top of page

 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

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· Auditor’s budget includes restoring historical documents and recording them online, replacement of election equipment in case of malfunction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 take on hearings. AH accords pay of $160 a day, four days a year, up from $75. Newspaper and radio appeals will hopefully bear fruit.

4.11.2023 Tues AM BOCC



•  Cortner(contractor)on site today to locate utilities for the Justice Building;

•  Discussion regarding letter/action together with the Eastern Wa Council of Governments regarding 

    breeching of the Snake River Dams – concern about commerce;

•  Management of threatened Wildlife Species due to 'fractured landscape';

•  Discussion of partnership with Conservation District, Methow Watershed Council and others for 

    Water Bank – need to re-write the water code;

•  Update from Methow Watershed Council;

•  Discussion/Review Voluntary Stewardship Work Group – have received 6 applications that need to 

    be appointed by BOCC – previous resolution directs Planning Director to run this group – may 

    require some changes,

•  Andy Hover to represent BOCC on North Cascades Interagency Committee on Grizzlies,

•  Details for updating contracts with Extension Service and Noxious Weed office space;

•  Public Works: 4 day road closure for work on Twisp Transfer station, Behind schedule on Shop 

   Construction – hope to have them ready for use by November,

• Adjourn 11:42.

4.10.23 Mon AM/PM 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 


•  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 software 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.

04.04.23 Tues AM BOCC



  •   ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds report due at the end of April.

  • Commissioners contacted by a nationwide group (NACO) regarding public land in individual counties. They propose utilizing Local And Tribal Consistency Funds (LATCF) which the county receives based on the amount of public land in the County. This new advocacy group (NACO) would take 1% of monies received to help fund this group. Okanogan County share would be $120,000 – the most of any Washington County. BOCC needs more information and initially, is not willing to join this group and utilize our money this way.

  • Board heard from Clerk and Risk Manager regarding the need for car to take sensitive court materials to the Justice Building. 

  • BOCC is amending the Public Health Charter – creating a new resolution. 

  • One bid received for auctioneer services at the County Fair.

  • Approval received for refund allocation of money for the District & Superior Court.

  • Chief Dispatch Officer updates BOCC; Coulee Dam Police Dept will be utilizing Grant County Dispatch services – rather than Okanogan County, to begin next year, budgeting of sales tax revenue among agencies. Continuing to look around for buildings if the proposed site with the City of Okanogan and Tribe does not work. Staffing: 11 of 13 Dispatch positions are now filled. July is the delivery date for the new Mobile Command Center.

  • Permit received for work on Tunk Building.

  • Bid Opening for Old Hwy 97 road project: 3 bids.

  • 4 counties weighing in on bear relocation plan.

  • Resolution changing Fair Assistant position from seasonal to full time.

  • Surplus auction has been advertised for May 13, 2023.

  • Public Works/Planning Department continue to develop new Recreation/ Trails Position.

  • Solid Waste and Public Works: Barnholt Loop considering 25 MPH speed limit change.

  • Adjourn at 11:50 until the afternoon session.

04.04.23 Tues PM BOCC



  • Deputy Prosecutor’s review of on-call engineering firm contract centers on liability clauses; clarification needed - anticipated projects: cutting jail door, barn design, safety issues 

  • Liability insurance up, new deductible: $3M, talk of re-insurers; new Records Coordinator learning the ropes 

  • HR/Risk Pool Director presents $10,000 estimate to train most county workers in CPR and defibrillator use; Public Health would subsidize

  •  Executive session with Planning Director and Deputy Prosecutor: large lot segregation and possibility of litigation 

  • Commissioner Branch reports on zoom meeting with lobbyist to explain newly-announced public lands rule; Okanogan likely to join Chelan and Douglas counties in opposing it, questions where money would go 

  • New Fairgrounds Assistant should be all-year and not just seasonal, says Commissioner Hover, Commissioner Branch has “high expectations” management will be up to par

  • 10% reduction in Tyler’s Fit Factory membership accorded to county employees opting for automatic payroll deductions

04-03-23 Mon AM BOCC



  Commissioner Neal heard in a radio interview with District 7 legislators that funding for the Omak bridge may not be included in the state budget this year. 

 Commissioners hear brief updates from Maurice Goodall, Emergency Management, Naomie Peasley, Fairgrounds Manager, and Pete Palmer, Planning Director. Pete Palmer says George Thornton was elected chair of the Planning Commission at its recent meeting, but will resign from the Commission when he moves out of the area, possibly in six months. 

 Commissioners discuss several sewer systems in the north part of the county. 

 Meeting adjourns for the day at 10:23.

03.28.23 Tues PM BOCC



• Seasonal full-time assistant hired for the Fairgrounds 

• Community Health Director gives instructions for using Narcan to save overdose victims; 16 opiods deaths a year since 2021; Covid still here but “people aren’t dying” 

• Sheriff discusses Brady law requiring injection sites, law enforcement’s inability to arrest; department staff of 85 has ten unfilled posts 

• Prosecutor’s office counts successful convictions in murder, robbery, assault cases 

• Chief Civil Deputy Esther Milner’s work praised by Prosecutor and Commissioner Branch 

• Public Records Coordinator post filled 

• Some District Court costs possibly reimbursed after Blake decision invalidated drug possession felony; security officers now in courtroom 

• Superior Court clients now must take a number 

• State to fund windows for Courthouse annex 

• WSU Extension seeks volunteers to judge 4-H Fair projects 

• County’s appointed on-call architect learns at meeting it was also selected for current projects–Law and Justice Center renovation discussed 

• TD&H Engineers to tackle multiple Courthouse projects

03.28.23 Tues-AM-BOCC



Discussion/Review of Cortner proposals on the JB (Justice Building) site utilities, authorized clerk to draft resolution to proceed. 

