessments for administrative expenses in the Assessor’s Office and the Treasurer’s Office. Several other districts pay that fee.

  • Commissioners hear a discussion of asbestos abatement in the Court House presented by MJ Neal Associates and Asbestos Central.

  • Commissioners hold a public hearing about a road vacation near the Lost River Airstrip.

  • Commissioners allocate .09 money from a list prioritized by the Infrastructure Committee of the Economic Alliance.

  • The 2024 budget has its final adjustments and is posted on the Commissioners’ website. The public hearing was continued to Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 9:30.

  • Meeting adjourns at 3:29.

12.05.2023 Tues AM



· No Public Comment.

· Budget Session for Prosecuting Attorney's Office: Pay increase for staff and creating a new position. Approved resolutions with wage changes.

· Public Hearings on Utility Franchises: Oroville and Elmer City.

· Public Works update: quite a bit of overtime due to snowy road conditions. Problems with Cougar Creek Road/Sheridan Road names and on Google Maps. Purchase of truck and snowplow between departments for the fairgrounds.

· Meeting adjourned at 12:02 until the afternoon session.

12.05.2023 Tues PM BOCC



  • Juvenile Services budget reviewed, CASA (court-appointed special advocates) grants, U of W homelessness project grant received; services headed for deficit in 2025 at current expenditures

  • Sheriff to receive new vehicle for $45,800

  • Office closures starting noon the Friday before Christmas to allow for county employees’ party

  • Computer services paid $143,479 for warranties this year, exceeding budget by $40,000

  • New cameras partially funded through ARPA to equip hearing room

  • Sheriff’s budget: search and rescue post approved, animal control post possibly to be jointly financed with cities

  • City of Okanogan to decide on an annexation hearing to prepare for new juvenile correctional facility on Justice Center site

  • Meeting adjourned at 3:10

12.04.2023 Mon AM/PM BOCC



  • During the Planning Department update, the Commissioners review the schedule for the zone code revision, hear about two non-conforming lots, the Methow Watershed Foundation’s proposal to hire a consultant and attend a conference. Also, they make plans for the public hearing this evening in Oroville for Lake Osoyoos’ Lake Management District.

  • Brent Trimm updates the Commissioners about the sale of livestock at the Fair. The total amount of payout to the kids was $651,520.12.

  • Commissioners are finalizing the 2024 county budget. The draft budget is now available to view on their website. The public hearing about the budget will continue on Monday, Dec. 11 in the afternoon.

  • Commissioners adjourn at 3:35

11.29.2023 Wed AM/PM BOCC



· New fairgrounds manager asks for $25,000 increase, prioritizes repair over replacement of dilapidated buildings, starting with horse barn; aims at more “common involvement”, fundraisers, advertising; new water system must be done in time for fair

· Treasurer and Auditor urge conservatism in estimating interest from general obligations bond

· District Court upgrading legal assistant post; annual replacement of evidence rulebook and courtroom rulebook for three courtrooms a necessity, price tag: $12,000; probation officer salary puts budget in the red, broader analysis of duties could qualify post for opiate settlement money

· New flooring to replace worn carpets in courthouse

· Auditor’s budget includes restoring historical documents and recording them online, replacement of election equipment in case of malfunction

· Treasurer discusses bond payment transfers, final Eastlake sewer bond payment next June

· ARPA fund recipients listed, Commissioner Hover says they need more projects, Commissioner Branch says equity issues part of the ARPA law and that they “didn’t do that”

· Branch raises subject of vehicles for Court to be in user’s name, contrary to other vehicles registered in name of county; Hover objects, Branch says keep an open mind

· Meeting adjourned at 4:02 p.m.

11.28.2023 Tues PM BOCC



· Budget work sessions for the Coroner’s Office, County Fair, and Veterans.

· WATV Club proposes opening some back roads to ATVs; Methow Forest Ranger in meeting to discuss with BOCC the possibility of connecting county roads and Forest Service roads in a more comprehensive trail system. Decision made to focus on 3 different trails and AH to meet with Methow Valley Trails Collaborative group at next meeting to begin discussion.

· Resolution approved adding Thanksgiving Eve to a list of office holiday closures.

· Adjourn 5:00. BOCC to meet on Wednesday at 9:00 AM.

11.28.2023 Tues AM



· No public comment

· BOCC authorized dispatch/Sheriff’s Office to purchase vehicle from Seattle for under $55,000, HR/Risk Manager: updates BOCC on vehicle purchase and employee evaluations have been sent out. Assessor Update: recap of costs this year and increases for next year; also describes 2 options for changing levy/ budgeting amounts; Levy shift or Diversion. Budget work sessions for WSU Extension along with information on what office is doing.

· Public Works: waiting for snow – noticing less expenditures due to no significant snow yet, notes transfer agents with Solid Waste are always using overtime, looking for land for new pit – preferably in the North County, also surplus parcel for sale.

· Meeting adjourned at 11:24. Will reconvene at 1:00.

11.27.2023 Mon AM/PM BOCC



  • Commissioners finalize the 2024 budget for many departments.

  • Pete Palmer, Planning Director, updates the commissioners on her schedule for updating the zoning code.

  • Commissioners and Sheriff Budrow discuss creating new positions for a Search and Rescue position, an Animal Control Officer and two deputies. The sheriff is concerned that if the department is not fully staffed, the county is opening itself up to lawsuits.

  • Adjourn for the day at 5:03.

11.21.23 Tues BOH/BOCC



  • Notes begin with BOH meeting followed by PM BOCC session.

  • Courthouse offices closing at 2:00 on Thanksgiving eve.

  • Discussion with Okanogan County Homeless Coalition for current solutions and recommendations for spending/focus in 2024.

  • 5% wage increase for non-bargaining County employees.

  • Budgeting sessions with finance committee and Superior Court and Prosecuting Attorney office – requests for more staff and wage increases.

  • Cost over-runs on Lower Goat Creek Bridge repairs.

  • Meeting adjourned 5:50.

11.20.2023 Mon PM BOCC



- Karen Beatty gives update on status of technology used by the County (phone system, website, etc.)

- AVID board discusses financial situation with County Financial Committee. They have been using registered warrants, which cannot continue.

11.20.23. Mon AM BOCC



  • Several times during the meeting, the commissioners discuss the issue of funding the Sheriff’s proposal for two new deputies for traffic control.

  • Pete Palmer, Director of Planning, met with five employees of the Department of Ecology and discussed applications for water rights files years ago but never acted upon. DOE will review them and most likely they will be denied.

  • Meeting adjourned at 11:26

11.13.2023 Mon AM/PM BOCC



  • Before a discussion of the Sheriff’s Department’s budgets, Sheriff Budrow asks for clarification on several issues.Why there are no insurance benefits for families of non-union employees in the department.
    Why the sheriff doesn’t have the two traffic patrol officers he feels are required.
    Why the Patrol Division wasn’t increased when the Tonasket contract was signed.

  • Commissioners discuss budgets for Maintenance and Noxious Weeds.

  • Adjourn at 4:45.

11.07.2023 Tues PM BOCC



  • Three people from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) update the commissioners on their plan to close parts of the Methow Wildlife Areas from Dec. 15 to Mar. 31 to help improve mule deer habitat.

  • The commissioners learn from Pam Johnson, County Treasurer that the Aeneas Lake Irrigation District has amassed approximately $300,000 in debt. The irrigation district commissioners will meet with the county commissioners on Nov. 20 to discuss remedies to the situation.

  • The commissioners would like to speak with Barbara Walters, Executive Director of the North Central Washington Libraries, about bookmobile service is the county. She didn’t talk about cuts to the service when she spoke to them on Oct. 16.

11.07.23 Tues AM BOCC



· Senator Murray appropriated $3million for the Communications Center.

· No Public Comment.

· Finance Committee: budget discussion; appropriating revenue from investment income ($770,000), and other budget line items.

· 6 Public hearings on Budget Supplemental Appropriations.

· Public Works update: readying for winter weather, discussion of Similkameen trail, and other recreational trails. County owned parcel of land .16 acre unusable – easement requested. County Engineer drawing map with DOT regarding whether roads are rural or urban. Address issue on Cougar Creek Road; Sheridan, east and west forks of the Creek Rd. Board considers putting money into the County Trail system.

· Meeting adjourned at 12:14

11.06.2023 Mon AM/PM BOCC



- Fairgrounds considering waiving fees for certain organizations.

- DOE has identified 13 properties that are illegally in the flood plain. County has sent letters

- There will be a new chapter in the County Code (#19) to address enforcement on land use issues

- New software for tracking building permits will be coming online soon.

- County Clerk gives presentation on what her office does.

- OBHC report. Retention of employees is improving, still have work to do.

