COMMISSION CHAIR WILLIAM HARVEY


COMMISSIONER MARK E. BENNETT


COMMISSIONER BRUCE A. NICHOLS


 


BAKER COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS


The Baker County Board of Commissioners met for the July 6, 2022 Commission Session. Present were Commissioner Bill Harvey, Commissioner Mark E. Bennett, and Commissioner Bruce A. Nichols.


 


1.      Call to Order/Invocation/Pledge of Allegiance


Commissioner Harvey called the meeting to order and led the invocation and the pledge of allegiance.


 


2.      Agenda Changes/Additions to the Agenda


a.       Psilocybin Mushroom Legislation Update (See Scheduled Business)




Commissioner Nichols moved to approve the July 6, 2022 agenda with changes. Commissioner Bennett seconded the motion. Motion carried.





3.      Citizen’s Participation


a.       None


 


4.      Review/Approval of Minutes


a.       June 29, 2022 Special Commission Session Minutes


Commissioner Nichols moved to approve the June 29, 2022 Special Commission Session Minutes as presented. Commissioner Bennett seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


 


5.      Scheduled Business


a.       Contract Review Board


1.      Road: Purchase Yard Entry Gate


Ryan Davilla, Fleet Manager, reported that the existing gate is old and difficult to move. He is requesting approval to purchase a 30’ manual slide yard entry gate with a more secure and efficient automated gate system.  Bids were received with Boise River Fence submitting the lowest bid of $34,640. 


 


Commissioner Bennett moved to approve the bid from Boise River Fence for $34,640.  Commissioner Nichols seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


 


2.      SEIU 2022-24 Collective Bargaining Agreement:


The agreement is for two years with a 6% increase the first year and a 3% increase the second year of the agreement.  Commissioner Bennett added that the increase not only reflects the inflationary cost of living increase, but he noted that the SEIU group has received a 2% cost of living for over 14 years.  Commissioner Harvey also added that non-represented employees (other than law enforcement) will also receive the 6% increase and elected officials would receive 7%.


 


Commissioner Nichols moved to approve the 2022-24 SEIU Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Commissioner Bennett seconded the motion. Motion carried. 


b.      Assessor Update; Release of Potential Refund Credits


Kerry Savage, County Assessor, reported that the appeal from Tesoro Logistics, NW Pipeline court has been resolved and the County will be releasing the potential refund credit of $27,027.61 for the 2021-22 tax year, which will be distributed to the taxing districts.  Additionally Lumen Technologies, Inc. (CenturyLink) cases have been stipulated for 2018-19: $0, 2019-20: $197,777.14, 2020-21: $210,290.05, and 2021-22: $210,814.18.  Those funds will potentially be released to the taxing districts after refunds have been issued to the company.


 


c.       Policy Update: Smoking in the Workplace: Ms. Heidi Martin reported that the proposed policy expands the language to prohibit smoking in vehicles, equipment, and watercraft and allows supervisors to designate smoking areas for employees. 


 


Commissioner Bennett moved to approve the Smoking in the Workplace policy.  Commissioner Nichols seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


 


d.      Public Hearing:


Ordinance No. 2022-03: An Ordinance Regulating the Use of Baker County Parks; Prohibiting Certain Activities; Repealing Prior Ordinances:



Ms. Doni Bruland reported the last ordinance was updated in 2005 she reported that this ordinance reflects the changes and improvements to the Parks. Commissioner Harvey noted that Ms. Kim Mosier helped Ms. Bruland with the ordinance and explained that they have had an influx in out-of-County use at the parks and law enforcement has helped with issues.  It was noted that major change to the ordinance was the addition of enforcement language. Commissioner Harvey noted that Parks staff have the ability to revoke any permits. Commissioner Bennett questioned if there needed to be two readings of the ordinance. Ms. Martin reported that because this is an Emergency Ordinance, only one reading is necessary. Commissioner Harvey asked for public testimony in favor and in opposition of the Ordinance. There was none (in person or online).




Commissioner Bennett moved to approve Ordinance No. 2022-03: An Ordinance Regulating the Use of Baker County Parks; Prohibiting Certain Activities; Repealing Prior Ordinances by title only and declare it an emergency. Commissioner Nichols seconded the motion. Motion carried.




e.       Public Hearing Co. Comprehensive Plan to Recognize the Norther Baker Transportation Improvement Plan (NBTIP) and incorporating the NBTIP as a Refinement to the Baker Co. Transportation System Plan:

Ms. Holly Kerns reported that they are still waiting on final survey data from ODOT. She expects the final data to be available in September. The City of Baker City has indicated that they would like to review the survey findings prior to moving forward. Commissioner Harvey also noted that in recent meetings with ODOT, the project scope has decreased dramatically due to the rising costs associated with the project.