• HR & Search & Rescue: In the Methow, winter damage to trailer, repair or replace. Need storage for equipment. 

• Surplus auction scheduled for May at the Fairgrounds, Special Occasions Liquor License to the Elks for certain Rotary fundraising events. 

• Awarded Legal Notices Bid to Oroville Gazette & Methow Valley News, 

• Public Works: Graders are out working on roads – still some weight restrictions, Current Projects listed. Beginning Gravel Crushing at three gravel pits; Gavin, Wauconda, and Central Pit. Looking for land for more gravel pits. Hunter Mountain WDFW documents approved – sale/purchase should close by May. 

• No Wednesday Meeting, 

• Meeting adjourned at 11:34 until afternoon session @ 1:30.

3.27.23 Mon AM-PM-BOCC



 The BOCC considers a request for a fee waiver to rent the Agriplex for the Omak High School Senior Class banquet and party.

  Zak Kennedy, county lobbyist, updates the BOCC on the current session in Olympia. Discussion of HB 1670, a bill allowing a county to raise the limit of property tax increase from 1% to 3%. 

 Commissioner Hover will write a draft letter of the BOCC’s comment on the introduction of grizzly bears in the North Cascades National Park.

  The Planning Department update includes a discussion of an animal shelter that’s out of compliance, but its operators are working with the county to bring it into compliance. Planning will revoke the Conditional Use Permit for a junk yard near Ellisforde. Its operator can’t keep junk from spilling out in to the right-of-way. 

 The Veterans’ Relief Committee is partnering with the Community Action Council to better serve the veterans in the county. 

 The BOCC hears a brief overview of the revision of the zoning code from Pete Palmer and Ferdouse Oneza of Oneza and Associates. The revision incorporates changes with regard to water availability, the district use chart and compliance with the Revised Code of Washington. Board of Okanogan County Commissioners Monday, March 27, 2023 AM & PM 2 

 The BOCC repeals or amends outdated sections of the Okanogan County Code. 

 The BOCC hears a discussion about the reallocation of money from the Blake Fund Bureau.

03.21.23 Tues PM BOCC



• Economic Alliance board discusses possible projects for newly available “.09” dollars: Roadwork and sewers on Rodeo Trail in Okanogan, a grant writer for the Alliance, planning and feasibility studies, road security in Mazama, Okanogan landfill; prefers projects with additional funding sources • Short discussion with cities on jail fees, need to raise them, deplorable health conditions, lack of safety

• Behavioral Health reps discuss MCOs (managed care organizations), long waiting lists for both children and adults, positive results with internship program 

• On-call designee MJ Neil chosen with DOG as architects for “Law and Justice Center” at former Forest Service building 

• Commissioner Branch has reservations about shoreline site east of Okanogan for new Coroner’s/Sheriff’s building; proposes assessment by insurance company 

• USDA Wildfire Defense grant refused; county to re-apply; Branch regrets those closest to forest boundaries opposing forest treatment 

• Commissioner Hover expresses desire to join Grizzly Bear Task Force 

• Fair Queen’s fundraising activities discussed 

• Methow Valley News/Oroville Gazette Tribune chosen as newspapers of reference for legal advertisements 

• Meeting adjourned at 4:18

03.21.23 Tues AM BOCC



• HR/Risk Management: BOCC agrees to allow gym membership to be voluntarily deducted from payroll -MOU to follow, Staff gave feedback regarding newly hired Courthouse security @ Safety Meeting last Wednesday, Health District to come to Department Heads meeting to give presentation on how to use Narcan. Union Representatives to be notified, additional hallway camera being installed. HR reports there are 15 staff who have not completed their sexual harassment training. Some discussion for policy in use of drones.

• Finance Committee: Treasurer and Auditor. Discussion interest earned on unspent bond funds, Treasurer reports that Washington Federal Bank is 100% collateralized. Other budget items, ARPA fund and local assistance funds. Auditor reports that we are 2 months away from the Annual Report to the State Auditor. Some fraud on County bank accounts were detected. Auditor looking into other strategies to protect taxpayers money. Treasurer to be sending out tax delinquent notices/foreclosures. 

• Waste Management: Bid Opening for Twisp Transfer Station Leachate Gutter reconstruction – 3 bids received. Public Works to give recommendation. 

• Highland Community Support Coalition (HCSC) gave presentation regarding short timeline for grant opportunity for Latino small businesses loan - $11,300 per business possible. 

• Meeting adjourned at 11:43 until 1:30 in the afternoon.

03.20.23 Mon AM BOCC



  •   Complaint requiring Planning Dept enforcement 

  • Plans for Concunully Dam

  • LTAC fund use 

  • Public hearings on budget supplementals for roads and election security 

  • Discussion of need for incentives to attract applicants for vacant Juvenile detention officers

  • Fairgrounds update – RV reservation system, tree planting, new horse stalls, scrap metal disposal

03.20.23 Mon PM BOCC



  • Update on Dept of Ecology inspection of unpermitted properties in the flood plain.