- Discussion about grizzly bear re-introduction and wildlife management in general.

- Work on budget for Emergency Mgmt Dist and others.

10.30.2023 Mon AM BOCC



- Discussion about procedure for forming a new Lake Management District for the purpose of treating lake Osoyoos for milfoil.

- Introduction of new Fairgrounds Facilities Manager, including discussion of salary and responsibilities, and relationship with Fair Advisory Committee (FAC)

10.23.2023 Mon AM BOCC



  • Commissioners have a long discussion with people from the Forest Service, Methow Trails, the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, and the Methow Valley Trails Collaborative concerning new trails, wildlife, overuse and improving outdoor recreation opportunities in the north county.

  • Adjourn at 11:48.

10.18.2023 Wed AM/PM BOCC



The Commissioners held five budget work sessions.

03:15—Budget Work Session, Clerk’s Office, Susan Speiker

44:40—Budget Work Session, Emergency Management, Maurice Goodall

1:50:40—Budget Work Session, Planning, Pete Palmer

Adjourn for lunch at 12:10

2:55:35—Budget Work Session, Treasurer, Pam Johnson

3:31:10—Budget Work Session, Assessor, Larry Gilman

4:19:35—Budget Work Session, Building, Dan Higbee

Adjourn for the day at 4:19

10.17.2023 Tues PM BOCC



Security firm to be hired and firearms to be banned when events at the Agriplex include alcohol; new rules discussed after someone shot hole in bathroom wall during weekend event where alcohol was served

Building permits down, predictably, following a few “quite crazy” years; permitting software aimed at consolidating data and providing integrative maps still not up and running, training required; Commissioner Branch hints at inaction on the part of Planning

• Weeds eradicated at Walker Creek and Palmer Mt. fire control areas, the Carlton Complex, and Crawfish Lake; Weed Board collaborating with Colville Tribe; ballot to collect from Osoyoos Lake Management Group discussed; milfoil treated at Spectacle and Whitestone.

• Meeting adjourned at 2:48 until Wednesday morning.

10.17.2023 Tues AM BOCC



· No Public Comment.

· Discussion of healthy sustainable economical food system with Blue Sky Minds founder Maria Hines; local farm to table options.

· Finance Committee: Coroner found a 2nd vehicle that money has been earmarked for - 2022 Chevrolet Silverado $39,702 -approved. Investment income, budgeting strategies, more budgeting on Wednesday.

· Public Works: grading roads and culvert cleaning – readying for winter. Current and planned projects.

· Adjourn for lunch – 11:34.

10.16.2023 Mon AM/PM BOCC



  • Maurice Goodall, Emergency Management explains why the Forest Service can do a prescribed burn during a time of burn restrictions when a private citizen can’t burn his slash pile.

  • Barbara Walters, Executive Director of the North Central Washington Libraries updates the Commissioners about what the library has done in the past year. Commissioner Neal is concerned about several libraries’ wifi late at night attracting people you don’t want around. BW will look into the situation.

  • Commissioners pass a motion to use $500,000 of the ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) earmarked for broadband to help fund the Okanogan PUD’s Conconully broadband project.

  • Meeting adjourns at 2:54.

10.10.2023 BOH



• State audit results in two minor findings

• Community assessment planned

• Tim Hargraves, Jody Ogden and Jill Gates to receive pay grade increases

• Pay scale and longevity hikes approved to ensure retention of qualified workers

• Medical officer says Covid numbers stable, one recent death; Increases in RSV

and flu reported by State, new vaccines target high-risk populations, no “massvax”

events planned; discussion on broadening water testing for diseases in

sewage systems, Omak might benefit; need for more efficient renewal of

certification for long-term care-givers

• November meeting scheduled for third Tuesday instead of second

LJ asks to add to the agenda a discussion on the employee handbook and on

adjusting the salaries of three employees.

10.10.2023 Tues AM BOCC



· 50-minute executive session for potential/ongoing litigation, including HR/Risk Manager, Chief Civil Deputy, and Planning Director.

· Budget Work Session with Auditor, Treasurer, and Finance Manager,

· Continuing conversation with the Consultant regarding construction on Sheriffs/Coroner Building. Solid Waste Update: Pond liner is completed, Department of Ecology grant awarded to County.

· Public Works Update: 3 construction projects with some problems; Cameron Lake Road – continue to work on right of way with the Tribe, Twisp River Road – Federal rules have changed and need to consult with Fisheries, Foster Mountain Bridge work with LTAC funding – not going to happen this year. Greenacres Road project nearly complete. Completing sale of old pit with WDFW, and the purchase of Mazama property with the Methow Conservancy. There are 35 applications pending for LTAC funding.

· Meeting adjourned at 12:02. Health Dept meeting at 1:30, along with afternoon business.

10.10.2023 Tues PM BOCC



· Budget workshop covers: Courthouse matching funds grant re-allocation of $750,000, work already done includes architectural assessment, geothermal in jail; fairgrounds improvement costs of $33,593; financing courthouse security­–moving the licensing office, bullet-proof countertops, $140,000 single point entry project; bond totaling $12,194,119 requires annual payments of $522,000, generates around $540,000 yearly in interest; $300,000 allocated for HVAC project at Virginia Grainger; new budget must adjust for 13% Sheriff’s office wage hike

· Oroville EMS agreement approved

· Fairgrounds has new employee in training

· Brief mention of expense and revenue implications of water banking

· Meeting adjourned at 4:54

10.09.2023 Mon AM/PM BOCC



  • BOCC, Cari Hall (County Auditor),Pam Johnson (County Treasurer), Mike Worden (Dispatch Center) and Sheriff Paul Budrow review the Communications budgets for 2024.

  • Pete Palmer (Planning Director) and Esther Milner (Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor) discuss finalizing the zone code revision with the commissioners. They are hoping to have it all wrapped up by the end December. EM suggests using the enforcement section of Clallam County’s zone code as a basis for enforcement in Okanogan County.

  • The meeting adjourns for the day at 3:36 PM.

10.03.2023 Tues AM BOCC



· Executive Session regarding potential and ongoing litigation.

· Letter of intent approved to Dept of Transportation regarding Rodeo Trail Drive.

· 4 applications – so far, for Fairgrounds Manager position- deadline is this Friday.

· Colville Tribe planted 30 buffalo on the Reservation – gift from the Kalispell Tribe.

· Meeting Adjourned at 11:37. No afternoon session or Wednesday meeting.

10.02.2023 Mon PM BOCC



- Discussion on changes to code regarding Special use districts

- Discussion on changes to code regarding Airport Overlay and Safety

- Discussion on changes to code regarding pre-existing non-conforming lots

10.02.2023 Mon AM BOCC



  • Dennis Rabidou, Superior Court Administrator and Opioid Abatement Council liaison for the county, reports on the newly organized multi-county Opioid Abatement Council. The council was established because of the Blake Decision which could bring the county approximately $50,000/year for the next 15 years. The commissioners and DR discuss how to form a county-wide committee to advise the BOCC how to spend its Blake Decision money.

  • Scott Graham, CEO of Three Rivers Hospital, makes a presentation to the commissioners about the upcoming ballot initiative for $72,000,000 to replace the old hospital with a modern one.

  • Meeting adjourned for lunch at 12:01.

9.26.23 Tues AM BOCC



· Superior Court Judge Hank Rawson is being forced into retirement due to state law, due to his age (75), by the end of this year. The Governor will appoint his replacement. He thanks BOCC for his opportunities of working together.  Commissioners ask him to  weigh in on a current lawsuit that 22 counties have signed onto:  forcing DSHS to act on mental health crisis and how it impacts courts and jails. Staffing shortages at Juvenile and working on Opioid Abatement Council.

· Weed Office Staff get upgrades/reclassification.

· Mazama Advisory Board, working on the Methow Valley Sub Unit A, requests financial help to get planning services and other needs as they are essentially part of the County government.

· Public Works: Tonasket Shop to be completed in November, Twisp Shop to be completed in January. Some discussion of Cow Creek off Texas Creek – whether is a County Road.

· Adjourned 11:38

9.26.2023 Tues PM BOCC



·  Administrative secretary for commissioners’ office verbally approved

·  Signing authority granted to Juvenile administrator

·  Meeting with department heads canceled due to absences; commissioners glad for chance to address “certain issues” first

·  Homebuilders Association rep compliments commissioners on their mindset, commissioner’s later decry excessive codes that stall affordable housing initiatives.

