BOARD OF MASON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS PROCEEDINGS
January 11, 2000
The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Cynthia D. Olsen at 9:00 a.m. Commissioners Mary Jo Cady and John A. Bolender were in attendance.
C O R R E S P O N D E N C E
The Treasurer has designated Bank of America, Shelton Branch as depositary of public funds for year 2000.
BOARD OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Marlene Dawson, Whatcom County Council, has requested support in serving on the Board of Natural Resources. A copy of a letter was received from Whatcom County Council noting their support of Marlene Dawson being appointed to the Board of Natural Resources.
STATE OF WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL & HEALTH SERVICES CONTRACT AMENDMENT #5
Received a signed unilateral amendment to the contract (No. 1315-92111) with the Department of Social and Health Services, which provides working capital for program expenditures for the Mental Health and/or Alcoholism & Substance Abuse and/or Developmental Disabilities. This amendment extends the period of performance to June 30, 2000.
Received a request to sign an original assumption agreement executed by Charter Communications. Copy referred to Prosecutors office.
PROPOSED FLOOD DAMAGE PREVENTION ORDINANCE
Prosecutor Gary Burleson informed the Board they could supply a legal analysis on the proposed flood damage prevention ordinance within two to three weeks.
B U S I N E S S
APPOINTMENT OF CHAIRPERSON
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded that Cmmr. John Bolender serve as chairperson for year 2000. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
REQUEST FOR QUOTES NEW PATROL ORV MOTORCYCLE
A written request was received from Sheriff Steve Whybark for authorization to secure telephone quotes for the purchase of an ORV motorcycle for off-road use.
The Board held for further discussion with the Sheriff.
2000 INSURANCE CONTRIBUTIONS ENGINEERS GUILD; TEAMSTER/APPRAISERS & NON-UNION EMPLOYEES
Skip Wright, Human Resources Director, informed the Board he had three items for approval dealing with insurance contributions for employee groups for the year 2000. The documents would provide for a maximum insurance contribution of $425 per month per employee toward insurance contributions.
The first item presented was an Interim Agreement with the Engineers Guild to provide maximum insurance contribution of $425 per employee per month, effective January 1, 2000.
The Board noted this is a significant increase in the employee benefit contribution for employee insurance but it was felt this is necessary.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to approve and authorize the chairperson to sign, the interim agreement between Mason County and the Engineers Guild which provides for a maximum county contribution toward employee group insurance premiums of $425 per employee, per month effective January 1, 2000. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
Mr. Wright presented an Interim Agreement with the Teamsters Appraisers bargaining unit, which will also provide a maximum insurance contribution of $425 per employee per month, effective January 1, 2000. The Teamsters Appraisers get all their employee group insurance through the Washington Teamsters Welfare Trust and the chairperson needs to sign the subscription agreement, which provides for a continuation of the insurance coverage.
Cmmr. Olsen/Cady moved and seconded the Board approve and authorize the Chairperson to sign the Interim Agreement between Mason County and the Teamsters/Appraisers bargaining unit which provides for a maximum County contribution toward employee group insurance premiums of $425 per employee, per month effective January 1, 2000 and that the Board approve and authorize the chairperson to sign the subscription agreement with the Washington Teamsters Welfare Trust to continue insurance coverage for the Teamsters/Appraisers bargaining unit. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
The last item presented to the Board was a resolution to set the Countys insurance contribution rate for the Non-Union employees at the maximum of $425 per employee.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to approve Resolution No. 5-2000 to set the Countys insurance contribution rate for non-union employees at a maximum of $425 per employee, per month effective January 1, 2000. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye. Resolution No. 5-2000 (Exhibit A)
US WEST COMMUNICATIONS E 911 AGREEMENT
The Countys E-911 Coordinator Mike Akin presented a Public Safety Product Sales/Installation/Maintenance Agreement with US West Communications, Inc. He explained there will be a purchase of a state-of-the-art 911 switching system to address the issues of Automatic number identification, automatic location identification (ANIALI) with the cellular phone industry. The current system is at its limit. The newer system has a capability of adding on a module to get into mapping. Mason County will be the third site in the state for this program. The price in the purchase agreement is roughly $130,000. The state has allocated $156,000 for this purchase which will include the equipment and taxes.