  • Discussion of enforcement when properties are developed outside of the rules.

3.14.23 Tues AM BOCC



Auditor Report: 

LTAC(Lodging Tax) funds being considered for visitor information centers. 

• Discussion of Opioid Settlememt Agreements; utilizing abatement council and allocation of drug store settlement monies – 2 different agreements. 

• April 30th deadline for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fund report. 

• Auditor preparing for changing computer systems (UNIS), going live 1-2024. 

• Review of Public Health District process for reporting payments to BOCC. 

Public Works: 

• Vouchers completed for the Green Waste Day thru the Conservation District, 

• Removing some roas restrictions. • Admin support position a little closer – OCOG insurance approved. • Request from Okanogan School Maintenance regarding use of county road during school construction project – More information is needed, will meet with BOCC for decision. 

• Adjourned at 12:00.

03.13.23 Mon AM BOCC



 County employees will undergo training for emergency situations such as an active shooter or a narcotics overdose. 

 Commissioners hear an update from county lobbyist about the current legislative session in Olympia.  Pete Palmer, Director of Planning, met via zoom with Sandra Floyd of the Washington Dept. of Ecology. Floyd toured the county last fall and is now requesting that the county audit a number of the county’s Floodplain Development Permits (FDPs) issued since 2018 and has also suggested changes to the county’s FDP code. Palmer told Floyd that the audits wouldn’t begin until at least November and that they would be driven by a directive from the Commissioners. 

 Naomie Peasley, Fairgrounds Manager and the Commissioners discuss potential sources of funding for the horse barns. They also discuss a potential gun show at the Annex in August. 

 Commissioners adjourn at 10:36 for the day.

03.07.23 Tues AM-BOCC



  • HR Summary: Planning for walk through & interview with potential contractors of Juvenile Justice Building tomorrow Wednesday 3/8/2023. Clarifying Chairman signature for the “across the river” project for Coroners Office. Metal Detection system to be installed in the courthouse – preliminary safety measures especially for election security, and movement of the Licensing office to a different room(102)- funding is available, Security guards working well, 277 Employees completed Sexual Harrassment training in person – the rest to do online. HR advertising for Public Records Coordinator – onboarding process/session for public records platform next week, HR provided certification waiver for one employee based on proficiency, HR considering having Narcan available at courthouse – working with Health Dept. HR/Risk Manager completed all certifications, 2 bids received for Spokane Grade Overlay project, 

  • Solid Waste update: upcoming legislation requiring recycle/compost. Manager suggests proactive approach. Landfill working with Conservation District for a “green” day, reduction of organics by 2030, Also reported: April 18th, WalMart will not be providing shopping bags. Explains reduce vs recycle. 

  • Maintenance and Road conditions, Contractors beginning on Tonasket Shop. Need to be looking for property to make another pit. Current Public Works projects. 

  • Adjourn 11:59

03.07.23 Tues PM - BOCC



  • Planning for walk through & interview with potential contractors of Juvenile Justice Building Wednesday 3/8/2023. Clarifying Chairman signature for the “across the river” project for Coroner's Office. 

  • Metal Detection system to be installed in the courthouse – preliminary safety measures especially for election security, and movement of the Licensing office to a different room (102)- funding is available, Security guards working well, 277 Employees completed Sexual Harassment training in person – the rest to do online. 

  • HR advertising for Public Records Coordinator – onboarding process/session for public records platform next week, HR provided certification waiver for one employee based on proficiency, HR considering having Narcan available at courthouse – working with Health Dept. HR/Risk Manager completed all certifications, 2 bids received for Spokane Grade Overlay project, 

  • Solid Waste: upcoming legislation requiring recycle/compost. Manager suggests proactive approach. Landfill working with Conservation District for a “green” day, reduction of organics by 2030,  Also reported: April 18th, WalMart will not be providing shopping bags. Explains reduce vs recycle. 

  • Public Works: Maintenance and Road conditions, Contractors beginning on Tonasket Shop. Need to be looking for property to make another pit. Current Public Works projects. 

  • Adjourn 11:59

03.06.23 Mon AM - BOCC



  • Isabelle Spohn makes a comment, asking the Commissioners to discuss exit routes if fire has blocked the three paved routes out of the valley. Commissioners discuss pros and cons of alternate routes.

  • To prepare for the upcoming discussion with the North Central ATV Club’s request to make certain county roads legal for WATV travel, the Commissioners discuss whether SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) would apply if they decide to make the changes.

  • Susan Speiker, Clerk of the Courts, updates the Commissioners on the courts. Their remodel is almost complete and staff is able to work more efficiently. She’s arranged exchanges with the staff in the Support Center that handles domestic violence cases. If the court staff and the Center’s staff learn who does what in the other office, it makes both offices more efficient.

  • Spencer King of the North Central ATV Club discusses changes in several county roads that would open up those roads to Wheeled All-Terrain Vehicles, so WATV riders could have easier access to the many unpaved roads in the valley. Changes could include lowering the speed limit to 35 mph or establishing duel-posted roads (with one speed limit for cars and a lower one for WATVs).

