Sherman County eNews #197


  1. Moro Community Church in the Park, Picnic & BBQ, July 29

  2. Letter to the Editor and Residents and Friends of the City of Wasco

  3. Solving Difficult Problems

  4. Space Weather: Lunar Eclipse & Martian Conjunction, July 27

  5. Sherman County Court News, June 6

  6. Sherman County Senior & Community Center August Meal Menu

As for information received and passed on to others, we could apply the Rotary Club’s four-way test:
• Is it true? 
• Is it fair to all concerned? 
• Will it build goodwill and better friendships? 
• Will it be beneficial to all concerned? 
If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, don’t participate!

1. Moro Community Church in the Park, Picnic & BBQ, July 29

All are invited to

Community Picnic & BBQ

Moro City Park

Hosted by Moro Community Church

Sunday, July 29th

10:45 am – Church in the Park

12:00 n – 1:30 pm – BBQ & Picnic

1:30 pm – Clean-up/take down

If you wish, bring a Salad, Chips, or Dessert to share

(Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Condiments, drinks & paper goods provided)

2. Letter to the Editor and Residents and Friends of the City of Wasco

July 17, 2018

City of Wasco, Oregon

Dear friends of Wasco, Oregon:

I regret to inform you that I need to resign as the mayor of the city of Wasco. Family circumstances require that I be at home, especially in the evenings.

I have been honored to serve as the mayor of Wasco for the past 3 ½ years. I feel that we, as the council, have worked well together and have addressed and resolved several important issues along with the day to day city issues. So please accept this letter of resignation affective tonight, Tuesday, July 17, 2018. Council president, Eileen Wainwright, will be filling my position until the next election this November 2018

Carol MacKenzie

Mayor, City of Wasco, Oregon

3. Solving Difficult Problems

When you have a complex problem to solve, how do you go about solving it? Here is some information that might help you.

Sometimes, when we have complex or difficult problems to solve, our feelings of being under pressure cause us to push so hard for solutions that we wind up spinning our wheels. We study the problem from every possible angle, collect huge amounts of information, struggle hard and do lots of analysis. Still the answer evades us.

Some of this is because it’s hard for us to tolerate feeling confused for very long. We want certainty, and we want clear answers. However, sometimes it’s better not to push it. Dr. Peter Carruthers, one-time head of theoretical physics at Los Alamos National Laboratory, said that our unconscious (or what we refer to as the subconscious) is an important factor in solving complex problems.

This means that while you certainly need to collect all the information you can, and sometimes literally immerse yourself in the problem, at some point it’s important to back off and leave it alone for a while, trusting that creative, productive mental work will continue even if you’re not aware of it. Peak performers of all kinds demonstrate this, and researchers confirm it: analysis and intuition are partners in creative work. They need each other to be truly effective.

People who won’t relax their dependence on concrete, countable information often just can’t see possibilities that don’t fit into what they already know. The lock on to what they know and lock out the possibility of other insights. However, if you’re willing to let go for a while and let your subconscious and creative subconscious have a turn, you may be surprised and pleased at the results. ~The Pacific Institute

4. Space Weather: Lunar Eclipse & Martian Conjunction, July 27
LUNAR ECLIPSE AND MARTIAN CONJUNCTION: Friday, July 27th, is a big night for astronomy. Mars will be at opposition, making a 15-year close approach to Earth. The full Moon and Mars will be in conjunction. And, best of all, the Moon will pass through the shadow of Earth, producing the longest lunar eclipse in a century. Visit today’s edition of for sky maps, animations, and observing tips.
Remember, is on Facebook!

5. Sherman County Court News, June 6

ShermanCoLogoSherman County Court

Contact: Kayla von Borstel 541-565-3416

Sherman County Budget Hearing, Sherman County Supplemental Budget Hearing, Opportunity Zones, The Dalles Disposal Rates Review, Finnegan Creek Bridge, Intergovernmental Agreement between Sherman County School District and Sherman County, Insurance Policy Updates, Biggs Service District Budget Hearing, Biggs Service District Draft Ordinances, and Sherman County Broadband Project, were the main items on the agenda during the June 6th session of Sherman County Court in Moro.