Cmmr. Olsen/Cady moved and seconded to approve the Public Safety Product Sales/Installation Maintenance Agreement with US West Communications Services Inc. and authorize the chair to sign. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
Jerry Swartos, Mason County Fire Chiefs Association President, read a letter from the Association expressing concern for the elimination of the Fire Marshals office and asked for clarification on issues relating to the Fire Marshal duties.
In response to the letter, the County noted there are certain statutory requirements the County must follow. If the County is following the law in things that are mandated. It was questioned how that is a violation of moral and ethical responsibilities. The Board has taken a position within the budget to meet the statutory requirements.
Mr. Swartos concluded that the Association felt the County has failed the citizens by eliminating the Fire Marshal office.
Mike Greene, Fire Protection District #2 Chief, also was present and expressed concern about notification and communication. They had hoped changes would be accomplished in cooperation with the fire districts.
The Board stated when the discussion of the Fire Marshal position was discussed two years ago, the County worked with the fire districts to find solutions to ongoing funding for the fire marshal position. It was agreed to institute some permit fees. It was the Countys expectation that the majority of the funding needed for the fire marshal position would come through fire fees and plan check fees. At the end of 1999 it was determined the fees were substantially less than what was necessary to fund the position. It was at the Boards direction that the fire marshal pursued a grant because the County as facing another crises to fund the fire marshal position. The County has not been able to identify a source of funding that is consistent, stable and long term.
There was discussion that the Fire Investigation Team is in the budget and that it would be an ongoing activity. The Board was advised that the Fire Investigation Team volunteers are disbanding.
Chief Greene stated the Fire Investigation Team is a group of volunteers who do not have police powers. Dave Salzer is the only one in the organization that has the police powers and investigation background. They were aware of no one else in the County with expertise and training for cause and origin of fires. The Sheriff will assist when a criminal act has been committed.
The Board thanked Mr. Swartos and Mr. Greene for coming to them and concluded they will provide a written response to the letter within two weeks.
HEARING - UTILITY EASEMENT REMOVAL
The Board held a public hearing to consider the removal of the utility and drainage easements between Lots 152 & 153, 153 & 154, and 154 and 155, Star Lake Addition 2 as requested by Orelle & Lois Fugere and the estate of Barbara & Harold Damon.
Michael MacSems, Permit Assistance Center, presented a request on behalf of the applicants that the hearing be continued to a future date in the middle of April.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to continue the hearing to consider the removal of the utility and drainage easements between Lots 152 & 153, 153 & 154, and 154 and 155, Star Lake Addition 2 as requested by Orelle & Lois Fugere and the estate of Barbara & Harold Damon on April 11, 2000 at 9:30 a.m. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
BID OPENING 4 x 4 CAB & CHASSIS WITH STAKEBED & SNOWPLOW
At 9:45 a.m. the Board closed the call for bids for the 4 X 4 Cab and Chassis with Stakebed and SnowPlow. Two bids were received and opened as follow:
Air Tec Equipment, Inc.
2000 model year 4 x 4 chassis with stakebed and plow
The front of the bid indicated it was for a Ford and Chevy.
$34,992.00 manual transmission
$35,641.00 manual transmission
Scott Hilburn Auto Center
2000 model year 4 X 4 Ford F350
$25,454.69 (this does not include a plow, but it includes a stakebed)
The Board deferred the bids for one hour.
The Board recessed at 9:50 a.m. until 10 am
HEARING CONT - FLOOD DAMAGE PREVENTION ORDINANCE & FREQUENTLY FLOODED AREAS & DEFINITIONS
At 10 a.m. the Board held the continuation of the January 4, 2000 hearing to consider revisions to the Mason County Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance, and Frequently Flooded Areas and Definitions chapters of the Resource Ordinance. The proposed revisions affect how development will occur in frequently flooded areas.
Chairperson Bolender explained there were legal questions raised at the last hearing which the Prosecutors office has indicated will take between two and three weeks to obtain the analysis on the questions. In the absence of a legal review, it was suggested that new testimony could be given that was not provided at the last hearing.