  • Meeting adjourned for the day at 12:07

02.28.23 AM - BOCC



  • Board reduces Fairgrounds rental cost for school-related functions,

  • BOCC to send letter of support for WDFW penipen(?) removal (Salmon predators), concern of putting PNW Grey Squirrel on Endangered Species list.

  • Assessor: all levies rates went down because of increased overall value, market seems healthy but sales have slowed down, hired new Appraiser I, about 5,000 Seniors are in reduced/no tax program due to income, taxpayers have 30 days from change of value notice to appeal.

  • Putting together 'policies & procedures' form for new Fair Advisory members.

  • Public Works: Solid waste Manager testifying on 'bottle bill” in Olympia, also working with Civil Deputy to draw up agreement for Omak business to take waste elsewhere, considering maintaining Newby Creek Road, ER&R rates have increased, 2 options for WDFW purchase; option to purchase or just compensation – will be on the consent agenda next week. Also another 4 acres of waterfront to sell to WDFW.

  • LTAC appointee needs to be Okanogan County resident – definition of Resident? Bilingual pay being extended to non-bargaining positions and Teamsters represented employees.

  • Discussion of Public Information Request regarding the Tunk Basin, investigation into Commissioner

  • Adjourn at 12:44. No afternoon meeting or Wednesday meeting.

02.27.23 AM - BOCC



  • A public comment from Isabelle Spohn, regarding the need for an updated Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan regarding wildfires, ingress and egress and escape routes with up-to-date signage for dead-end and closed roads, sparks a discussion by the Commissioners. They agree that an up-to-date plan is important and discuss problems of achieving that. Maurice Goodall (MG) of Emergency Management talks about this topic later in the meeting, and the Commissioners plan to discuss it with Josh Thomson, the County Roads Engineer tomorrow when he appears before them.

  • Zak Kennedy updates the Commissioners about the state legislature’s current session in Olympia.

  • Naomie Peasley, Fairgrounds Manager, and the Commissioners discuss funding sources for new rabbit cages and barns for both racehorses and 4-H horses. The rabbit cages and some of the horse barn project will have to wait until next year.

  • Pete Palmer, Planning Director, tells the commissioners that Isabelle Spohn continues to disagree with Pete’s assertion that the Tunk Rezone Hearing was properly advertised. She also says several members of the Farm Bureau have requested public records associated with the Tunk rezone.

  • Maurice Goodall and the Commissioners discuss roads during fires. Commissioner Branch says the BOCC should pay attention to the NEPA and SEPA documents and make comments about roads going through forests. MG says the county maintains a list of people with Special Needs who are notified in emergencies. County residents can call Emergency Management to discuss being included in the list.

  • Commissioner Neal says that the Priest Lake, ID, Sheriff’s Office is offering hiring bonuses of $10,000 for new hires and $25,000 for lateral transfers. He knows this because he saw an advertisement of TV for the bonuses.

  • Commissioners review the amount of ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds they’ve allocated to date. They’ve allocated $7,100,000 of the $8,200,000 the county was awarded.

  • Commissioner Branch urges the other commissioners to sign a letter to Senator Murray, requesting money for a feasibility study for a multi-county treatment evaluation center designed to keep people out of jail if a jail term isn’t what would help the situation. He’ll also solicit support from David McClay, CEO of Okanogan Behavioral Health Care and Sheriff Budrow.

  • Commissioners have two Executive Sessions.To discuss litigation and potential litigation, inviting Esther Milner, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor, Pete Palmer, Director of Planning, and Rocky Robbins, Planning, and
    To discuss potential litigation, inviting Esther Milner and Shelley Keitzman, Human Resources and Risk Management.

  • Commissioners and Esther Milner discuss proposed changes to the county code.

02.21.23 PM - BOCC



  • Justice Center utilities design contract awarded to Courtner Architects who will be interviewed along with two other firms for general design contract; Juvenile project evoked.

  • Conservation District gets $39,710 in County funding after a year without funding.

  • BOCC passes Resolutions, 25-2023 and 26-2023.

  • Public records software contract with Next Request to save “weeks of time”, cost $10,788 a year; advertising for Records Officer to start; Over 227 employees to take harassment training.

  • Commissioner Neil reports to Branch on mileage tax, jaywalking and right turn legislations presented by lobbyists; thinks proposals go too far.

  • Purchase of Fairgrounds bathroom partitions to cost $25,000, Hamilton Youth Foundation pledges to cover $15,000; demolition of horse barn urgent, safety issue, grant possibilities discussed.

  • Resolutions passed to distribute ARPA funds to Community Action ($50,000 for 17 months warehouse rental) and Public Health ($1M over four years)

  • Commissioners and Deputy Civil Prosecutor speculate over opiate settlement distribution process, await clarification.

02.21.23 AM - BOCC



  • 2 vacancies on Fair Board Advisory group – need to advertise the positions and advertise for RFP's for livestock market sale at the fair.

  • Central Services: need for generator in case of outages, Emergency Management considerations, and website changes.

  • Finance: current cash on hand and money market interest rates increase to 4%, expenditure and revenue reports, structure for accepting Opioid Settlement monies - $48,000, handling of cash/credit cards. some agreements with Public Health and Community Action regarding ARPA monies, Bid openings for Soil Stabilizer and Asphalt.