·  Board Clerk advises commissioners to read resolution relative to homeless housing funding; will continue research, report on how this affects county

·  Approval to submit WSDA application for capital improvement grant funds based on the Well and Water Project at the fairgrounds

·  Meeting adjourned at 2:52 until 4:45 for public hearing on speed limit change

9.25.2023 Mon AM BOCC



  • Maurice Goodall, Emergency Management and the commissioners have a short discussion about fire escape routes other than the highways. MG points out that escaping to a large alfalfa field can be a successful plan.

  • Commissioners and Pete Palmer, Planning Director, have a long discussion about Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), density, minimum lot size, water availability, the housing shortage, overnight rentals and zoning.

  • Meeting adjourns at 12:24.

9.19.2023 Tues PM BOCC



  • Three employees’ salaries re-evaluated in light of additional duties : Anna Burika, Lanie Johns and Beth Barker,

  • Elmway surface to ground water project discussed, drinking water to improve

  • Zaga Construction approved to do Courthouse annex re-roofing and elevator shaft work

  • Funds allocated for Nespelem water tower replacement

  • Emergency Manager to be compensated for temporary assignment of fair administration duties

  • Disaster emergency funds sought to reimburse Cedar Creek Fire damage

  • Additional $360,000 granted to Dispatch for multi radio band installation on Pitcher Mt.; Lifeline being connected to system

  • Commissioners informally discuss accessory dwellings, will add topic to forthcoming agenda

  • Second part of pubic hearing with Conservation District head backed up by Assessor yields approval of rate and fee hikes; public participant points out financial crunch for those grazing livestock; Commissioners  Hover and Neil laud group’s innovative practices and visible results

  • Commissioners bite the bullet and vote to pay a particularly expensive plumbing bill from Mark’s Plumbing.

9.19.2023 Tues AM BOCC



· Looking into upgrading the water system at the fairgrounds.

· Finance meeting with Auditor and Treasurer; determining policy when there are items leftover from surplus auction, fairgrounds revenues and expenditures/budget.

· Public Works: construction on shop buildings going slow – need to be finished by winter, update on Greenacres Road project, need to update CAMS software as specific to Ok Co Public Works, Recreation/planning position is hired.

· Board putting together a committee to help prioritize Fairgrounds projects.

· Adjourn at 11:47

9.18.2023 Mon AM BOCC



  • Pete Palmer, Planning Director updates the commissioners on problems with their new software system to track building permits. Brightly, the software company says that migrating the data from the old system isn’t included in the contract and the additional cost to include it will be $13,656. They decide that Commissioner Branch, Pete Palmer, Rocky Robins of the Planning Department, Melissa Eylar from the Building Department and Esther Milner, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor will discuss the situation with Brightly during a phone call.

  • Maurice Goodall, Emergency Management and Shelley Keitzman, Human Resources and Risk Management discuss with the commissioners drawing up a plan for prioritizing maintenance and repairs at the fairgrounds.

  • Meeting adjourns at 12:24.

9.12.23 BOH



  • Accountability audit third and final step in $24,000 complete audit; Consolidated Contract provides increase of over $1M

  • Staff benefiting from team building sessions

  • Search is on for Local Emergency Response Coordinator

  • Administrative aid granted to Environmental Health

  • Employee handbook updated to reflect current laws, increase readability

  • Covid numbers up but hospitalizations low; new vaccine arriving soon

  • New RSV treatment available for high-risk infants

  • Overdose calls to 911 set to top last year’s

9.12.23 Tues PM BOCC



  • Re-routing of elevator shaft in Courthouse Annex to be contracted

  • Sally Bowles bowing out of Board of Equalization

  • Authority of Kathleen Decoteaux (Juvenile Court) extended and stipend approved for youth-in-court housing stability program duties.

  • Commissioner Hover has Board approve resolution subjecting department agreements of over $5,000 to review by Board instead of by department administrators, routinely attributed that role

  • Meeting ends at 4:50 without formal adjournment.

9-12-23 Tues AM BOCC



· Budget discussions.

· Public Comment: JoAnn Dagnon thanks the BOCC for the expanded Veteran/Senior parking at the fair & expressed concern over the safety of the bleachers, especially for Senior Citizens. Ruth Hall also commented about the safety of the bleachers and need for a cover.

· Discussion of disbursement of Title III funds with the Conservation District staff and Sheriff’s Office Staff (Search & Rescue)- Community Wildfire Protection Plan needs to be approved before ability to apply for other firefighting project funds.

· BOCC votes to help City of Nespelem with their Slope Stabilization Project funding gap of $270,000 – Contractor is ready to move on this project – hope to get it done before a major flood happens. Discussion of how to fund Goat Creek Bridge Project and the Mazama Bridge land purchase with DOT.

· Continued Public Hearing on the Road Vacation within the Plat of Monse – parties agreed, approved. Public Works update: request by ATV Club for some other road openings for ATV's

· Adjourned for Lunch at 11:47.

9.11.23 Mon AM/PM BOCC



  • Maurice Goodall, Emergency Management, reports on his efforts at the Fair this year. He will make a prioritized list of things needed to be done the fairgrounds.

  • In a public hearing, the Okanogan Conservation District makes its case to raise its rates and charges for the next ten years. The commissioners decide to continue the hearing on September 19 to consider new wording in the resolution to raise the rates.

  • Roni Holder-Diefenbach of the Economic Alliance and representatives from several cities discuss with the commissioners their plan for making allocations on a three-year cycle.

09.05.2023 Tues PM BOCC



• Resolution 117-2023 approved, ends the 40%-40% city-county split for .09 infrastructure fund spending

• Grant-funded stipend to go to Juvenile Court Administrative Services Manager to continue addition work, necessary for County-U of W partnership regarding youth homelessness

• Tonasket Ranger District report covers

- Crater Cr. fire, now winding down, most Pasayten closures ending by this weekend

- timber sales stewardship program with clause for road maintenance

- possible marking of dead end roads, in reply to Commisioner Neil’s question.

- North Fork Salmon Cr. road work progresses; price upwards of $1.7M

- using local contractors vs. relying on county for emergencies; FS wants “emergency agreement” with County recruiting for many sorts of full-time positions

09.05.2023 Tues AM BOCC



· Public Comment: Isabelle Spohn is looking for an update on last Wednesday's Emergency Management meeting; JN attended and responded was for Emergency Management board and poor attendance. Multi Hazards Mitigation Plan was not discussed.

· Briefly discussed Community Wildfire Plan.

· Finance Report: Treasurer, Auditor, and Finance Manager; discussed Fair finances and other budgeting matters. Board decided to let high school age teenagers in for free on Thursday.

· HR/Risk Manager: fall symposium on risk management will be attended by a jail staff member. Rate change from Public Employee Benefits Board (PEBB) only 2.75%, down from 14% last year.

· Public Works: purchase of DOT property with Methow Conservancy expected to be completed by the end of the year – needs to be sorted out. Solid Waste will have booth at the fair again. Discussion of hours and low usage at Twisp Transfer Station. Interesting discussion of what to do with Lithium-Ion batteries in electric vehicles – highly combustible.

· Meeting adjourned at 11:21, will return at 1:30.

08.29.2023 Tues AM BOCC



· Public Comment: Isabelle Spohn explains minimal public input on Multi Hazards Mitigation Plan (MHMP). Too short of notice. Isabelle asks about the Emergency Management meeting scheduled for tomorrow – will there be public input there? She received the Public Records regarding Community Fire Plan and MHMP. Ruth Hall notes this rain should bring fire risk down and help with current firefighting efforts. Ruth asks about whether tomorrow's meeting might be good for input from the Chiliwist Firewise Group regarding ingress and egress in case of fire.

· HR/Risk Manager/Auditor Update- Increasing long term employee’s pay grade.

· County Fair Issues: Stella Columbia, Maurice Goodall, the Chris Branch for chain of command. BOCC voted to give CB authority to make decisions regarding fairgrounds. The last couple of years, the fair has cost more money than it has taken in – BOCC trying to build up the fair – as celebration of Okanogan County.

· District Court Staffing- struggling to keep staff, staff burnout. Discussed increasing pay grades, overtime budget. Will compare with other counties for ideas.

· Public Works: Public Meeting held with residents of Barnholt Loop Road to consider decreasing speed limit to 25 MPH from 35 MPH – County Engineer instructed to prepare for a public hearing.

· Adjourns at 11:58 until 1:30 in the afternoon.

08.29.2023 Tue PM BOCC



Summary of Discussion with Cortner Architectural Co. about utilities on Justice Center site:

  • Bid bond recommended to insure performance and payment

  • New water and power lines will mean temporary disconnection of services

  • Annexation pending for juvenile facility construction

  • Warehouse building to be removed to fairgrounds

  • Sewer lines to be redesigned, loop eliminated

  • Direct-buried electric cable to be replaced by conduit-covered cable

  • New parking in front planned for better security

  • Meeting planned September 11th to “dovetail” plans with project architect MJ Neal

  • meeting adjourned at 2:39

08.28.2023 Mon AM/PM BOCC



  • Commissioners discuss reviewing and updating the Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan, including reviewing action items and insuring roads that could be used for escape from fire are signed accurately.