Pam Bennett-Cummings, Planner, circulated a memorandum on the floodplain regulation related questions raised at January 4, 2000 public hearing.
There was a discussion about why the process is being followed and what is at stake if the process was not followed as far as the insurance and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) position.
Mrs. Bennett-Cummings explained that in the late 1980s the County ran the risk of being dropped from the FEMA. The County is now at the culmination of a long period of research to get to adopting revisions to the flood plain regulations which include the density flood plain provisions for the Skokomish Valley which were part of the research initiated after negotiations with Department of Ecology and FEMA during that period when there was a concern whether Mason County would still be eligible for flood insurance.
This plan represents what was negotiated many years ago and the study has now been completed and they are at the point at finding a way to provide a process for development using density provisions within the Skokomish Flood Plain. Without that, the County would be in the same situation as in the 1980s and looking to go back to the old floodway that on the map of the flood plain for the Skokomish River. It would put a very large area out of development.
Prior to the adoption by FEMA of new floodplain maps in 1998, the floodplain map for the Lower Skokomish River Valley was designated as floodway. FEMA provisions and Mason County provisions do not allow development within the floodway. Part of a long process of negotiation agreement, scientific study, research, and development of draft flood plans and the final plan, a method was developed which would allow a density approach to floodplain development in the Skokomish Valley. Development was limited to a certain calculated percentage, which was part of the scientific study that was done. That calculated percentage, 3%, would result in accumulative raise in the base flood elevation in the valley of half a foot. If that portion of the valley that was floodway still remained floodway, the elevation of the base flood elevation would have to be 0. In other words, no development could happen in the floodway.
An advisory committee was made up of stakeholders, including a number of people who were residents of the valley. That was the beginning of the process that culminated in the flood study, the adoption of revised FEMA flood maps which were revised based on the understanding and the expectation that the density would be used.
It was noted the 3% density only applies to the Skokomish River special flood risk area, this is because there is a comprehensive plan. In the absence of a comprehensive plan in other communities with rivers in the County the standard floodplain regulations would apply.
The guiding floodplain regulations for the County would be contained within the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance. The Frequently Flooded areas chapter of the Resource Ordinance which is required under the Growth Management Act references general information. Section D Development Standards directs the reader into the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance for the development standards for Mason County Frequently Flooded Areas.
The Board opened up discussion to those in attendance.
Richard Doak stated if he knows he cannot build on a piece of property before he purchases the property that is fair; however, if a property owner is told after he owns a piece of property that the property cannot be built on, that is not fair. He felt as long as there is diking in the valley, there is a possibility of avulsion especially behind the dikes.
Shelloy Johnson was concerned as a Skokomish Valley resident as the flooding situation affects all residents in the valley. She felt it would be beneficial to have a resident from the valley on the Planning Commission. Her home falls into the category of water in the garage and minimal damage. The salmon are spawning on the road and in the fields. She was concerned about the taking of property with the no new footprint area.
Her home sits on a piece of property which is 90% taken in by Zone 1A and are higher in elevations than properties that are not in no new footprint. She questioned why her property is in Zone 1A and asked that the County visit her site. The majority of her property is agricultural. Under the conditions of the no new footprint, there is no provision to build any type of structure.
John Sigmond, Skokomish Valley Road, expressed concern about the taking of property by the construction of dikes so the water cannot go into the main channel. If a residence is below or at the top of any dike it is the first to get water. He was concerned that an ordinance is written that does not include information about diking and the effects on property.
The Board interjected that a diking study is going on.
Mr. Sigmond stated he understood it would not be finished for six months to a year and then the data would need to be analyzed.
There was discussion that there is a home built up and seems to affect other residences.
The Board commented that raising a home is a FEMA approved method of building.
Mr. Sigmond commented he understood a home could be built, but the footprint cannot be any bigger than the home. He felt it is bringing fill into the valley. Again, he stressed his main concern is the dikes. When the dikes are breached at the lower end of the Valley he can watch the water drop in his front yard from three feet deep to within 30 60 minutes to six inches deep.