  • Solid Waste update – request from Town of Twisp for possible trail by Methow Recycling for pedestrians and children to access ballfields & possible hazards associated with.

  • Public Works update on roads and maintenance – road restrictions – ongoing evaluation.

  • Adjourned at 12:00 until 1:30 PM.

02.14.23 PM - BOCC



  • Process advances for hiring Public Records Officer

  • Maintenance Supervisor gets rental agreement renewal for July-October cooling system, passes on recommendation that county buy $250,000 plate heat exchanger–untreated well water bad for jail’s heat pumps.

  • Renewal of agreement for automation system–adjusts energy use and detects if well pump not working–$11,800/year for five years.

  • Instead of seasonal full-time recruit, year-round post, flexible, for 20 plus hours/week?

02.14.23 AM - BOCC



  • Discussion with Court staff regarding upcoming renovations and new detention center, watching significant bills in the legislature, financial planning.

  • Public Comment: Paul Sisson thanks BOCC for work on Tunk Re-Zone, Dave Mullens comments regarding EMS/ambulance service in the north county.

  • Public Hearing on proposed public record request fees – a lot of discussion regarding getting information to public when a legal notice/hearing is required. Looking forward to a public records officer/position.

  • Getting organized for opioid settlement monies process.

  • Auditor discusses need for bullet proof safety glass in office and need for overflow room during elections – reports that there are 4,000 new registered voters since her election,  Approved hiring of 2 security officers from Pacific Security.

  • Public Works update: road restriction exemption from midnight to 9am should help keep calls down as it is still freezing at night, BOCC agrees to maintain Libby Creek Road (a Forest Service Road) extending to the Sky Ranch turn-off,

  • Will be advertising for open position in the Commissioner’s Office.

  • Adjourn at 11:45, Public Health Meeting at 1:30 PM

02.14.23 - BOH




  • New ARPA funds allocated, $500,000 over four years, budget healthy

  • Nepotism concern: Environmental Health Supervisor replacement can’t be overseeing family member, resolution debated; Organizational chart to be studied, single administrator should
    replace administrative team.

  • Requests for variances to go through Health Officer, appeals through Hearings Examiner.

  • Health Officer Wallace signals growing opioid crisis, affecting schools and rivaling those in larger counties, in spite of strong support programs: peer counselors, food and transportation aid...; behavioral health fragilized by decrease in psychiatric care providers; shortage of care providers and hospital beds persists.

  • BOH requests blood and urine testing machine to help Coroner determine cause of death; $61,000 “investigative tool” can be shared with law enforcement to avoid long delays from outsourcing; wastewater testing for Covid continues in Brewster, could be widened to include
    drug detecting.

  • Septic system application process simplified

  • Health Board retreat scheduled for March.

02.13.23 AM - BOCC



  • Risk Manager report- jail personnel, courthouse security, settlement with jail inmate

  • Brief discussion about funding for Twisp well

  • Funding for Oroville EMS

  • Lobbyist report – jaywalking bills and how they are an attack on pickup trucks, improved riparian bill

  • Review of RFQs for work on new judicial center

  • Discussion of potential grants for Fire Districts, pros and cons of annexation

02.07.23 AM - BOCC



  • Public Comment: Emily Sisson had listened to yesterday's discussion regarding using an outside vendor–Pacific Security with grant money. She cautioned about using an armed security guard unless he/she is well trained.

  • RFQs received for Architect/Engineering services for the Justice Building. Will go over quotes next week. City of Twisp will be meeting with BOCC regarding their use of allocated ARPA funds for water system.

  • Updates from Chief Communication Officer/Dispatch; 9 of 13 positions filled, Radio project in the works, he will come back to BOCC with estimate for getting all Fire Districts in county up to date with the radio system, also reported on the 911 dispatch center coordination with other counties; Skagit, Skamania, Lincoln, San Juan County.

  • Update from Public Works.

02.07.23 PM - BOCC



  • HR provides job description for $64,000/year Public Records Officer,is reviewing related records-retrieving servers; meeting next day with Pacific Security, court personnel and sheriff to discuss courthouse security.

  • Hover suggests changes to official meeting minutes regarding comments about battery recycling increasing their carbon footprint, and about Conconully’s funding request being prioritized over that of the County’s 911 Communications system.

  • Fish and Wildlife boat launch projects approved for Patterson, Sidley and Spectacle lakes, Patterson users wary, explanatory meetings have reassured some; high water mark and ownership of Sidley Lake bottom discussed; Hover evokes river access by bridge north of Brewster for WDFW project.

  • Moldy court cases files, victims of ice dam leakage in Courthouse attic, provoke sickness among several of clerk’s staff, will be treated externally for $6,251; keeping records for eternity has a cost: $10,000 to put 100 years of archives onto microfiche.

  • County not interested in inheriting steep river property by Chopaka, recommends adjoining owner, DNR, for acquisition

02.06.23 AM - BOCC



  • Seven commenters tell the BOCC they are extremely unhappy with the Tunk Valley re-zone decision which establishes 160 acre lots. They feel they weren’t properly notified about the Planning Commission meeting that recommended the change. They said there should have been notification posted on the road entering the area and sent letters and phone calls notifying nearby property owners in addition to the legal notice in the newspaper. They also feel the change from 5 acre lots to minimum 160 acre lots robs them of the value of their land.