  • Pete Palmer, Planning Director, and the commissioners discuss possible fixes for unpermitted buildings.

  • Roni Holder-Diefenbach, Okanogan Economic Alliance, shows the commissioners her draft policy for funding projects. She also tells the commissioners about how the BATs (Broadband Access Teams) have been able to secure large grants from multiple sources to fund broadband in Okanogan County.

  • Maurice Goodall, Emergency Management and Stella Columbia, Acting Fairgrounds Manager, and the commissioners hash out multiple issues that need to be resolved before the Fair begins September 7.

  • Meeting adjourns at 3:44.

8.22.2023 Tues AM BOCC



· Public Comment: Gil Barouk questioned the fees assessed by contractor on jail inmates' monies. Purchasing portable lighting from the PUD.

· HR/Risk Manager: Board passes resolution hiring Stella Columbia as interim fair facilities manager. County employees are helping out at the fair.

· Purchase of land from DOT, along with the Methow Conservancy.

· Monse Road Vacation Public Hearing continued for official agreement amongst all parties.

· Public Works:  Approval of fair contracts, and general discussion of fairground needs before the upcoming fair.

8.21.2023 Mon AM BOCC



· Steve Kelly, who addressed the BOCC three weeks ago about inmates in the jail and their friends being taken advantage of financially, asks for an update on the situation. The commissioners will talk to the Sheriff about the situation.

· Pete Palmer, Planning Director discusses problems with compliance to Conditional Use Permits and permits in general. She refers the Commissioners to an article in the Omak Republic, an on-line publication.

· Isabelle Spohn asks the commissioners when the yearly review of the county’s Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan will be complete. They passed Resolution 89-2022 on July 12, 2022, calling for the plan’s implementation and yearly review.

· Esther Milner, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor, updates the commissioners about her proposed revisions the Okanogan County Code3.04 and 3.04A—Real Estate Excise Tax.

· Meeting adjourns for the day at 11:05

08.15.2023 Tues PM BOCC



- Fish and Wildlife announces plans to acquire shrub steppe near Chesaw, riverside south of Oroville; two Methow properties less attractive due to grazing and maintenance difficulty, one is for conservation easement; improvements scheduled for Spectacle and Green lakes; winter wildlife area closures envisioned in Methow; Conservation Corps coming for 27 weeks

- Fairgrounds horse barn gets $47,000 for repairs

-“Backfill” necessary following fairgrounds manager’s resignation, list includes rv bathroom fixture repairs, unclogging sewer line plug, assigning post-fair garbage duty




-MJ Niel’s plan offers an addition to the back of the building to provide more

space for the clerk’s office and court administrators

-A shared single point entry holds sway over separate main entrances for the

future juvenile facility and the court complex

-The Sally port entrance should be from the front of the building for security


08.15.2023 Tues AM BOCC



· Maintenance department helping staff to get ready for the Fair.

· Public Comment:  Isabelle Spohn  had questions/comments regarding long overdue updating of the 2013 Community Wildfire Protection Plan and promised yearly review of the 2022 All Hazards Mitigation Plan  (AHMP) for Okanogan County, especially in light of the devastation and breakdown of  mitigation plans in Maui, Hawaii. Ruth Hall asks if the Staff Report for the Monse Road Vacation request is available, with the hearing scheduled for August 22nd.

· Central Services: Discuss computer upgrades.

· Fire by Wannacut Lake.

· Discuss transfer of DOT property in Mazama to County ownership, working with the Conservancy and considering shoreline policy.

· Finance Committee: (Treasurer, Auditor and Finance Manager) Cash on hand, expenditures, and receipts from July.

· County Engineer: maintenance and road condition, status of current projects, guardrail repair from Eagle Bluff Fire going out to bid. Staff report for Monse Road Vacation should be available this Thursday. Public Records Request needed. Barnholt Loop speed limit change. Meeting is scheduled and residents notified.

· Meeting adjourned at 11:37 for lunch, working lunch with consultants.

8.14.2023 Mon AM BOCC



  • Maurice Goodall, Emergency Management, Joe Poulin, Maintenance Supervisor and Laney Johns, Clerk of the Board give brief updates to Commissioners Branch and Neal. Commissioner Hover goes to look at the Fairgrounds.

  • Pano AI Wildfire Detection System makes a presentation to the commissioners about their services.

  • Commissioners hold three short executive sessions, two concerning impending litigation and one concerning the performance of an employee.

  • Meeting adjourns at 12:25.

08.09.2023 Wed PM BOCC



 Rick Balam of the Sheriff’s Department updates the commissioners about last week’s Court House emergency. The postal inspectors, the FBI, Cari Hall (County Auditor) and the Sheriff all agree that it was probably an accidental event and to continue to investigate would be a waste of resources. 

 After an executive session including Esther Milner, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor and Shelley Keitzman of Human Resources and Risk Management, the commissioners accept the resignation letter of Naomie Peasley, Fairgrounds Manager. 

 Meeting adjourns at 4:52.

8.08.2023 BOH



- Fall prevention classes offered to low-income seniors

Passage of an inter-local agreement giving legal framework to cross-county support and collaboration

- Maryann Williams relays gleanings from national local boards of health conference in Tacoma

- Covid hospitalizations up, increased vigilance in health care settings, one death reported

- Bat concerns addressed

- Record set for opioid overdose calls to 911; two “drug houses” destroyed

- Libraries offer clean-air spaces for fleeing wildfire smoke;  vigilance encouraged

- Board of Health envisioning creation of finance committee to tackle revision of salaries; new employee sought to deal with emergencies, will cooperate with Emergency Management

- Building permits down in Methow, up in north of county

- Meeting adjourned at 2:32

8.08.2023 Tues AM BOCC



• Water problems at the County Fairgrounds. 

• Bids come in for Tunk Mountain facility -fire hardening project.  

• Treasurer Update: closing office September 21 for all staff training, and administrative leave  approved for while Courthouse closed due to suspicious substance found. 

• An Opiate Settlement representative needed from our County; possibly Jail Administrator and  Chris Branch as an alternative. 

• Meeting adjourned 12:06 – will not reconvene after the Public Health meeting.

8.07.2023 Mon AM BOCC



  • Naomie Peasley and the BOCC discuss how to fix the water situation at the Fairgrounds—both in the long and short term. The Stampede is next weekend and the well no longer produces any water. They also discuss necessary repairs not included in the budget that must happen before the Fair.

  • Maurice Goodall, Emergency Management updates the BOCC on the recent fires and road closures and the Court House emergency.

  • BOCC adjourns for the day at 11:00.

8.1.2023 Tues PM BOCC



  • Sheriff’s office gets grant for live scan fingerprint equipment -Contract approved to pay Aspect up to $11,000, reimbursable by the Ecology grant it will help  write, to oversee with the Conservation District and the County the establishment of a water  bank, taking the agricultural component into consideration; Aspect will co-manage the bank and  work on acquiring the Pine Creek water right.

  • Representatives from Behavioral Health, the Courts and law enforcement meet with the Board  to discuss the four-county Regional Diversion Work Group and ways it might spend opiate  settlement money; a group, Connections, proposes to conduct an assessment to identify priorities  and solutions; the idea of a NCW mental health jail facility sparks enthusiasm; a second  settlement of $50,000 to be added to initial payment of $89,000; a well-planned project essential,  says Branch, before the council would solicit any funds from the legislature.

8.1.2023 Tues AM BOOC



· Due to requirements under the ARPA Program, the Lower Goat Creek bridge project may need to be paid for out of different funding.

· No public comment.

· Staff from Information Systems Department requesting purchase of a databank back up service through Dell Computer to alleviate the load on current system – approved for $59,024. This will help for future growth also.

· Finance Committee – Scheduled future meeting to discuss fairgrounds expenses that have increased in the last 10 years.  County getting ready to start work on the Sheriff's/Coroners building and still awaiting Opioid Settlement monies.

· Update from Communications Chief Deputy: conditional use permit approved by City of Okanogan for Sheriffs/Coroners Bldg. Working on dispatch budget and staffing. Emergency Services Manager: report on Eagle Bluff Fire – still 2 hot areas.

· Update from Solid Waste: upcoming grant-funded recycling project.

· Public Works update:  Some discussion regarding participating in an Intercept Program with the Homeless.