Evan Tozier stated he is a 43 year resident of Skokomish Valley and is a current member of the Shoreline Advisory Board; past Chair of the Skokomish Flood Control Zone District Advisory Committee, and a member of Planning Committee which developed the Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plan for the main stem of the Skokomish River.
He was concerned that the County is getting television coverage of the Skokomish River and the news media is saying salmon is swimming up US Highway 101. He felt that the latest version of the Flood Control Ordinance did not give consideration of the residents. The ordinance seems to stifle growth and limit agriculture uses in the Skokomish Valley.
Our country celebrates by having the lowest food costs in the world. Currently, farmers in the USA are in the worst economic cycles since the great depression. Today the farmer is getting less for a bushel of wheat than 45 years ago. The ordinance does not address agricultural exemptions, which allow for livestock sanctuaries to save farm animals lives. It does not recognize that farmlands of statewide significance should be allowed to maintain drainage ditches and keep nuisance floods off of valuable crops without spending money on engineers and more permits. It does not recognize flood proofing of agricultural buildings and allow for changes that need to be made by farms to prepare for changes in environment and methods of farming now or in the future. Nowhere in the document does it allow for farm families to transfer between themselves square footage of barns residences or fills to flood proof their farmsteads and prepare for the future. Many of the farms are generational and should be afforded exemptions to maintain for new generations. The agricultural community of Skokomish Valley has made numerous attempts with the local legislators and advisory boards to point out the needs of agriculture. The leaders of the agricultural community feel they have been ignored in the writing of the ordinance that provides for agriculture to continue for the next century as it has in the last.
He left a book entitled "Retrofitting Floodprone Residential Structures" which provides information by which he floodproofed his own home. All the floodproof measures were within the guidelines of the law.
Bill Hunter, Sr., mentioned that the Skokomish Valley is one of the oldest communities in the County. Many years ago the County, State, and local citizens worked on the Skokomish River to maintain it. At that time, there was an agency in state government that would pay for a minimum amount of the project, which would pay the operator, and part of the diesel to run the equipment. If people had machinery they could go out and work on the river to maintain it under the guidance of state programs. The State Department of Transportations main effort is to remove gravel below the US Highway 101 bridge. The forest was logged twice as fast as any national forest. He felt the regulatory practices of the federal government have contributed to the problem through the regulations of not allowing the citizens to do anything. Also, with all the roads that are built, water runs off the slopes fast and gets in the gully. Next thing the road and culvert are out and the water ends up in Skokomish Valley.
Kurt Hunter expressed he has been a lifelong resident in the Valley. From his standpoint, the dikes are not an issue. It is the gravel bar in the river raising up. There seems to be some simple solutions. The logging in the watershed seems to have accelerated. He encouraged the Board to insist that something be done. The floods seem to be getting worse and are unpredictable.
The Board interjected that County was aggressively trying to get permits to remove gravel out of the river. The County has temporarily gained assistance from Congressman Dicks.
Dan Sokol, Department of Ecology, stated the revisions to the ordinance are acceptable as presented by the staff, with the exception of the transfer and development rights. It needs to be worked out with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
A question was raised by the Board as to why permits cannot be obtained from the Department of Ecology (DOE) for work in the Skokomish River.
Mr. Sokol responded that some of the responsibility is from the Department of Fish & Wildlife. There was a special appropriation to the County for gravel removal. The permitting obstacles seem to be too great to overcome. The Corps of Engineers, in their recent study, indicated that select gravel removal might be of some benefit.
The Board asked if DOE could agree that removing gravel was a possibility, if they would help the County to get through the permitting.
Mr. Sokol stated they already did that when they were going through the special appropriation with Department of Fisheries and the Tribe. They could support anything that will help the situation and have no adverse environmental impact.
A question was asked why there isnt a moratorium on the logging companies to put gravel traps below their logging operations and stop the gravel from coming in.
The Board noted there are other interests and the opinions are not always the same. It is a challenge for the Board to balance the interests and opinions.
Evan Tozier stated he was present when there was a lot of discussion about the percentage of the Skokomish Valley that could be filled or developed. Also what the potential raise is on the level of the 100 year flood mark. He stated there was discussion around the committees table that 3% would be given to diking and berm systems because it would allow a half-foot rise. The other three-percent could be allocated for residential or commercial development.