  • Naomie Peasley, Fairgrounds Manager tells the BOCC that the recent improvements at the Annex have turned the venue into a professional meeting area. She also describes the planned upgrades to the electrical connections at the arena.

  • Pete Palmer, Director of Planning assures the BOCC that the Planning Department met all notice requirements under the law for changes that will affect many property owners instead of just a few.

  • BOCC discusses budgets for the Oroville EMS District, Tonasket EMS District and the Methow Valley EMS District.

  • Shelley Keitzman updates the BOCC about the possibility of hiring security guards for the Court House. BOCC tells her to move forward in hiring two unarmed guards from Pacific Security at a total of $104,000 per year.

01.31.23 PM - BOCC



  • Discussion on funding for the Oroville Senior Center, AH suggests letting Aging and Adult Care request part of county transportation and nutrition agency allocation for this rather than see if Center qualifies for emergency federal funds.

  • Agreement to spend $46,000 for Fairgrounds RVpark bathroom partitions.

  • At Department Heads Quarterly Meeting: - Public Works looking forward to construction a new cell at the landfill and two new workshops across the river - Planning reports big zone code revision including cannabis operations, Shorelines review - Tax statements out by February 15th - Meeting to be held on Courthouse security - Sheriff implementing new policies to improve jail security, hints at an overhaul, patrol officer candidates in short supply, courthouse outfitted with security cameras, AH says funding for Dispatch must wait because Conconully needs it more - Noxious Weeds reaching out to users to attend town hall meetings - WSU extension reports Master Gardner Program success, need for 4H leaders - Architect of master plan retiring but will still supervise shop projects

  • Discussion on possibility of hiring County Administrator to help manage projects, billing and legislative agenda, act as liaison between BOCC and departments and ensure continuity as board changes.

01.31.23 AM - BOCC



  • Creating the RFQ's for Architectural Services,

  • Public Comment; concern and praise, from north end residents, for the Oroville Road Crew staff regarding difficulty of maintaining roads during this early, significant winter weather. Advertising for open positions on the Planning Commission Board – letters of interest due February 17th.

  • Sending letter of support for Match programs for upgrading Courthouse Security,

  • Discussion of moving surplus vehicles around to other county offices, such as the fairgrounds,

  • Executive Session: HR, Civil Deputy, Sheriff for ongoing litigation.

  • Bid Opening for 2023 County Wide Guardrail Safety Project,

  • Solid Waste: Manager regarding current legislative bills in the State Legislature that could affect how County takes care of waste and recycling.

  • Roads: County Engineer to send CRAB report with numbers from County Assessor.

  • Executive Session: to discuss the Hunter Mountain sale decision.

01.30.23 AM - BOCC



  • Commissioners discuss aquatic projects in Forest Service cuts. Commissioner Branch points out that the best time to have such projects included is during scoping.

  • Naomie Peasley, Fairgrounds Manager, update the commissioners. They discuss moving ahead with the race horse barns project, the newly installed floor of the Annex and how to develop plans for dealing with buildings damaged by the winter weather. The bathroom in the RV park has been demolished and rebuilding will start soon.

  • Pete Palmer, Planning Director, says the “Tunk thing” is now off her desk (referring to last Tuesday’s public meeting about the Tunk Valley rezone), and the office is now dealing with lots of public information requests for documents between the Planning Department, the BOCC and the Planning Commission.

  • Maurice Goodall, Emergency Management, tells the commissioners that the snow pack in approximately 100% of normal for this time of year and that the prospect for flooding is the spring is small.

  • Commissioner Hover tells the other commissioners about a recent conversation with the Mayor of Conconully. The town is trying to build a new fire station/community center paid for with two grants and $400,000 in bonds. After they received the bids, they realized they’d be $2,000,000 short. The mayor was asking Commissioner Hover for help in obtaining money from the state legislature. The commissioners discuss the situation. Commissioner Hover says he personally might support using some the $3,000,000 the county is hoping to receive to buy new radios needed for emergency communication.

01.24.23 PM - BOCC



  • Planning Commission’s recommendation for Upper and Lower Tunk Basin and Tamarack Springs zoning code amendment (County Ordinance 2023-1) adopted by BOCC. 160-acre designation created, status of Cannabis operations, fruit, vegetable and dairy stands, gravel pits and quarries change from permitted use to conditional use; at Commissioner Branch’s recommendation road maintenance issue and comp plan’s mention of basins’ rural character added to amendment. The BOCC to work with Department of Ecology on closing the basin, will investigate water storage systems for existent lots.

  • As part of her review of county code attorney Esther Milner from Prosecutor’s Office points to benefits of hiring a Public Records Officer, BOCC to research cost of staffing this position; recommends adopting a revised fee schedule to charge more for copies of electronic documents.

  • American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds approved for Fire District 6’s station project and Economic Alliance.

  • Meeting adjourned 3:10pm

01.24.23 AM - BOCC



  • No Public Comment.

  • Discussion with Lifeline staff regarding Emergency (Ambulance) Management Services (EMS) Districts challenges in Tonasket/Oroville and how to remedy.

  • Possibility of contracting Public Records Request due to volume of workload HR to schedule presentation with a vendor, also approval to sexual harassment training scheduled, discussion of Court Security with emphasis on immediate situation and overview, will meet with dept. heads.