Sherman County Court entered into Sherman County Budget Hearing. Debbie Hayden, Finance Officer, provided Court with a letter from the Budget Committee community members regarding the submitted request by the deputies, for a salary increase for the Sheriff; the request was denied. An approval of the request would mean decreasing his salary. The Court motioned to adopt the budget approved by the Budget Committee for the 2018-2019 fiscal year in the total sum of $51,520,484 and imposing the taxes provided for in the adopted budget at the rate of $8.7141 per $1,000 of assessed value for operations, and that these taxes are hereby imposed and categorized for tax year 2018-2019 upon the assessed value of all taxable property within the County of Sherman as of 1:00 a.m., July 1, 2018. Additionally to approve appropriations as recommended by the Finance Director and authorized County Court to sign. Being no further business the Budget Hearing closed.

Sherman County Court entered into Sherman County Supplemental Budget Hearing. Debbie Hayden, Finance Officer, stated more revenue was received than anticipated; in order to spend the funds a supplemental budget was required. The Court motioned to approve the resolution summary of proposed budget changes appropriating $60,000 to the County School per Capita Fund, $21,281 to the CAMI Fund, and $52,647 to the DA-VWAP Fund for the Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 2018, and authorize County Court to sign. Being no further business the Budget Hearing closed.

Carolyn Meece, Business Oregon Regional Development Officer, spoke on Opportunity Zones. There are 86 opportunity zones declared in Oregon; however, funds for Opportunity Zones are not secured in Oregon. Sherman County has been designated as an Opportunity Zone. Meece presented information compiled from multiple sources to the best of her ability. Opportunity zones were identified in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 with purposes to use Federal tax incentives to draw long term investments to business that continue to struggle. This is done by taking capital gain funds and placing them into a project; the longer the funds are held there, the less taxes would have to be paid on the capital gains. Capital gains would need to be invested within 180 days from the time of sale. If the funds are held for 10 years it falls under permanent exclusion. Carolyn stated projects needed to be large in scale and provide significant improvement to the area such as repowering wind turbines, a big housing project, or building in the Rufus Industrial Park. Currently it is unknown what entity would have approval authority for such projects.

The Dalles Disposal requested a rate increase for operations. The Dalles Disposal requested 85% of the West Coast CPI rate used, due to their efficiency. A 32 gallon can will the increase by $0.52 per month, and a 2 yard dumpster will increase by $0.12 – $1.03/month depending on pick up frequency. County Court motioned to approve a 2.11% increase in The Dalles Disposal fees for annual operational costs to be effective July 1, 2018. 

County Court discussed the memo and proposal provided by Mark Coles, Road Department. Coles was only able to obtain one bid for the Finnegan Creek Bridge. Other businesses contacted did not have enough time in their schedules to take on the task. The Court motioned to accept Oregon Transportation Professionals proposal quote up to $283,000 for the preliminary Engineer Phase, right of way phase, and construction engineering phase of the Finnegan Creek Bridge. 

County Court reviewed the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between Sherman County School District and Sherman County for the Sherman School District Safety Plan. The IGA, to be put in place for insurance purposes, designates armed staff as special deputies, who can then be insured as such through the County. There are not a set number of special deputies as it will vary on who the Sheriff’s Department feels is adequate. Matt McGowan, Payne West Insurance, stated the School will assume the majority of the liability; the County is only liable during active threat situations. The School will compensate the County the special deputy insurance premiums charged. County Court motioned to approve the Intergovernmental Agreement between Sherman County School District and Sherman County to collaborate in implementing the Joint Sherman County School District’s and Sherman County Sheriff’s Office Safety Plan, and authorize Judge Thompson to sign. 