· Meeting adjourned 11:49 until 1:30 pm

7.31.2023 Mon AM BOCC



  • Naomie Peasley, Fairgrounds Manager, updates the commissioners about towable light towers the county could buy from the PUD and issues with the well at the RV Park. The commissioners have a plan to remove all the surplus items currently being stored in the Goat Barn by the end of the week.

  • Meeting adjourns at 9:45.

7.25.2023 Tues AM BOCC



· Discussion with WSU Extension and County Auditor regarding changes in billing year for WSU invoices.

· No meeting on Wednesday.

· HR/Risk Manager reports on Risk Pool Conference: 40% increase in liability premiums, 4%-10% increase in property insurance. In spite of bad news, our county is doing much than others. Also, organizing safety/security committee with all departments represented. Would like to have a building-wide PA system to notify all people when needed, and smoke alarms needed. Group to meet quarterly (next meeting is October 2023) and will bring draft of changes back to the Board. Budget Supplement public hearing to use $85,000 in ARPA funds for the Lower Goat Creek Bridge repairs. - part of the Methow Valley Trail system.

· Public Works update by County Engineer: Landfill construction moving along, Tonasket shop is beginning steel work today, landfill construction project contract issues got worked out. Chip seal is the main project. Working on Barnholt Loop speed reduction request by 11 people who signed a petition. BOCC wants more information and would like to schedule an informal meeting to get affected people to give their opinions. Engineer expects he might need to continue the research on the Monse Plat Road Vacation as some issues have come up that have made it difficult, also working on the OCOG/Trail position. There is one GIS position open, Solid waste and the road have some open positions.

Adjourned at 11:54. No afternoon session.

7.24.2023 Mon AM BOCC



  • Steve Kelly gives comments concerning inmates in the jail. People who use the ATM to put money in the inmate’s commissary account pay a 10% fee, which Mr. Kelly thinks is too high. Also, his friend for whom the money was intended didn’t receive the money in his account due to being charged for a hospital bill. Finally, Mr. Kelly would like to see face-to-face visits resume because Covid restrictions are over. Commissioner Branch will look into the situation.

  • Naomie Peasley, Fairgrounds Manager, says the 40 horse stalls will arrive on Tuesday but they may not get erected until after the Fair. She and the commissioners also discuss the possibility of moving a metal building from the Justice Center site to the Fairgrounds to replace the condemned Commercial Building.

  • Joe Poulin, Maintenance Supervisor says he’s received a quote to replace the HVAC units on the Granger and Administration Buildings totals $416,766.

  • Commissioners discuss who has jurisdiction for public health regulations for a trailer park on fee land on the reservation. Commissioner Branch suggest the county enter into a memorandum of understand with the tribal council about this issue.

  • Meeting adjourns at 10:46

7.18.2023 Tues PM BOCC



·  Building director announces decrease in permit applications; CB’s quip about yurts sparks discussion of temporary occupancy permit, lengthened under former Environmental Health director from 30 to 60 days to increase permit revenue, allowing septic but no well-drilling

·  Denise Varner approved as Board of Health council-member representative

·  Weed treatment needed on state lands, BOCC will sign a letter urging participation; milfoil treatment going forward on Osoyoos, Spectacle, state funds requested to do Conconully; department still short-staffed

·  Housing discussed at length with Omak planner Kurt Danison and Economic Alliance director; EA projects to include feasibility studies, selection process ends August 26th; cleaning-up of run-down homes a priority, County should buy some to provide affordable housing; policy needed

·  Public Defender requests another attorney, Blake cases cited

·  Emergency Manager discusses overtime for “call-out” work, alternatives discussed

7-18-2023 Tues AM



· Problems with irrigation water at the fairgrounds – considering purchasing a water right for the fire.  Public Comment: Ruth Hall thanks CB for the Monse Plat map for the upcoming road vacation and concern of the Sheriffs request for 2% sales tax for public safety.

· Finance Committee Meeting: cash on hand, revenue, expenditures, and investments. Discussion regarding Junior Districts requirements.

· Public Hearings: Waterline Franchise Renewal-Gebbers Cattle LTD – to water stock and Utility Franchise for Colville Confederated Tribes IT.

· Public Works Update from County Engineer.

· Meeting Adjourned at 11:26.

7.17.2023 Mon AM BOCC



  • Sheriff Budrow proposes an increase of .2% in the county’s sales tax to fund public safety expenses. The increase would sunset in eight years. He’d like the proposal to be on the ballot this November. The commissioners feel there isn’t enough time to plan a budget for the new funds or to get public input for a tax increase. Sheriff Budrow will do more due diligence and the commissioners will consider a sales tax increase on the ballot sometime in 2024.

  • The meeting adjourns for the day at 10:19.

7.11.2023 BOH Tues PM



- Amendment passed to allocate $5,600 to improve childhood vaccination rates

- Foundational funds requested for “a true substance abuse prevention program” and to hire administrative help for Environmental Health director

- Short discussion on  “hit and miss” aspect of  food and other permits for reservation entities

- Health Officer says opioid settlement should go to those engaged in substance use recovery, announces trainings for recovery coaches; will prepare an evaluation on how things were handled during Covid; 911 calls way up from June last year (11 calls);

-Health Director Lori Jones announces mid-year figures, including 88 septic permit applications

- Long discussion with Environmental Health Director Mike Harr on streamlining building permit process: site analysis necessary early on, closer collaboration urged between his department and Planning. Attorney says homeowner must provide water adequacy documentation.

7-11-2023 Tues AM BOCC



· Denise Varner/Okanogan appointed to the Health District Board.

· Charlene Knapp/Okanogan appointed to the Planning Commission,

· Public Comments: CB to help Ruth Hall with information on Monse Road vacation application, Treasurer and Auditor discuss request to take over the treasurer position for the Oroville/Tonasket Irrigation District with certain requirements.

· Discussion of hiring Professional Services (Aspect Engineering) for water bank processes.

· Public Hearing on Transportation plan for 2024-2029.

· Solid Waste Manager discusses litter control program, staffed by County employees, also fire at the landfill last Saturday – report made to DOE,

· Public Works update current and upcoming projects; chip seal up north, Bonaparte Lake Road flooded again, gravel crushing.

· OCOG/Planner position awaiting Union response.

· BOCC approves contractual agreements for homeless funds between Foundation for Youth & Resiliency Education (FYRE), Homeless Coalition and Okanogan County.

· Board authorized additional Deputy Prosecutor.

· Meeting adjourned at 12:00 Noon.

7.10.2023 Mon AM BOCC



  • Pete Palmer, Planning Director, updates the commissioners aboutExtending the contract for the Watershed Foundation;
    The intent to adopt revisions in the Shoreline Master Program and
    Contract renewal for the Voluntary Stewardship Program and
    The many paper files that are now scanned and stored in the cloud. It will take some practice to be able to access them easily.

  • The commissioners hold five public hearing to adopt changes to several chapters of the Okanogan County Code.

  • Adjourn for the day at 11:47

7.3.2023 Mon AM/PM BOCC



  • Rena Shawver of the Community Action Council, Nancy Nash Mendez of the Housing Authority of Okanogan County and Michelle Sandoval of FYRE (Foundation for Youth Resiliency and Engagement) discuss housing for low income and the homeless in Okanogan County.

  • Commissioners review the ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) allocation they’ve made so far and allocate $150,000 to Fire District 2 in Elmer City to help them build a new structure to house their vehicles.

  • Commissioners discuss a new sewer system for a development at West Lake Osoyoos and how to get it built without cost to the county’s taxpayers.

  • Craig Nelson, Executive Director of the Okanogan Conservation District, and the commissioners discuss setting up water bank for the county.

6.27.2023 Tues AM BOCC



  • Prosecuting Attorney in requesting additional staff to handle the numerous appeals and to help with Civil cases, makes case due workload and upcoming workload based on the new drug laws, 

  • Public Comment: Ruth Hall has questions about road vacation in the plat of Monse. 

  • Executive Director of Economic Alliance and other Broadband Action Team (BAT) report on current status of broadband project to get reliable internet access to all people in the County – also working on Internet Equity for covered populations, 

  • No BOCC meeting on Wednesday, 

  • Newly appointed Board of Equalization member resigns leaving opening for District 1, 

  • 11:32 Recessed until afternoon session.

6.27.2023 Tues PM BOCC



  •  Petition signatures may let Twisp voters decide on construction of year-round, two-pool swimming complex

  • - Department Heads Update: Commissioner Branch urges departments to submit infrastructure project ideas such as the planned sewer-water connection to Rodeo Trail between Okanogan and Omak, paid for by .09 sales tax dollars; 

  • Wenatchee’s “Methow Fire” not in the Methow; 

  • air filters to be distributed to senior centers, libraries, public buildings; 

  • Computer back-up system overloaded, departments must sort out old documents; 

  • Public records website now “live”, small information request fees to be waived;

  •  budget request letters going out.