  • Public Works update with County Engineer: SnowParks Trail Grooming Staff Payment and Training, Proposed Hunter Mountain WDFW purchase, proposed discussion Omak School
    District, Sand Flats, intersection; meeting in Mazama regarding parking and snowstorm maintenance.

  • Meeting adjourned at 11:48 AM

01.23.23 - BOCC



  • Commissioners discuss uses for the opioid settlement money.

  • Commissioners hear an update from Olympia by Zak Kennedy, the county’s lobbyist. He says 40% of the legislators and their aides have never worked in an in-person legislative session before and don’tknow how to talk to each other.

  • Commissioners hear an update from Pete Palmer, Director of Planning. Discussion of how to dealwith two members of the Planning Commission whose terms will soon expire. Also, the Mazama Subarea requested $25,000 to hire a consultant to help write the Subarea Plan. The Commissioners will decide about this request after the Comprehensive Plan has passed its legal challenges.

  • Commissioners and Ester Milner, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor continue to discuss updating the County Code. They discuss Chapter Two in detail.

  • Adjourn at noon until 9:00 Tuesday.

01.17.23 PM - BOCC



  • Mazama Advisory Committee applying for trail-building grant to separate pedestrian and road traffic

  • Fairgrounds to have new floors in Agriplex Annex, new bathroom partitions

  • Building numbers up, revenues slightly down, new trainee sought for March,

  • Noxious Weeds Board to consider removing Scotch Thistle from list as solution to lack of commercial applicators available; spring training to be held at Omak Theater, Town Hall meetings with landowners starting in February.

  • Behavioral Health, Prosecutor’s office and Sheriff debate next step to take toward signing agreement to distribute Opioid settlement funds; county representative(s) to participate in regional council; $48,000 available annually for 15 years to aid Okanogan County treatment programs

  • Assessor’s office updated its vehicle fleet with 2021, 2022 model trucks; is ordering new one for 2023.

01.17.23 AM - BOCC



  • Discussion of WDFW Proposal for upgrades at Patterson Lake public access site utilizing RCO grant.  AH supports 8mph speed limit.

  • Signing fair entertainment agreement today,

  • Considering Oroville Senior Center funding/help.

  • Public Comment re: problems with legal notices for Tunk Zoning

  • Approval of EMS district budgets for 2023.

  • Finance Committee Meeting: best practices for keeping track of finances and interest received on investments and bonding interest cost. Tax statements are expected to be out in the middle of February,

  • Public Works update by County Engineer.

  • 11:31 Recess until 1:30.

01.10.23 AM - BOCC



  • Commissioners Neal and Branch chat about Neal chairing Okanogan Council of Governments, failed and un-permitted septic systems, flooding and Canada’s snowpack

  • Public Hearing on Tunk/Tamarack Springs subdivision moratorium -  approved for 60 day extension.

  • Planning Director to recommend new county zoning designation (R160) for minimum lot size of 160 Acres in County Zoning Code, along with the addition of permitted uses for this category on District Use Chart.

  • January 23rd public hearing before Planning Commission on County Zone Code change (above) and Tunk Valley/Tamarack Springs change to R160.

  • Short discussion on ATV/ORV rule inconsistencies

  • Alta Vista Irrigation District prepares to close.

  • Auditor to coordinate voting in jails, new accounting system being prepped, federal laws if passed would complicate voter registration and expense reporting.

  • Cash Road being cleaned up after landslides in burn area.

  • Commissioners Hover and Branch discuss criteria for choosing advisory group members for Methow sub-area B.

  • Commissioners convene in afternoon to approve Northwest Forest Plan Advisory Committee and letter supporting committee candidate Michael Anderson

01.10.23 - BOH



  • Election of Chair and Vice Chair for new year – 2023,

  • Public Comment period: Mike (never caught last name with OCP by name) brought up a proposal regarding when it is determined that people need to be isolated or quarantined, (due to health concerns) that the Sheriff needs to be consulted for Constitutionality as he is the Constitutional authority.

  • Financial Report,

  • Update from Health Officer: Respiratory illness, Covid, and Influenza peaked in early December – we were hit harder earlier, numbers are going down and less hospitalizations, Also discussed Opioid overdoses reported in the County – averages 2 per week. Lots of collaboration between agencies, $48,000 per year for 15 years are allocated to Okanogan County to help with Opioid OD problem.

  • Discussion from Environmental Health Officer regarding role of water adequacy vs water quality. Health Dept's role in water adequacy/water quality to be discussed more in depth in a future meeting.

  • Executive Session regarding possible litigation.

  • Adjourned 3:00

01.09.23 - BOCC



  • Commissioner Branch discusses the Forest Health Collaborative’s approval of the Forest Service’s proposal for the Twisp Project. He’d like to sign an amicus brief written by the American Forest Research Council opposing a challenge to the Twisp Project filed by the North Cascades Conservation Council. The commissioners will discuss the amicus in an executive session with Ester Milner, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor and an official from Chelan County as soon as the meeting can be arranged.

  • Isabelle Spohn, of County Watch, makes a public comment, asking the commissioners make sure that legal notices are accurate. She cites examples of notices being inaccurate and problems the inaccuracy may have caused.