Matt McGowan, Payne West Insurance, presented the insurance renewal packet for review of CIS (City County Insurance). The County would be responsible for first $15,000 of any settlement and must use the insurance’s attorneys, and if there are two or more incidents, the rates will increase. Changes since last year included the addition of two special deputies and Property Coverage due to the Courthouse Addition; building value increased from $8,000,000 to $15,000,000 with a total property limit of $22,549,147. Equipment and Property Breakdown would cover for any damages to the equipment in the buildings. The policy also has $250,000 in blanket Crime Coverage for all employees including computer and transfer fraud. Cyber liability would cover if County systems were hacked or private information on file was stolen. CIS has a very limited Pollution Liability policy, so yearly they recommend gaining a policy larger in size for pollution as seen in the packet due to large farms. The Court motioned to approve PayneWest 2018- 2019 insurance renewal for $162,978.41

Biggs Service District (BSD) Board of Directors entered a Budget Hearing. Aaron Cook, BSD Administrator, presented a draft budget to the BSD. The major fund BSD has is Sewer; and has a long term contract with CH2M Hill to handle all operations which well end next fiscal year. Cook budgeted for any unforeseen maintenance to the Sewer system. Cook combined the funds instead of keeping them separate to streamline the budget. The Board inquired why the beginning fund balance had increased significantly since last year. Judge Thompson sought out Debbie Hayden, Finance Officer, for some clarification on where these funds come from. Hayden stated the $240,000 funds transferred to BSD was comprised of Special District tax dollars from the BSD Reserve Account, and $512,000 of that was committed by the County to reimburse BSD for payments made to Anderson Perry & Associated relating to the Water System Project. Carrie Pipinich, Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD), stated the Water System needed to have its own account. There was some confusion among those present on numbers found in the budget relating to where some of the budget numbers came from and why BSD was operating at a loss. BSD took a recess in order for Cook and Hayden to research past budgets and come up with proper budget figures. BSD Board reentered the Hearing. A raise of $12,000 as an Administration fee was proposed; the Board denied the request as BSD is contracted with Rufus for $3,000 per year. The Board stated MCEDD was to be hired to manage the BSD Water System Grant. Cook stated there was not a Water Fund as it does not exist yet, however, he estimated for one in anticipation the system would be running during the next fiscal year. Water expenses mirrored sewer expenses. The Board stated there significant errors in the budget that needed to be recalculated as there was no validity to the majority of the numbers presented. County Court motioned to approve CH2M Hill Amendment No. 10 for Biggs Service District 2018-2019 Sewer Operation Services in the amount of $85,446, and authorize the Biggs Service District Board Chair to sign.  County Court motioned to approve the total taxes by permanent rate of $4.0061.County Court motioned to approve Biggs Service District 2018-2019 Sewer and Water budget total in the amount of $2,857,400. Being no further business the Budget Hearing closed.

Carrie Pipinich, Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, discussed Biggs Service District (BSD) draft water ordinances as part of the grant requirements for the BSD Water System Project. All references to fees and rates throughout the ordinance packet will be set by resolution. BSD Board concluded to have a non-refundable hookup fee for new customers; existing customers will be grandfathered in. All hookups will be metered, and consumers will be billed according to usage. There will be one meter per building; if one building has more than one business, it will be the building owner’s responsibility to allocate usage by business. A $100 late charge will be assessed with 12% interest for non-payment; if the District so chooses, the bill may be sent to the County, to be set as a lean and paid by taxes. The water system operator will notify of restricted water use due to contamination to BSD Board of Directors; who will make the final determination during a public hearing until further notice. It was stated finding an operator for a rural area may be a challenge as many are retiring and with few replacements. Aaron Cook, BSD Administrator, was asked to inquire cost for running both sewer and water systems with CH2M Hill. Pipinich will work on obtaining three quotes for the District. USDA also asked that a resolution be made in Court for the interim financing supplied by the County for the water system project to be paid back by USDA after project completion. Bond Counsel had some concerns on two resolutions made around the formation of the District that had different legal descriptions; Pipinich was awaiting response from the District’s attorney.

Carrie Pipinich, Mid- Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD), stated three Request for Proposals (RFP’s) were received; the Review Committee met with the top candidate, GorgeNet as they could provide fiber to the home in the four cities and Biggs Service District. GorgeNet will pay half of the total cost to build the project, while the public will need to match $303,689.94. A Regional Infrastructure Fund application was submitted for $200,000. The current match amount thus far is approximately $50,000 between the County and Cities who have committed. Judge Thompson stated GorgeNet is interested in spreading high speed internet to not just the Cities, but to individual residents outside of city limits as well. GorgeNet has proposed a monthly rate of approximately $50; they will also offer phone service as well. GorgeNet has stated they would like to start implementation this fall with the hope of 60 days of construction per city; not all cities have given final approval of commitment currently. The Court motioned to approve the County Court moving forward with the Sherman County Broadband Project, and to fill the expense gap if the Regional Infrastructure Fund grant is not received, and contingent upon coming to an operating agreement with GorgeNet.