  • Finance Committee sets new interest rates, following rise in prime rate, differentiating between registered warrants and inter fund loans; 

  • junior districts to be reminded to submit budget figures in time to set levy amounts

6.26.2023 Mon AM/PM BOCC



  • Maurice Goodall, Emergency Management, discusses the issue of evacuation routes in case of fire.

  • Pete Palmer, Planning Director, will be in depositions for much of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Commissioner Hover will also be in a deposition Monday afternoon.

  • Naomie Peasley and the commissioners discuss the new security fee required for groups greater than 300 and for all groups serving alcohol.

  • Tom Evan, Veterans’ Relief Board, tells the commissioners they are having trouble getting veterans to medical appointments at the VA clinic in Wenatchee and are hoping the BOCC has ideas how to solve the problem.

  • Fire District 2 in Elmer City asks the commissioners for $150,000 in ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds to help build a structure to house their five vehicles.

  • Stan Christie of Ferry County’s Advisory Board for Travel and Recreation, asks the commissioners to consider establishing variable speed limits on Taroda Creek Road from Wauconda to the Ferry County line. This would open up many miles of WATV routes in Okanogan County.

6.20.2023 Tues AM BOCC



  • Budget Supplemental approved for Public Works window replacement and HVAC installation

  • County Assessor speaks to estimated projected revenues in relation to EMS levy expiration and what can be expected in 2025

  • postponing discussion on Public Health Board candidates until full board in attendance

  • Continuation of Public Hearing on Utility Franchise with Colville Confederated Tribes.

  • Meeting adjourned at 11:05

6.20.2023 Tues PM BOCC



- Solid Waste manager announces 1) upcoming grant application opening for air monitoring equipment 2) need for new  liner costing upwards of $40,000 to remedy leach pond leak

- County Engineer gives progress on Cecile Creek road work, discusses road-vacation petition, gravel crushing; Twisp River Bridge rehabilitation project to start soon

- Behavioral Health CEO pleased with  staffing gains, medicaid increases; opioid settlement money could finance crisis responder at  jail

- State auditors say Accountability Audit to test for deficiencies, examine grant spending

- Planning director ready to hire consultant for Copperstone development, “considerable changes” being required;

Milltown property annexation to Twisp approved; review of Mazama advisory group candidate scheduled for Commissioner Hover’s return

06.13.23 BOH



Summary of Important Discussions:

  • Okanogan and Chelan-Douglas counties will share a qualified epidemiologist

  • Financial future rosy until at least 2029 thanks to federal funds; they’ll cover Environmental Health Director’s post

  • Four Board members report on state-wide public health meeting: toxic algae, struggling Obstetric (OB) Services, opioid overdoses are biggest shared concerns; Okanogan Public Health District a model for other districts

  • Survey to assess past six years (disaster preparedness, Covid trauma…)

  • Three candidates applying for city Board of Health post

06.13.23 Tues AM - BOCC



  • Director of Weed Office and WSU extension working together to lease a new printer/copier

  • HR reports of a possible matching grant program to help with added security costs –County's share would be 15%, She also reports about a grant program for the jail that ends6/30, and needs to be renewed

  • There are 3 applicants for a position on the Board of Health.

  • James DeSalvo of the Methow Trails presented request for repair of the Lower GoatCreek trail bridge. - working with WDFW on permitting and timeline, the estimate for cost of the bridge project is $84, 490 all inclusive with the non-profit group doing the building. Some of the funds expected to go back to the County

  • County Engineer gives Public Works update: cost over-run for contractor in protest; still working on the Barnholt Loop speed limit change to 25 mph, one more speed study to be completed. Old Hwy 97 road project – paving expected to start on Thursday. Seal Creek complete. 1⁄2 way completed on Twisp River overlay project

  • Request by Prosecuting Attorney for another position in their office that could handle appeals and other duties – will present to BOCC next Tuesday when all 3 Commissioners expected to be in attendance.

  • Adjourn at 12:00 noon.

06.12.23 - Tues AM & PM BOCC



  • Pete Palmer, Director of Planning,

  • discusses a good conversation she had with the members of the Mazama Subarea A group,

  • she’ll negotiation a contract with consultants at Van Ness Feldman, to work on Planned Developments, and

  • updates the commissioners on a plan for Twisp to annex 3-4 acres of county land adjacent to the town. With the annexation, the Mill Town planned development would be entirely in Twisp.

  • Naomie Peasley, Fairgrounds Manager, would like to increase the damage deposit for renting Fairgrounds sites. She would also like the Sheriff’s Office to increase its fee for allowing music between 10PM and 1AM.

  • Chairman Branch signs documents finalizing the sale of county land adjacent to the new gravel pit. After fees and other deduction, the county received $399,544.49.

  • During his update to the commissioners, Maurice Goodall, Emergency Management, and Commissioner Branch discuss signage on the South Summit Road and the road’s potential as an escape route in case of fire.

  • Commissioners talk with members of the Methow Valley EMS District Board. Their 10-year contract is up for renewal in December. The discussion includes hypothetical catastrophic situations in which the EMS district ceases to exist.

6.6.23 Tues PM BOCC



  • Architect Firm MJ Neil's rough plan for Justice Center includes more parking, secure prisoner transfer area and 2,300 square foot addition to replace steel outbuilding; next step: stakeholder feedback

  • Old Courthouse still needs flooring renovation and windows for bell tower and annex; MJ Neil consulted on how to keep historical character intact, prescribes environmental study for lead and asbestos; as security measure, single point entry on west side to replace original entrance.

  • Tonasket Forest head ranger reports multiple road repair projects (Crawfish Road, Salmon Creek, Bonaparte Lake); urges cooperation with County for emergencies, and serving growing communities at Pontiac Ridge, Swanson Mill, Summit Lake Road, Aeneas Valley, Tunk; Prescribed Burns totaling 1,500 acres completed; Bonaparte Fish Day for kids to take place Saturday.

  • $11,639 Tractor-style floor cleaner to be purchased for Fairgrounds

  • Commissioners and Clerk ruminate about Justice Center site possibilities

  • Meeting adjourned at 4:23

6.6.2023 Tues AM BOCC



Summary of Significant Discussions or Actions: 

  • Court Staff suggest Reclassification and/or Retention bonus for court interpreters- comparing with other Counties – state average is $69 per hour, also need to recruit for bailiff position. 

  • More conversation on EMS Districts and possible bond/levy.

  • Discussion about increasing one Staffmember in the Sheriffs Office to Chief deputy, with commensurate pay and how that might be funded. Also discussion of Commissioner vs Certified staff in the Sheriffs' Office, will write up a Resolution to upgrade employee. 

  • Discussion with Finance committee regarding asset policy and inventory of departments. 

  • Sheriffs Office Communications Officer in to update BOCC

  • Courthouse generator maintenance vendor recommendation (Legacy)

  • This is a facility cost. Officer to bring contract to BOCC to purchase equipment for the Early Adopter Project, also working on the Tunk Mountain upgrade. 

  • Sheriff is working on a video for recruitment purposes. Communication with the public will be helpful. Large scale financing expected to be needed next year. 

  • BOCC needing to sign contract for the single point-entry of the Courthouse. Will need to meet with vendors. 

  • Adjourned for lunch at 11:33.

6.5.23 Mon AM & PM BOCC



  • Isabelle Spohn comments about the permit application materials recently submitted by the Copperstone development, noting that they are incomplete and/or inaccurate. She also suggests that if the South Summit Road had dead-end intersecting roads marked as such, the road could be useful as an escape route in case of fire.

  • During her weekly update, Planning Director Pete Palmer and Commissioner Branch discuss the Copperstone development application. They conclude that any application must be complete and accurate before a decision can be made.

  • Will Carpenter of the Tri-County Pest Board, discusses his work with apple growers and packers to create a proposed apple maggot quarantine area in the north part of the county. Josh Thomas, Director of Public Works, and Kent Kovalenko, of Solid Waste Management, are concerned because they weren’t included in this group even though they are stakeholders in the quarantine, too. Carpenter assured them that while his work included only people involved in agriculture, all stakeholders would be involved later in the process. The Washington Department of Agriculture will determine the boundaries of the quarantine area.

  • Craig Nelson, Executive Director of the Okanogan Conservation District and his staff discuss onerous reporting requirements of the Voluntary Stewardship Program and the district’s proposed water

5.30.2023 Tues AM BOCC



· BOCC approves generic 911 fee waiver for individuals who have lost their residence in a fire or other emergency and need to get a new 911 address, Resolution #63-2023.