  • Zak Kennedy, lobbyist for Okanogan County, updates the Commissioners about the opening of the legislative session. He notes that many of the bills that have been refiled include the compromises worked out in the last session.

  • Maurice Goodall, Emergency Management, updates the Commissioners about the recent ammonia leak in Brewster.

  • Naomie Peasley, Fairgrounds Manager, updates the Commissioners about her goals for 2023. She’s also created a list of upgrades for the facilities. Commissioner Branch asks her to rate the upgrades with safety concerns as the highest priority and note which year she hopes to complete the upgrade, so that the county would have a capital facilities plan with dates.

  • Recess at 11:50.

01.03.23 - BOCC



• Chris Branch elected Chair, and Andy Hover elected Vice Chair. This was Commissioner Jon Neal's first meeting. The Board discussed the many boards and duties they take part in, outside BOCC meetings.

• Update from County Clerk; security issues are top concern big problem.

• Director from Community Action Council to modify use of ARPA funds from $200,000 allotment for food to; $135,000 for food, $50,000 warehouse ren tal to store food, and $15,000 for 'discretionary' emergency sheltering needs.

• Update from Solid Waste and County Engineer.

• Meeting adjourned 11:25

12.20.22 PM - BOCC



  • Clerk Lanie Johns begins discussion over amendment to increase ARPA fund allocation to Community Action Council in view of food shortage

  • Signatures for WSU Extension budget appendix directing part of $49,951 towards 4H/Master Gardener post

  • Pete Palmer to handle permit application for Coroner’s/Sheriff’s building across the river

  • Food for Community Action pantries to run out after Christmas – provider Second Harvest discontinuing due to diesel shortage and needs in Yakima Valley; finalizing of  amendment to increasing  original ARPA funding of $250,000 by up to $200,000

  • Housing Coalition and Community Action qualify for homeless aid tied to extreme weather

  • Request for quote on Public Works building (for new court complex) and Sheriff’s building ready for publication; combined cost of $7.5M covered by bond

  • Meeting adjourned at 2:42 until Tuesday morning at 8:15

12.20.22 AM - BOCC



  • Public Comment: clarification of Tunk Basin rezone procedure - currently sent back to Planning who will convene a public hearing on January 23rd, BOCC has extended the moratorium, setting the timeline forward.  February 6th discussion will be with the BOCC.

  • Short discussion regarding ARPA monies ($750,000) earmarked for broadband to cover entire County – PUD and OCEC (Former REA – Ok County Electrification Cooperative) to share these dollars.

  • Approval of voucher to pay for non-punitive damages – written up by HR and Civil Deputy.

  • AH being recommended for Forest Plan Advisory Board/Group.

  • Bid Opening for Central Landfill Phase 4 Development.

  • Payroll vouchers approved along with Emergency Management Services Districts.

  • Adjourn 11:28

12.19.22 - BOCC



  • Commissioners discuss Second Harvest’s unexpected cut in assistance for food pantries in eastern Washington. They plan to use $200,000 in ARPA funds to help Okanogan County pantries. They hope to have the paperwork ready by tomorrow.

  • Commissioners vote for Lisa Janicki for the Department of Natural Resources’ Board of Natural Resources. They also discuss good forest management and climate change.

  • Naomie Peasley, Fairgrounds Manager, updates the commissioners about the new floor planned for the Annex, the well and the new stalls for the racehorse barn.

  • Commissioners do Department Head performance evaluations for: 

  • Shelley Keitzman, Human Resources and Risk Management
    Karen Beatty, Central Services
    Pete Palmer, Planning Department
    Dan Higgins, Building Department
    Naomie Peasley, Fairgrounds Manager.

  • Adjourn at 3:16.

12.13.22 AM - BOCC



  • Public Comment: Thanks to BOCC for authorizing ARPA funds for Fire District 6 building request.

  • Tunk Valley: Confusion on dates of meetings/hearings on Tunk Valley Moratorium and Tunk Zoning discussed, with Cmr.Hover leaving to clarify with Director Palmer.   Cmr. Hover returns, giving no answer.

  • Support for re-introduction of grizzly bears utilizing Stillwater Technical Solutions research- Board to formulate response.

  • Auditor reports Wa State Secretary of State office releases funds to help counties with Election Cyber-Security & physical security - $80,000, Auditor and Deputy Auditor will come up with a plan. Auditor also discusses 3 quotes received for Voters Pamphlet and their recommendation – Consolidated Press in Seattle.

  • Prosecuting Attorney, Civil Deputy, and HR discuss reclassification of office position due to duties required – and changing the job title to Family Support Officer.

  • Auditor and HR putting together a plan to change non-exempt employees to hourly status to conform to state rules regarding L&I, giving plenty of notice to employees.

  • Public Works: Bid openings for new public works shops in Twisp & Tonasket and motor fuel. Road Update –catching up after last snowfall. Also reports weight restriction for F2 bridge and 2023 temporary wage positions agreement.

  • 2023 Budget has been adopted.

  • Meeting recessed at 11:38.

12.13.22 PM - BOCC



• “Scammer” called into November 28th Zoom meeting with “inappropriate” (pornographic) content; removal of portion from video recording explained in an amendment to proceedings.

• Housing Authority contracts approved with Community Action, Room One, Support Center, Behavioral Health, Homeless Shelter