 


Commissioner Bennett moved to continue the hearing to November 2, 2022 at 9:00 a.m.  Commissioner Nichols seconded the motion.  Motion carried. 


 


f.        Psilocybin Mushroom Legislative Update:


Ms. Kim Mosier, County Counsel, reported that in 2021, Ballot Measure 109 was passed that allowed for the establishment of Psilocybin product manufacturers and psilocybin service center operators. She explained that the governing body could opt out of allowing sales to happen in our County or cities.  OHA requires that it go before the voters in order to opt out. She explained that this could be put it on the November ballot or we can sign a moratorium for up to two years and then address the issue later. She noted that if we did not opt out before January, the Planning Department would need to put together amendments to the Planning Ordinance. Commissioner Bennett expressed the need to communicate with the small cities and stressed the need to involve Greenhorn and Unity. Commissioner Harvey recommended the County and all cities to put it on the ballot at the same time.  Ms. Mosier reported that she would will bring a draft of a proposed ordinance and information back to the Commissioners at the July 20, 2022 session. 




6.      Documents to be Signed

                                                                 


a.       Order No. 2022-130: Re-appointing Brian Vegter and Mary Apple to the Baker Co. Cultural Coalition for a term set to expire July 1, 2025. 

Commissioner Bennett moved to approve Order No. 2022-130.  Commissioner Nichols seconded the motion.  Motion carried.




 


7.      Ratification of Documents


 


a.       Financial Reports: C04, V29, C06, C08, C07, C41, C42, April Revenue/Expenditure Report and the May Treasurer’s Report

Commissioner Nichols moved to approve the aforementioned financial reports. Commissioner Bennett seconded the motion. Motion carried.


 


 


8.      Other Business:


a.       Commissioner Update:


·         Commissioner Bennett reported that the State of Oregon rolled out the Wildfire Risk Map last Friday. He reported that there was a conference call related to the map. He noted that he will be going to Burns next Thursday to help sort out some of the issues with the map. He will also be in Salem on July 8, 2022 for the Wildfire Council meeting. He also noted that a letter was sent out to all of the landowners directly impacted by the proposed B2H transmission line informing them of the meeting on July 13, 2022 at 7pm.




·         Commissioner Nichols reported that he went to Northern Idaho over the weekend. He also questioned the status of the Ambulance over the weekend. Commissioner Bennett reported that he has been checking the call log daily and reported that primarily Metro West is responding to the calls. Commissioner Bennett reported that he has noticed an issue with the ambulance responding and the patient refusing to be transported. He explained that he would reach out to Jason Yencopal on the matter. Commissioner Bennett also noted housing shortages for wildland firefighters. 



Commissioner Nichols reported that he received an email from Valarie from the City of Haines. The City of Haines gave the County $25,000 of COVID relief funds in 2020. It was noted that the County gave back $480.16 to the City of Haines for a new door and secure drop box at the City Hall in Haines. The City of Haines is inquiring if a portion of those funds could be returned to replace the door at the Haines Rural Fire Protection District. They expect the door to cost $10,000.

Commissioner Bennett reported that the $25,000 was allocated primarily to the businesses in the small cities. He noted that those funds are not available. He explained that there may be funds available through the State Fire Marshalls office. Commissioner Harvey requested that Commissioner Bennet follow up with Jason Yencopal to discuss potential funding opportunities.




·         Commissioner Harvey reported that he had a meeting with a miners group on Friday night. He noted a Forest Access For All (FAFA) meeting on Saturday. Commissioner Harvey explained that there was a good turnout at the Haines parade as well as the rodeo. He also reported that he is still working on the thelypody project that would transfer some of the land to the Haines rodeo for parking in exchange for other land.  He reported that they have a new hire at the park. Commissioner Harvey also noted he would be meeting with Idaho Power Co. who will be paying for bank erosion at the park.



Commissioner Harvey provided a brief update on the Pine Creek Road case. He reported they currently have approval for a survey visit and noted that they are no longer in mediation, they will return to a court schedule. Ms. Wanda Ballard asked questions related to accessing the road. She also questioned if they had an estimate on when they anticipate the case to be resolved. Commissioner Harvey reported his hopes that the case be resolved soon, but noted that the timeline is unknown.



Commissioner Bennett noted that the Sheriff’s office is handling a nuisance complaint related to illegal dumping in that area as well. Ms. Wanda Ballard questioned the status of the proposed no-shooting ordinance in that area that was discussed previously. Commissioner Harvey explained that it has not moved forward because the proponent of that of that ordinance has not moved forward at this time.




b.      Comparison of Calendar: None




9.   Adjournment


The July 6, 2022 Commission Session adjourned at 10:10 a.m.     


 


 


Respectfully Submitted,


 


 


 


Meranda Woolard


Program Coordinator