· Discussion of costs for repair & maintenance of Tonasket/Oroville EMS buildings and some specifics regarding whether consolidation of these EMS districts makes sense from a dollars and cents point of view and better service. There are 5 ambulances together between Tonasket and Oroville – with some in need of repair, May need feasibility study.

· County Assessor: housing market is still doing well – values remain high, sales have slowed down. 20%-30% increase of sale price in most areas of the County. Assessor’s office is on time with workload and notices to the taxpayer this year.

· Code amendment hearing for setting of minimum office hours for most offices of the courthouse. Approval of Ordinance and Resolution governing procedure for emergency closures and business needs.

· Auditor in to make recommendation for vendor for weapons detection system and BOCC accepts this quote from CEIA.

· Solid Waste Manager: Implementation of an Apple Maggot Quarantine in the North County – Manager suggests different boundaries so as to minimize the impact on residents.

· Public Works update from County Engineer

· Meeting adjourned at 11:31

5.30.2023 Tues PM BOCC



  • Courthouse Security – discussion of installation of weapons detector and single entry point for public

  • Review of weapons detector quotes and discussion about which is the preferred vendor

  • Discussion about funds for homeless/affordable housing and who should administerthem

  • Discussion about creating a standard policy on procedure for how BOCC appointsmembers to boards and committees

  • Discussion about appointment of members to the Okanogan Communication District 

  • Discussion about repairs needed on Oroville and Tonasket EMS buildings

  • Discussion about increasing the compensation for the Clerk of the Board

5.23.2023 Tues AM BOCC



Public Comments: Ruth Hall asked if the BOCC knew why the Columbia River was so low? AH answered that they are trying to dredge the Methow River of built-up silt/sand and debris – therefore, keeping the river levels low to do this.

• Discussion of how to fund a new ambulance in Tonasket- run a special levy or bond.

• Surplus auction should go online this week after more information received by the Sheriff's Office.

• Approval of consent agenda and vouchers: Public Hearing for Utility Franchise with Colville Confederated Tribes continued until 6/20 @11:00 am.

• Public Works: County Engineer met with WDFW for agreements/permits on Seal Creek and Bonaparte Creek Road, also met with Methow Trails regarding Goat Creek Crossing – they have applied for LTAC funds to fix bridge.

• Emergency Services Manager in to solidify burn ban restrictions in Resolution 61-2023, giving Emergency Manager ability to consult with Fire Advisary Group to change dates and times if needed – Burn ban to go into effect 6/15/2023. Discussion of distributing tax money collected to OBHC for Mental Health services, Drug/alcohol assessment& tx, Developmentally Disabled services. Wa State Public Works Board will be giving some workshops in this area.

• Meeting adjourned at 11:37 until 1:30 PM.

5.23.2023 Tues PM BOCC



  • US Fish and Wildlife Service says introduction of 25 grizzlies in North Cascades National Park will respect input from stakeholders; Commissioner Hover asks for commitment to adapt to local circumstances, Commissioner Neil makes sure no “problem bears” in the equation; another meeting to follow as plan develops and more input received

  • Court Administrator presents plan to retain Staff Interpreter an extra year; Commissioner Hover wary of “retention bonus”, prefers bigger salary hike instead; several applications received for Juvenile Court vacancies

5.22.2023 Mon PM BOCC



- Courthouse Security – discussion of installation of weapons detector and single entry point for public - Review of weapons detector quotes and discussion about which is the preferred vendor 

- Discussion about funds for homeless/affordable housing and who should administer them 

- Discussion about creating a standard policy on procedure for how BOCC appoints members to      boards and committees 

- Discussion about appointment of members to the Okanogan Communication District - Discussion about repairs needed on Oroville and Tonasket EMS buildings 

- Discussion about increasing the compensation for the Clerk of the Board

5.22.2023 Mon AM BOCC



 Commissioner Branch updates the other commissioners about his recent meeting with members of the Colville Tribal Council about two trailer parks. He’d like the other commissioners, Pete Palmer, Planning Director, Maurice Goodall, Emergency Management and maybe Sheriff Budrow to meet with the Tribal Council to continue the discussion.

 Isabelle Spohn comments on the lack of progress in ensuring egress from the Methow Valley in case of a fire.

 Pete Palmer adds to Commissioner Branch’s update about the meeting with the Colville Tribal Council. She also updates the commissioners about Peter Goldmark’s request to waive the fee for his address change, the gravel pit’s Conditional Use Permit, and the Copperstone Planned Development application.

 Cari Hall, County Auditor and Pam Johnson, County Treasurer, update the commissioners about the annual audit report to the State Auditor that they’ve completed and hope to submit that day.

 Adjourn for lunch at 11:40.

5.16.2023 Tues PM BOCC



·  By popular demand, IT to order multi-function PDF-editing software; sheriff’s officers to receive module to connect phones to records app, allow real-time comments–licensing cost will double

·  HR chief setting up safety courses with Lifeline, trainings for new employees; appraisers to identify buildings for evaluation

·  Fair Advisory Committee website not up-to-date, sparks discussion on who should receive information regarding board and commission appointments, term expirations, letters of interest

·  Milfoil treatment newsletter going out to Lake Osoyoos residents, Forest Service grant money to fund weed treatment on Palmer Mountain

·  Fair contract still has a few wrinkles

5.16.2023 Tues AM BOCC



· EMS districts budget discussion.

· Working out details of temporary County/Cities agreement for police coverage – crime is increasing, difficulty of recruitment and retention of deputies in all areas of county – currently 3 open positions in the Sheriffs Dept. Need for additional vehicles – there are 10 vehicles (boat also) included in surplus auction. Sheriff presents request for pay increase/pay grade for Undersheriff – Board to discuss pay overall for County employees.

· Emergency Services Manager update Board on current flood conditions around the county,

· Public Works projects update.

· Meeting adjourned – 11:43.

5.15.2023 Mon AM BOCC



  • Pete Palmer, Planning Director, updates the BOCC on the updating of the Shoreline Master Plan, renewing the Methow Watershed Foundation’s service contract with the county and Peter Goldmark’s request for waiver of the $97 address change fee.

  • Maurice Goodall, Emergency Management, updates the BOCC of several instances of overflowing creeks due to snow runoff.

  • Naomie Peasley, Fairgrounds Manager, and the BOCC discuss possible fixes for the 4-H Horse Barn and the renewal of the DNR contract. The DNR has used the Fairgrounds in the past to set up a fire camp and a Command Center.

  • Adjourn until Tuesday at 12:03.

5.9.2023 Tues AM BOCC



· BOCC in process of appointing a position for the Health District Board.

· Public Comment Period: questions about cattleguard franchises, and victim of 2020 fire asking for 911 fee waiver,

· Planning Director in to discuss process for changing address & naming a road when there are enough residences that require this.

· County Treasurer updating BOCC on finances/payments of taxes-foreclosure notices sent for nonpayment of property tax, interest rate on investments raising to 4.5%,

· County Auditor-one position open, business has picked up since Covid, working with vendor to transfer data to new computer system – may need to change 'going-live' date.

· Public Works: Cattleguard franchise application approval, Bid opening for Twisp River Road Bridge repair (2 bids received).

· Adjourned 12:05. Tues PM BOCC



  • Engineering firm proposes identifying segments of Justice Center project before budgeting, starting with analysis of existing facilities

  • In review of 5/2 proceedings Commissioner Branch asks to include his comment on widely differing bids for  Oroville’s new Housing Project; with EMS vouchers, Branch dreams of less-cumbersome protocol

  • Text from Sheriff’s office asks for full performance report plus $500 fee when sheriff’s staff is summoned to town of Twisp; further discussion needed

  • Surplus vehicles soon to be auctioned

5.8.2023 Mon AM/PM BOCC



· Commissioners hold two separate Executive Sessions, dealing with potential or ongoing litigation. One session involves Shelley Keitzman, Human Resources and Risk Management, and Esther Milner, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor. The other involves Milner and Pete Palmer, Planning Director. Both approximately 15 minutes long.

· Naomie Peasley (Fairgrounds Manager), Maurice Goodall (Emergency Management) and Susan Speiker (Chief Deputy Clerk) update the commissioners

· Pete Palmer, Planning Director, and the commissioners discuss changes to the Zoning Code’s District Use Chart. After much discussion, they decide that they will concentrate on getting the stipulated forms of the code ready to be sent out for comment and put the rest of the Zone Code on hold right now.

· Sheriff Paul Budrow asks the commissioners for a raise for his Chief Civil Deputy. He also updates the commissioners on the need to hire a Designated Crisis Responder because Okanogan Behavioral Healthcare can’t provide one, the need to start thinking about a new jail facility and other jail matters.