He asked if the property owner never builds the other three-percent, he questioned what the County would allow the property owner. He questioned what percentage is allowed for the filling of the channel of the Skokomish River.
The Board responded that the question of filling the Skokomish River should be addressed by FEMA.
Warren Dawes questioned if the Board is planning on continuing the hearing for at least written comments.
John Sigmond asked if the Commissioners also serve as the Board of Health.
The Board responded they do serve as the Board of Health.
Mr. Sigmond asked if there are public health and safety issues in the Valley that could be addressed.
It was noted the safety issue is not the Board of Healths concern. A health problem would be a concern of the Board of Health. At present time, neither the Department of Health in Mason County, nor the Health Officer has identified an existing public health threat in the Valley.
Mr. Sigmond asked if they could put a moratorium on the roads for Simpson Timber Company.
Chairperson. Bolender indicated it is not likely as that is more of a land use issue.
Bill Hunter Sr. stated there could be options of a weight limit on the road. Usually log trucks have a tolerance over the allowed weight limit. Hauling on the valley road when it is saturated with water is the worst conditions.
Cmmr. Olsen/Cady moved and seconded to continue the hearing to February 1, 2000 at 11:30 a.m. in the Commission Chambers. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
The Board recessed at 11:20 a.m. for five minutes.
BID AWARD - 2000 4 X 4 CAB & CHASSIS
Dave Loser, Equipment Rental & Revolving Fund Manager, informed the Board he reviewed the bids which came in. Aer Tec Equipment, Inc. met the specifications. The Washington State contract provides the same equipment at $31,846. It is recommended to purchase from the state contract.
Cmmr Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to reject the two bids for the 2000 4 X 4 Cab & Chassis with stakebed and snow plow and authorize ER&R Manager to purchase off state contract. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
AWARD OF QUOTES DISK BACKUP
The Board was informed that ER&R Fund was given authorization to look for a disk backup for AS400, due to the loss of a half a day of work. Two responses were received, but only one bid from Tremont Company at $4,273.41. This was less than anticipated. If a disk drive fails they will still be able to use the AS400 computer system.
CRP 1636 & 1637
Jerry Hauth, Public Works Director, presented two County Road Projects (CRP). The Shelton Valley Road (CRP 1636) As the road extends over and ties to the Cloquallum Road there is a linkage from the Cloquallum area up to US Highway 101. They are proposing to work in two configurations. They would chip seal a section of the road and secondly establish an eight foot lane.
Cmmr. Olsen/Cady moved and seconded to execute CRP 1636, Shelton Valley Road. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye. Resolution No. 6-2000. (Exhibit B)
The Trails Road (CRP 1637) was also presented for the Boards consideration. They will have one project short to complete the linkage on Trails Road from Mason Benson Lake intersection at the firehall up to the top of the slide above US Highway 106.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to approve Resolution No. 7-2000 authorizing the execution of CRP 1637, Trails Road. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye. Resolution No. 7-2000. (Exhibit C)
VETERANS ASSISTANCE APPLICATIONS
1) Loy E. Earles VFW 1694 Housing $203.13
2) Charles E. Young VFW 1694 Utilities $191.59; Food $100.00 = $291.59
3) Richard Salomaki VFW 1694 Housing $400.00
4) James W. Stott VFW 1694 Housing $400.00
The Veterans Assistance Screening Committee is recommending approval on the above listed applications totaling $1,294.72.
Cmmr. Cady/Olsen moved and seconded to approve the veterans assistance applications as submitted. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
LIQUOR LICENSE APPLICATION
Special Occasion Applicant: Mason County Protection District #1; Date February 12, 2000; Place; Hoodsport Community Hall; Time; 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Cmmr. Olsen/Cady moved and seconded there are no objections to the special occasion liquor license for Mason County Protection District #1. Motion carried unanimously. B-aye; C-aye; O-aye.
The regular meeting adjourned at 11:40 a.m.
Rebecca S. Rogers
Clerk of the Board
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
MASON COUNTY, WASHINGTON
John A. Bolender, Chairperson
Mary Jo Cady, Commissioner
Cynthia D. Olsen, Commissioner