Actions taken by the Court included:

  • approved an Intergovernmental Agreement between Mid-Columbia Economic Development District and Sherman County in the amount of $40,000 for the provision of local economic development services effective July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019, and authorize Judge Thompson to sign.
  • approved the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) Request for Assistance for the cities of Rufus, Wasco, Moro, and Grass Valley, in the Eastern Oregon Economic Development Planning Project.
  • approved the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) Request for Assistance for the cities of Rufus, Wasco, Moro, and Grass Valley, in the Oregon Housing Planning Project.
  • approved Early Childhood Education funding for 2018-2019 fiscal year as follows: Little Wheats $26,666.67; Sherman County Child Care Foundation (ABC Huskies Child Care) $26,666.67; Sherman County Preschool $26,666.67.
  • approved the order to void returned resident incentive checks for 2017.
  • approved the intergovernmental agreement between Oregon Department of Revenue and Sherman County, for $60 per hour with a total of 38 hours per year, for Oregon Department of Revenue to perform map maintenance and cartographic activities, and authorize County Court to sign.
  • accepted the Asher Development purchase proposal for lot 1204, made by Derrick and Lana Mauritson, in the amount of $34,200, and authorize the additional two lots in the subdivision to be advertised for sale in the amount of $34,200.
  • approved the Work Session minutes of April 19, 2018, as presented.
  • approved the minutes of May 16, 2018, as presented.
  • approved the Claims for the month of May 2018 as presented.

Topics of discussion were Commissioner Reports.

6. Sherman County Senior & Community Center August Meal Menu

We serve lunch at 12:00 noon sharp.  First come, first served.

If you have a group of 2 or more, please let the Kitchen staff know at 541-565-3191 the day before to ensure that we make enough food!

MEAL PRICING: Under 60 Yrs. $7.00 ~~ 60 Yrs. & Up $4.00 suggested donation!

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
                2 3
Pork Chops Chicken Broccoli Quiche Salmon Patty/Bun
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy Salad & Veggies Tater Tots
Veggies, Salad & Dessert Fruit Veggies, Salad & Dessert
6 7 8 8 10
Ham Fried Rice Grilled Reuben Sandwich Meatloaf Chicken Strips w/ Dip Hot Beef Sandwich
Veggies & Salad Potato Wedges Hash Brown Casserole Potato Wedges Mashed Potatoes /Gravy
Dessert Salad & Fruit Salad & Dessert Salad, Veggies & Fruit Salad, Veggies & Dessert
13 14 15 16 17
Oven Fried Chicken Swedish Meatballs Taco Salad Bar Cheeseburgers BLT Sandwich
Potato Wedges Rotini pasta, Veggies Refried Beans, Salad Tater Tots & Salad Potato Wedges
Veggies, Salad & Dessert Salad & Fruit Dessert Veggies & Fruit Salad & Dessert
20 21 22 23 24
Philly Beef Sub Chicken a la King Spaghetti w. Meat Sauce Chef Salad Pizza loaded w/ Meat
Potato Wedges, Salad Biscuits Veggies, Garlic Bread Rolls & Veggies Veggies & Salad
Veggies & Dessert Salad & Fruit Salad & Dessert Fruit Dessert
27 28 29 30 31
Cheesy Potatoes w/ Ham Jamaican Jerk Chicken Chicken Fried Steak BBQ Burger & Cheddar Baked Potato Bar
Veggies & Salad Tortillas, Veggies Mashed Potatoes w/ Gravy Cornbread Pie Chili, Cheese, Onions
Dessert Salad & Fruit Veggies, Salad & Dessert Veggies, Salad & Fruit Veggies, Salad & Dessert

Menu subject to change due to availability

ATTENTION:  For those who have food allergies, be aware that a large variety of foods are prepared in the kitchen.  Therefore, meals may be prepared with ingredients and food service equipment may come in contact with ingredients to which you may have an allergic reaction, such as nuts.