· Commissioners hear a presentation from Team Okanogan Animal Rescue about their work in the county and state-wide. They ask the commissioners for a 99 year lease on property where they will establish their shelter.

· Commissioners interview and approve Katherine Jordan for a position as an alternate on the Water Conservancy Board.

5.2.2023 Tues AM BOCC



· Public Comments: Meetings, special meetings, and significant action should be publicized better since a lot of Okanogan County folks don’t have computers. News releases might be helpful and/or mailing.Discussion of code revisions/policy changes with the Civil Deputy-removing things that are obsolete. Civil Deputy will work on resolutions and/or ordinances to codify changes. Things like office hours need to be updated for all departments. BOCC is the legislative body to determine these. There are some rules/regulations that come from the Health District.

· Team Okanogan to come to BOCC next week.

· Discussion of whether to assess a misdemeanor or infraction for non- compliance with Planning.  Public Works Update: Maintenance & road conditions, Owhi Lake, Bonaparte Lake, Seal Creek, Wolf Creek, upcoming projects – speed reduction for Barnholt Loop Road requested. Waiting for sale of Hunter Mounting acquisition to close, First draft of 2024-2029 road project list in draft form. Okanogan Homeless Coalition looking for funds to continue construction.

· Meeting adjourned at 11:52

5.2.2023 Tues PM BOCC



•  Housing officials appeal for funds to cover $750,000 spending gap for Oroville Housing 

Authority’s 16-unit project, due to break ground in June; county can foot half the bill

•  Human Resources director says Lifeline the cheapest for CPR/defibrillator training:

$5,000 for 100 employees; cost of adding defibrillators (with spare parts) to Courthouse:


•  First opioid settlement received, more to follow

•  Commissioner Neil not happy about farmers’ emergency winter housing ousted to build Oroville’s 

affordable housing development, Commissioner Branch mentions county right of way activity, problems 

with the State waiving rules,

•  Water Board member approved

•  Commissioner Hover’s comment letter asking for participant status in grizzly re- introduction 

plan signed by Whatcom and Skagit counties; Chelan and Snohomish wrote separate letters.

•  In informal discussion Commissioners Branch and Neil show skepticism over animal management 

programs; Branch suggests possible BOCC third term.

5.1.2023 Mon AM/PM BOCC



  • Bob Eubanks makes a public comment about zoning issues in the county area between Omak and Okanogan. He and his neighbors prefer to remain in the county instead of being annexed into a town.

  • Pete Palmer, Planning Director would like to hire someone to help the department work on proposed Planned Developments.

  • Maurice Goodall, Emergency Management describes some areas of flooding from spring runoff.

  • Commissioners and Laney Johns, Clerk of the Board, hold a 10 minute executive session under RCW 42.30.110(1)(g) to evaluate an applicant for employment or to review the performance of a public employee.

  • Commissioners and Pete Palmer finish discussing the proposed county rezone code, except for the District Use Chart, which will be discussed on Monday, May 8.

  • Meeting adjourns for the day at 3:06

4.25.2023 Tues PM BOCC



·  Deputy Prosecutor Esther Milner negotiates contract agreement with rep from County’s on-call Engineering firm; Licensing Dept. doorway, Fairground barns, Jail geo-thermal to benefit

·  Coroner presents Snohomish County autopsy services contract for approval, shows signs of a too-busy week, is excited about imminent purchase of Randox machine for drug testing.

4.25.2023 Tues AM BOCC



· Discussion re: incorrect notice for Planning Meeting & no public comment period – zoning and rural character of County.

· Approval of 2 subdivision proposals; Long Plat (Park Place) 2021-2, and Warner (on East Lake) Long Plat alteration 2022-1.

· Approval of Fairgrounds' Manager bid recommendation for 40 stall Horse Barns with Noble Panels.

· Letters of interest for District 1 & 3 LTAC position.

· Wa State Capital Budget passed approving $670,000 for Courthouse rehab with 5% to 7% Administrative Fee.

· Made decision for Auctioneer Services for County Surplus Auction on May 15th – GovDeals – online and in person,

· Update from Solid Waste and Public Works – Upcoming meeting with Environmental Protection Agency regarding Air Quality – new rules.

· Adjourn for lunch – 11:28.

4.24.2023 Mon AM/PM BOCC



  • Pete Palmer, Planning Director, and the commissioners discuss a gravel pit operated by Lloyd Logging that’s out of compliance with the Planning Department (its Conditional Use Permit (CUP) expired in 1987) and is also out of compliance with its Department of Natural Resources (DNR) permit. They discuss the enabling the Planning Department to issue fines to insure compliance.

  • Palmer and the commissioners continue last week’s discussion about Zone Code revisions.

  • The commissioners, DNR and the Okanogan Conservation District (OCD) discuss wildfire resiliency planning in the county and the importance of tailoring Firewise programs to each community.

  • The commissioners and Dave Mullins discuss funding issues of the Tonasket EMS District. Mr. Mullins has a list of possible solutions to provide more hours of service in the district. Commissioner Branch promises that the BOCC will consider the items on his list.

4.18.2023 Tues PM



•  Citizen’s letter accuses County of under-funding Oroville EMS District

•  Lone bidder for surplus auction is online company; search for auctioneers continues

•  Member removed from Lodging Tax Advisory Committee

•  Superior Court Clerk plays “squeaky wheel” in urging fix for discrepancies between staff 

salaries and comparable county posts; BOCC says get HR’s opinion, anticipates resolution through 

June contract negotiations

•  Participants from five counties weigh-in on re-vamped Grizzly introduction plan: three

commissioners object, others want more information, all public comments in favor

• Meeting adjourned at 5:00.

4.18.2023 Tues AM BOCC



No Public Comments

• HR/Risk Manager introduces newly hired Public Records Request Clerk, Kathy Tedrich.

Continued organization of Courthouse Safety Committee suggests software (Add on program)

purchase which could be partially reimbursed by the Risk Pool BOCC approves $4,812


• Finance Committee Meeting with Auditor, Deputy Auditor, and Treasurer: County is receiving

4.25% interest on investments, current expenses looking good , other discussions re: budget,

BOCC wants to make a blanket rule of 50% reduction on Fairgrounds fee schedule for County School

Districts. Assessor's new car is available. BOCC needs to set budget for new Lake Management

District #1, Auditor in the middle of Annual Report. Everyone is in the process of

moving/migrating to new computer program (MUNIS).

• Bid Opening for Asphalt work at the Landfill where appliances are stored.

• Adjourned for lunch 11:11.

4.17.2023 Mon AM BOCC



· Commissioner Branch proposes that the BOCC create a list of issues that need to be discussed. These issues could be added to the agenda when there’s an opening on Monday, Tuesday or even Wednesday.

· Pete Palmer, Planning Director, says she’s met with 62 of the 77 licensed cannabis growers in the county over the last year. She’s now sent out a bill for the annual registration fee but only 52 growers have responded. She would like to send one more warning letter and then begin pulling licenses if she receives no response. BOCC approves the plan.

· The commissioners will check with the County Auditor to make sure they can offer a 50% rental fee reduction for schools in the county interested in renting facilities at the Fairgrounds.

· BOCC goes into Executive Session under RCW 42.30.110(1)(i)—ongoing litigation. 30 minutes, inviting Pete Palmer and Tadas Kisielius, appointed by the Prosecutor’s Office, from Van Ness Feldman Law Firm.

· Commissioners, LTAC (Lodging Tax Advisory Committee) and OCTC (Okanogan County Tourism Council) discuss if the LTAC can make a proposal to spend $25,000 for soft wear to help gather useful data even though the deadline for proposals passed months ago. They decide that it would be better to wait until this summer when proposals will again be considered.

· Commissioners review the list of expenditures for ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) expenditures made in 2022. Commissioner Branch must report these expenditures by the end of April.

· Adjourn at 3:30.

4.11.2023 Tues PM BOH



•  Financial report cites field training for Environmental Health specialist; resolution 2023-03 

transferring voucher-signing from BOCC to BOH sparks discussion about payments between meetings 

requiring subsequent full-board review

•  Formal approval of new organizational charter (res. 2023-04) naming single 


instead of administrative team

•  Health Officer welcomes decline in Covid hospitalizations, cases still twice state average, end 

of health emergency May 11ᵗʰ means masking in health care settings no longer required; Dr. Wallace 

gears up for new health care assessment compiling region-wide data

•  BOH votes in Lauri Jones as Administrator, Michael Harr appointed Environmental Health Director, 

salaries determined by board.

4.11.2023 Tues PM BOCC



Assessor and remaining two members of Board of Equalization, which arbitrates appeals to property appraisals, debate strategies for future; to avoid BOCC having to